EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Let’s face it: Most men love gadgets and tools whether they work in an office or work with their hands and put their back into their living.
Here are some gift ideas that tap into the burgeoning EDC or Everyday Carry movement, stuff that guys carry with them every day so they can be ready for whatever life throws their way.
Many of us got our first pocket knife when we were 9 or 10 years old, and many of us carry a knife around on a daily basis as adults.
The world’s number one seller of pocket knives is Swiss-based Victorinox, which has made the fabled Swiss Army Knife since the 1890s. It’s big advantage is: It’s not perceived as a weapon or as “scary” by non-knife people.
Victorinox offers dozens of different models and sizes with a wide range of tool sets.
The Bantam Alox is a favorite of many EDC enthusiasts. It is made with beautiful aluminum scales instead of the traditional plastic cellidor sides that most people think of when it comes to Swiss Army Knives.
It weighs in at a mere 1 ounce, is 3.3 inches, or 84 millimeters, long when closed up and is literally as wide as a cracker.
It is the perfect blend of pocketability and functionality. It’s so light you won’t even know it’s in your pocket. The downside: It’s so light you may not know that you have lost it or misplaced it.
The Bantam Alox comes with a traditional Swiss Army Knife blade (always razor sharp right out of the factory).
It has only one other tool – a combo tool that consists of a can opener, cap lifter, wire stripper and flathead screwdriver. The combo tool can be snapped into place at a right angle giving it a little extra umph if you need to use it as a screwdriver.
At the other end of the spectrum, but still very minimalist, is the Victorinox Sentinel. It is 4.4 inches long, or 111 millimeters, when closed. It consists of a single knife blade and the traditional Swiss Army Knife scale tools – a toothpick and tweezers that store into the side of the knife.
The Sentinel comes in several options. The one I like has one-handed opening with a locking blade and a pocket clip. It also comes in a spiffy black color instead of the traditional red.
Here is a link to Victorinox’s Website (They have a U.S. based subsidiary that ships from the East Coast.)
Also, BladeHQ, a leading online retailer of knives, has a Father’s Day sale going on a wide range of knives and other tools. Here is a link.
Leatherman is the quintessential name in multitools going back 40 years to the 1980s. Most Leatherman tools are built around a pair of pliers.
The Leatherman Micra is a personal favorite. It is about 2.5 inches when closed and about 4 inches when open. Instead of pliers, it is centered around a very handy pair of scissors, which are great if you are in the office or off fishing and need to cut some cordage or fishing line.
It also has a small knife blade (perfect for opening letters or to open a snack pack on a road trip), a flathead screwdriver, nail file and nail cleaner, eyeglass screwdriver, bottle lifter, tweezers and a smaller flathead that can be used as a Phillips screwdriver in a pinch.
It packs a wallop for its small size. The Micra also comes in nearly a dozen different colors.
A competitor of Leatherman is Gerber Gear. One of its innovative products is its Armbar line, which I describe as half of a Leatherman. It folds down similar to a pocket knife but is a surprisingly versatile multitool.
A personal favorite, which I use every time I grill is, the Armbar Cork. Its main tool is a corkscrew and bottle lever for opening a bottle of wine. It has a handy locking blade, folding scissors, a can opener and a multitool at the front of it that can be used as a light makeshift hammer, cap lifter, and pry bar.
The one downside of the Armbar is it does not come with a pocket clip but it is a lot lighter than your medium or full-size Leatherman and can easily be carried in your pocket without causing that weighted-down feeling.
Why does Dad need a flashlight, you may ask? Well, it’s simple. If you get in a pinch, say your car breaks down or you somehow land in a ditch, if you use your phone as a light you may not have battery power to make a lifesaving call for help when you need to.
It’s always best to carry a separate source of light.
Flashlights are a huge sub-genre in the EDC movement and you can do hours and hours of research and spend a lifetime exploring different options. Companies like Fenix and Olight make a wide variety of options ranging from keychain size to full-size, more traditional lights that can be used for work, hobbies like cycling and everyday carry.
Personally, I carry the lightweight keychain Fenix E05R model which is rechargeable and comes in three different brightness levels.
What’s the best flashlight? Well, that’s a complicated question. Simply, the best flashlight is one that fits your needs.
If you carry a pocket knife, you need a pry bar. Why? So you don’t use your blade for a task that can bend or break it. Pry bars can range from a few dollars to super expensive models.
I carry a Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) Viva, which has unfortunately been discontinued. I was able to track down a brand-new one on eBay this winter for about $15.
It’s basically a multitool without a blade. It’s about 4 inches long and has a pry bar, bottle opener (everything has a bottle opener), flathead screwdriver and several sizes of hex wrenches, all in a single piece of lightweight metal.
Kershaw also makes a couple of inexpensive pry bars – the Kershaw PT 1 and PT 2.
Here’s a link for Kershaw. If you are interested in the CRKT Viva, you can track it down on eBay and Amazon.
Pen and notebooks
If your Dad likes to write, draw or take notes, there are some great pens on the market and a wide variety of notebooks
The Grafton Mini is a lightweight pen that is very pocket friendly. It comes in under an ounce and is a little under 5 inches in length. Great for tucking into a notebook.
Carrying a nice metal pen is good for the environment. Instead of throwing away a cheap pen every couple of weeks, you just purchase an ink cartridge when you need it to refill your everyday carry pen.
Personal favorites on the notebook front are Field Notes, which are a homage to the notebooks farmers and scientists carry in the field, and Log and Jotter. Both Field Notes and Log and Jotter notebooks can be easily tucked into your shirt pocket or your back pocket in your jeans or slacks.
Log and Jotter is a subscription-based service. For $5 a month a month, you get a pocket-sized notebook in the mail. It’s a nice little monthly surprise and the notebooks come in some snazzy designs. You can fill your notebook with story ideas, notes, lists and sketches. You have a choice of three different types of paper – blank, graph and dot graph.
Wazoo, a noted online supplier of outdoor and survival gear, has a tab with some gift ideas just for Dad. These include firestarter pendants, “cache” hats where you can stash some of your EDC gear inside your hat and other gear. Check out what Wazoo has for Dads by clicking here.
Hope this helps. And just a reminder Father’s Day is June 18 this year.