Multitool users are always being told to use the right tool for the right job, and I agree for the most part. Whenever possible the right tool (usually a dedicated tool) is preferable to using a multitool, but what about the type of situation where a multitool is the right tool?
I have been thinking of getting a small trailer for my bike to carry camp chairs and the like. While driving around the neighborhood yesterday I got a little lost and came across this:
I called the number on the for sale sign, the guy came out and we discussed price until we finally agreed on a good number.
The trailer was far too large for my needs, being about four feet wide!
Almost immediately when I got home out came the tools. First the box came off- this is one of those roof rack pods that people put on top of cars, and is the main reason this trailer was so wide. I'll list the box for sale on a local classified site and probably make much, if not all of my money back.
Once the box was off it was a simple matter of removing the hitch bar (which will also need to be modified once the trailer is thinner) then disassembling the frame.
Once the trailer was in pieces I decided to use the central pipes to cut a couple of shorter rods to attach the two outer frame pieces directly to each other rather than over a foot apart.
It was a hard go using the SOG PowerLock but I made it! I have a hacksaw but it is in my Jeep which is at the dealership for service right now. I also have jigsaws, reciprocating saws and angle grinders which would have been a great help too, but they are in my garage a thousand miles away.
So it's up to hand tools and a small drill that I have here. By the time I killed the drill battery I had managed to get fairly close to having it pretty well put back together.
As you can see it is significantly thinner than it was before, and if I can get my hands on a power saw I can make it a few inches thinner yet.
Megan wants me to put some sidewalls on it and I want to put some d rings on it to have places to tie things down to it. So, there's still some work to do, but I'm done for now since I have to wait for my drill to charge.
I'm thrilled with it so far, although I haven't tried towing it yet. I pulled it with the seller's bike before I bought it, and it was surprisingly easy to haul then. I'm imaging with the pounds it has lost by taking the cargo pod off and removing a couple of feet of pipe it should be even easier.
The rain finally subsided today so I had another chance to go out and work on the trailer again. I had to cut the hitch back somewhat- the curve was set for the original width, which would have made the bike too far off center to be towed properly once the extra width was shed. Unfortunately there was a casualty.
My poor Powerlock got it's lock broken, and now the metal saw/file won't lock open. Before anyone takes any shots at the Powerlock, this one has seen an awful lot of use and I don't think any other tool would have fared any better. At any rate, I am sure SOG will look after it, although I hope they fix this one and not replace it with a newer PowerLock or something else. But, that's a discussion for another time!
I pulled out my Leatherman ST300 to finish the cut and, while it did just as good a job as the PowerLock was doing, I still missed having an actual hacksaw. Or a reciprocating saw, jigsaw or grinder. Luckily I'm heading back to my old place next weekend, so I'll probably take the opportunity to pick up a few tools, but that doesn't get the job done in the meantime!
So here is the finished (for now) product. I'm hoping that once I get my tools I will be able to thin it out a little more so that there is no gap between the deck boards, although I may decide to leave it as is. I dunno- I'll leave it as is for now, and try it out. If it's acceptable the way it is I may keep it like this. The bike is also a little off center, but again, I'll wait until I decide how wide I want it before finalizing that.
It is towable now and doesn't actually feel off center, although TBH I don't really have enough experience hauling a trailer on a bike that I wouldn't necessarily know if it was or not.
I jumped a few curbs with it and the deck boards came loose so I may decide to use some U brackets or bolts to lock them down. Once I decide how long the hitch needs to be I also need to round it off so that it allows for easier turning without catching the rear wheel axle. It doesn't really seem to do that now, but I'm the paranoid type and once I have my grinder it will only take a minute to do.
All in all I'm pretty happy with it as it is now, and once I get my hands on some of my trusty power tools I will make it even better.
If you have any thoughts, questions or comments, feel free to have your say on our forum!
After ten years in operation, Multitool.org has grown into quite a monster. For years I personally funded the site out of my own pocket, but as the site grew, so did the expenses. In the old days we hosted the site for a mere $5/month, at least until we started crashing teh shared server package we were on. We were given a polite but firm shove out the door from our first host, not because they were bad people, but because we were growing out of control for what they were providing us, and when we crashed the server we took out many other websites with us!
Some of you may be wondering why the sudden logo change at the top of the page- it is in response to some very bad news I got last night. One of our early members, and serious Leatherman and Victorinox collectors, Joe Wright, aka JoeBW on ours and other forums has passed away.
With all due respect to Sir Mixalot, I have a deep fascination with trucks. To me, a good truck is a vehicular multitool- it carries anything you need and manages both highways and dirt tracks with relative ease no matter the weather.
Leatherman USA has launched the New Skeletool RX First Responder Multi-Tool. In a release last week the company explained that the new tool will help first responders “be ready to respond quickly and safely in emergency situations.”
It looks like the tool has many of the same features of the regular Skeletool with a few minor changes. This model contains a carabiner/bottle opener, hybrid needle nose pliers/wire cutters, 154CM serrated knife and a replaceable carbide bit- strong enough to break windows.
As always, we’ll post a review as soon as we’ve had a chance to really use the New Skeletool RX First Responder Multitool.
Have you used this tool? Let us know at forum.multitool.org.
Leatherman has been in the multitool franchise for so long that their name is synomous with the tool itself. Conquering the multitool market Leatherman wanted to expand their horizons. With the Juice series they had already created something to compete with the Swiss Army knife, Leatherman like everyone else is the business-needed something new.
Leatherman knives are another way that they (Leatherman) have tried to secure their niche in the market today. Everyone has a pocket knife, but not everyone has one that is loaded with all kinds of Leatherman extras. My first Leatherman knife was the h502, it's a great knife that's constructed well and Leatherman was spot on with the features. The problems I have with the h502 are the size and the lack of a pocket clip. Now granted; this knife is way too big for a pocket knife and a clip would just get in the way. I still wanted all of those cool features in a package that would fit not only in my pocket but fit my needs as well.
Having done so many different things with their tool line, Leatherman decided a few years ago to get into pocket knives. However, being Leatherman, they had to do it their own way, and look at knives with tools added, rather than their more typical method of making tools with knife blades on them. The top dog in this particular line was the now discontinued h502.
After Gerber’s sliding plier head patent expired, Leatherman decided to try their hand on this particular design, and their first offering is the OHT. It’s a large tool aimed at the tactical/EMT crowd. Leatherman doesn’t say what OHT stands for, but I’m guessing there probably is a One Hand somewhere. It comes with a MOLLE compatible sheath which will also work with belt.
Most parts of the tool are finished with black oxide coating, and handle scales come in either tan or black. Black oxide finish isn't particularly wear resistant, so expect the black to fade with use. The scales are painted stamped sheet metal, despite my initial impression of anodized aluminum.