We’re all familiar with the concept of multi-tools. The ‘Swiss Army knife’ is a mainstay in American lexicon and Victorinox, the manufacturer of this ubiquitous tool, sells multiple variations.

Over the years, I’ve looked for some type of tool that would address issues specific to photographic equipment. At the risk of losing expensive gear, we need to ensure that things like tripod adapters are secure on our cameras or that ball head adjustments have proper tension. But until recently, I never found anything – including the storied Swiss Army knife – that fit the bill.

Recently, however, I became aware of a multi-tool manufactured by a company called SmallRig that is specifically designed for this purpose. I couldn’t be happier with the device.

SmallRig multi-tool
SmallRig Folding Tool – 2213

Camera-Specific Tools

Like any traditional multi-tool, the simply named SmallRig Folding Tool Set has several tools packed into a single case. The difference is that all tools in this device are aimed at photography and videography equipment.

The tools include:

  • Hex wrenches in T2.5, T3, T4 and 3/16 sizes
  • A Phillips screwdriver
  • A Torx T25 driver and
  • A flat head screwdriver
smallrig folding tool

I am most happy with the design of the flat head screwdriver. One of the nagging issues with photo equipment is that the plate which attaches a camera body to a tripod is attached to the camera with a slotted screw head. However, the slot is usually very wide, making a standard screwdriver almost useless for ensuring tightness. In fact, I used to carry a 25¢ piece with me since it did a far better job in tightening this screw than anything less than a foot-long screwdriver.

The flat head screwdriver supplied with the SmallRig is the perfect size for this function.

Lost Screw

Another issue facing photographers is losing a key screw. Camera equipment, by its nature, uses small fasteners. Sometimes one of those small screws will work its way loose and be lost without discovery until much later.

The SmallRig includes tapped holes to hold spare screw in the most common sizes for photographic equipment, shown along the side of the tool above:

  • 2 – ¼ x 20
  • Metric screws in M2.5, M3, M4 and M5 sizes

This can be a life-saver in the field when you suddenly discover that your tripod is missing a key adjustment screw.

Easy to Carry

The SmallRig Folding Tool Set lives up to its name. At only 3.23 x 0.94 x 0.47 inches, the aluminum tool weighs only 2.79 ounces. It comes with a fitted storage bag and fits easily in a pocket or camera bag.

And priced at only $20.99 on Amazon as of this writing, it’s almost a no-brainer purchase. I’m very happy with the SmallRig and would recommend it to any photographer or videographer.

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