The multi tool is a device which has a number of different accessories on it and is designed to be carried in the pocket or carried on the belt. These devices can contain an almost infinite combination of tools and gadgets – from knife blades, screwdrivers and tweezers to can openers, pliers, and mini-saw. This allows the person carrying it to have access to a number of tools throughout their day.
While there are dozens of varieties on the market today, their basic design can be traced back to the early 1980s when Timothy S. Leatherman designed a tool that could be used for a variety of different purposes. This product – which was originally known as the “Pocket Survival Tool” or PST. Today, these Leatherman tools are one of the best selling models on the market today.
However, they aren’t the only models available. There are a number of competitors which offer their own type of multi-use tool. And each of these brands makes multiple products, which really raises the question: How do you find the best multi tool. To answer that question, you really have to take a look at all of these tools as a whole and compare their features, durability, and usefulness.
In order to help you out, this guide lists some of the top products that are currently out there. These are the products that people know, use and love. After you’ve gone through this top ten list, you can then read our guide on what to look for in these pocket survival tools. That should be more than enough to get you started down the road of finding a model that will serve you well – from the moment you receive it and well into the future.
Best Multi Tools – Reviews
10Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier
The Gerber Suspension Multi-Pliers is a multitool that’s designed to be not only strong and reliable but to keep a bevy of twelve integrated components close at hand. It weighs just 9.6-ounces and has a closed length of 4-inches but it has the ability to handle a number of different tasks thanks to its tool assortment and its lightweight stainless steel handle. It has a straight and serrated blade, a Philips screwdriver, two sizes of flat-head screwdrivers and wire strippers. It also has spring-loaded needle-nosed pliers that are designed to get into tight spots and get the job done.
9Gelindo Premium Pocket Tool
This premium pocket tool is made to be durable and to give years of performance. It’s made with a stainless-steel construction that resists rusting and corrosion and has a compact folding design that makes it easy to use and carry. This model features 15 versatile tools which are bound to prove their usefulness over the years. These tools include a can opener, a bottle opener, fish scaler, ruler, sharp knife, wire cutters, Philips screwdriver, medium-flat screwdriver, large flat screwdriver, a saw, an awl, and pliers. This model also comes with a durable belt holster that keeps the device safe while keeping it close at hand.
8Gerber Center-Drive Too With Bit Set & Sheath
This tool is designed to handle real jobs that are performed by real professionals. In other words, it’s designed with real-world applications in mind. It’s built to last and features an array of full-size tools that are handy for just about any job. These tools include a blade that’s 30% larger than many of their competitors, pliers that open using one thumb, a standard bit driver which can be equipped with the bits you already own and it comes with a sheath and a bit set. Everything a working professional needs to get the job done, all in a convenient tool that can easily be carried from job-to-job.
7Tarvol 14-in-1 Multi-Purpose Set
This pocket tool set features everything you would need in an emergency situation. It features 14 tools which include a saw blade, pliers, cable cutters, needle nose pliers, bottle opener, hook remover, fine tip flat head screwdriver, fish scaler, knife blade, file, ruler and a standard flat-head screwdriver. The array of tools available in this model isn’t the only thing to think about. It is also made of hardened stainless steel to resist the effects of time and make it less susceptible to corrosion and rusting. This unit has hundreds of potential uses – from camping and hiking to DIY projects and fishing.
6Rose Kuli Multipurpose Portable Tool Set
This ambitiously designed 7-inch portable multipurpose tool set is equipped with some of the things its creators felt that no wilderness explorer should be without. It has a mini-hatchet, hammer, pliers, saw, knife, rasper, wrench, bottle opener, screwdriver and bung puller. All things totaled, it has 14 tools that stand at the ready to help you out during your next trek into the woods. All designed with durability in mind. This set is perfect for guys who want something different from the traditional multipurpose tools that are out there. It also makes an interesting conversation piece or can be given to an outdoorsman you know as a gift.
5Leatherman Stainless Steel Skeletool
The Leatherman Stainless Steel Skeletool is designed for the survivalist who wants to keep the right tools at their fingertips at all times but doesn’t want to be weighed down in the process. It weighs only 5-ounces but has an array of tools that can be used for an almost endless amount of projects. Some of the tools that can be found in it include a large knife blade, needle-nose pliers, ordinary pliers, wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, a bottle opener and a bit driver. All useful tools to have no matter where you find yourself or what you find yourself doing.
4Grand Way Micarta Handle 13-in-1 Tool
This 13-in-1 tool is designed for individuals who find themselves out in the wilderness a lot and are looking for a variety of tools to have available while they are hiking, hunting, fishing or camping. Some of the tools which can be found in this model include a knife, scissors, pliers, wire strippers, wire cutters, a saw, slotted and Philips screwdrivers, bottle opener, and a scraper blade. This high-quality and durable unit should provide years of service, if well cared for, and should prove indispensable to anyone looking to have some tools at their fingertips for a little bit of extra security and preparedness.
3Leatherman Stainless Steel Wingman
The Leatherman Stainless Steel Wingman is as functional as it is durable and comes with a whole range of different tools which would prove valuable to not only campers, hunters and fishermen, but also to hobbyists, gardeners and anyone else who needs to have tools at their fingertips. Some of the tools that can be found in this model include spring action wire cutters and scissors, spring action, regular and needle nose pliers, wire strippers, a knife, package openers, bottle opener, a file, a ruler and three different types of screwdrivers. It’s a multi-functional tool that just about anyone will find useful to keep around.
Made of 420HC stainless steel and backed by a 25-year warranty, the Leatherman Wave is a pocket tool-set that’s designed to be as durable as it is useful. It contains 17 different tools which include regular and needle nose pliers, hard wire cutters, wire cutters, a serrated knife, a clip point knife, a file, a diamond coated file, two different bit drivers, scissors, a ruler, a bottle opener, lanyard and a large screwdriver. This model can also be operated with just one hand, which enables the user to keep his other hand free for other uses such as holding what they are working on.
1Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit X
The Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit X is a multi-functional tool that is made in Switzerland and is not only highly durable but also highly useful. It features 22 tools which can prove useful in the home, garage or while you’re out fishing or camping. The tools that can be found in this model include screwdrivers and pliers, scissors, a file, a saw, scraper, wire bender, wire stripper, hard-wire cutter, crate opener, reamer, can opener and a bottle opener. It’s a tool that should provide many years of service and is a welcome addition to any survival kit, tool box or for use as an every-day-carry item.
Can’t Find What You’re Looking For? Check these suggestions:
Choosing the Best Multi Tool
Choosing one of the multi-functional tools can be frustrating, to say the least, because there are so many different models with so many different tool configurations. Of course, while it may seem difficult in the beginning, it really isn’t because not all of these tools are going to be right for you. Only a small select few will have what you need them to have.
How do you determine which ones are right for you? Well, the first thing you’re going to have to do is to figure out what size you’ll need. And that’s where we’re going to start with this guide. I’m going to take a few moments to tell you about how to choose the right size model for your needs and then we’re work from there.
Size is important in this context because you will want to find a tool that’s big enough to actually get the job done but not so big that you will leave it at home. There are key chain sized multipurpose tools but I find them too small to really get the job done. Instead, I like the ones that are small enough to be thrown in a pocket or mounted on your hip but aren’t so big they’re bulky.
Since there are so many models, many of which are specialized, there seems like there’s an endless array of tool options available on these devices. I’ve seen fishing ones that contain an assortment of fish scrapers, line crimping tools and hook removers. I’ve also seen ones specialized just for hunting.
If neither of these purposes fit your needs, then choose one that has an assortment of tools that most closely matches the tools you would use on a daily basis. Never drink a beer or other beverage that requires a bottle opener? Then you probably don’t need a bottle opener you carry around all day either. Never find yourself in a position where you need a saw? Then you probably don’t need that tool, either.
Brand Recognition Does Matter
If there’s one thing that you should avoid like the plague, it’s the multi-purpose tools which you find at gas stations, dollar stores and other such places. You know, multi-function tools which have everything from a flashlight to a corn remover. These are cheaply made and will probably fail when you need them the most. No, you’re better off sticking with one of the tried and true brands such as Leatherman, Gerber, SOG, and Victorinox. These are high-quality tools that will serve you well. Sure, they’re more expensive than a $5 one you buy at some grocery store, but they are a worthy investment that will pay dividends through the years.
Price is another factor you’ll probably want to consider. There are some nice models that can be bought for under $30 and there are others that cost north of $100. The one you choose depends on what you can afford to spend and the quality of the tool in question. Remember, just because a tool is expensive doesn’t mean that it’s the best one on the market. Nor does a cheaper one mean the model is inferior. If you look around, you’ll notice good models in just about every price range above $10.
The X Factor
The final thing that needs to be considered is what I like to call the X-Factor. Why do I call it by that name? Because it’s something that can be quantified. It’s that feeling you get when you see the right multi-function tool. When you know it’s the perfect marriage of substance and style, and know down in your gut that you’re going to end up getting a lot of use out of it.