I cannot tell you how many times I heard the phrase “use the right tool for the job" as a kid growing up with a machinist for a grandfather. It was a lesson I learned quickly and it has served me well for many years since.
Having the right tool at hand is rarely more critical than when on the road. As almost all of us have probably experienced at some point, if something is going to go wrong, it will wait until the worst possible time to do so. Being on the road in the middle of nowhere qualifies as one of those times.
You may have a flat tire, but you can’t remove the plastic plug out of the bumper to drop the spare down. There might be mysterious electrical issues that crop up and you start looking for corroded contacts and blown fuses. Maybe you need to cut a plastic bottle in half to make a funnel to add engine oil without spilling it all over your exhaust manifold. Your windshield wiper needs replacing but the little plastic doohickey is stuck in place by a winter’s worth of road grime. The list of possibilities could go on and on.
The key to choosing the right multi-tool for your EDC option while you’re traveling on the road is recognizing you simply need the most usable tool choices for the situations you envision yourself encountering. Those needs can vary widely as some of us spend time further away from civilization, travel solo, etc.
My go-to multi-tool of choice for carrying in the vehicle for a couple years now is the Wave. There are a few reasons for this.
Almost any electrical problem I am likely to encounter on the road can be fixed with it. It accepts interchangeable bits that match up with a lot of the quirky fasteners on my rig.
It has the micro screwdriver that I have used on multiple occasions to tighten the tiny screws on my cameras and fly reels. Not to mention using it to clean the evening’s catch from a roadside lake for grilling. When someone, who will remain nameless, happens to lose the key to the hitch lock on the trailer out in the boonies, it can file the lock open (true story) and get you back on the road. Last but not least, it happens to fit my hand well for prolonged use. It handles most anything without a fuss and can always be found riding in my driver’s side door.
Granddad was right, pick the right tool for the job.