We knife enthusiasts cannot live by the blade alone. We need other cool gear too. In this section, we take a quick peek at some interesting products and survival gear. Some of these are designed to care for your knives and others made to take along either on your daily grind or your next adventure.


With just a bit of maintenance, good tools should last for generations. Leatherman products are good tools. The Wave is my favorite because of its selection and arrangement of easily accessible tools. (I just can’t be without a can opener and a wood saw, and I won’t apologize for that.)

The company now offers a Leatherman Tool Maintenance Kit. It’s a good idea because even these rugged tools need some tender loving care sometimes.

The kit comes in a very nice, padded, soft-sided zippered case that holds all you need with room for extras.

There’s a mesh compartment on the inside top flap. In it are a microfiber cleaning cloth and an instruction booklet that tells you the basics of sharpening in your choice of (I counted them) 29 languages. Read that booklet once and then use it for tinder.

A fold-up flap in the kit’s main compartment keeps items organized. There’s a two-sided cleaning brush and a two-sided pick—they can be used for getting at any grit or debris in the hard-to-reach areas of your multitool. In a small, mesh, zippered compartment on the flap are five cotton-tipped cleaning swabs.

On the underside of the flap are two elastic slots and another mesh compartment. One of the slots holds the included Work Sharp tool sharpener that could be carried separately in your pack if space was an issue.

The sharpener includes carbide and ceramic pull-through sharpeners, as well as a tapered diamond rod that folds out from underneath. I seldom use carbide sharpeners as they tend to remove lots of steel from the blade. But if a knife’s edge has been neglected or abused, the carbide sharpener can be useful in restoring it.

A little red switch sits on top of the sharpener. Switching it to the left allows the carbide elements to follow the curve of the blade and increase the removal of blade material. Keeping the switch to the right locks that feature out for lighter sharpening. For quick touchups, the ceramic and diamond sharpeners will do fine.

In the bottom of the kit is another elastic band that holds a small bottle of multi-purpose tool oil and a rubber cleaning mat to be used as your maintenance surface. No multitool is included, but there is room in the kit for one.

While this kit is designed specifically with multitools in mind, its generous capacity allows you to make this your general-purpose maintenance kit. I’m going to add some bore patches, gun cleaner, and small hex wrenches to make this work as a firearms maintenance kit. I plan to add an Exotac ripSPOOL, a sewing kit and some safety pins, and maybe a small flashlight too. The point is that you can customize the kit to your liking.


Leatherman Tool Maintenance Kit


Dimensions: 8.5 x 2.2 x 5 inches
Weight: 15.8 ounces

  • Padded, soft-sided zippered case
  • Cleaning mat
  • Cleaning brush
  • Cleaning pick
  • Cleaning swabs
  • Blade sharpener
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Lubrication Oil

MSRP: $69.95

 Gerber Gear


Features: Six-function multitool that mounts to back of handle. Tool keeps fork elevated and includes package opener, can opener, bottle opener, pry bar, large and small screwdrivers
Overall Length: 7.6 inches
Construction: Titanium
Weight: 1 ounce
Other: Deep-basin spoon, offset long-tine fork, flat edge for cutting/scraping
Origin: China
MSRP: $25

Fällkniven AB


The FDC Sharpener is a foldable, two-sided sharpener with one coarse diamond side and one very fine ceramic side.

Overall Length: 8.9 inches
Closed Length: 4.92 inches
Handle Material: Plastic
Weight: 2.29 ounces
Origin: China
MSRP: $17.30

Fällkniven AB


The FDD Sharpener is a foldable, two-sided diamond sharpener with one coarse and one fine side.

Overall Length: 8.9 inches
Closed Length: 4.92 inches
Handle Material: Plastic
Weight: 2.4 ounces
Origin: China
MSRP: $22.10

 Nutrient Survival


(Nutrition Ready-To-Eat)

  • Contains a full day’s worth of individually packaged meals and drinks—75% more nutrient dense than the average MRE
  • 1,415 nutrient-packed calories and 76 grams of protein in seven individual servings
  • Flavors: Maple Almond Grain Crunch, Homestyle Scramble, Triple Cheese Mac, Creamy Chocolate Shake, Peanut Butter Bar Meal, Vitamin Coffee, and Liquid Nutrient Lemon Lime
  • Freeze dried to lock in flavor and nutrition
  • 40 essential nutrients—14 vitamins,
    14 minerals, 9 protein amino acids, omega 3, omega 6 and fiber
  • Up to 15-year shelf life
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Ready in minutes
  • Made in the USA

MSRP: $35

Spyderco, Inc.



  • ABS plastic base with angled holes that set the sharpening rods at the proper angles: 30 degrees (15 each side) or 40 degrees (20 each side)
  • Sharpens plain-edge and serrated blades, scissors, awls, other tools
  • Sharpening rods store in base
  • Two sets of high alumina ceramic stones: medium grit and fine grit
  • Set of aluminum safety rods to protect hands while sharpening
  • Includes detailed instruction book and DVD

Origin: USA
MSRP: $115

Warthog USA


  • Four adjustable angles (15°, 20°, 25°, 30°)
  • 325-grit natural diamond rods
  • Metal frame construction
  • Durable powdercoat finish
  • Four colors: Black, Gun Metal Grey, Red, and Aqua Sky
  • Solid rubber or wooden base (Elite model)
  • Finishing steels included
  • One-year warranty

Weight: 25 ounces (709 grams)
MSRP: $104.99

Streamlight, Inc.



  • Three power levels plus strobe
  • SL-B50 4,900mAh battery pack charges inside or outside light via integrated USB-C port
  • LED status lights to indicate charging status
  • Integrated safety circuit protects battery from accidental overcharge or discharge
  • TEN-TAP programmable switch


High: 2,000 lumens, 17,300 candela
Medium: 570 lumens, 5,000 candela
Low: 100 lumens, 890 candela

Run Times: From 25 hours on Low to 2.5 hours on High
Construction: Aluminum with an anodized finish, anti-roll head, gasket-sealed lens
Includes: Removable, multi-position pocket clip; holster; USB-C charge cord
Overall Length: 6.1 inches
Weight: 8.25 ounces
MSRP: $195

5.11 Tactical



  • 5.11’s signature Center Line design
  • Front zippered pocket
  • Main compartment with loop back panel and mesh pockets
  • Hidden slip compartment between main compartment and back wall with hook/loop closure
  • Rear mesh pocket with hook/loop closure
  • Top and bottom webbing loops for attaching to LV18 backpack
  • Removable gate keeper with adjustable shoulder strap for crossbody or waist carry
  • Quick release shoulder/waist strap
  • Side compression straps

Construction: 840D nylon
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 3.0 inches
Capacity: 183 cubic-inch /3-liter total
Weight: 10.6 ounces (0.3kgs)
MSRP: $42

Alliance Consumer Group



  • Double-sided heating
  • Three power settings
  • Rechargeable via included USB-C cable
  • Two sizes available
  • Units double as charging stations for your other devices
  • Memory recall, charging indicator

Small Hand Warmer
High (60°C / 140°F): 5 hours
Medium (53°C / 127°F): 7 hours
Low (46°C / 114°F): 10 hours
Large Hand Warmer
High (60°C / 140°F): 10 hours
Medium (53°C / 127°F): 14 hours
Low (46°C / 114°F): 17 hours
MSRP: $29.99 (sm.), $39.99 (lg.)

Editor’s Note:

A version of this article first appeared in the Jan/Feb 2023 print issue of Knives Illustrated Buyer’s Guide.