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Archive | The EDC Tool Roll

The EDC Tool Roll: Pliers Comparison – Knipex Cobra, Channellock 424, and Tekton 37521

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.


You ask, JTT delivers. This post will serve as a comparison between the 3 pliers that we have profiled so far in The EDC Tool Roll series. You can check out their earlier reviews below for more background:

Knipex Cobra 125

Channellock 424 and Tekton 37521

This isn’t really going to be a fair comparison because the Knipex Cobras smoke the other pliers in this list on everything except price but that doesn’t mean the others are useless or junk. In fact, the Tekton 37521 might be one of the best values we have profiled so far.

Quality – The Knipex Cobras are plainly the highest quality pliers in the bunch. They are beautifully drop forged, perfectly ground, and have knife-hard jaws that grip tenaciously. Then I think the Tekton Pliers, which are made in the USA, win out over the Channellocks on the strength of the Tekton’s adjustable pivot which make them feel tighter.

Features – The Knipex Cobras are feature rich, while the others are straight forward and functional. The Knipex pliers have very hard jaws with teeth that are set opposed to the direction that you turn the pliers which allows them to actually lock into whatever you are trying to turn. They also have a massive adjustment range and large jaws which is key for EDC pliers – something that needs to be small enough to carry but versatile enough (and large enough) to use on a variety of fasteners.

The Tektons are only slightly larger than the Channellock 424s but that little but of extra bulk gives you larger jaws, more comfortable grips, and a more functional adjustable pivot. The Tektons take second place on features.

Size – The Channellock 424s are the smallest and lightest pliers in this comparison. The Tektons and Knipex Cobras are similar in size with the Tekton pliers being ever so slightly larger in most dimensions. As mentioned above, the Knipex Cobras have the largest jaws by a long shot. All three of them are easily pocketable.

Price – This is where the Tekton and Channellock come out ahead of the Knipex Cobras. The Channellock 424 cost around $12-14, the Tekton 37521 are usually $10-12, and the Knipex Cobras come in at a hefty $28-38 (I’ve seen them lower but you’ll have to really shop around). I’ve purchased all three and I believe the Knipex Cobras justify their price. There is just nothing else like them and I am willing to pay for that. However, if you can’t stomach the Knipex price, the Tektons are a smoking deal.

How to Choose – If you absolutely need the smallest and lightest pliers for your kit, get the Channellock 424. If you want EDC pliers that can do anything small pliers can do but can be pressed into the work of larger pliers, choose the Knipex. If you want the best value on a capable pair of pliers for your EDC tool kit, the Tektons wins.

Where to Buy – Channellock are almost certainly available at a hardware store near you. Tektons are sold almost exclusively online. Knipex can sometimes be found at Sears Hardware or other stores but online is likely your best bet. All three are available from Amazon:

Knipex Cobra 87 01 125

Channellock 424 on Amazon

Tekton 37521 on Amazon


There are a number of 4.5-5″ adjustable pliers on the market from Irwin and others. Do you have compact adjustable pliers that you prefer? Tell us about it below.

The EDC Tool Roll: Knipex CoBolt Cutters

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.


Today’s tool in The EDC Tool Roll series will be a little bit of a departure in that it will not fit completely in most pockets though it is still very easy to carry compared to similar tools. The Knipex CoBolt Cutter series of tools are the kind of tools that appeal to anyone concerned about being prepared for emergencies and they are exceedingly easy to carry compared to even the smallest traditional bolt cutters.

The Knipex CoBolt Cutters feature a compound leverage hinge and are most commonly available with an 8″ overall length (though there is a 10″ version that is harder to find and more expensive). They are basically a pair of compound leverage bolt cutters that are no larger than most pairs of diagnal pliers/wire cutters.

Unlike many larger bolt cutters, most of which are very poorly made, the CoBolt Cutters feature cutting edges that are hardened to 64 HRC. That is as hard as a high end knife. The cutting edge is so hard and the compound leverage is so effective that you will be surprised with what you can cut. I’ve cut small to medium padlocks (especially cheaper locks that aren’t hardened), all kinds of  fencing and heavy wire, large nails and screws, chain, even a sling stud that was too long during a recent installation on a Ruger 10/22 stock. The applications for carrying one of set of these in an urban BOB are nearly endless. You can cut your way into and out of trouble with relative ease.

The CoBolt Cutters are available in a number of different versions but the basic version is my favorite. The Knipex 71 01 200 is the most common model and likely the most versatile. I also have a version that is identical except the jaws are notched to allow them to cut larger diameter stock at the highest leverage point (Model 71 31 200). CoBolt Cutters are also available with angled heads, molded grips, and countless other versions but, again, the basic model is the most versatile (and most affordable).

Where to Buy: Knipex CoBolt Cutters are commonly used in trades so they turn up regularly on Ebay in decent used condition. I’ve purchased both of mine this way and paid less than $15 each. As long as the cutting edges are in good shape and they aren’t pitted, they clean up easily with some oil and a Scotch-Brite pad.

If you can’t find a used pair or you prefer to buy at a brick and mortar, Sears Hardware usually has the basic model at a decent price. Otherwise, Amazon is a great place to buy: Knipex 71 01 20 CoBolt

You can explore all the available CoBolt cutters here.

Alternatatives: I don’t really know of a true alternative for the CoBolt Cutters. I guess a pair of folding compact bolt cutters would be the closest but even those will be considerably larger and likely more expensive for a decent example.


If you have a tool you can recommend, tell us about it below. The comments have been a valuable source of information in this series.

The EDC Tool Roll: Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizer

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.


As much as I prefer the Triple 7 Gear line of pocket organizers, their availability has been a intermittent and several of you have asked for alternatives. Maxpedition seemed like the easy choice with their long history of EDC organizers and it turns out that they offer one of the only other truly pocketable pocket organizers on the market… which is kind of ironic. I don’t know who has pockets large enough to fit some of the so-called “pocket” organizers out there but it isn’t me.

The Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizer is the smallest (5.5″ x 3.5″ x 1″) in their extensive line of pocket organizers and it is completely sufficient for me. The pouch has a clamshell design that is closed with a perimeter zipper. The front exterior of the pouch has a mesh slip pocket and the rear has a small grab handle. The interior of the pouch has 5 elastic loops, a slip pocket on each side, and a small loop for attaching a lanyard.

The quality is typical Maxpedition so it should last a long time. I prefer this organizer to others in their line due to its small size and because it isn’t festooned with belt loops and PALS webbing that I will never use. It’s the simplest and most compact they offer, which is exactly why I prefer it.

Where to Buy: Maxpedition products are available all over the place. If you local gun store carries them, buy there. They can probably use the business these day! If not, Amazon is a good stand by: Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizer on Amazon

Alternatives: My favorite pocket organizer is the Triple 7 Gear Micro Kit which is great, made in the USA gear, if you can catch them in stock. Maxpedition also makes the Mini Pocket Organizer and EDC Pocket Organizer that might still fit in some pockets. They are larger than the Micro but offer more organization features.

If you have an organizer, tool roll, or other tool that you can recommend, tell us about it below. The comments have been a valuable source of information in this series.


Contents in the image above:

The EDC Tool Roll: VIM Tools HBR5 Ratchet

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.


I used to have a small ratchet from Home Depot’s Husky line that I found extremely useful for its small size and versatility. I gave it to a friend thinking I could just buy another one but when I tried, I found that they had changed the tool. Fortunately, I came across the same ratchet under a different brand name – the VIM Tools HBR5.

The HBR5 is an extremely compact and thin ratchet that can be used with both bits and sockets. One side accepts any standard driver 1/4″ driver bit. The other side is a 5/16″ hex that comes with a removable 1/4″ socket adapter installed. Both ends are reversible and have a textured speed wheel for turning the bits or sockets with your fingers. The ends are offset and have 52 tooth ratchet mechanisms that require a short 7 degree sweep.

There are similar ratchets available with finer toothed mechanisms but I have never found anything that is is quite as thin and compact as the HBR5. At 4.5″ long it is easy to carry in your pocket or range bag and long enough to apply solid torque on fasteners. It is thin enough to get into places that don’t have room for a traditional driver. The ratchet ends are the pass-through type so even with a bit installed, the tool is very low profile.

The HBR5 is easily the best tool of its type that I have tried and is one of my all time favorite tools. It splits its time between my EDC kit where it is used mostly as a bit driver with an extension and my range bag where it is kept with two Altoids tins full of 1/4″ Craftsman sockets.

Where to Buy: These used to be available in the Husky line at Home Depot and they still offer a similar tool but it is larger, thicker, and feels more coarse. The only place I have ever seen VIM Tools is online. I purchased mine at Amazon: VIM Tools HBR5 at Amazon

Alternatives: There are a number of bit ratchets on the market but I haven’t found any that are as refined as the HBR5. Chapman makes a number of excellent ratchet kits with similar functionality but they use proprietary bits. Gearwrench makes a similar tool in kit form but the tool itself is thicker. Stanley also makes a kit under both the Stanley and Bostitch brands that you can find at some Wal-Marts but again, it’s thickness makes it less useful. Finally, a reader named Brian recommended the Tekton 1485 bit ratchet which could work if you like a padded handle. Thanks Brian!

Do you have compact bit ratchet that you prefer or another tool you would like to recommend? Tell us about it below.

The EDC Tool Roll: Channellock 424 and Tekton 37521

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.


This week’s installment of the The EDC Tool Roll was supposed to feature the Channellock 424 4.5″ Pliers but a last minute challenger emerged, the Tekton 375215 5″ Pliers, that is similar enough to feature them both at the same time. Thank you to reader Tim S. for the recommendation on the Tektons!

Both the Channellock 424 and Tekton 37521 are made in the USA, both carry lifetime warranties, and both are adjustable tongue and groove pliers with similarly shaped jaws. The Channellocks will set you back about $10-12 and the Tektons cost a little less at $8-9. The Tektons are slight larger anyway you measure them and have an adjustable pivot unlike the Channellocks.

I have been a Channellock user as long as I have been a tool user but, of these two pliers, I prefer the Tekton. It’s slightly longer and wider handle is more comfortable. It’s jaws are slightly larger and the teeth are set to work with the direction of force. Best of all, the adjustable pivot means I can adjust for the slop that will inevitably develop with pliers like these.

I’ve used both of these pliers in my range bag and EDC kit for all kinds of things. They can be used for the intended purpose but I have also used them for pulling webbing through a tight triglide, holding a peel washer while I heat it with a lighter during a muzzle device installation, and setting the initial tightness of MLOK nuts.

Either of these pliers could be a more affordably priced alternative to the Knipex Cobras that we profiled previously though neither will truly measure up. If you want the absolute smallest and lightest option, the Channellock 424 may suit you. However, the Tekton 37521 is only slightly larger but much more usable in my opinion.

Where to buy: Channellock tools are carried at a number of home improvement box stores and smaller hardware stores. The best selections of Tekton tools seem to be found online. I bought my first 424s at a plumbing supply store years ago and the most recent set (shown) at Amazon. I also purchased the Tektons at Amazon.

Channellock 424 on Amazon

Tekton 37521 on Amazon

Alternatives: Irwin and others make 4.5″-5″ pliers that are very similar. My preferred 5″ pliers is the Knipex Cobra that has already been featured. Stay tuned for a side by side comparison of all these options.

Do you have compact adjustable pliers that you prefer? Tell us about it below.

The EDC Tool Roll: Screwpop Utility Knife 2.0

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.


It’s thin. It’s light. It cuts and opens bottles. It’s dirt cheap and it never needs to be sharpened…

Screwpop’s makes an entire line of keychain tools but the pick of the litter is their Utility Knife. This wafer thin utility blade holder is barely larger than a stick of gum but it has more features than standard sized utility knives.

The Screwpop Utility Knife features a lever lock that retains the blade inside the holder and allows you to set the amount of blade that protrudes from the holder by locking it into the notches on the spine of standard utility blades (the use of standard blades is a huge positive for this tool). It also has a small magnet that allows you to stick the Utility Knife to a ferrous surface and serves to keep the blade from rattling a bit. This handy little widget also features a bottle opener that can be used when the blade is retracted.

I have purchased a few of these over the years. I keep one in my pocket because it works well with the “public knife” concept that we have discussed on this blog before. I also tend to keep one in my EDC tool kit. I carry a knife everyday but there are a lot things I would rather cut with a disposable blade than my favorite EDC knife. Thanks to its small and thin form factor, it fits The EDC Tool Roll easily.

Where to Buy: The Screwpop Utility Knife can sometimes be found in big box stores and you will likely save as much as a dollar by buying it locally if you can find one. The good news is that even if you can’t find them locally several online retailers have them and they are cheap. I bought my last two on Amazon because I can’t find them locally here.

Screwpop Utility Knife on Amazon

Alternatives: If you are looking for a high class alternative, the Rexford Knives RUT is an amazing little tool.

Do you have an EDC-sized Utility Knife that you prefer? Do you have another tool you think we should know about? Tell us about it below.

The EDC Tool Roll: Channellock 804 4.5″ Adjustable Wrench

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.


Channellock’s 804 4.5″ Adjustable Wrench is probably the easiest to carry adjustable wrench I own. It is only 4.5″ long but is also very slim overall making it easy to drop in your pocket. It only ways about 2 ounces so it is an easy addition to any compact tool roll.

Channellock 804 shown with 1911 mag for scale

The 804 can be opened wide enough to handle the 9/16″ diameter found on common 3/8″ nuts and bolts. If you are metrically inclined, it can handle a 15mm nut/bolt. It may be small but it will take care of a lot common fasteners.

The quality is excellent. It is drop forged with machined flats. The laser markings seem resilient and they are easy to read. The i-beam style handle makes it small, tough, and comfortable to hold.

This wrench will inevitiably be compared to the two previous adjustable wrenches features on The EDC Tool Roll – the Lobster UM24 and the Knipex Pliers Wrench. I’ll post a comparison of the three soon. The Lobster and Knipex both open wider but they are also more expensive, heavier, and larger. So, the 804 may not be as versatile as the others but it earns a place in my EDC Tool Roll for its compact size and lightweight.

Where to buy: I have only been able to find the larger Channellock Adjustable Wrenches locally. I purchased my Channellock 804 on Amazon. They even have a “tactical” black oxide finish version in the Channellock 804N.

Alternatives:

Do you have a compact adjustable wrench that you prefer? Tell us about it below.

The EDC Tool Roll: Triple Seven Gear Micro Kit

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.


We’ve spent time talking about some tools. It’s about time we started talking about the tool roll.

Contents listed at end of post…

I use a Micro Kit from Triple Seven Gear as my EDC Tool Roll. I’ve used Triple Seven Gear products going all the way back to their original Mini Kit Mk-7 and own at least one of everything they make (and several of a few products).

The Micro Kit is ideal for me because the size is just right – small enough to carry but big enough to fit what I need. It is compact enough to fit in a coat pocket, back pocket of jeans, or even some front pockets. It does not require a large cargo pocket to be carried. In spite of that compact size, the Micro Kit can pack and organize a lot of tools.

It folds to about 4″ x 6″ when closed and can be secured with a simple elastic loop. I like that there are no zippers or hook and loop to limit how I stuff the pouch. When open, it lays completely flat and gives good visibility to the tools contained inside. I can even turn it “inside-out” so that it fits in my pocket but still offers access to the tools.

The elastic loops can fit a variety of tools and anything that does fit well in the loops can be stashed in one of the pockets. The clear vinyl window is particularly useful for stashing small items that you want to be able to see.

You can check out the Micro Kit (or Mini Kit Mk-7 if you need a larger version) at Triple Seven Gear.

Do you have an EDC-capable tool organizer that you prefer or have you made your own? Tell us about it below.


Contents in the image above:

The EDC Tool Roll: Knipex Pliers Wrench (86 03 125)

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.


Knipex Pliers Wrenches might be my favorite tool in my tool chest and my EDC Tool Roll. I say this not only because of how well they work but because of how clever they are. What I mean is, I really like how they work but I love the idea of them too!

Knipex Pliers Wrench (right) shown with Cobra Pliers (left).

If you can imagine adjustable pliers that have been retooled with some engineering magic to have parallel opening jaws, you have the idea of the Pliers Wrench. They open and close like pliers but have the flat, parallel opening jaws of a wrench. The result is a tool that can “ratchet” by simply loosening your grip, has very fine adjustability, lets you easily control the pressure on the fastener with your grip, and can handle much larger fasteners than similarly sized adjustable wrenches.

These parallel jaws allow other uses like straightening sheet metal. They can also be used to push in roll pins and work especially well on stubborn pins like the bolt catch roll pin on an AR-15 lower receiver. You just place the Pliers Wrench over the pin and squeeze your grip to push it into place.

I own 3 different sizes of the Pliers Wrench but the one I carry daily is the 5″ version (86 03 125). It is the same size as the Knipex Cobra Pliers that I also carry and between the two of them, I can get a lot done. This tool is surprisingly small but it can be adjusted wide enough to turn 7/8″ diameter fasteners.

One thing that makes the 5″ version especially well suited to everyday carry or range bag use is how thin the jaws are. The tool itself is extremely stout but the jaws taper to just less than 1/8″ thick at the tips. This makes it easy to get on the smaller nuts and bolts often found on optics mounts or other gear.

I purchased my 5″ Knipex Pliers Wrench (86 03 125) at Amazon. I have found the larger sizes locally at places like Sears Hardware but never the 5″ version so I had to purchase online.

For a lower priced alternative adjustable wrench that is compact but still handles larger fasteners, check out the Lobster Shorty. We will eventually post some comparisons of a few options in a later installment of The EDC Tool Roll.

Do you have a compact adjustable wrench that you prefer? Tell us about it below.

The EDC Tool Roll: Replaceable Fix It Sticks

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 genesis of this series, The EDC Tool Roll, was my frustration at my multi-tools for never quite being the right tool. Sure, they will do a lot, but sometimes you just need a real tool which started my quest to build a pocketable tool kit. My search for a screw driver that was both a real tool and yet still compact enough to work in this pocketable kit lead me to Fix It Sticks.

The Replaceable Fix It Sticks are comprised of two separate sections that can be used individually as a small driver for tight spaces or together to form a t-handle driver. Each of the two sections can hold a standard 1/4″ bit at each end meaning I can keep 4 bits of my choosing on the tool, ready to use. I also carry a small assortment of bits for the fasteners that I am likely to encounter.

I tried several other drivers before settling on the Fix It Sticks. Most interchangable bit drivers were too large. Others were pocketable but lacked reach or were too small to apply a decent amount of torque comfortably. The Fix It Sticks, with their take-down format split that difference beautifully. They pack small but function much like a full size tool.

Fix It Sticks are made in the USA and available in a number of configurations. I like the Replacables for EDC and purchased mine from Amazon.

They also makes these in kit form specifically for shooters with slick options like in-line torque limiters. Those kits are available at Tactical Works.

Of all the tools I added to my kit, the screwdriver was the hardest to finally settle on so I will be interested to hear what you carry. If you have an EDC worth driver that you prefer, comment below.

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