I have for many years tried to develop a tool that fits my pocket-tool-needs exactly (electronics, etc…). I’ve built the model shown below myself out of a range of parts from Victorinox among others. The principal design foundation is to separate the tongs and the screwdriver for obvious reasons: Anyone who have ever tried to loosen or tighten a screw with a nut on the other side with a traditional Leatherman-type tool will discover that it is not particularly smart to have both tongs and screwdriver in the same tool!
The Swedish firm Bacho earlier produced a super slick little set of poly-grip tongs. I had a couple of these lying around and I thought they could fit perfectly on the side of a “knife” with the same shape as a normal Victorinox. The arms of the tongs come out at the one end, but no longer than the magnetic bits-holder that I have fit in on the side plate.
My preferred multi-tools are the ones with loose bits (bravo Leatherman Wave!) since it is often the screwdriver that breaks first. My tool has four built-in screw bits: Two flat-type on the one side, one PH-type on the other side and one bigger PH-type in the holder. There is one more bit that I made myself: A tungsten carbide tip for cutting glass, etc. The three bits on the one side are mounted with a movable “dragon shaped” holder that only can be moved when the corkscrew is folded out.
I have of course kept the tiny screwdriver in the corkscrew. Both sides are milled in four aluminum parts, two on either side, rounded and polished, and the axles are of steel and all blades are interchangeable. The Victorinox parts are selected among the ones that I find most useful. Please note that there is only one short knife. If one is to use a proper knife it has to be much bigger and lockable! The reason why I have kept the smaller Victorinox tongs is because they are quite excellent to use as a pair of tweezers.
I’ve filed the Victorinox PH-screwdriver into a v-shaped edging iron, which e.g. can be used on PCB’s to cut tracks. I have put in three tools of my own design: A small ruler with 0.5mm lines, a flat hook and a small crooked skeleton key, all three made in 0.7mm steel. If you count all possibilities, my tool has got around 30 different functions.
For the belt strap I’ve used my own design: A transverse metal stick, which the strap easily can loop around, and a strap that easily can be changed to two different lengths. The trick is that you can attach the strap to your belt in a way that allows the tool to hang flalt and freely into the pocket without turning and bothering too much.
Since this knife is rather big for carrying in your tuxedo 🙂 I also made this smaller “Victorinox Special”:
It is also a collection of parts from Victorinox, but with copper and ivory side panels. The tools are selected to match exactly what I normally use at the office. Some parts are slightly changed, either to fit or to make them more useful:
I sharpened the bottle opener so that it can also be used as a can opener, and the wire-stripper is made more V-shaped, sharp and useful. The tweezers have got a longer handle made of brass, and I made a small ruler to measure with 0.5mm resolution. The rest is standard. The leather strap is made so that the knife can hang from the belt into the pocket for greater comfort and less wear.
To complete my “outfit” I always cut my keys to size and fit them like this:
I can always find the right key, even in the dark, since I know their exact place in the row.