You will agree with us when we say when you’re out camping or getting ready to set up your bug-out bag, you’re going to need everything you can carry to be in small packages. Forget about carrying your entire tool box; that’s only going to weigh you down and use up the space you need for more gear. Wouldn’t it be nice if you have a tool that gets a lot of jobs done in one handy package? In that case, the best multi tool is a must-have for your EDC repertoire.
Multi-tools are compact and their various components fold out and lock into place as you need them, which is great because it remains streamlined in your pocket and other folding pieces don’t get in the way while you’re trying to use them. While keeping an everyday carry knife on hand is great, you could replace it with a multi-tool that has a blade.
So why not consider investing in one of these so that you have everything you need in one place? You are probably wondering: where do I even start? We’ve got everything you need laid out in this article to find the multi-tool that will cater to your preferences. We also reviewed a number of multi tools that should be worth your time and money. Let’s get to it!
Our Top Picks!
|Product Name||# of Tools||Weight||Dimensions||Price|
|Gerber DET Multi-Plier 600||12||9 oz||5.9 x 2.7 x 1.6 in||Check price on Amazon|
|Victorinox Swiss Army Tool||34||11 oz||1.7 x 2 x 4.2 in||Check price on Amazon|
|Leatherman Charge TTi||19||9 oz||10 x 6.5 x 4.5 in||Check price on Amazon|
|Leatherman Crunch||15||6.9 oz||0.8 x 4 x 1.2 in||Check price on Amazon|
|Gerber Diesel Multi-plier||15||8.6 oz||9 x 5.5 x 2.4 in||Check price on Amazon|
|Wallet Ninja 18-in-1 Pocket Tool||18||1.6 oz||4 x 2.2 x 0.1 in||Check price on Amazon|
|Leatherman Skeletool||12||5 oz||4 x 1 x 1 in||Check price on Amazon|
|Swiss + Tech ST53100||19||3.2 oz||1.9 x 1.3 x 0.2 in||Check price on Amazon|
Things to Consider Before Buying
A multi-tool should be capable of doing many tasks, and for that to be possible it needs to have a wide variety of tools. If it’s practical, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a multi-tool that includes the tool you need, but first it’s important to know what you should be looking for in the first place. Going out and buying the first one you see will only end up being a big mistake, so why not do it right the first time?
A lightweight multi-tool can be great for many reasons. It fits more comfortably into pants pockets and doesn’t bulk up your backpack. However, be careful that what you gain in portability you don’t lose in durability.
A heavier, larger multi-tool can increase the torque and leverage capabilities of your tools. A flimsy tool won’t get you very far when you’re trying to loosen a tight screw and you need a handle that can withstand higher amounts of pressure. Another consideration is how ergonomic the multi-tool handle is. It should be designed so that you can easily access your tools and use them in comfort.
There are a large number of multi tools that basically fit into three different categories. Which you choose is up to you, as they all have their pros and cons that make them better suited for different people.
- Keychain: These are made to fit on a set of keys for easy transport. However, keep in mind that their small size means that they’re light and might not have all the tools readily available to you.
- General-purpose: These possess full-sized tools and are much heavier. This is the majority of multi tools that you’ll find in this article, and fit in a back pocket or pocket of a backpack.
- Specific-purpose: These multi tools are made for one specific user group. They may possess normal tools like pliers and blades, but also include other tools, such as those specifically geared towards gun owners or electricians, for example.
Depending on the task you’re facing, it’s important to know the difference between these so that you know exactly what you’re getting out of your purchase. You don’t want to end up purchasing the wrong tool and having to make a return later.
Don’t be fooled by the cheapest tools you find out there; anything that seems too good to be true in terms of cost usually is. On the other hand, you don’t want to buy the most expensive multi tool if you don’t see yourself putting all the features to good use.
Seek to go for the middle road and find a multi tool that has everything you need, with a little extra, and is also affordable. Shopping around and comparing items will definitely help you find the right one for your needs.
While it’s tempting to go for multi-tools that include just about everything, know that this doesn’t guarantee that it will give you the best results. There are multi-tools that include things like a ferro rod, knife sharpener, whistle and more which are simply useless for standard use.
You want a tool that can offer you the basics with utmost simplicity – and one that you can easily carry with you. Useful and robust are the keywords here.
This one seems to be a no-brainer but most people overlook to consider their own needs before purchasing a multi-tool. Do you need something for outdoor use? Open packages? Service a firearm? Make a list of some of your most common field tasks and repairs, as well as potential emergencies.
This way, you can shop accordingly and ensure that the tool that you will buy will yield optimal benefits.
Best Products on Today’s Market
Now that you’re aware of what you should be looking for, why not consider the products we’ve mentioned below? Not only are they are the top of their class when it comes to the tasks they can accomplish, they’re also quite affordable if you focus on what you can do with them. At first, they may seem a bit expensive, but remember that you’re going to be using these tools a lot, and for a very long time.
So without further ado, here are some of the best products that we’re recommending to you.
Price: Approx. $103
Weight: 9 oz
Dimensions: 5.9 x 2.7 x 1.6 in
Specific features: Non-reflective, one-handed opening, stainless steel, RemGrit blade, needle nose pliers with blasting cap crimper, wire cutter, wire crimper, C4 punch, fine edge knife, remgrit and reg; saw with universal coupler, Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, lanyard ring, can opener, file
Best use: Combat or electrical engineering work
Description: The Gerber DET Multi-Plier 600 is a heavy duty, unique multi tool with many features that set it apart from other multi-tools. That being said, some of the tools it includes won’t be useful for most people but are indispensable for those who perform these tasks regularly. The blasting cap crimper and C4 punch are designed for combat engineers who are preparing plastic explosives, and the RemGrit blade is designed to be able to sever cables.
The wire cutting inserts also make it easy for you to take care of any electrical job you may have, whether you need to strip wires in order to hot wire your car and get it going again, or need to fix the wiring in a headlamp.
It does take some practice to get all the tools to work for you, but with some adjustment and learning how they all work, you’ll be using this tool like a pro in no time.
- Makes clean and easy cuts
- Can be used with just one hand
- Field tested for strength
- Some difficulty accessing the entire blade
- Some tools can be too small for certain tasks
Related: Why risk getting lost in the wilderness when the Garmin Foretrex 401 Hiking GPS will take care of you? This unit is waterproof, so it won’t short circuit during a rain storm so that you can stay on the right path.
No matter how heavy the tree cover is, you’ll continue to get a strong signal, all while running on only 2 AA batteries. Included are an electronic compass, altimeter, and the times for sunrise and sunset so that you’re not caught out in the dark.
Price: Approx. $150
Weight: 11 oz
Dimensions: 1.7 x 2 x 4.2 in
Specific features: Stainless steel body, ergonomic handles, comes in a leather pouch, easy lock and release button, needle nose pliers, screw drivers (2, 3, 6, and 7.5 mm), a wire cutter up to 40 hrc, bottle opener, multi-purpose hook, crate opener, combi-edge blade, scissors
Best use: Everyday use, outdoors
Description: The Victorinox Swiss Army Tool is generally regarded as the classic multi-tool, and this multi-tool is the product of the reputable brand. This tool was made in Switzerland and is manufactured from stainless steel. It comes with an impressive array of tools that can tackle any challenge set before you.
You wouldn’t think that you’d get so many tools in such a small package, but the Swiss Army brand has been around for a long time that they know how to perfect a tool that’s compact, durable, and definitely multi-purpose. Keep in mind that not all the tools available are capable of dealing with super tough jobs, but they can definitely stand up to the task in a pinch.
And when you’re done camping, this multi-tool is also great for taking care of chores around the house, especially with those tasks you’d have to call a handyman for.
- Performs well
- Fits on any keychain
- Some tools are too small to be effective
- A bit expensive
Related: Don’t worry about having to buy an entirely new multi tool if you’ve lost a part. The Victorinox Replacement Wrench is all you need to make your multi tool feel whole again. At such an affordable price, you won’t have to shell out money to completely replace just one part. It fits right into your multi tool without any hassle or having to buy other parts to reinstall it.
Price: Approx. $170
Weight: 9 oz
Dimensions: 10 x 6.5 x 4.5 in
Specific features: Needlenose pliers, regular pliers, hard-wire cutters, wire cutters, crimper, wire stripper, S30V knife, 420HC knife, saw, spring-action scissors. cutting hook, ruler, can opener, bottle opener, wood/metal file, diamond-coated file, large bit driver, small bit driver, medium screwdriver
Best use: Jobs requiring a heavier-duty tool
Description: The Leatherman Charge TTI Multi-Tool is another well-respected brand of multi-tool and this piece is another reliable, well-made piece. It is more heavy-duty than some other Leatherman models, and is made of titanium rather than the usual stainless steel.
In addition to the 19 tools it has, it also includes two knife blades made of high quality stainless steel: a 420HC (high carbon) blade and a S30V blade. The Charge TTi features a removable clip and locking features for keeping tools in place while they’re being used.
One feature that many users like is that it has a very smooth action when opening different tools. The tools are also accessible while the device is folded and closed.
- Can be operated with one hand
- Sophisticated look
- Smooth and easy operation
Related: Want an even easier way to carry your multi tool with you? Then you should consider the Leatherman Tread Bracelet. It’s a very travel-friendly way for you to have every tool you need, right there on your wrist.
It features up to 29 tools altogether, including a number of screwdrivers, hex wrenches, bottle opener, and cutting hook, just to name a few. Not only is it functional, but it also looks quite stylish for the man wanting to add some ruggedness to his fashion.
Price: Approx. $110
Weight: 6.9 oz
Dimensions: 0.8 x 4 x 1.2 in
Specific features: Regular pliers, locking pliers, hard-wire cutters, wire cutters, a wire stripper, a 420HC stainless steel serrated knife, a ruler, a bottle opener, a wood/metal file, a ¼-inch hex bit driver, a Phillips screw driver, lanyard attachment, array of screwdrivers
Best use: Tough jobs around the home or outdoors
Description: The Leatherman Crunch Multi-Tool is another reliable Leatherman tool with 15 different tools for you to get any job done. All of the tools have locking features so they don’t move while you’re using them, and it also includes a serrated knife. The Leatherman Crunch is 100 percent stainless steel and should be kept clean and dry to stay in its best condition.
The blades can be a little tricky to open the very first time, but with some use and practice, it will start to slide out with ease. They can be locked in place for safety, and can be released with just a push of the release button on the outside of the handle. Easy as pie.
It isn’t as heavy duty as the closely related Leatherman Charge TTi, but the durable pliers are really what makes this multi-tool stand out. It comes with a 25-year limited warranty.
- Pliers lock in place
- Good collection of tools
- Limited in features
- Pliers have to be removed to access other tools
Related: Even the best multi tool can’t help you if you can’t see what you’re doing. The Coast HP3R Rechargeable Penlight will help you with those tasks you need to take care of at night or in dark corners where regular light can’t reach.
It comes in a number of colors, and is small enough to fit in a pocket. Plus it’s rechargeable by USB, making it easy to get up and running in no time, no matter where you are, especially with a run time of 6 hours on the low setting.
Price: Approx. $62
Weight: 8.6 oz
Dimensions: 9 x 5.5 x 2.4 in
Specific features: Needlenose pliers, wire cutter, partially-serrated knife blade, cross point screwdriver, small, medium, and large flat blade screwdrivers, can opener, bottle opener, file, saw, scissors
Best use: Jobs that would be made easier with scissors
Description: The Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier is a good bargain choice from a respected manufacturer of multi-tools. At almost 9 oz, the Diesel is a durable, heavy-duty multi-tool that was designed very well and capable of handling a majority of the tasks on hand.
It is equipped with one-hand opening, which comes in handy when you’re holding something with one hand and only have one free hand to be able to open and operate your multi-tool. Tools can also be locked with just one hand so that you can stay on task and keep both hands engaged in the job.
The scissors included in the Diesel are great quality and are very useful; not all multi-tools include scissors and this feature helps to set the Diesel apart. It is made of stainless steel and has a bead-blast finish on the handle, so it both looks and feels great, especially with the non-reflective black finish.
- Can be used with one hand
- Easy to use
- Industrial strength
- A bit cumbersome in the hand
- Velcro on the sheath not the best choice
Related: Your multi-tool will only work as well as the protection it’s provided. With the Gerber 22-41678 Military Sheath, you can keep your multi tool dry and protected from the elements to prevent rust, grime, and dirt. The material used is breathable so that your tool doesn’t sweat inside the sheath, which only serves to induce rust even faster.
Price: Approx. $8
Weight: 1.6 oz
Dimensions: 4 x 2.2 x 0.1 in
Specific features: Phillips, flat head and eyeglasses screwdrivers, hex wrench in sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12, a ruler, a box opener, a letter opener, a fruit and vegetable peeler, a nail puller, and a can opener
Best use: Small household jobs
Description: The Wallet Ninja 18-in-1 Pocket Tool stands apart from all of the other multi-tools reviewed here because it is not your classic multi-tool. Instead of a knifelike design with foldable and lockable tools, the Wallet Ninja is designed to fit in your wallet and is the size of a credit card.
It is also completely flat, so it can slide right in, keeping it protected until you need to use it. Forget about having to get a belt clip like you would with other multi tools. You’ll have no problem carrying this around, since it weighs next to nothing.
It is manufactured from 4-time heat treated steel and is TSA- approved so you can keep it in your wallet during your flight without getting in trouble or having it taken by security. It’s a perfect gift for mechanics, electricians, carpenters, and hobbyists, no matter what they’re working on.
- Extremely affordable
- Fits in a wallet
- Great for emergency repairs/jobs
- Good quality
- Small number of tools reduces functionality
Related: Being able to protect yourself in any situation is important, and that’s why you should consider adding the SOG Key Folding Knife to your arsenal. It may look like a harmless key, but it’s really hiding a 1.5-inch steel blade within its body. It comes in a wide variety of colors, can be added to your keyring for easy and quick access, and is easy to keep locked in place to prevent accidents from occurring.
Price: Approx. $55
Weight: 5 oz
Dimensions: 4 x 1 x 1 in
Specific features: Comes in three colors, needle nose pliers, regular pliers, hard wire cutters, wire cutters, a 420HC stainless steel combo knife, carabiner, bottle opener, bit driver, Phillips #1 and #2, screwdriver bits (3/16 and ¼ inch)
Best use: Pocket knife replacement
Description: The Leatherman Skeletool Multi-Tool is the smallest and most lightweight of the three Leatherman products we have included in this review. The Skeletool weighs in at 5 oz, which is light enough to be used as a replacement for a pocket knife since it is a similar size but includes more tools than an everyday carry knife.
Although this multi tool already comes with its own bits, you can buy a 21-piece bit kit separately to increase your repertoire and make it easier to handle any job. The best thing about the Skeletool is how lightweight it is, but for wilderness and survival situations you might want to go with a more heavy-duty tool that can put up with more stress.
If you want a great everyday multi-tool that can be carried easily, the Skeletool is a quality choice.
- Solid grip
- Made from surgical steel so it’s durable
- Does lack some useful tools
Related: If you plan on taking your multi tool out camping with you, then you should probably invest in the means to make yourself a decent meal. The Esbit Camping Cooking Set has everything you need to make a satisfying meal, and them done. It include a cooking pot with a lid, a pot stand that doubles as a wind deflector, and a mesh bag to store everything in.
It’s made of lightweight aluminium so it won’t weigh you down, and uses solid state fuel cubes to get a fire going fast.
Price: Approx. $14
Weight: 3.2 oz
Dimensions: 1.9 x 1.3 x 0.2 in
Specific features: 1/4-inch and 7/16-inch hex wrenches, #0, #1 and #2 flat screw drivers, and #0, #1 and #2 Phillips screwdrivers, pliers, a wire cutter, a wire stripper, a wire crimper, a nail file, a hand drill, a bottle opener, an inches ruler, a millimeters ruler, and extensions for both
Best use: Portable lightweight tool for any job, indoors or outdoors
Description: The Swiss+Tech ST53100 Multi-Tool is a polished stainless steel 19-in-1 micro pocket tool is a convenient tool to have on hand because it includes 19 tools but can hook onto a keychain for easy portability. The ST53100 is made of solid stainless steel but weighs in at only 3.2 oz.
It features a quick-release locking system.
One thing that the ST53100 lacks that most multi-tools have is a knife blade, which can be an inconvenience. However, for smaller jobs that don’t require any slicing and dicing this is a convenient and lightweight tool to have.
It can be stored in any pocket or a storage area of your backpack, so it’s kept out of the way but still ready to use whenever you need it. Although it’s not the most polished looking multi tool, it can still get the job done.
- Easy storage
- No locking mechanism
- Tools can be difficult to pull out
Related: Keeping your car clean after a rigorous hike or camping trip can be difficult, especially with all the dirt you’ll be tracking back in. However, the Nanoskin Carpet and Floormat Scrub Brush has everything under control. Its stiff bristles will get out all that grime and scrub away the filth from the crevices of your floor mats.
The long handle will help with your reach when you need to get that stubborn dirt from under your car seats too, helping you to keep your car as immaculate as the day you bought it.
And there you have some of the best multi-tools that you can buy in the market. As you can see, there’s a huge variety of multi-tools to choose from ranging from more specialized, expensive ones down to small pocket or keychain varieties that are more useful for quick, small jobs that don’t require a lot of torque or power.
Hopefully, this review has been helpful in breaking down the basic components and important features of multi tools to help you get a better sense of what you should be looking for.
Have a multi tool that you’d like us to write about? Want to share your experiences with us? Be sure to comment down below so that you can help us and other readers expand our knowledge on multi tools. We’d love to hear from you.