Thursday, January 7, 2016

Plein Air Painting Essential Tools: Leatherman Multi-Tool

Leatherman Multi-Tool: Open


This is the first in a series of posts on what I consider to be essential tools and accessories for the plein air painter.  I'm sure every experienced outdoor painter has his quirky favorites, so feel free to comment and suggest your own.  I'm alway open to something better or to fill a need I didn't know I had.

Without further ado, let me now talk about the Leatherman Multi-Tool.  Here's mine, given to me by a co-worker long ago.  Harry is also a volunteer fireman and hazmat technician, so he knows about what works in the field.

This little gem, which fits easily in my backpack, has opened up stuck paint tubes, tightened (and loosened) wingnuts and other unreliable hardware on French easels, sharpened my pencils, cut pastel paper down to size, measured horizon lines, pared apples during snack time and also removed cactus spines from my leg.  I've had it for over 15 years now.

The Leatherman comes in many different versions.  I'm not sure which one I have, but get one that at least has a set of pliers, a good blade, a Phillips head screwdriver tip, and an inscribed ruler.  By the way, you really don't need one with a corkscrew.

Tool in its handy pouch
You can find more helpful tips and tools in my book, Backpacker Painting:  Outdoors with Oil & Pastel, available at Amazon from this link.

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