Introduction: Multi-tool Value Added Features

About: Just an ordinary person who loves #thinking and #tinkering

Some of us used to bring multi-tools in our pockets all the time. For me, I am carrying this Leatherman Skeletool whenever I think I might need it. When I am wearing a jean, I will always slip it in my pocket because it won't give any noticeable weight anyway (note : only when you are on this durable twilled cotton cloth).

This is not a marketing promotion but solely because this is what I bring almost daily (not to a wedding party -- duh!) Some of the unusual uses of multi-tool I am telling in the next steps can be done with other type/brand of multi-tools. Just keep on reading and you may also discover some hidden features of your multi-tools.

Step 1: Plastic Bag Holder

Every time we go shopping, we are provided plastic bags to carry the goods. Sometimes when you buy things that are heavy such as watermelons, few bottles of mineral water or any other foodstuffs, those plastic bags' handles will turn into strings and give you pain on your knuckles.

Thanks to Tim Leatherman -- the inventor of pocket folding pliers -- it is not only helping in repairing things but also carrying things. Actually you can replicate this method with any bar-shape thing you can find around you but your bags are not fully secured. They can slipped out and dropped. Using my Skeletool (or any other folding pliers) the bag is clipped by the pliers (and its handles) securely.

  1. Unfold your pliers and its handles about 30 to 45 degrees.
  2. Put your plastic bag's handles inside the pliers (along with one side of the pliers' handlebar).
  3. Clip/Fold back your pliers.

Now you are ready to transport your bags.

Skeletool is designed in a curved shape and you can put it either concave-up or concave-down. Concave-up is more convenience for our knuckles, but the carabiner is on that side and your fingers will have shorter handlebar to hold. I used to carry in concave-down mode.

If you see the photo above you might think, "why not simply clip the plastic bag on its carabiner?" The answer is "No." If you clip it that way, you need to hold your Skeletool vertically and that means more power is needed to carry the bag.

Step 2: Drawing Compass

When you need to draw a circle, you need a compass. Maybe you are not aware that your multi-tools (folding pliers type) have this function with the help of a marker and some rubber bands. I have used this method several times and drawn perfect circles.

To do this, simply attach a pen/marker on one of your multi-tool's handlebar with rubber bands (at least two rubber bands to keep it steady). Use one end of your multi-tool which has pointy feature such as screwdriver, cork puller or awl as pivot. You can put your multi-tool and the marker in any direction to get the desired radius size. With my Skeletool I can draw up to 11 inches radius.

Step 3: Bag Hanger

Thanks to carabiner on Skeletool, you can hold anything to anything that can be clipped inside your carabiner. This feature only available on Skeletool and its descendants which have built-in carabiner. When I buy some bottles of mineral water, I can hang them on a clothes line or heavy duty rings or my industrial multipurpose rack.

Step 4: Rope Adjuster/Tensioner

Rope adjuster/tensioner is mostly used by campers to tighten their tents. It needs three holes, basically, to get this rope tensioner and Skeletool has several holes all over its body.

  1. Make a simple loop through the lanyard hole, that is one large hole next to carabiner. (Pic #1)
  2. Run your rope around a post. (Pic #2)
  3. Goes through the carabiner. (Pic #2)
  4. Then comes up through another hole. (Pic #2)
  5. Tie the end of the rope at another post (Pic #3)

For a larger rope, you can take out the extra bit from its holder and use the bit holder as another hole.

Note :NEVER use the holes on the knife because you can accidentally slide it out and hurt someone.

Picture #3 shows a loose rope and picture #4 shows a tighten rope just by pulling the Skeletool to one side. Another way to use this is as a lifter. While we are working on several levels on a ladder for a long period of time, we can set up a tool-lifter as in picture #5 and #6. I need this setup when working with CCTV cameras.

I am not a camper anyway but I setup a hammock in my backyard some time. As I mention before, for my hammock thicker lines I need a larger hole and I put it through the extra bit holder. This way I can easily adjust my hammock when it is too low or too high from the ground. We will figure out the distance when we are sitting in it.

Step 5: Secure Your Bag

Once again, thanks to the built-in carabiner. Some people wonder why Leatherman put a carabiner on Skeletool while it has a lanyard hole and a pocket clip on it. Well, I believe Tim just want to give options to users. We can't make just one thing to satisfies everyone. For me, push your creativity to use all of them.

Most bag zippers have holes on them but some just too small to clip your Skeletool's carabiner on them. Don't be sad. You only need some paracord to make your custom zipper puller. See picture #3.

When you are in the crowd, this is the simplest way to secure your bags from pickpockets. It needs extra effort to unclip the carabiner and take something out of your bag without your noticing or others' noticing. The best way is put your bag/backpack in front of you when you are in the crowd. You know what I mean. Turn your backpack into bellypack :D

If you own a Skeletool and you have unusual uses of it, please kindly share with us on the comment section. Thank you for reading and sharing.

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