I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say:
You need to have the right tool for the job.
This is where multi-tools come in. They offer you a bunch of different tools in a convenient package. When it comes to survival it’s all about having the right tool on you at the right time and multi-tools fill that requirement.
Below I’ll cover everything you need to know on what to look for when buying a multi-tool and cover a few options for what I consider to be the best multi-tools.
If you want to know what the best multi-tools are all you have to do is read on...
Best Multitool Reviews
1. Leatherman Wave Review
Possibly the most popular multi-tool on the market, the Leatherman Wave is a tool for everyone. The Wave features 17 different tools including needle nose pliers, regular pliers, 420HC knife, large bit driver, small bit driver, and more.
The Wave is a full-size multi-tool weighing in at a little over 8 ounces and is made from 100% stainless steel giving the tool excellent corrosion resistance. Whether you carry this multi-tool with you every day or keep it in a drawer it’s a do-it-all multi-tool that won’t let you down.
Another positive to this tool and other Leatherman’s on the list is they are all American made.
2. Gerber Center-Drive
A lot of times I hear multi-tools aren’t worth it because they don’t replace full-sized tools.
Well, I’m here to tell you that time is over. The new Gerber Center-Drive features a full-sized pair of pliers, a screwdriver, and a knife blade that is 30% larger than the competition.
All of the tools are made with high-quality stainless steel and are well balanced. The other tools included in this multi-tool aren’t afterthoughts are all nearly full-sized.
When folded up the Gerber Center-Drive is small enough to fit in your pocket and is light enough you won’t even notice you’re carrying it. Making it a common-sense multi-tool to pick up if you are looking for a new primary everyday carry.
3. SOG PowerAssist
SOG is known for making quality tools that can be used in the harshest environment. So it’s no shock that the SOG PowerAssist is one of the most popular multi-tool among EDC enthusiasts.
The SOG is made with 420 steel and features 22 different tools. Giving you the right tool for the job every time.
A few of the tools include two knife blades that are equipped with SOG assisted technology for easy open, a three-sided file, three different sized flathead screwdrivers, Phillips screwdriver, pliers and more.
Overall this multi-tool doesn’t disappoint and you’ll be more than happy to have this multi-tool in your pocket when you need it most.
4. Leatherman Wingman
The Leatherman Wingman has been my daily everyday carry for well over 4 years now and for the price, it has just the features I need.
The wingman comes equipped with spring-loaded needle-nose pliers, spring-assisted scissors, combination straight/serrated knife, box cutter, 3 different screwdrivers, and more.
While the Wingman is considered an entry-level multi-tool that doesn’t mean it’s not high quality or worthy of being carried. The wingman is a great tool to carry or keep in a drawer and is capable of meeting the challenges you put it through.
5. Leatherman Charge TTI
The Leatherman Charge is the direct result of Leatherman creating a multi-tool based on user feedback.
Similar to the Wave in a lot of ways the Charge adds a few additional tools but also comes with a much higher price tag.
Leatherman did a great job of building a multi-tool that could almost replace your toolbox. Almost. The Leatherman Charge comes with 19 tools including a high-quality S30V knife, 420HC serrated knife with cutting hook, both a small and large bit driver, and other tools.
One of the great things about the Leatherman Charge is the handles are made from titanium that really helps to add to the durability of the tool. The charge also comes equipped with a replaceable pocket clip and a quick-release lanyard ring. Giving you options for how to carry it.
Overall the upgrades you get with this multi-tool are awesome but the Wave is a great choice if you don’t have or want to spend the money on the Leatherman Charge.
Multi-Tool Buying Guide
There are about a billion different options when it comes to multi-tools today. They come in various shapes and sizes including bracelets and credit card shapes. Below I’ll cover a few key points you will want to consider when buying a multi-tool.
Multi-tools have a lot of moving parts so the materials used and build quality are vital if you want a multi-tool to last.
In a good multi-tool, everything should be nice and tight. Parts should move easily without friction. Sharp tools such as knives and scissors should lock in place firmly and pliers should come together in unison.
Number of Tools
The number of tools in multi-tools varies greatly from tool to tool. Some only have a few tools while other full-size multi-tools can have as many as 27. Therefore it is important to consider what you will you be using the tool for.
Are you a typical handyman that does everything yourself or are you the type of person to let a professional handle the job? That will be a major deciding factor on what tool works best for you.
The one tool on my multi-tool that I use the most is by far the knife blade. I want to point out that nothing replaces a quality knife and a multi-tool blade should never be your primary knife.
With that said a good knife on a multi-tool is crucial. It allows you to do the one thing humans can’t do…cut stuff. I prefer to choose a multi-tool that has a straight blade rather than a blade with serrations.
Scissors or Pliers
Most multi-tools come with either a dedicated set of pliers or scissors depending on the tool. All of the multitools on the list come with pliers but scissors are an option. Plier options also tend to come with wire snips as well.
If you’re a general handyman or electrician pliers will be the best option. The leatherman wingman does have a pair of locking scissors and spring loaded pliers making it a good compromise
Design and Ergonomics
A lot of multi-tool manufacturers do one thing and that is trying to shove as many tools as possible into a multi-tool.
This is a problem because it doesn’t allow for good ergonomics or a secure grip. Another useful part of the design is having tools that lock in place. A secure lock is a must. Both for safety and reliability.
A good design will allow you to use the tool effectively while still be comfortable to hold. One thing you want to look for in a good design is how well does the manufacturer keep dead space to a minimum. Keeping dead space to minimum simplifies the cleaning process.
Remember when I said that survival was about having the right tool at the right time? Well, portability is a major concern. Multi-tools come in all shapes and size. Full-size multi-tools will comes with more options but are also larger and more cumbersome to carry.
There are keychain multi-tools that are excellent and extremely portable. You must decide when you buy a multi-tool if it will be worth carrying with you all the time. Adding one to a keychain is simple. Carrying a pouch on your belt or a full sized multi-tool in your pocket may not be.
Whether you’re a DIY handyman or just someone who needs the occasional tool; a multi-tool is a must for anyone. Multi-tools come in a variety of shapes and sizes and some work better than others.
Credit card multi-tools and bracelet multi-tools are more gimmicky than anything and I wouldn’t consider them to be of any real quality. When selecting a multi-tool you want to choose a tool that is made with quality materials, has a great design, and offers the tools you need.
If you found this article helpful be sure to share it on social media so others can select the multi-tool that is best for them.
As always thanks for reading and remember...adventure is waiting