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Calling All MacGyvers

Need pliers, a screwdriver, a bone saw? Handy-dandy multitools have it all.

November 01, 2002  |  by Scott Smith - Also by this author

Leatherman is synonymous with the concept of the multitool. The company offers many models, including the SuperTool 2000.

If you find yourself assigned to range detail or any training situation, pocket tools are a must-have. The pliers make target removal or tying down a moving target guide wire a snap. Because many of the pocket tools have small screwdrivers, they also make quick work of moving adjustable sights on duty weapons.

And pocket tools are also very useful for other public safety personnel who support police operations. EMS crews use them to bend hooks for hanging IV bags, to open overly sealed sterile bags, remove large splinters, cutting tree branches for make-shift splints, and dozens of other jobs.

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools makes a complete line of multitools, including the Switch Plier (pictured).

In my travels I have used my Leatherman to slice apples, open MREs, cut both first-aid and duct tape, and even prune an offending tree branch that was blocking my path when heading to the range. No, I don't use it every day, but I carry a pocket tool all the time. It's just another thing that makes everyday life both on- and off duty easy.

Are pocket tools essential to police operations? No, you can get by without them. But they are really great to have when you need a pair of pliers, a screwdriver, a ruler, or other tools at an unexpected moment. They're not going to help you catch the bad guys, but they will help you fix that loose screw on your glasses, attach a new piece of equipment to your duty belt, or help your son or daughter assemble a new toy at home. In a word, pocket tools are handy.

A good multitool is a must-have when you need to make quick adjustments to a rifle or pistol at the range. They’re also handy for securing and removing targets.

Many catalog police equipment distributors sell a variety of pocket tools. Also, since these tools were developed for hikers and campers, they can be bought at REI, Eastern Mountain Sports, Bass Pro, Cabela's, Gander Mountain, Turner's Outdoorsman, CampMoor, and other sports stores in your area.

For more information

Gerber Legendary Blades






SOG Specialty Knives & Tools


Tool Logic


Scott Smith is a former military policeman and U.S. Army Ranger. He is a frequent contributor to POLICE.

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