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ubertools

I just placed an order for a fencing helmet, specially made for SCA fighting, so should be good for ARMA fighting as well. Pricey little chestnut, but it's better than using the instructor's unwashed one every time. My order of the riot-police gloves has still not been entered by the company (placed it Sunday), and obviously it won't get here for class tomorrow. I prolly can't fight tomorrow anyway due to my thumb still being sensitive, but still. I was practicing swinging my waster from guard to guard in the living room as I do sometimes while I watch TV, and as usual I knock the dangling fan chain around, I damn near pulled the thing out of the ceiling.

I was thinking just know about how I have listed a few choice items that I give "ubertool" or something like this status due to their unparalleled usefulness/handiness. The list as I can remember right off the top of my head is:

multi-tool (I've preferred leatherman wave for years now, but of course it has its downsides).  It must have a knife blade, pliers, file, and both types of screwdrivers to be at all useful to me, but preferably with wire-cutters and an awl-shaped tool also.  I use mine so often I dulled the blade in a month and I would rather leave my wallet at home than my leatherman.  I originally got a leatherman (the only one they made at the time" when I was a kid and it was awesome, though light on features.  Then I got a Wave I when my dad died because the engraved original was too important to lose or break, and it worked well.  Then I got a Charve XTi, and it was a waste of money.  The handle was waaay too bulky (what's the point of titanium if the thing's going to be so big and heavy otherwise?), and although the blades were supposedly better quality, I didn't notice any difference (though the shape was better).  I liked the shape of the pliers over  the wave, but the screwdriver scenario was not cool with me (two philips-heads instead of scissors?  unacceptable).  Eventually I lost it because it was too heavy to stay in my pocket correctly.  I got a "new wave" which is essentially the old one with their new interchangeable bit set.  The knife blade is rather easy to dull, but, sharpenable.  A great review of multitools (and where I got a lot of the advice for building my custom first-aid kits is at http://www.equippedtosurive.org .
tape (of course duct tape is the king, but not all duct tape is created equally, and the size of the roll is a trammel. I'm starting to test the usefulness of the standard cloth coach's/medical tape for the same purposes as it's smaller, and usually pretty sticky & strong).  I've been wanting to try that '100 mile per hour tape and also gaffer's tape, but I dunno where to get some to try it.  Besides, medical tape/duct tape is more ubiquitous.
clear nail polish (this stuff is cheap and works as waterproofer, seam sealer, wound closer, clear-coat, rust-protector, lubricator, glue, and scratch remover among other things), and they sell it everywhere that women live and it's only a couple of bucks, and the bottles are indestructible.
Ultra-fine-tip sharpie blue as it is by far the most durable ink color for some reason, and very visible for my work, the cap stays on tightly, it lasts a long time, the clip doesn't bend, and it writes on anything
Pilot Precise V5 pen because it's bold colored, doesn't need ink priming, etc. It has drawbacks (bleeds easy, crushes easy, can be messy) but my fav usually
Five new $1 bills because with these things you can get just about ANYTHING done easier. Plus they buy me my daily diet sodas at work in the morning.
Visa/Mastercard because with this you can do anything the cash won't get you. And it can open most doorknob locks in old buildings, and scrape nasty shit off of your car and desk without using your pocketknife.
One sheet of notebook paper folded 3 times will hold all to-do lists, to-call lists, and any info you pick up along the day, along with random doodles and whatnot. I have a shelf of my bookcase where I've been keeping these things since college, and when I'm bored I look through them to see what was going on back then. Screw that PDA nonsense.


Anyway if there are other suggestions for ubertools or comments, please let me know, and I will be updating this list as I think of new ones.

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
spotweld
Nov. 9th, 2005 08:39 pm (UTC)
String/twine/nylon cord/zip-ties.

A good yard's worth. Very handy with you need to tie down, lace together, cinch up, splint, or bind something. (And tape just won't work)
floyd_mephit
Nov. 10th, 2005 03:13 am (UTC)
I never thought about that, but I always have my 54" bootlaces with me, and I did use one once as string. And I keep zipties in my motorcycle toolkit and they are handy too. The problem with string and zipties is that it's hard to find a place to carry them around normally.. besides the shoelace thing. I guess there are some things that tape can't bind up, afterall.
skorzy
Nov. 10th, 2005 12:15 am (UTC)
All multitools seem to have their downside, naturally, but from what I've experimented with. I absolutely LOVE this new Charge. I think its size is perfect. You can hold onto it while really torquing something with the pliers without worry about it cutting into your hand. I think the titanium handles are a bit of fluff, but consider its durability if its dragged. It won't scratch as easily, and the titanium is tougher than steel, so there's probably less of a chance of the housing breaking... not that you'd ever encounter THAT much force with a leatherman anyways. What sold me on the Charge over the Wave was the inclusion of a dozen more driver bits, which will be quite handy at times.

Two phillips drivers? Uh... the Charge has one #1 phillips/flathead driver and one smaller (#000) philips/flathead driver. The bits on both tools is swappable by flipping it around. Having that tiny screwdriver is DAMN useful: eyeglasses, watch repair, battery covers on radios, laptop access.

I also wear my Leatherman in a velcro sealed cordura belt pouch (actually a magazine pouch). Very little chance of it getting lost. I also like how it has a removeable beltclip, which will make it more handy while working on the car.
floyd_mephit
Nov. 10th, 2005 03:32 am (UTC)
There are two charges, an Ti and an XTi. The Ti has scissors but only one screwdriver thing, I think. I should've gotten that one instead of the XTi. But the bulk of it was just too much for me (maybe I have sausage fingers or something). I never used the screwdriver set they included in the Charge box, because they're designed as flattened and kept slipping in the large allen sizes.

The XTi has three swappable bit holders and a can opener, without scissors (why 3?). Mine came with two phillips already set in the holders but I never got around to really using them. The new wave has the same swappable driver thing, but luckily just one of them. It has the long tiny pin screwdriver as well, which is really handy for scratching things or digging into crevices but not so useful for turning screws (it's a little too small for any of the screws I tried except for a calculator).

The plastic holster was nice in that I could finally wear it sideways, but the loops were too weak and wore out within a month or so. The wave can use the same clip as the charge but doesn't come with one I think, or maybe I lost it. Out of old habit I carry mine in the little inner front pocket of my jeans, or in one of those pock-kit things that can hold my mag-lite and pens (http://www.niteize.com/category.php?category_id=28). That thing is awesome, but I usually just use my jeans as I look like a big enough nerd anyway.

And if you ever lose the clip or the bits, they sell them by themselves now in little (or large) packs.
mrcougar
Nov. 10th, 2005 12:25 am (UTC)
a baseball hat,why? well you have to have somewhere that has quick and easy acess to hold/store a writing intstrument.just shove pen between hat and temple. pens fall out of my shirt pocket all day and stab me in the chest when leaning over. the hat is an ubertool.
floyd_mephit
Nov. 10th, 2005 03:15 am (UTC)
I used to wear a baseball hat a few years ago, but I stopped for two reasons. One, I think I look like a complete dipshit in one (some people look better in them, some people like me look like a Mr. Potato Head), and two, I am cursed to lose every one I buy within two months, tops. But I can see how it would be good for holding stuff. Check this hat out for just such a purpose:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/apparel/hats/7c73/
mrcougar
Nov. 10th, 2005 04:28 am (UTC)
damm! lol thats like ultra geek! you'd need a neck brace after wearing that hat.

I look bad with or without a hat, I just wear one at work as my hair,what little I have gets rather dirty from being undercars all day.
just_the_ash
Nov. 10th, 2005 05:08 pm (UTC)
everywhere that women live

Dude! They sell nail polish in convents? :D
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )