Welcome back to week 2 of my “Tools of the Trade” series. Last week I spent a little time talking about the Dante AVIO device which primarily allows for individual or double analog ins/outs but also has a few other things that it can translate to and from Dante. While having that particular tool in my arsenal has saved a lot of time, this week my featured tool saves me a lot of effort as well. That tool is my leatherman/flashlight combo I carry on my belt.
Quite awhile ago I decided to start carrying a leatherman. I had received a stock one for being in my sister’s wedding as a gift from my brother-in-law. He gifted it with a leather sheath which allowed me to put on my belt. From that point on I never looked back. It started just as a cool thing to carry around but quickly became a regular throughout my day. From opening boxes, to tightening that random screw, to using the pliers to pry something open, it has more than earned its place at my side. There have been a few times where people around me have even asked to borrow it because they know that I have it (namely my wife). Not so long ago I upgraded to a new black oxide Leatherman Wave and got a sheath for it that had room on the side for a mini flashlight. At first I wasn’t sold but I eventually cracked and got one. Thus the combo was born. I wasn’t sure if carrying the flashlight was worth it personally but as I’ll discuss here in a minute it comes quite in handy to keep the cell phone usage down.
As a technician for the vast majority of my life, I’ve climbed into tight spots, shimmied into small places, and just needed a tool that I didn’t have. Which forced me to get back out of that spot, go get the tool, and find my way back down in the hidey hole. Then one day, as I mentioned earlier, I committed to carrying my multitool (in my case a leatherman), and it immediately became game changing. Initially I carried it in my pocket but soon I switched to using a sheath so that it can attach to my belt and be a bit more comfortable and protect my phone from getting scratched up. Before too long, on the days when I didn’t wear it, I needed it for something. Just having a screwdriver, knife, and a few other tools at easy access has saved me so much time. Then as the prevalence of small flashlights, powered by AAA batteries, came around it just made sense to pick one up. While it sounds like a lot to carry, I don’t really feel it anymore. But my life, and my cell phone battery, are both better off for adding that. Just carrying a flashlight around, even if it’s all you carry, is awesome in the tech industry. How many times do you get out your phone to turn on a light? How many times can you just not see that little thing in the dark backstage? Doesn’t have to be expensive but I’d recommend getting one powered by a AAA battery as they lost a bit longer and in our world, AAA batteries are easy to get. Here is the link ($20) to the one I carry. It has two modes, a regular mode that isn’t super bright and great for the quick usage and the second mode that is more than powerful enough for most situations. As I mentioned, I carry a Leatherman Wave which has a regular knife, serated knife, and a drywall knife (this one has been really helpful in random places) along with a lot of quite helpful tools like screwdrivers and such which hold more use to me than the knives. Here is a link to the sheath that I use as well.
Hopefully that provides a helpful rundown of why I carry a leatherman. Since I started carrying it, I know of more than one tech I know that has started doing the same. We all seem to find regular uses for them. Next week I have a software solution to a problem that kept cropping up for me, needing more than one computer but not having room for more than one keyboard and mouse. If you want to be notified when that post goes live, subscribe at this link. See you all on the flipside!