In a perfect world, you’d be able to carry everything you need at your fingertips without your pockets bulging grossly, or your back being thrown out of alignment because you have an overstuffed wallet. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, but by outfitting yourself with a credit card-sized tool, you’ll get one step closer to still being able to fix any problem that comes your way without needing to resort to a full tool-kit or being forced to tote your Craftsman standing box around behind you wherever you go.
When we selected the best card tools, we looked at those that offered the most ingenuity and utility, but we also sought out those that brought something different to the table, rather than just being a set of variable-sized holes for different nuts. Sure, being able to unscrew a lug is important, but you want a bottle opener, a couple of screwdrivers, an awl, and maybe even some scissors. Not only were we concerned with the tools, but the overall durability, since it’s easy for a slender tool to snap. For tough, intuitive, go-everywhere repairs, we’ve got the 8 best EDC card tools for every sized wallet.
United Cutlery Kommando Pocket Rescue Tool
Pro: Loads of cutting edges
Con: Morse code for HELP is incorrect
Survivalist: Not made for gently cleaning your nails or opening mail from your Canadian pen pal, the Pocket Rescue Tool is intended primarily for the worst of the worst situations. It comes with nylon cord, but we suggest finding a piece of nice paracord to wrap around it instead. Beyond that, the ability to strip wires, wrench on SAE hexes, and handle all the basic screws around is helpful in the worst circumstances. A true do-or-die tool, carrying it in a pocket might not be comfortable, but having it in your car or bag could be your salvation.
Pro: Guaranteed against rust and dulling
Con: Cell phone stand is a little dodgy
Slim Pickin’s: Though they are technically the size of a thick, heavy credit card, few tools are quite as comfortable to carry as the Wallet Ninja thanks to its extremely slender profile. Quadruple heat treated steel gives it lots of durability and makes it feel solid in your hand while you use it. Every spare centimeter is twisted and fashioned into something utilitarian from an eyeglass repair tool to multiple sizes of open hex drivers, with a swoop that becomes a stand for your cell phone if you have a card to put into it. From measuring to cutting boxes or pulling nails, every DIYer should keep one on hand.
Pro: Less than a single ounce
Con: A little on the cutsie side
Smooth Operator: One of our favorite aspects to the PocketMonkey was the rounded corners all around, which is important for any EDC item that might jab into your thigh, wear through your pockets, or poke holes in your wallet. It also means you can wrap your earbuds around it to prevent tangles without worrying that the cord will be cut. Able to open bottles, handle screws of standard and eyeglass size, open mail, peel oranges, measure, and give you a straight edge, this is cute enough for your special lady friends and rugged enough for any lumberjack.
SOG Knives Credit Card Companion
Pro: Inexpensive to replace
Con: Magnifying glass and compass barely function
Cheap Date: Don’t let the price turn you off. The CC Companion is a pretty serious tool, especially for anyone who wants a decent knife without the bulk of carrying a full flipper or folder. Though small, it’s able to go through rope, boxes, and cut certain textile materials thanks to the serrated edge, making it more than a letter opener. Bundled along is a set of tweezers, a bottle opener, magnifying glass, compass, and toothpick, all of which are fine, none of which are stellar. The saving grace is the simple beauty, durability, and usefulness of the knife in a 1.4oz. package that can ride in your front pocket.
Gerber Bear Grylls Card Tool
Pro: Long lasting
Con: Plastic back
Small Wonder: Though there aren’t a ton of tools attached to this piece, and it’s a little too bulky for true wallet carry, it’s a nice addition to your EDC backpack and simple to tote around for dire circumstances when a keyring knife, screwdrivers, and miniaturized fire starter are needed. There’s also a tiny LED light that’s just the right brightness for a keychain without being overpowering. The olive drab, militaristic look is a nice touch, with a legend on the side for your tools, you’ll never pull the wrong one in a pinch. Packs up tight with nothing jostling loose, even during abusive excursions in the great outdoors.
Pro: Multiple Versions Available
Con: Not truly heavy-duty
Personal Appliance: From the company that brought you the very first Swiss Army Knife comes a card that will come into use on a daily basis. With a load of basic office and grooming tools, you won’t be whipping it out to fix a flat tire or wrench on your engine, but for real-world applications that you encounter over the course of ordinary life. A nail file, tweezers, a letter opener, screwdriver, lancing pin, and a pressure sensitive ballpoint pen get you through an ordinary Tuesday at the office and prevent hangnail-sized crisis.
Victorinox Swisscard Lite
Pro: Blade is longer than standard Swiss Army Knife
Con: Plastic housing is breakable
Swiss Engineering: Starting off with the SwissCard, this is Victorinox improving on their own design by adding a magnifying glass and a small LED light to their standard SwissCard, then dropping the size down for an even lower profile that can go in a wallet or pocket easily and be forgotten about until it’s needed. Both an imperial and metric ruler add in the capacity to measure, while it doesn’t lose much from the original SwissCard with the tweezers, tiny pen, miniature blade, and simple scissors. A wee screwdriver tool works like a multi-tool within the tool itself that manages to impress all on its own.
Cha-O-Ha EDC Card
Pro: Includes O-Ring retention nubs
Con: Certain edges can catch during deployment
Military Grade: Made with the same ideas that fuel most military survival and tactical knives, Cha-O-Ha might have a silly name, but they’re deadly serious about quality. Loads of open and closed hex drivers form the majority of the EDC Card with a bottle opener, nail loosening pry bar, imperial ruler, a #2 Phillips head, and a 1/4″ hex driver that lets you stick in whatever drill bit or magnetic screwdriver head will fit. Beveling on the edges reduces the amount of sharp ends that might dig into your hand for better leverage without suffering for your work. Constructed of S35VN stainless steel, this is harder than titanium but keeps weight down to just 2oz.