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"my general utility" [CREE] 

"Safety first, old chum."
Along with the aforementioned components of Sherlock Holmes’s everyday carry (we covered Part 1 and Part 2 here previously) are a pair of tools that seem, at first glance, conspicuously appropriate for the needs of the moment, rather like the shark repellent on Batman’s utility belt.

Holmes often employs a large magnifying glass at crime scenes, and its presence seems plausible, since he could have foreseen the need for such an item, as in A Study in Scarlet or "The Boscombe Valley Mystery."

Yet in "The Resident Patient" Holmes has a sudden and unanticipated need for a convex glass, and promptly whips out what Watson calls “his pocket-lens.” An even more Caped-Crusader-like example is the appearance in "The Musgrave Ritual" of a “pocket-compass,” just the thing for a treasure hunt, though not an item one would expect to find in a Londoner’s everyday carry.

While it is true that Holmes is a confirmed waistcoat-wearer, and that the waistcoast strengthens one’s EDC game enormously (by a factor of two to four additional pockets), the pocket lens and pocket compass might strain credulity, were it not for the availability in Holmes’s day of gadgets like the one pictured below. Such a tool would have made a nifty fob for a gentleman’s watch-chain.

Victorian pocket lens with nesting compass, circa 1885.

For the contemporary Sherlockian who yearns for a Canonically inspired everyday carry, we turn our attention to today's knives, multitools, and pocket notebooks. Without doubt, there are many worthy candidates that would fit the bill – so many that I shall stick to only a few currently available items that I have owned and used, and have found to be excellent.

The Pocket-Book/Notebook
Big Skinny makes a bifold wallet called the Leather Hipster, a billfold which, despite its distressing name, is a practical wonder. It fits business cards, credit cards, ID’s, passports, Rite in the Rain notebooks, square-cut A2 envelopes, and U.S. and international currency, yet remains wonderfully thin and flat. Add a flexible golf pencil or a Fisher space pen, and you’re ready for action.

Knives and Multi-tools

The EDC cutting tool must be lightweight, flat, and properly contoured, lest it soon be left at home. The options here presented offer varying levels of utility and demand varying levels of accommodation, but all fall within the boundaries of “useful enough to be worth it” and “handy enough to be sensible.” (This is the military “firepower vs. mobility” equation: more firepower equals less mobility, and vice versa.)

Single Option: Victorinox Outrider
Hands down my favorite Swiss Army Knife, the Outrider is not perfect, but it offers the best balance of capability versus bulk, while ticking all the boxes for a Sherlockian pocketknife. In its tool set are a large locking blade, a saw, scissors, a deep-reach Phillips screwdriver, a can opener/Phillips screwdriver, a bottle opener/flathead screwdriver/wire stripper, a corkscrew, a drill/lacing tool, a toothpick, tweezers, a mini-flathead screwdriver, and a lanyard ring.  It’s missing only a small blade and one-hand opening capability for the large blade.
Length: 111mm
Weight: 132g
Canonicity: ****

Dual Option: Spyderco Endura IV and Leatherman Juice CS4
Offering a small blade and one-hand opening capability, along with a noteworthy bonus, this pairing is worth considering. The Spyderco Endura IV boasts a versatile blade, a powerful lock, Zytel scales, and a pocket clip (removed in this example). The “Spydey-hole” enables one-hand deployment, and the knife is astonishingly flat and light. When closed, its rounded contours make it a comfortable fit for any pocket, but should you desire a smaller option, the Endura’s little brother, the Delica, awaits your summons.
Length: 127mm
Weight: 96g
Canonicity: ***

Speaking of rounded contours, the Leatherman Juice CS4 multi-tool is football shaped when shut, but boasts many features of the Victorinox Outrider (bottle and can opener, corkscrew, drill, saw, scissors, assorted screwdrivers) along with two features of its own: a small sheep-foot blade and a pair of pliers with an on-board wire cutter. (Multi-tools fall into two categories: plier-led and knife-led, hence the compromise of the CS4 lies in accepting a blade that would be insufficient on its own, in return for gaining the bonus of an excellent pair of small pliers.)
Length: 83mm
Weight: 159g
Canonicity: ***

Formal Wear Option: Victorinox Compact
The 91mm-sized Swiss Army Knives are available in a dizzying array of models, and each fan is likely to have a favorite iteration that has done him or her great service over the years.

A veteran of many an archaeological dig, this refurbished 91mm Victorinox Ranger Camping 
model would surely have won the approval of Sherlock Holmes. From the collection of 
Dana Cameron, BSI ("The Giant Rat of Sumatra").

But of all the medium-sized Swiss Army knives, the Compact is the one I have carried most often. To gain its increased mobility, we trade away the firepower of the saw, the locking blade, and the drill, but we retain a tool set that is a marvel of Swiss engineering. 

Once you examine the size and weight, you may agree that there is no reason for not carrying this little knife wherever it may be allowed. The components of the Compact are a medium blade, scissors, corkscrew, mini-screwdriver, toothpick, tweezer, and the remarkable combo tool (available on very few Victorinox knives, it opens cans and bottles, strips wire, and drives both flathead and Phillips screws). Two more noteworthy features nestle under the scales: a stainless steel straight pin (tack messages to boards, obtain fresh blood for bloodstain tests, etc.) and a small ballpoint ink pen.
Length: 91mm
Weight: 64.5g
Canonicity: ***

Keychain Option: The Leatherman Squirt PS4
“Rome wasn’t built in a day” – not with a Leatherman Squirt, anyway. This minuscule tool features a pair of pliers with a wirecutter, a Phillips screwdriver, a bottle opener/flathead screwdriver, a pair of scissors, a file, and a small blade. 

Do these pliers hold a candle to the pliers in the Leatherman Juice? No. Does the bottle opener work? Sort of. But the file, which can double as a hacksaw, is surprisingly good, and the blade, while small enough to be called a scalpel, is excellent, considering the diminutive size and feather weight of this tool. Pair it with a Streamlight Nano for extra keychain utility.
Length: 51mm
Weight: 56.4g
Canonicity: **

“the look of my stick” [MISS]

We turn at last to Canonical combatives, or self-defense. Holmes and Watson tussle with evil-doers of various shapes and kinds, in defensive encounters for which the doctor’s army background and the detective’s expertise at sword, single-stick, and slugfest have prepared them. (The stories are called “Adventures,” after all.)

"Just another day at the office, what?"

The occupational realities of Holmes’s work expose him to several murderous attacks, by knife, dart, air-gun, pistol, stick, vehicle, falling stone, and so on, and he responds with an arsenal of defensive tools – so many that it is difficult to single out one for his EDC. At various times, Holmes defends himself and others with empty hands, rocks, sticks, chloroform, and one or more pocket-sized firearms. Thankfully, few of us will experience even one felonious attack in our lifetimes, but the readiness is all, and the best weapon to have in any fight is absence, as defined below.

absence: (n.) being gone; the quality of not getting into a fight in the first place 

In pursuit of that quality, the old Sherlockian virtue of awareness – observation and inference – is paramount. It buys us time to react and escape, and it keeps us clear of danger.

But we also do well to have a defensive plan and skill set, and we are wise to include in our EDC some tool from a catch-all category encompassing all of Holmes’s choices: force multipliers. A force multiplier is anything that enables us to act more decisively and more quickly, and from farther away.

The proper one for your EDC is likely to vary with your skills, confidence, and situation, just as it did for Watson and Holmes. There is no one-size-fits-all option, but there are contemporary correlations: Holmes often had occasion to employ his sticks, whether the full-length walking stick or the shorter hunting crop, and durable modern sticks are made by Unbreakable Umbrella. The great detective incapacitated Von Bork with a chemical agent in "His Last Bow"; Sabre Red produces an effective line of parallel products for our time, complete with practice cartridges. 

Here we conclude this investigation of the everyday carry of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, one from which I hope you have derived both enjoyment and instruction. If you have Sherlockian EDC adventures of your own to share, please post below or contact us at comment AT ihearofsherlock DOT com. We look forward to hearing from you!