Hypothetical Swiss Army flashlight

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zak.wilson
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Hypothetical Swiss Army flashlight

The Swiss Army knife, and later, Leatherman tool and various multi-tools patterned after it take all the small hand tools they can and cram them in to one pocketable package. Sure, few people would choose one over a quality dedicated tool given the option, but the point of a multi-tool is that it’s readily available and it will get the job done in a pinch.

I’m imagining a device that serves the same function for battery-powered electronics, based around the flashlight in the same way the Leatherman tool is based around pliers. I’m imagining something offered in various sizes (18650, 26650, 2×26650, most likely) combining at least the following:

  • Flashlight
  • Hand warmer
  • USB power bank/internal charger
  • SD card reader, or by leaving a card in it, flash drive, with built-in support for USB OTG
  • Fire starter

What other functionality could potentially get packed in to such a device while keeping the 18650 version somewhat pocketable?

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DavidEF
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One more “tool” you could add – pipe bomb. Push a button, timer counts down, then shorts the battery.

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djozz
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zak.wilson wrote:
I'm imagining a device that serves the same function for battery-powered electronics, based around the flashlight in the same way the Leatherman tool is based around pliers.

I'm pretty sure you are going to invent the smartphone here.

koyotee
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Compass instead of a rear clicky switch.

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zak.wilson
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djozz wrote:

I’m pretty sure you are going to invent the smartphone here.

The smartphone is the Swiss Army knife of portable computing. While I did include a couple computing-related features here, I’m seeing it as more of an outdoor/camping/survival tool. With USB power and the potential to carry a decent amount of storage, this could also serve as a useful accessory to the smartphone.

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Omega_17
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zak.wilson wrote:

  • Flashlight
  • Hand warmer
  • USB power bank/internal charger
  • SD card reader, or by leaving a card in it, flash drive, with built-in support for USB OTG
  • Fire starter

Lots of products already do the same functions… except the fire starter. :bigsmile:
But you can add one magnesium rod at the lanyard hole.

ralf
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There’s already a hand-cranked flashlight/USBcharger/firestarter with compass available: http://beprepared.com/hand-cranking-fire-starter.html

will34
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A friend of mine who is really into camping and bushcraft once told me “The less functions a tool has, the most useful it is”.

zak.wilson
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I agree entirely, when you know what tools you’re going to need, or if you have the ability to carry them all. Multi-tools are for situations where you don’t really expect to need any particular tool, but you want to be prepared.

My Victorinox Swisstool isn’t a very good screwdriver, yet I end up using it for that quite a bit when I didn’t think I’d need a screwdriver. It works a lot better than trying to turn screws with something that isn’t a screwdriver at all.

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travis
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I am not a fan of mixing mechanical tools with electronics.
My EDC tools need to be rock solid and able to “get banged around” a bit and occaisionally maybe even get wet.

I love my Leatherman Squirt E4 due to its very functional wire strippers
and grippy ( if small) pliers.

I’d much rather have a Squirt “F6” (Flashlight Version) mechanical only
version with specialty tools for torch work.
Possibly build in tailcap removal pliers
( I don’t know the name for these).
Maybe make the phillips screwdriver insulated?

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WarHawk-AVG
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You do realize some steel wool and a 9vdc AA battery and maybe a bit of char cloth (or cotton ball) and you can have a firestarter (or 2× 18650’s in series)

http://wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/fire/battery/index.html
http://www.instructables.com/id/Dead-Simple-Camp-Fire-Starter/

Racer
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GPS !!!