Best Multi-Tools Reviewed & Rated
We understand how frustrating it must be trying to purchase a multi-tool that best meets your needs in a market flooded with literally thousands of them from all sorts of brands. From novices who have no prior experience with multi-tools to experienced outdoor enthusiasts looking to upgrade on an existing multi-tool, you have to read through hundreds of reviews attempting to compare features, specs, qualities and applications before committing your money. It is in light of such apparent frustration that we have taken it upon ourselves to help with the search by conducting extensive research and testing different multi-tools in order to come up with a list of top-ranked multi-tools. We guarantee that the products highlighted on our list are some of the best in design, ease of use, functionality and durability. We can therefore confidently say that irrespective of your need, our selection will meet your expectations.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Leatherman Wave
- Gerber Suspension
- Leatherman Wingman
Criteria for Choosing Best Multi-Tools
There are thousands of multi-tools out there, some from reputable brands and others from little-known companies, which makes it all the more difficult to select a multi-tool that best suits your needs. Fortunately, we spent endless hours combing through the numbers in search of the most pocket-friendly, easy to use, practical and solidly-built multi-tools. We based our search on four main criteria: functionality, ergonomic construction, portability and lastly, build quality.
A good multi-tool should be able to meet the expectations of the buyer adequately. It should have diverse uses and features allowing the user to carry out a multitude of applications with the same multi-tool without resorting to additional tools. In the case of a multi-tool, it needs to have a comprehensive collection of tools the user will find most useful while fishing, hiking, hunting, or camping. It is a lot more prudent to get a multi-tool with a few useful and appropriately designed implements than one with forty uses poorly jam-packed together. While the usefulness of a particular tool varies from one person to the next, there are some that are useful across the board.
An ergonomically designed multi-tool is one that is easy to use and comfortable for a considerable amount of time without experiencing straining on the hands or developing blisters. They similarly have easy accessibility and are packed with useful features aimed at making one’s work as easy as possible. An ergonomic design also significantly reduces the effort that is applied during the project, meaning that within the first few minutes of using a tool, you should be in a position to tell whether it is ergonomically designed or not. The ability to assess the usability of a multi-tool nonetheless comes naturally with repeated use and if you can’t tell, you could get some professional assistance.
A useful tool is one you can bring with you to wherever it is that you want it. In case you cannot use it when you want it because it is not available, it effectively becomes less than useful. You need to put considerable thought into how you will be moving it from a particular place to another and the amount of effort that will be employed in the process. If the process of moving from one location to another is cumbersome and takes up a lot of effort, the availability of the tool may be limited. The same logic applies to the weight of the tool, considering that it is challenging moving around with bulky and cumbersome tools. Your multi-tool should be lightweight, compact and fitting into most available spaces like pockets, backpacks and glove compartments with ease. If a multi-tool is heavy and bulky, you may have to resort to carrying it in a sheath or attaching it to your belt.
Quality of Construction
As you would expect, multi-tools vary vastly in build quality, as can be revealed by a quick assessment of the products’ hinges and locking system. Established brands make a point of using only the most robust materials and their products undergo vigorous quality checks at the end of production just to ensure the final product is not only durable but also usable for the purpose for which it is intended. Rugged yet lightweight multi-tools are all-around tools, capable of handling a plethora of projects without suffering any significant depreciation in quality and performance over time.
10 Best Multi-Tools
1. Leatherman 830039
One of the most outstanding highlights of the design of the Leatherman Wave 17 multi-tool is the fact that it is possible to gain access and use the knife blades, saw, and file without having to open the pliers. The convenience and intelligence of the design go a long way in enhancing the performance of the main tools such as the screwdrivers and knife blade. For increased convenience, it is possible to lock all the blades and individual tools following the addition of a locking mechanism in a way that not only greatly enhances your performance but also makes the Leatherman Wave 17 multi-tool safer to use.
It oozes simplicity and practicality, making it quite straightforward and easy to use, irrespective of the project you plan on undertaking. Only the most relevant and necessary tools are included in the Wave, and they are all convenient, allowing to open and close any of them with just a single hand. All the tools are constructed from ultra-strong and very durable stainless steel. The brand offers you a limited 25-year warranty to cater for the replacement and repair of parts that malfunction out of natural use. The only drawback of the Leatherman Wave 17 multi-tool is its weight, forcing many people to attach it to their belt when using it as an EDC.
Top-notch construction quality for longevity
Made from ultra-strong stainless steel
Very versatile and flexible with a total of 17 tools
Noticeably heavier and large
2. Gerber Suspension
It is loved for many reasons, one of which is its price. In spite of being a budget pick, it still manages to pack several useful features and functionalities at a very pocket-friendly price. Additionally, the multi-tool comes with a lifetime warranty, allowing for an out-of-pocket repair and replacement of naturally wearing out parts and components. As already mentioned, the multi-tool comes with a comfortable handle that significantly reduces the strain on one's hands when undertaking projects that necessitate serious squeezing. Among the accessories, the tool comes with is a useful and convenient nylon ballistic sheath for holding the multi-tool whenever you are hiking or hunting or not just using it. It comes with an extra pocket for storing additional bits you may have brought with you on the expedition.
Like most multi-tools, the Gerber Suspension multi-tool has a few drawbacks you need to be aware of to assist you to make an informed decision. The multi-tool has a weight of 9 ounces, which according to some people, is a little heavy. In our opinion though, the weight is really not an issue. Also, you may experience a little difficulty engaging or disengaging some of the tools and the lock spring. Other than these, using the Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier is a real joy.
Lightweight and compact design for easy portability
Offers butterfly opening for quick and effortless access to inner tools
Reasonably and realistically priced
Ergonomic design makes for easy handling and manoeuvrability
Cheaply constructed saws and blades
3. Leatherman Wingman
It has two screwdrivers, one being a Philips and the other a Flathead. The file can easily double up as a screwdriver, though. Surprisingly, the screwdrivers hold up quite nicely on most types of bolts in spite of this being a budget multi-tool.
The Leatherman Wingman lacks the broad selection of fancy tools like its more expensive counterparts and includes just a ruler and a very basic package opener.
The main difference between the Leatherman Wingman and the Leatherman Wave, other than 1.5-ounce weight variation, is that the latter lacks a saw blade and a bit driver. A major highlight of the design of this multi-tool is the ability to access the scissors and knife without having to open the pliers as they are located on the outside of the multi-tool. The remaining tools, however, can only be accessed by opening the multi-tool as they are positioned on the inside. Consequently, the design means the Leatherman Wingman can function primarily as a knife. The design also makes it possible for veteran users to open the knife and scissors with just a single hand, something that requires practice if you are new to the world of multi-tools. You should, however, note that deploying the scissors is a little fussy, requiring that you extend them all the way to until they slide in the locking system, after which the spring installs.
Comes with a realistic and reasonable price tag
Lightweight and quite compact design
Exceptional selection of tools
Solidly and durably constructed pliers
Lack of bit driver options
No saw included with the package
You have to purchase a sheath or belt holster separately
4. Leatherman Skeletool CX
The Leatherman diverted from tradition with this multi-tool, opting to use some strong materials for its construction. The use of carbon fibre on the handle, for instance, ensures the entire tool is not only lightweight but also resistant to the wear-and-tear occasioned by working in sometimes dense environments. The multi-tool, on the other hand, features an all-stainless steel construction, allowing you to use on a wide array of projects without worrying about it breaking. To finish off the construction, the Leatherman Skeletool CX Multi-tool is coated with the Tungsten DLC, making it not only stronger but also damage-proof, in addition to making more aesthetically appealing.
Using it is quite a breeze, considering the simplicity of its construction. You can easily access the knife even when the handle is closed, and it comes with a locking mechanism which acts as a safety feature to keep you from harming yourself in case of a slip. However, you will have to open the handle to access the other tools placed within and because the multi-tool comes with bit drivers, switching from one bit to another is a very straightforward endeavour. The design also allows you to quickly and simply change the bits on the multi-tool.
The one feature that really endears the Leatherman Skeletool CX to most people is its lightness and small stature. Venturing out on an expedition requires that you keep weight to manageable levels and bringing a heavy and bulky multi-tool along with you is not very helpful. The use of carbon fibre helps the multi-tool maintain a weight of approximately 5 ounces, which is greatly helped by the fact that the multi-tool only packs the most essential and helpful tools, thereby avoiding redundancy and replication of functions. The only drawback of the Leatherman Skeletool CX is that it might be a little cumbersome for novices and older outdoor enthusiasts to switch between the different functions using the provided release button.
Lightweight and compact
Very easy to use
Cuts materials with battery smoothness
Features industrial-grade materials making it strong and durable
Butterfly design allows for easy and quick access to inner tools
A little cumbersome to use
5. SOG PowerAssist
The pliers on the SOG PowerAssist are considerably larger than those on other tools, offering you increased precision and accuracy, working with a reliable exactness every time. They also have a more expansive cutting area, giving you additional space for cutting and stripping away large pieces. The multi-tool comes with two assisted blades offering you exceptionally impressive cutting power, no matter the thickness of your cutting material. Even with the handle closed, you can still access the dual blades from outside with just a single hand and will be immediately locked upon being fully engaged, making it possible for you to work without risking an injury.
To summarize, this is ideal for a broad range of challenging projects around the house as well as on the camping site. It features a reliable and robust construction capable of taking on any tough material or task you through its way. Furthermore, the design of the SOG PowerAssist Multi-Tool makes it easy to easily access the tools on the outside without having first to open the pliers and knives.
Good value for money
Offers a comprehensive collection of useful and practical tools for a budget multi-tool
Sturdy and durable having being constructed from 420C stainless steel
Highly customizable allowing for ease of use and versatility
Reliably safe with its implement locking system
Razor sharp blades
Comes with a convenient carrying sheath
Poorly made and blunt scissors
Some tools require frequent re-sharpening
6. Victorinox Swiss Army
The handle of the TOOL is made from polished cellidor scales while the individual tools are primarily constructed from stainless steel and are sharpened using a laser giving them a cutting edge that would effortlessly rip apart a whittle wood. The exceptional engineering of the multi-tool allows for the perfect fitting of all the thirty-three tools into a compact and easy-to-carry package. And because they are constructed from stainless steel, they have the durability and toughness that with proper care, can see them last more than a lifetime.
With all 33 implements packaged into a single tool, you’re sure IT comes with a multitude of functions that would be difficult to itemise here. Other than being ideal for various outdoor projects like fishing, hiking, trekking, camping and the like, you can similarly use it to groom yourself! The multi-tool has a plethora of tools dedicated specifically to personal grooming starting with the scissors, toothpick, and tweezers. Since IT brings them all together in one small package, you no longer have to spend several minutes every morning looking for one particular tool within your drawer.
In conclusion, the Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp can be put to a multitude of uses with its 33 implements. Other than using it for camping, hiking, trekking, of fishing, you can similarly use it for personal grooming. It features high-quality and durable tools made from material is resistant to corrosion and rust, and with proper care, will last more than a lifetime.
Comes with a comprehensive collection of tools – 33 in total for exceptional versatility
Features a robust and top quality construction making it quite durable
Easy to use
7. Leatherman OHT with Sheath
Unlike other several multi-tools, it is not necessary to open the pliers first to have access to tools outside of the product. For instance, the knife can easily be accessed from the handle, and because it is spring loaded, all you have to do to use it is flip it open with a single handle. The OHT with Sheath, as the name suggests, comes with a sheath that is both robust and long-lasting, having been constructed from commercial-grade nylon. The sheath has a strap for attaching the bag to your waist or whatever place you deem appropriate, making it possible to carry it conveniently and relatively easily as you go about your activities. The sheath comes with an additional pocket for storing any accessories you may have on you such as driver bits. Even without the sheath, you can keep the multi-tool comfortably in your pockets or purse as it is compact at just 4-1/2-inches when closed.
The entire OHT with Sheath is made with the durable and resilient 420 HC stainless steel, ensuring that whatever conditions you subject it to, it will never rust, bend or easily lose its sharpness. Consequently, in addition to keeping re-sharpening endeavours to a bare minimum, the high-carbon steel will similarly guide against corrosion, meaning that the tool can do with occasional and minimal maintenance.
In all, the OHT with Sheath is a unique multi-tool allowing you a one-hand operation for quick access to vital tools in the handle. The multi-tool furthermore comes with the industry-standard locking system aimed at keeping you safe by ensuring once an implement is opened or closed, it remains in that position. The butterfly design also allows you a quick and easy reach for the inner most tools without having to tug the outer ones, which is handy when you have to respond to an emergency.
Comprehensive feature set
Superior construction quality
Comes in a lightweight and compact design
Requires minimal maintenance
A little heavy
8. Victorinox SwissTool RS
It brings together a total of eighteen tools. These are wire benders, pliers, two rulers - measuring 9-inches and 230-millimetres, a plank of wood saw, a wire crimping tool, three screwdrivers, reamer, cap lifter, scissors, crate opener, large blade, lock release, wire stripper, nylon pouch.
The entire body is constructed out of the ultra-strong and durable stainless steel, and you're offered a limited lifetime warranty with every purchase. All naturally occurring defects resulting from the standard use of the multi-tool will be catered for by the company. However, the mainstream of previous and current owners of the Victorinox SwissTool RS have never required a bit repair or replacement, which is an indication of the superior build quality of the multi-tool. The SwissTool RS is bundled with a useful nylon sheath for the convenient and hassle-free carrying and storing of the tool whenever you’re not using it. Carrying the multi-tool without a carrying sheath would still be quite easy considering that it features a lightweight and compact design, allowing you to slip it into your pockets.
It is also incredibly easy to use. It comes with a locking mechanism meaning that putting or folding the tools back into the handle will first require releasing the lock. This addition aims to ensure your safety particularly when using the blades and saws, plus all the tools are sturdily constructed, meaning that with some care, they can definitely last more than a lifetime.
Ideal for emergency and rescue purposes
Comes with a nylon pouch for convenient carrying of multi-tool
Constructed from durable and industrial-grade stainless steel
Has a locking system for improving usability and safety
Can be operated with a single hand
Comes with a lifetime warranty
A little heavy
9. Gerber Center-Drive
Carbide wire cutters are located at the base of the Gerber Center-Drive Multi-tool and because of their triangular shapes, you can effortlessly rotate them the moment they start dulling, making it possible for you to extend their lifespan three-fold. Plus, they are quite easy to replace as soon as their useful life comes to an end. There is a screwdriver measuring 4-inches in length that provides you with plentiful of torque that enables you quickly unscrew stubborn nuts and squeezes with relative ease into tight nooks. The design of the multi-tools leads to the creation of an offset design that extends by an estimated 3.2-inches, thereby placing the driver at the centre of the handle, allowing you to rotate the screwdriver easily. The knives and serrated blade are made from high-carbon steel. While the knife can be accessed from outside of the tool, the blade is accessible from the inside. Lastly, it comes with a fabric sheath with two pockets for storing the multi-tool itself and the other for an additional bit holder.
In all, this is as effective as it is versatile, enabling you to take on a multitude of projects at the same time. It comes with a tool combination and design that just out-classes its competitors in the market. Its most prominent highlight is the Center-Drive screwdriver which is not only long but also capable of holding a standard 0.25-inch bit perfectly firmly. It also has a one-handed opening design and spring loaded mechanism that just makes one's work quite comfortable.
Comes with a tool locking mechanism for all the tools
The bit driver has an ergonomic design and compatible with standard bits
Presence of hype which is undesirable
10. Leatherman Charge TTI
iT has two saws, the first of which is constructed from heat-treated steel giving it the ability to cut through different abrasive materials like wood with battery smoothness. The second saw is made from hardened metal and has dual sides, one functioning as a file and the second side functioning as a diamond that is sufficiently hard to sharpen carbide steel. The multi-tool similarly comes with a bunch of other inner tools you can only access by first deploying the outer pliers. The scissors, for instance, are razor-sharp and solidly constructed and ready to cut through any material. Ideal for making precision cuts, the scissors has both a flat and Phillips end and is ideal for tightening or loosening small bolts.
The ergonomic design of the Leatherman Charge TTI multi-tool ensures it fits perfectly and firmly into your hands. The grips come with rubberized parts that are easy on the hands and do a great job preventing you from feeling any significant fatigue or developing blisters. The multi-tool also comes with a useful sheath or pouch to allow for convenient carrying while hiking, trekking, fishing, or camping.
Comes with a comprehensive list of very versatile tools
Features superior craftsmanship and engineering
Comes with sturdy and durable materials for longer shelf-life
Has nineteen implements and 43 features
The 420HC and S30v blades are capable of holding edge for six times longer than standard ones
Q: Can a multi-tool rust?
A: Most tools on a multi-tool are made from stainless stain which can rust if kept in damp and wet conditions for a prolonged period. Stainless steel is nonetheless resistant to corrosion but for it to maintain its optimal cutting condition, thorough and regular maintenance will have to be performed every so often. For instance, you will have to make a point of cleaning the multi-tool immediately after use and before storing it. You can also oil it.
Q: What is the procedure to follow when cleaning my multi-tool?
A: The intensity and frequency of cleaning are determined, to a large extent, by the type of task you use the multi-tool for. In case you have used the multi-tool in salty water conditions, you need to thoroughly rinse it in fresh water, ensure it dries completely before finishing off with a water displacing product of your choice. If, on the other hand, you used the multi-tool for removing any debris, give it a thorough cleaning in soapy water to keep rust and corrosion at bay. Lastly, removing an accumulation of tar will most definitely involve cleaning the product with mineral spirits.
Q: How do I keep my blades sharp?
A: Given the differences between serrated and straight blades, caution should be exercised when re-sharpening. Straight blades are quite easy to maintain as they can be re-sharpened using any standard sharpening tool in the market. Serrated blades, on the hand, necessitate the use of equipment that is specially designed for sharpening them.
Owning a multi-tool, in a lot of ways, makes you kind of invincible, especially if you have one that perfectly matches your needs, is simple to use, comes with a lot of versatility and is reasonably priced. Our list of ten of the best multi-tools features multi-tools selected on the basis of construction quality, portability, ergonomics and most importantly, functionality. These are tools that have undergone extensive testing and accessed thoroughly on their usefulness in different settings. They are therefore a representation of both extremes of the spectrum and everything that falls in between. While you can never go wrong with any of them, try to first assess your needs so that you end up with the most suitable multi-tool.