Be Ready for Anything with 10 Mighty Pocket Tools

When it's time to tackle a few home improvement projects, it's hard to beat having a nicely stocked toolbox by your side. But small fixes around the house shouldn't require you to haul around a big bucket of gear. With the right small tool in your pocket, you'd be surprised at just how much you could get done—and on short notice too. Carry any of these 10 pocket-size tools, and you'll be prepared for whatever life throws at you.

  1. Leatherman 831189 Squirt PS4 Red Keychain Tool with Plier

    1/11
    1ce038d9617f41f5aa99d487aa47a101

    amazon.com

    Along with the Swiss Army brand, Leatherman is at the front of the pack when it comes to making multi-tools. While many of their pocketable helpers run big and bulky, this "squirt" model gives you three screwdrivers, wire cutters, scissors, a knife, tweezers, and—of course—the trademark pliers all packed into 2.25 inches and weighing in at 2.4 ounces. Available on Amazon; $42.

  2. Tool Logic Credit Card Companion

    2/11
    Cd62f35849eb1a04e5b88714edac338b

    amazon.com

    When it comes to compact convenience, it's hard to beat something that slides into your wallet like a credit card. That's exactly what this slim, feature-packed little multi-tool does. It has a two-inch serrated removable blade, plus a bottle and can opener, magnifying lens, compass, ruler, toothpick, and tweezers—all packed into a super-tough ABS plastic frame. Available on Amazon; $24.

  3. Photon II LED Keychain Micro-Light

    3/11
    31561ba5f11e3ac2ee010ee16b124fc3

    amazon.com

    Trusted and used by shuttle astronauts, this powerful flashlight is good for any job—at home or out of this world. And with its under-$10 price tag, there's simply no reason not to add this powerful helper to your keychain. Bonus: Its replaceable lithium battery is good for 12 to 14 hours of use. Available on Amazon; $9. 

  4. SwissTech Utili-Key

    4/11
    51cb021123c9af0d11873733356066e7

    amazon.com

    This handy little gizmo wins major points for creativity. It packs three kinds of screwdrivers, both straight and serrated cutting edges, and a bottle opener into a key—just like the one you use to open your front door. With this "utili-key" clipped on your keychain, you'll always have with you everything you need to tackle life's little challenges. Available on Amazon; $10.

  5. Gerber Exchange-A-Blade Pocket Knife

    5/11
    8359d622d390c45b3ea581a920db497d

    amazon.com

    Pocketknives tend to slowly go dull over time. Unless you're good with a sharpener, they lose their effectiveness. This compact knife solves this problem by letting you swap out the blades just as you would with a utility knife. The blade locks in the open position for safety, and you can use the clip to hold your cash or attach the knife to a pocket. Available on Amazon; $18.

  6. Pocket Chainsaw

    6/11
    E4ae06cc8268778ddcbc5957d4a3ac46

    amazon.com

    Yup, you read that right. OK, so it's really only the chain part of a chainsaw, but that's all you need, isn't it? Light nylon handles attach to a chain with razor-sharp blades that cut in both directions. Wrap the chain around a branch, grab the handles, and pull back and forth—you can slice through a three-inch limb in 10 seconds. Available on Amazon; $35.


    Related: Top Tips for Maintaining a Chainsaw

  7. Hobo Knife

    7/11
    751e3c6e09a9b44a02d27c0b4f488fe3

    bestmadeco.com

    This beautifully designed gadget would make a great gift for the camper in your life—even if that's you. At first glance, the Hobo Knife looks like a typical pocketknife. Disassemble it, however, and you have a fork, spoon, and knife ready to enjoy a campfire meal. The tool uses a "slot and tab" mechanism that enables it to come apart and go back together quickly and easily. Available at Best Made; $26.

  8. "Split Pea" Super Small Lighter

    8/11
    0c39f091a64c5d73aceb18216c1b849b

    countycomm.com

    This minuscule waterproof lighter can create a blaze for you in an instant. Like larger lighters of its ilk, it relies on a flint and lighter fluid (which you'll need to replenish as needed). Simply roll the wheel, and you have a reliable flame to light some kindling—or candles, if that's what the situation calls for. Available at CountyComm; $14.50.

  9. Match Safe

    9/11
    99c3550c5f3893fc2da2f3f34bb0ae01

    schoolhouseelectric.com

    Speaking of fire, another easy way to get a flame going is to use a match. But because they're susceptible to even a splash of water, matches can fail when you need them most. Fortunately, this nickel-plated match safe, produced from an original 1900 patent, will keep them dry for you. Plus, the rough sides are perfect for striking a matchstick. Available at Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.; $10.

  10. Tiny "Deuce" Buck Knife

    10/11
    3dfeb9b742ba8ac94dee3b3423c426cc

    amazon.com

    From one of the iconic manufacturers of knives in America, this traditional folding pocketknife measures a modest 2-5/8 inches, small enough to carry in a shallow front pocket. The best part? As with all Bucks, its three straight-edge blades come with a lifetime warranty. Available on Amazon; $23.

  11. For More...

    11/11
  12. See the House of the Week

    Hotw600x450

    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!