Whether it’s a pocketknife or a pair of pliers that doubles as a ruler, multitools are very interesting nowadays. They replace massive toolboxes and the days of fumbling around to grab the exact right tool for the job, instead, you can grab a multitool and have a pretty good close enough. With multitools being used everywhere, it’s no surprise that the history of the item is just as fascinating as the tool combinations people have created, such as handpiece parts and products for dentists, that have interchangeable parts.
The Romans were documented to use multitools, with one being found that contained silverware, a pick, and a spike, that could all be folded into one simple case. In the modern era, the Swiss Army knife was created by the Swiss army when they wanted to give standard knives to their men. A few years later they found that they needed to give a screwdriver to the men as well, in order for them to be able to disassemble their guns for cleaning, and decided to combine the two tools into one item.
They contacted a knife workshop in Switzerland and tasked the owner with making a tool to include several items, and the first Swiss Army knife was born. More companies began making their own multitools built around knives, pliers, and other necessary gear, and now there’s a multitool that can perform almost any function at almost any size.
You can have multitools that fit around pens, pliers, keys, and other items, meaning that you never need to be away from an item that can help you. They aren’t a replacement for each item individually, but they will do the same function in a pinch. Plus, they’ve opened up the idea of multi-function items and even interchangeable parts for other types of people, including fishermen and outdoorsmen.