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 Post subject: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:26 pm 
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I'd like to make the smallest / lightest tool kit that is actually useful. The idea is to reduce size, weight, and tool count, but still have a good, functional tool set.

What would you need, and which is the best tool to carry? Instead of carrying a bunch of sockets, carry something like the Gator Grip. Instead of a bunch of screwdrivers, carry one that uses reversible bits. Etc.

Screwdrivers
Sockets
Multi-material cutting
Grabbing
Wrenching
Hammering
Measuring
Electrical

So, what are your opinions on the minimum set of useful tools? I'm guessing that a multitool would be at the top of the list, but what else?


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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:35 pm 
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Well, having been a backyard motorcycle mechanic most of my life I have to disagree with this idea. I've unfortunately spent countless hours of my life fixing bikes because people can't understand that a Japanese sport bike uses metric. I'm strongly of the opinion that a good mechanic can fix anything with the right tools but a bad mechanic can sure screw it up good.

That being said, every toolbox should have:
Hammer
Channel locking pliers
Slip joint pliers
Needle nose pliers
6 in 1 screwdriver
Large and small adjustable wrench
monkey wrench
super glue and duct tape

What specific conditions are you going to be using this in?

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:26 am 
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manowar1313 wrote:
What specific conditions are you going to be using this in?


I'm just looking for the smallest and lightest general tool kit that I can grab to do basic stuff around the house or something I can grab on my way out the door or leave in a car. It got me thinking about the problem in general - what are the minimal set of repair tasks that one needs to perform? Then, what are the right tools to select for those jobs?

I have a big, heavy set of tools, but I can't easily drag it around the house, keep it Ina car, travel with it, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:37 am 
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In cases like this, redundancy becomes the path to Nirvana.

My point being: There's a main (house/garage) tool set, then a separate vehicle set (based on vehicle needs and potential emergency/assistance situations), and then yet another set to grab and run with.

I have a minimalist kit in my bug out bag. I have a toolkit in a bag in my Jeep. I have my garage tools. I think it's best to cater to the occasion, as others have mentioned. This will require a fair amount of duplicate tools.

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:30 pm 
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Tools are heavy, and less tools makes for less weight. Lighter tools make for less weight.

Light tools are not as sturdy, and a light hammer is not as effective, so we'll look at less tools.

When I started working on my car years ago, I grabbed all the tools. If I used a tool, it went into a new pile. At the end of the repair, I kept all the used tools inside the car, and put the rest in the large tool box.

After a year of repairs, and maintenance, I wasn't grabbing anything out of the large tool box anymore, and this did two things; I had no unnecessary tools in the car, and more importantly, I had the tools I needed. The whole collection fit into a .50 cal ammo can.

Same thing for the motorcycle, and again for the house.

I could leave all the wrenches behind, and take one adjustable, but it wouldn't work for all the bolts. Sometimes you need a small wrench, or a line wrench, or an oil filter wrench... Sometimes a screwdriver with multiple bits won't work for a task.

I have never needed a 9mm or an 11mm or a 7mm wrench for a motorcycle, and so I took them out. I did need a spoke wrench, but putting a groove into the handle of a 17mm wrench solved it.

Working on the car, I have needed several different size 7/16 wrenches before, and some sparkplugs need a short extension on the socket. I have pliers and vice grips, but I don't use them as often as a set of correct wrenches.

It does matter what you intend to do with the tools. Like a firearm, there isn't one firearm, that will work on all problems, and one that will do 'in a pinch' will not work well for anything. I don't think I have ever needed or used a leatherman for anything, but I have used the screwdriver on a swiss army knife quite a bit.

Take the tools that you have been using most for your repairs and maintenance. Get a spare set of just those tools, and throw them into the car. (A BOL should have it's own set, and the bike, and whatever)

I could do %80 of my bike maintenance with a 10mm, 12mm, correct size Allen, 10 inch adjustable wrench, and a Phillips screwdriver. Only two of those would be good for my car, and none for the house.

Figure out what might need fixing, go through the motions, and keep those tools. That's as minimum as you can get.

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:53 pm 
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Its probably a good idea to first separate the tools, into what jobs they will be performing, and looking for overlap. Those will likely be the more versatile tools you will use.

Off the top of my head, the 3 most common functions tools will be doing are...

-Construction. Building/repairing structures.
-Mechanical. Automotive etc...
-Demolition. Clearing out and breaking down debris.

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:27 pm 
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For cutting
http://www.acehardware.com/product/inde ... 76.2629156
I have a couple of these, they work well in vehicle kits, small and lightweight and I can personally tell you that you can cut off a rusty exhaust pipe with it.
I keep a kit in my truck in one of these http://bucketboss.com/products/general/ ... tool-roll/
One of the three little pockets can hold one of those little 1/4" socket sets.

A normal #2 + screwdriver is a must because there are some places where bits won't fit in. Then a screwdriver that takes various bits. An adjustable wrench or two.\

What I do is go to Sears the day after fathers day where they will have an 11 piece wrench set for $29 and right next to it will be the fathers day special 13 piece wrench set marked down to $19.99 because it says fathers day on the package.

Buy one set of metric wrenches for vehicle use. Buy one set of 'standard' wrenches for around the house. Buy a screwdriver assortment set, one of those where they have a dozen in the box and you can put a couple in the truck and the rest in the home tool box.

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:57 pm 
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I've read arguments against having only the magnetic head screwdriver sets which made a lot of sense. Then I saw this on sale and impulse bought it

Image

If I'm not going to use tools professionally, do you think it's enough? What are the odds of needing a full set of solid screwdrivers?

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:31 pm 
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The best I can say is to actually start doing the work you need the tools for.

Start changing your own spark plugs, oil, belts and hoses. You will find that a just enough tool is often not enough.

The same with repairs around the home. Exactly what repairs are you planning on doing? Replacing a broken window pane, fixing a leaking water line, installing new cabinets or assembling that new Ikea tv stand? Every job needs different tools that you will not know about until you really need them.

I would concentrate on simple temporary repairs unless you plan on making your work permanent. Tape to repair a radiator hose. A tube of the proper epoxy for repairing a radiator, oil pan or gas tank. (each are different) A way to repair any brake line breaks for your vehicle. It shouldn't be any more than a short piece of hose and a few hose clamps. It might leak a bit but with care and slow driving you should be able to get it to someplace to do better repairs.

You will also need to carry a full compliant of replacement fluids for everything in the vehicle. Fixing the radiator and not replacing the fluid doesn't do any good.


The same for home repairs. As you learn how to do the work you will learn that a screw driver and hammer might not be enough.
The materials to do the temporary repair take up more room than the tools do in most cases. Like ply wood to cover busted doors and windows. Which are the most likely emergency repairs you will need to make in any normal weather related disaster. A leaky water line doesn't need fixed right now. Just turn off the main line and tape the leak shut as best as possible. Drain the lines by opening the lowest faucet in the house. This will normally drain enough water to stop the leak and or remove any pressure to slow it down a lot.
After that call a pro to make the repair if you need to.
The same with electrical and natural gas. Just shut off the mains and call a pro in.

We can all live without water, heat and electricity for a day or two.


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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:48 pm 
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Here's my vehicle toolkit, minus a wrap of wrenches (yet to be obtained):
Image

Here's my minimalist kit from my bug out bag:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:30 pm 
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I've been attacking this problem recently, I wanted something small enough I could carry it in a day pack for those times I want something more then a leatherman but I don't have my car nearby with real tools in it.

took a lot of inspiration from this guy:
http://edcforums.com/threads/custom-pocket-victorinox-leatherman-topeak-ratchet-driver-bit-kit.106367/

So far I have:

Victorinox L-wrench
x4 1/4" screwdriver bits (small/large phillips/flat)
small needle-nose vice grips
small crescent wrench
gerber box cutter
small roll of 1" gorilla tape
mini tape measure
bic lighter
sharpie

I'm hunting around for a complete set of allen and torx 1/4" bits but not having much luck. might add a pocket wrench to go with the crescent.

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:01 pm 
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Here is a thread on recommendations for 18C Special Forces engineering sgt for kit.
some good ideas.

http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/for ... hp?t=12867


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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:05 pm 
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I have the Leatherman Wave and Wingman. With the additional bits for the wave. I also have the Skeletool and Style CS. I don't really have a hammer but reserve the right to make one from wood and stone or just wood.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:57 pm 
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DementedDigital wrote:
So, what are your opinions on the minimum set of useful tools? I'm guessing that a multitool would be at the top of the list, but what else?


Not just at the top, but pretty much essential to a "minimum" tool set. You can even fold it up and use it as a makeshift hammer.

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:56 pm 
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If you're looking for a tool set for the house I don't understand the "minamalist" need. If you want it for a BOB I get it but when you start to include sockets in there you're weight just gets increases exponentially.

http://www.bonanza.com/listings/Craftsman-165-PC-Mechanics-Tool-Set-with-case-body-Shop-Garage-Worksite-Lifetime/214457925?gpid=76983190261&gpkwd=&goog_pla=1&gclid=CMml9975lMICFQGVfgodnaIAWQ

Image

This is my go to has damn near everything you need for auto, add in a small hammer (fits in the tray under the wrenches) and whatever else you feel it lacks and you have an awesome setup. I like craftsmen because there's a Sears nearby almost everywhere and they will replace any of the broken sockets, wrenches, or messed up ratchets nearly no questions asked.

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:15 am 
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Fencing Pliers

http://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-3566-10-Inch-Fencing-Pliers/dp/B000NPUJXU/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1416892159&sr=1-2&keywords=fencing+pliers

Perhaps the best multi tool ever. I've built fence with them, wired a shop with them, built a coyote traps out of 2x4's with one and scared off a bunch of hoodlums that wanted to beat me up... with my fencing pliers

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:23 pm 
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Apathy read my mind, I was actually just about to bring up fencing pliers, because I realized how often I use mine. I manage an apartment complex, and often do random maintenance. I don't like lugging around a tool box or belt when I'm just walking the grounds and finding stuff to fix. Typically I just stuff a pair of fencing pliers in one back pocket, and a 6in1 painters tool/putty knife (for scraping or cleaning random gunk) and a screwdriver with replaceable bits in the handle in the other.

It bridges the gap between my Leatherman, and lugging around a tool belt/bag around.

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:12 pm 
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I've got a set like these.http://catalog.mooremaker.com/viewProduct.cfm?item_id=616911

I bought mine at a feed store for $30 but all the sources online are selling for over $50. Thing is, I would probably buy it at $70.

I've got a pair in my BOB as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:30 pm 
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http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_hi?ie=UTF8&field-brandtextbin=Logger+Head&node=228013

Gonna add something like this to my BOB as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Minimalist Tool Kit
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:09 pm 
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I'll take this necro as an opportunity to post an update:

Image

The most recent photo of my EDC tool kit, either lives in my backpack or in the frame bag on my bike. amazing how many workplaces don't have a complete torx or allen set, the Victorinox driver and bit set by far see the most use, when I'm flying carryon only I'll typically just take those although the bit set always gets a closer look by TSA.

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