The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.
Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.
The EDC Tool Roll series has generated more reader email than just about anything that has ever been on the pages of JTT. You’ve really come through for me with recommendations. Several emails have asked when I was going to include a flashlight in this series and I typically responded that I was hesitant to do so because I think most of us are already carrying a flashlight. Reader James R. changed my mind when he showed me the Nebo Tools series of pocketable work lights. I wish I would have known about these years ago.
To call these lights “flashlights” does them a disservice. They really have more in common with your typical work light that you would find on a small stand or tripod… except these fit in you pocket or small tool kit. Like a work light, they are designed to be used hands free. You can obviously hold them in your hand but they really work best out of your hands.
They have a rotating pocket clip that allows you to clip the light to your clothing (shirt pocket, collar, etc.) for hands free use and then aim it where you need it. The clip is also magnetic so it can cling to ferrous surfaces like your vehicle, your tool chest, or even the 74″ PTO snow blower that are getting ready for winter (ask me how I know). They can be stood on end on a level surface.
Here is a trick I figured out that is probably the most versatile way these can be used. I’ve found that I can stick them to a steel tool as ballast so that I can place it on any surface without worrying about it tipping over. I can direct it anywhere I need it in this configuration. It works really well when stuck to a handgun magazine on the range if you need to light up an admin area during low light training and it takes up about the same amount of room as a marker in your range bag.
A long, wide LED emits 170 lumens of light. This ribbon like emitter is used, rather than a smaller point of light in the center of an optic or reflector, to create a wall of light with no discernible hotspot. It lights up a room evenly from a distance or can be used to light up your work piece up close without washing out thanks to the lack of hotspot. I get about 3(ish) hours of continuous runtime before I swap batteries.
There are a number of similar lights on the market and, honestly, it can be hard to tell which ones are decent so I was happy to have a direct recommendation of the Nebo Tools line. They are dirt cheap ($7-8 a piece for the model shown) and seem to be of decent quality. They also have a solid review history.
The lights shown in this review are the Larry C model. They take 3 AAA batteries and are fairly compact but they are long(ish) since the batteries are installed end to end. They just barely fit in my tool kit. There are a number of other lights in this format with different battery configurations offered by Nebo Tools including more compact models that take two batteries.
Where to Buy: I’ve seen similar lights at some brick and mortar hardware stores. I purchased mine at Amazon because that was the easiest place I could find the Nebo Tools brand that was recommended to me. I purchased a 3 pack for just over $7 a piece ($21.01 total) including batteries!
Alternatives: Similar lights are available from a number of brands – just make sure you don’t overpay and that they will work hands-free all the ways you need them to. You could also use the EDC light you are already carrying.
Do you have a compact work light or other tool that want to recommend? Tell us about it below.