Extra Heavy Duty Screwdriver Set
If you believe the ad copy, these are mil-spec screwdrivers that “were standard equipment in all U.S.
Army tanks” up to about 20 years ago. I own a set,
and it’s entirely plausible. These are full-tang, forged-steel, flat-blade screwdrivers that serve equally well
in turning screws, prying stuff, and, you know, killing
people who try and open your hatch. They’re heavy
and nigh indestructible, and they have an anomalously sleek, streamlined shape that feels great in
your hand and is not bad looking in your boot, either.
Regrettably, not available in Phillips. —Sean Ragan
I’m ready to swear that knife sharpening is an
urban myth. Everyone’s uncle’s barber’s cousin
is an “expert,” but no two of them ever agree on a
method. I’ve read books, bought jigs, and interviewed the pros, but I just can’t make it work.
So when the first folding utility knives appeared
a few years back, I enthusiastically signed on. Now,
instead of fretting over resharpening my blade, I can
just replace it when it gets dull. Steel is recyclable
anyway, so there’s no harm done, and the small
expense is made up for in time saved.
But folding utility knives have their drawbacks.
For one, they’re big and clunky. They have to be,
to provide a sturdy folding frame that encloses
a mechanism for interchanging blades. These
Crowbar of the Gods
Titanium Clawbar Nail Puller
Titanium crowbars first appeared, at least on my
radar, amongst the spoils that flooded Western
markets following the collapse of the Soviet Union
in 1991. I snagged one around then from a he-man
catalog for my Dad’s birthday, and although it was
pricey, his jaw totally hit the floor when I gave it
to him: “I never imagined I could own something
like this in my lifetime.” He’s an engineer, so that’s
more than just a comment on the price of the gift.
He’s been using it for more than a decade now and
loves it. It’s indestructible, rustproof, and amazingly
lightweight. It hefts like aluminum, pries like steel.
An awesome, awesome tool.
The price of titanium has been on a roller-coaster ride since then, and the stream of cheap
Soviet ti-tools has long since dried up. These days,
the leader in titanium tool tech is Stiletto Tools
of Winton, Calif. Their 12" Titanium Clawbar Nail
Puller is a relatively affordable entree to the glories
of titanium tools, and features a cool “dimpler”
doodad that recesses the wood around a flush
nailhead to make it easy to grab onto. Those with
deeper pockets may want to spring for their 16"
TiBar Titanium Utility Bar, a truly formidable implement of destruction which, like a samurai sword,
should probably be offered libations of sake before
being taken into battle. —SR
blade-swapping devices, in turn, are generally either
flimsy or fussy — they don’t resist pocket wear and/
or they use tiny parts that require tools to engage.
Gerber’s solution? Shrink the blade! Instead of
co-opting the disposable utility razor, their Artifact
mounts a folding #11 hobby blade. These are just
as common as their larger cousins, and about the
same price, but small enough to be safely retained
in a compact folding frame by a mechanism that
doesn’t requires tools. Besides this cleverness, the
Artifact incorporates seven other handy implements, including some, like a pry bar, rarely seen in
multitools, and all in a package about the size of a
pack of gum — and only slightly more expensive.