Life Savers

Don't be a tool! The latest in advanced cutlery puts a survival kit in your pocket.

(Kenji Toma)
High-End Knives Reviewed

1.) BUCK/WHITTAKER's SHORT REVOLUTION is one well-crafted piece of sharpened steel. The handle on this two-and-a-half-inch blade swivels 180 degrees, then locks in place to double as the sheath. You get the strength of a fixed-blade knife in one slim unit. ($75; 800-326-2825, www.buckknives.com)

2.) The CRICKET SS by SPYDERCO is the Jack Russell terrier of knives: small but tough. Its discreet beak-shaped cutter—no thicker than three stacked quarters—swings into action anytime you need a handy edge in a pinch. ($65; 800-525-7770, www.spyderco.com)

3.) LEATHERMAN's CHARGE TI has strong titanium handles and stainless-steel pliers, locking blade, saw, scissors, diamond file, and 14 other quick-draw tools. ($124; 800-847-8665, www.leatherman.com)

4.) The four-ounce GERBER NAUTILUS multitool offers all the basics—locking blade, Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, scissors, and bottle opener—plus a nifty switchblade-style LED to throw a beam on the task at hand. ($60; 800-777-6805, www.gerberblades.com)

5.) Sure, you can whittle with the VICTORINOX SWISSMEMORY, but the killer app here is data storage—there's an onboard 64MB flash memory card that plugs into a computer's USB port. The tool is a 21st-century update of the floppy disk: Use it to store your travel diary (with photos!), and update it at any computer. ($69; 888-658-0717, www.swissarmy.com)

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