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The pocket tool – first created and raised to iconic status by Victorinox – is a rite of passage for most kids who show a proclivity for needing such a thing. Young tinkerers, scouts, and outdoor enthusiasts across the world light up on holidays or birthdays when they open up a tiny box and see the first rounded, red edge of their inaugural knife and can opener combo. Growing in confidence, they know that their lives have changed for the better – that in their pockets they carry something that makes them just a little bit more prepared for anything.

I grew up using and carrying a variety of pocket tools in different shapes and sizes, from a number of different brands. At some point I gravitated to multi-tools with pliers and have since been very reluctant to go back to ones without. There’s something about those plierless pocket tools that remind me of a time gone by – a youth well spent – something that makes me want to leave them in my sock drawer and preserve them for my kids. I see them as a stepping stone, as something kids are given as a rite of passage so that they can learn and grow and graduate to something more substantial.

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Nevertheless – as Don Henley once told us, “Don’t look back. You can never look back”. So for years, I haven’t, until recently something caught my eye. By chance, I ran across an ad for the “Boker Plus Pocketknife Tech-Tool“. And just by looking at the singular picture I knew I wasn’t looking back – but looking forward; as these things weren’t like any other tool of this type that I had seen before. If anything, they were in a new class all their own.

With twenty-one versions in total, the Tech-Tools are available with carbon fiber scales or G-10 scales. They can be as simple as a single knife blade or as complex as thirteen-tool unit which features scaled down pliers. Aside from the modern shape and premium handle scales, what sets these tools apart from the ones I grew up with is their outright aggressive styling, a couple of key on-board accessories (like a glass breaker), and the pocket clip which adds a hint of sophistication which pairs nicely with the carbon fiber and G-10. Furthermore, the tools can be completely broken down and taken apart for maintenance and repair.

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The Boker Plus Pocketknife Tech-Tool line ranges in price from $49.95 to $89.95. All feature a variety of different on-board accessories that cater to your needs – be it urban, suburban, or out there in the thick of it. We’ve been given the Outdoor 3 and City 4 models to test out and report back on. This test phase marks the first time I am not carrying a plier-centric multi-tool in my pocket in over 15 years. It’s weird and wild, but so far I haven’t found myself in a position where either of these models couldn’t be of assistance.

Wish me luck!

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