You might be surprised how much use you can get out of a multi tool not much larger than a credit card. Wallet size multitools are card-style multitools designed to fit in your wallet or purse with your other credit cards.
They typically don’t contain a pliers or knife and fall into two general styles – cards cut from a single piece of metal and the hybrid cards that have multiple small tools that fold out or can be removed from the main tool. Mention the word multi tool and most people will think of a folding tool with pliers but these tools define their own unique market segment.
One Piece Wallet Styles
Also known as solid state multi tools, one-piece tools pack a large number of tools into a pocket sized package. There were relatively few ‘survival cards’ available starting in the 1980s, but with advances in CNC machining the market is now flooded with cheap tools and worthless junk. Anyone with a coordinate file can cut their own so they are popular on Kickstarter and Indigogo.
This low cost of entry means there are a large number of knockoffs and counterfeit tools as well. However, don’t ignore the whole group because there are a number of high quality tools that are worth adding to your selection.
Manufacturers always try to include as many functions as possible on their tools, and card style multitools are no exception. Our advice is to find a tool with functions you need and not too much extra. Common tools found on one piece multi tools include cutouts for various hex head sizes, ruler markings, flat head screwdrivers, tapered head screwdriver tip, bottle/can openers, and pry bar tips.
When purchasing a card style multi tool, one of the most important factors is the material used for the card. Spending a few extra dollars for an upgraded metal with more capability is a smart decision. You want the card to be at least 1 mm thick, any less and it will bend during use and may injure the user.
Credit card multi tools are never going to be the most ergonomic to use but you want a tool that is safe to use. They also won’t be as capable as a proper folding multitool but they are much more portable and suitable as a backup.
- SOG: MACV
- Swiss+Tech: Credit Card Multi-Tool, Credit Card Survival Tool
- Wallet Ninja: Wallet Ninja Classic, Wallet Ninja 2.0, Wallet Ninja Pro
- Lever Gear ToolCard Pro
- Zootility Pocket Monkey and Wildcard
Hybrid Wallet Multitools
Hybrid wallet multi tools have a similar form factor but are not one piece and they have very different functions than the card styles previously covered. In fact, hybrid card tools are closer to keychain multitools in function. If you don’t want anything extra on your keychain the hybrid tool is a good alternative.
Victorinox launched their SwissCard line in 1996 and had led the segment ever since. The other significant entry is SOG with their Tool Logic Credit Card Companion.