The history of multi-tools

The first multi-tool was designed around eating and was invented in the Middle Roman times. The multi tool below was made in approx 200 AD and is made of silver, the blade is made of iron. It is equipped with a spoon, fork, retractable spike, spatula and small tooth-pick. The Romans were fond of snails so the spike was probably used to extract the meat. The historians speculate that the spatula was used to poking cooking sauce out of bottles. 

Since silver is an expensive metal, this one was probably made for the wealthy citizens. Other versions in cheaper metal probably existed but are now lost due to corrosion. You can read more about this multi-tool at Daily Mail.

Swiss Army Knife

The first modern multi-tool is the Swiss Army Knife. During the late 1880s, the Swiss Army wanted a versatile pocket tool for their soldiers. They needed a can opener for opening canned food and screwdriver to disassembling the Swiss rifle. The Swiss Army Knife was born and includes a knife blade, reamer, a bottle opener, screwdriver, wire stripper and a can opener. The earliest example was supplied by the companies Victorinox and Wenger. They are usually red with the company cross & shield logo. 

Later the design was slightly altered and more functions added, but they were always designed to help the soldiers in their daily life as a soldier. Today we have many manufacturers and brands of multi-tools that provide helpful tools to not only soldiers but to all of us.



We can't have the history of multi-tools without mentioning the brand, Leatherman. Tim Leatherman designed and sold his first pocket survival tool in 1983. We write pocket tool, but they are slightly larger than other pocket tools and are usually carried in a belt pouch. 

The Leatherman was more robust with more functions and designed with a balisong style mechanism. The first tool was more a survival tool than everyday carry tool. Leatherman group manufactures a large variety of multi-tools to meet a variety of uses. 

Today Leatherman is often a common name for similar multi-tools from many popular or unnamed makers of multi tools. 



Today's Multi Tool

Today we have a high variety of multi-tools. As written above Leatherman started as a survival tool. The Swiss army knife was made for the Swiss army. Today we have also tools made for bicycles and other sports. We have everyday carry tools and small keychains. 


EveryDay Carry tools

Everyday carry tools are often named EDC. This is often small tools designed to be carried every day and help you in your daily life. Some are keychains and some are designed to be in your pocket or even in your wallet. This is tools that often have a wow factor and is designed to be both useful and cool.






In the future

The first known multi-tool was made for eating. It was useful for one activity and probably had a WOW factor. The technology has improved a lot since then and now we can create almost everything we want and we have more hobbies. I'm sure that we will see more types of tools in the future that are designed to cover more functions in a special sport or activity. 

 What do you think? 

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