I have only been able to find threads about software tools on this subject.

Is there any multi-purpose tool out there for it-administrators? I am thinking of something like a leatherman tool - perhaps with screwdriver, ethernet-checker, usb checker and similar.

I am tired of finding and opening different toolboxes to find the equipment I need.

Has anyone heard or seen anything like it?

  • This should probably be a wiki article and carry the subjective tag. Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 22:03

6 Answers 6


i use a leatherman wave and it does what i need. i think you are looking for something that would not be pocketsized.

  • +1, the wave is good, i use it all the time Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 19:40
  • Love the wav ... and so do the TSA agents that check my bags when i fly ... grrr on number 4 at this point.
    – Zypher
    Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 19:46
  • Love my wave :)
    – Joel Coel
    Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 19:47
  • I've always liked the Wave. I'm carrying the Skeletool now because I work from home (and use it less). It's much lighter, but less useful. Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 19:49
  • I see a lot of people recommend it - that is very good. The price seems quite big though - are the cheaper models too cheap on features to be considered instead?
    – caspert
    Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 20:02

may i suggest the cybertool from Swiss army?


My co-worker just got one and I am a little jealous. May not be what you are looking for though.

  • I own that. It's nice. But it doesn't have an ethernet- or usb-checker.
    – innaM
    Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 19:33
  • I like that one. I was concerned that it was of cheap quality, but since some one recommends it... :) Do you know if you can buy it elsewhere? They do not ship to Europe :( (I live in Denmark)
    – caspert
    Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 20:05
  • 2
    Victorinox is in Switzerland. Here is a link to their whole line of the CyberTool series: victorinox.ch/… Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 21:02
  • @caspert: Here you can find out where to get it: victorinox.dk Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 21:10
  • 1
    I'd be more concerned about the quality of the Leatherman than of Victorinox
    – Cephas
    Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 2:50

I'd have to say that it depends on the type of racks that you're dealing with, and the servers. I actually carry a few tools (SOG Power Pliers, Gerber MultiPliers and a Latshaw Pocketwrench II). In my computer bag, I also keep for laptops and internal parts, a Husky HD-74501 W and an HD-74502 W. (small screwdriver and torx set, single handle with a total of 8 tips each, but very small; the torx goes down to T4, and they fit into spaces a 1/4" drive screwdriver won't). At my desk, I keep a monkey wrench, a socket set, a Stanley Wonder Bar II, and a screwdriver/nutdriver set.

The Pocketwrench is great for just holdings nuts while you tighten from the other side (and tightening rails from Sun where you have no clearance to get a wrench in there). The reason for the SOG and the Gerber is that they have different size philips bits -- the Gerber I use for rack screws, the SOG for removing cards and such. I also find that two plier-like devices also comes in handy when dealing with bolts, as the pocketwrench doesn't always give me the leverage I need for breaking nuts free. The Wonder Bar is the only thing people look at me funny for -- but it's a god send when you have to shift a server up slightly, so you can fit in something below it. (the pocket wrench works okay, but the Wonder Bar has much better leverage).

Oh -- and I've accidentally flown with the pocket wrench, and security turned my bag inside out looking to figure out what it was. As there weren't any sharp edges on it, they let me get on the plane with it.

  • Hehe reading your post I was about to say what in the world do you need a Wonderbar for but that makes sense. I have a phone hammer on my desk....it doesn't fix things but it does make you feel better. Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 20:07
  • er that should have read foam hammer :) Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 20:35
  • I love my Pocketwrench II. BTW, I don't think it goes by the name "Latshaw" any more. @3dinfluence: A "phone" hammer would definitely make me feel better some days. Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 20:55
  • @3dinfluence: I've also used the wonderbar when I had to change out the batteries in a UPS, but they had swelled, and I had to take the top off of the case, and pry them out one by one. (two times so far, same brand). It's also something that you can use to put under a heavy UPS / server / whatever that you're unracking and need to set it down -- you then step on it to lift it up a quarter inch so you can get a grip on it. I highly recommend it in your toolkit, even if it isn't something to carry with you.
    – Joe H.
    Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 1:12

You aren't going to find one tool that does everything on your list. And if you did, you'd probably regret it. Ethernet and USB cable testers should definitely be separate from your pliers, for instance.

If I was going to admin stuff today, I'd grab my Leatherman Wave and a combo cable tester (something like this).


I own both a leatherman Charge TTi and a Paladin PowerPlay PT-540.

The leatherman is great for general utility, and I love the s30v blade - it's the first multi-tool I've owned that holds a decent edge, and the pliers are usable. More info here -

I got the Paladin tool to keep in my laptop bag for the occasional wiring work so I wouldn't have to lug around a separate set of tools. It's made by SOG, and I was amazed at how solid it is (I've generally been disappointed with Paladin tools), and the compound-leverage sprocket mechanism is smooth as butter. I wish they had figured out how to put in an RJ-11/45 crimper, instead of the electrical lug crimper, though. I've had it for about 8 months and just haven't needed it much, so far. More info here - http://www.paladin-tools.com/view_tool.php?id=490&parent_id=362

I'm not familiar with any integrated USB/cat5 cable testers; sorry.


  • Ditto on the TTi. Seems to be the best suited to my needs. I'm planning to get a Leatherman Crunch as well.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 26, 2009 at 22:06

I gave up on finding "1 tool" but if I had to choose, I'd stick with the Leatherman Wave that's already been mentioned.

I currently use a small tool roll like this: http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/departments/tools-shop/tool-bags-tool-belts/tool-bags/92099.aspx?feature=product_15 (I think mine is smaller)

It fits in my knapsack and keeps the things I need in it. The main stuff I make sure I have:

  • rack tool for popping nuts in and out
  • leatherman
  • assorted bits
  • a couple small vice grips (as good as an extra set of hands in some cases in the datacenter)
  • velcro strapping small
  • LED flashlight

This roll has the benefit of keeping it all together and it's pretty easy to tell at a glance if anything has "walked off" (as opposed to digging through various tool boxes.

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