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Old 01-08-2010, 05:54   #1
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Emergency Tool

Through the experience I learned that every crewman should have some sort of cutting tool with him. Multitool with pliers would be a great idea. Recently I came across Leatherman Skeletool, which was supposed to be an ideal instrument for the purpose. One hand opening blade, pliers, some screwdriver and beer opener ( ), harness and belt clip, light weight - a fabulous simple handy must-have item. I bought two of them recently and.... after two weeks at sea they bloody rusted... being made of stainless steel and all. Sent them back to leatherman. There is another version called CX which is the same tool, just made of better material, coated etc, which I intend to try. Could you recommend something similar? I know Victorinox is dead solid and doesnt rust at all, but it lacks simple one hand opening multitools...

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Old 01-08-2010, 06:16   #2
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hi Sakura, you might want to have a look at this site,it has a complete selection of multi tools including some manufactured by victorinox, regards

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Old 01-08-2010, 06:48   #3
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Thanks Rodders. I've checked all the offer of Leatherman and Victorinox. Vic's Rescue knife seems to be ok, but no pliers - tensioned or rusted shackle in a emergency situation calls for a firm, steel grip. There was a shanty song about pretty young sailor that attacked rusted shackle with his steel-solid teeth... never smiled or spoke to a girl after Maybe there are some other makes in the market, that are as solid as Vic or Leath, but rustproof and simple...
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:52   #4
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I have a Gerber that I have been using for years and it hasn't rusted. I do rinse it with fresh water occassonally, and try to dry it out between uses.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:59   #5

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I had a currey rigging kit which I loved. I want another one but i cannot find them in the USA. If you know where I can get one, please let me know
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:46   #6
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i hav ea rigging knife with a shackle wrench and a marling spike . i love it. i keep it on a string so i dont lose it overboard!!
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:15   #7
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I've been sailing with my Leatherman Wave for four years now, no rust and still my most reliable tool. I give it a wash and a shot of WD-40 once in a while and it should last forever. I also keep a well-oiled older version of the Wave secured in the dinghy emergency kit.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:13   #8
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I have a Leatherman Charge TI that doesn't rust. The occasional squirt of some engine oil or WD40 keeps its action smooth and the tool shiny.

Sailors do it with the wind...
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:50   #9
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I have issues with multi-tools. While they are better than nothing in a pinch, they simply can not compete with real tools. The issue of corrosion, as mentioned above is a constant one and in an emergency the emergency tool may not work as any kind of a tool at all.

Now having said that I keep a good multi-tool in anti-corrosion, wrapped in oiled paper, then plastic. This is kept in the liferaft(not the overboard kit but in the liferaft) When I have to deploy the raft the tool will be in the onboard kit.

You can have the packer include stuff like this if you just ask them when your raft is inspected.

But back to the tools. Except for emergency use, they are never really good tools. My marlinespike is a spike, homemade from carbon steel so it can rust, but I take care of it. Folding knife is better than nothing but not the knife to cut a 5/8 line that needs to be severed right now!

Pull a knife from a sheath in a hurry or get out the leatherman and figure out how to get the blade open with cold fingers. By then it could be a little late in the game.

Same thing can be said for almost every tool on a multi-tool: No substitute for the real thing.

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Old 01-08-2010, 11:56   #10
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Yeh, I got gallows knot on short string tied on my Victorinox, and Lathermans, tightening it around wrist whenever using the tool. As for the Wave/TTi - great tools, but too expensive for emergency purpose only. Skeletool seems to be perfect, light and all - but gorrammit why is it getting rusty... And it's not just staining on the surface - the rust somehow got inside the swivel - it's practically impossible to one-hand open the knife, and it's very hard to open pliers as well. And they haven't been heavily used. A bit of a waves, maybe some rain etc - and only for two weeks... Hope CX will be better. Pity they dont do fully coated/oxided Skeletools, like Wave, or TTi.
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Old 01-08-2010, 13:41   #11
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G'day, mates. The rust usually comes from tools that are made with cheaper (but actually stronger) 304 stainless steel. 316 stainless steel has a higher nickel content, so more rust resistant. My combo marlin spike/knife/deck fill & most important bottle opener lives in the coaming locker. Cheers.
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Old 01-08-2010, 14:16   #12
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Skeletool is made of 420HC steel that is supposed to be stainless. I understand that no steel is really stainless, but not being able to open the blade after two weeks is a bit too much. I use Victorinox Swisstool as everyday tool - no signs of rust - and I don't oil it, keep it on me all the time, wet/dry not washing with fresh water... It's just pity that Vic doesn't come up with anything similar to Skeletool
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Old 01-08-2010, 15:25   #13
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I use the skeletool CX, and have not had rust problems, even after taking it on multi-week sea kayak expeditions where I'm either on the water or on the beach for ten straight days.

The blade is made out of a different metal 154CM, which has an amazing ability to hold an edge. A great knife. I got the non-serrated blade.

If I dropped my skeletool overboard tomorrow, I'd be replacing it with another one.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:18   #14
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Have used Wave for years. Ditto the above. Wear one and have one in ditch bag.

I can open the tool or either blade with one hand. Regualr blade keeps a good edge.

Granted that (except for the knives) multitools are not as effective as dedicated "real tools" but it's on my hip and I don't have to run to get the real tool. When time matters, they are great and always convenient.

Every crew member should carry either a rigging knife or a multitool.

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Old 02-08-2010, 09:01   #15
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It's an exaggeration that no multitool can replace real tool... Been heavily using Victorinox multitool for ages. Fixing my LandRover, doing house work at any possible ocasion I'm using my swisstool. I've bent/broken some screwdrivers, pliers etc. before - but this little piece of metal is just indestructible. Never maintained it, no oiling or washing. Friend of mine is using his Leatherman TTi the same way, and he's says that it's totally awesome - no more toolboxes in his life. Obviously there are moments when you need half-inch wrench or a 6lbs hammer... but generally I do everything with my multi tool - and it's enough... and it's not wearing any signs of use after years of heavy servitude...

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