Having the right tools on hand during an outage is a huge help. I have a number of tools/equipment I rely on in the event of a power outage and I’ve captured the ones that work best for me here.

Most of these tools I use outside of emergency situations, which makes them even better. They’re not items you just push under a desk and pull out when needed. They have utility in your day-to-day and they’ve helped me in numerous situations.


Multi-tools are basically an all-in-one toolbox in a small package. Most multi-tools are comparable in size and made of stainless steel, come with pliers, and a number of other pull out tools. If you grew up with a swiss army knife you’re familiar with the concept.

Does anyone remember these WWII Swiss Army Knives? I wish I had kept mine. They’ve changed quite a bit and remain a relevant and useful tool.

WWII Swiss Army Knife

Leatherman Wave+

In the Coast Guard, the standard issue at my first duty station was a Leatherman. This is a great multi-tool and I would definitely recommend it; however, full disclosure, I did encounter one problem. I found the ends of the pliers consistently snapped off. Not the end of the world, but it limited the use of the pliers thereafter.

The Wave+ Includes:

  1. Needlenose Pliers
  2. Regular Pliers
  3. Wire Cutters
  4. Hard-wire Cutters
  5. Electrical Crimper
  6. Wire Stripper
  7. 420HC Knife
  8. 420HC Serrated Knife
  9. Saw
  10. Spring-action Scissors
  11. Ruler (8 in | 19 cm)
  12. Can Opener
  13. Bottle Opener
  14. Wood/Metal File
  15. Diamond-coated File
  16. Large Bit Driver
  17. Small Bit Driver
  18. Medium Screwdriver

Gerber MP600

My second duty station had a different knife they issued and it became my favorite. The Gerber MP600 Multi-Plier, Blunt Nose, Black! As Gerber boasts on their webiste — The MP600 is the #1 selling multi-tool platform to the US military.

This became my favorite because the blunt nose fixed the issue of snapping the ends off the Leatherman pliers. Additionally, the pliers open with a quick snap of your wrist. Meaning, the pliers slide out of the end instead of having to open the entire knife like a Leatherman. This is extremely useful because the moment you need the pliers, you’ll likely have one hand occupied (or, at least I did) and working with a tool that can be opened with one hand is helpful.

The MP600 includes:

  1. Needlenose Pliers
  2. Regular pliers
  3. Wire cutters
  4. Wire crimper
  5. Patented one-handed opening
  6. Saf.T.Plus locking knife and tools
  7. Lanyard ring
  8. Fine edge knife
  9. Serrated knife
  10. Can opener
  11. Cross point screwdriver
  12. Ruler
  13. File
  14. Small, medium, and large flathead screwdriver
  15. Bottle opener

So, the MP600 makes my ‘top-pick’ for multi-tools. When you look at different models, you’ll notice the MP600 does have a needlenose option; however, based on my previous review I think the blunt nose is the way to go. They sell them on Gerber’s website directly, but I’ve found they’re less expensive on Amazon.

Roadside Kits

Though I’m inclined to stay-put during a power outage there may be times when I need to leave my home. Depending on the scenario I don’t like to assume I’ll be able to call someone for help so I try to plan for the things I’ll need in my car.

For example, I purchased this kit for my son on his 16th birthday. He called recently with a dead battery and I told him I’d be right there and to get his kit ready. “Oops,” he says, “It’s still in my room”. Shortly after I made boy wonder put the kit in his car. I know, I know…it’s a work in progress with teenagers! 🙂

The kit is pretty well stocked with:

  1. First aid kit
  2. Reflective roadside warning triangle
  3. Safety vest
  4. Work gloves
  5. 10ft (3 ton) tow rope
  6. Safety hammer with seat-belt cutter
  7. Hand-crank flashlight
  8. Adhesive tape
  9. Tire pressure gauge
  10. Screwdriver
  11. 8ft jumper cables
  12. Emergency blanket

AAA makes a comparable kit for a few dollars more and has a similar amount of equipment. Both will give you a good tool kit while on the road.

Roadside Tools

The roadside kits above are great, but having a few extra tools is important when you’re away from home. I don’t have too many duplicate tools so having a compact tool-kit like this one keeps a decent amount of tools in your car and won’t leave you empty-handed when away from home.

Portable Batteries

I previously mentioned I went to jump my son’s car, but he left the emergency roadside kit in his room. Luckily, I had a different alternative to get his car started. I’ve had a few versions of these portable batteries over the years and they’ve proven to be useful on the road and equally as useful in the home during power outages.

more coming….