Best Multi Tools
Featured Image: Gear Hungry

Beloved by handymen, tradesmen, travelers, and survivalists alike, there’s no doubt that multi-tools are some of the most versatile and useful hand tools ever created. Imagine having almost every tool you need right in the palm of your hand while you’re traveling, camping, hiking, or biking. Plus, thanks to the creation of multi-tools, you don’t have to carry your heavy toolbox or tool bag to do some minor maintenance work around your house or vehicle. It is even a great tool to have during basement or kitchen remodeling projects.     

It might seem that multi-tools are fairly modern innovations, but history shows that it has been around since about AD 200-300. The oldest known multi-tool is this ‘Swiss Army’ knife carried around (and presumably lost) by a Roman traveler.

The tool, which is now housed in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, is made of silver and iron. The utensils included are very basic. It has a spoon, knife, and fork. It also has a spatula, a spike, and a pick (historians reckon that it might have been used as a toothpick). 

When it comes to versatility and convenience, there’s nothing quite like a high-quality multi-tool. These compact and feature-packed devices combine multiple tools into one, offering a practical solution for a wide range of tasks. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a DIY enthusiast, or a professional, having the best multi-tool by your side can make a significant difference.

In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the top contenders in the multi-tool market, examining their unique features, performance capabilities, and overall value for money. From well-established brands to budget-friendly options, we will guide you through the best multi-tools available, ensuring that you find the perfect tool to conquer any challenge that comes your way. Get ready to discover the ultimate multi-tool companion that will simplify your life and enhance your capabilities.

1.
LEATHERMAN, Skeletool, 7-in-1 Lightweight, Minimalist Multi-tool for Everyday Carry (EDC), Home, Garden & Outdoors, Blue
  • A Leatherman for Everyone: For the last 40 years, Leatherman has been empowering millions to conquer the expected and unexpected, transforming everyday challenges into triumphant moments
  • Engineered to Withstand: From our Portland, Oregon factory and backed by our 25-year warranty, our multi-tools are built to last a lifetime, embodying the innovation and perseverance of our founder, Tim Leatherman
  • Best of Both Worlds: A great pick for anyone new to multi-tools, the Skeletool is a pocketknife with extra capabilities; Includes a sharp blade, pliers, bit driver, wire cutters and a bottle opener
  • Everyday Companion: Weighing just 5 ounces, this slim and ultra-portable tool is perfect for everyday carry; A lightweight day-tripper, the Skeletool is easy to bring with you on camping and hiking adventures
  • For Home & Garden: From opening a beverage can with the bottle opener to tightening a loose screw or cutting open a bag of mulch in your garden, this multi-tool comes in handy in multiple ways every single day
2.
LEATHERMAN, Surge Heavy Duty Multitool with Premium Replaceable Wire Cutters and Spring-Action Scissors (Black/Silver, Includes Black Nylon Sheath)
  • A MULTITOOL POWERHOUSE: The Surge is one of our largest multitools for heavy-duty use, built with our largest pliers, longest multitool blades and easy-to-use locks
  • 21 TOOLS IN 1 HAND: Features a unique blade exchanger, replaceable premium wire cutters and four outside-opening blades give you quick access to any of its 21 premium tools
  • OUR GUARANTEE: We’re proud to stand behind every product that leaves our factory in Portland, Oregon; That’s why we offer our 25-year warranty, so you can be confident your Leatherman lasts a lifetime
  • ONE-HAND OPENING: Open and use all tools with one hand, even the ones that aren't accessible from the outside; All-locking features mean you can use it with confidence
  • ALWAYS ON HAND: With its heavy-duty yet portable size and lanyard ring, your Surge is always within reach and ready to work
3.
sale
Gerber Gear Suspension 12-in-1 Needle Nose Pliers Multi-tool with Tool Lock - Multi-Plier, Wire Cutter, Crosspoint and Flathead Screwdriver Set, Small Scissors - EDC Gear and Equipment - Gray
  • 12-IN-1 MULTI-TOOL: Features spring-loaded needle nose pliers, wire cutters, serrated and plain edge blades knife set, cross driver and flat head small screwdriver set, can opener, bottle opener, trimming scissors, tool lock, and lanyard hole
  • SURVIVAL GEAR AND EQUIPMENT: Made from stainless steel with an aluminum handle that will stand the test of time and conveniently travel with you with a tool lock and lanyard hole
  • SLIM DESIGN: Easily accessible and fits compactly in a pocket or attached with the included lanyard hole; Butterfly opening and locking feature protects when not in use; Included sheath protects tool when not in use
  • CAMPING ACCESSORIES: Great for any hunter, tradesman, and the everyday carry consumer; Perfect addition to camping essentials, toolbox, work wear, and fishing and hiking gear
  • CONVENIENT SIZE: ‎1 x 4 x 6 inches length; 9.6 oz weight; Backed by the Gerber Guarantee, a limited lifetime warranty
4.
Victorinox Swiss Army Swiss Champ Pocket Knife (Black), 91mm
  • Features 33 functions to equip you for everyday adventures - including 2.45" large blade, scissors, bottle opener with large screwdriver, pliers, and corkscrew (See product description for full list of features)
  • Stainless steel construction encased in polished black ABS scales provides sleek durability
  • With 33 functions, the SwissChamp is a toolbox for your pocket that’s ready for everything from household quick fixes to the wilds of nature
  • Length: 3.58" (91mm), Height: 1.3", Weight: 6.526 oz.
  • Made in Switzerland; Victorinox provides a lifetime guarantee against defects in material and workmanship
5.
SOG PowerAccess Deluxe All-Around Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Multi-Tool w/Nylon Sheath, Two Knife Blades, Can & Bottle Opener, Stone Wash
  • MUST HAVE MULTI-TOOL - If you're heading off to college or striking out on your own, a multi-tool like the PowerAccess Deluxe will undoubtedly come in handy; it has the most tools of any SOG product to date (21)
  • STAINLESS 5CR15MOV STEEL - All-around stainless steels with similar qualities to the best 440 Series metals, providing good sharpen ability, good edge retention, and high corrosion resistance; housed in a nylon sheath with 12-piece hex bit kit
  • COMPOUND LEVERAGE - SOG's proprietary Compound Leverage technology works by employing multiple pivot points that generate greater handle travel in relation to plier movement: approximately twice the power of a conventional multi-tool
  • 21 TOOLS - A total of 21 tools are on the heavy duty, stainless steel PowerAccess Deluxe including two knife blades, can & bottle opener, wood saw, two flat screwdrivers, Phillips screwdriver and a 1/4" driver with hex bit kit
  • FUNCTIONAL & DURABLE PROFESSIONAL MULTI-TOOL - Make your survival an everyday carry; handles tasks for outdoor survival tools with a screwdriver and knife; a unique design allows for quick and convenient access to individual tools
6.
sale
DEWALT DWHT71843 MT16 Multi Tool
  • Durable construction withstands job-site usage
  • Access tools from closed position for added convenience
  • Stainless-steel tools for long life
  • Rust resistant
  • Soft grip panels for comfort
7.
WETOLS Multitool, Gifts for Men, 21-in-1 Multi-Tools, Hard Stainless Steel Multi-Pliers, Foldable & Self-Locking, Multi-pliers Used as Knife, Bottle Opener, Screwdriver, Sickle etc, WE-182…
  • 【Valentines Day Gifts for Him】— WETOLS multitool is a gift for dad, men, husband, boyfriend, grandpa on Valentines Day, Anniversary, Birthday. Anyone who receives WETOLS multitool as a gift will love it!
  • 【Multifunctional】A practical foldable 21-in-1 multi-tool: Needle-nose plier, Combination pliers, End cutting pliers, Blade, Hexagon sleeve, Scale, Sickle, Rope-cutting knife, Bottle opener, Slotted screwdriver, Hole puncher, Can opener, Mini slotted screwdriver; 4x bits x2 functions.
  • 【Safe And Portable】Self-locking device: all tools will be automatically locked after opening, thus preventing the tools from accidentally closing during operation and avoiding hurting hands. Compact and lightweight, comes with a durable nylon bag, can be put into pocket or hung on belt.
  • 【Visible High-Quality】Real shots without beautification: multi-pliers are made of hardened stainless steel. The surface is sandblasted, which makes the multifunctional pliers resistant to oxidation and corrosion in humid and harsh environments. You can enjoy its quality and durability.
  • 【Subverting-Traditional Design】Touchable conscience design: Comfortable 3D machined handle texture avoids slipping. Pliers are worth every penny. Suitable for outdoor survival or indoor activities (such as garden care, DIY and daily maintenance), camping, hunting or traveling etc.

Multi-Tools In The Modern Era

best-multi-tools-sebring-design-build

NY Times

It was not until the late 19th century that multi-tools appeared as we now know it. The modern ‘Swiss Army’ knife was pioneered by a Swiss cutler named Karl Elsener. Production of the first Swiss army knives began in 1891 in Ibach, Switzerland after the Swiss Army asked Elsener to invent something that would integrate standard army tools, such as a knife, a reamer, a screwdriver, and a can opener.  

The rest, as they say, is history. The popularity of the Swiss army knife and Elsener’s business grew until it eventually evolved into the company that we now know as Victorinox. (The company was named after Carl’s mother Victoria. Her name was combined with ‘Inox‘ or stainless steel.) 

But it was not the only company that produced the ‘Swiss Army’ knife in Switzerland. It was followed by Paul Boechat & Cie in 1893, a company that would eventually be known as Wenger.  

The two companies dominated the multi-tool market and settled in a comfortable rivalry for the next century. It was not until 1983 when an Oregon-based company called Leatherman upended the domination of Victorinox and Wenger in the multi-tool arena.

The first multi-tool that was not produced by either Victorinox or Wenger was Leatherman’s Pocket Survival Tool (PST). It was a departure from the regular Swiss army knife design thanks to the inclusion of pliers and wire cutters. Instead of the compact single casing which the Swiss army knife was known for, the Leatherman multi-tool has a butterfly casing that resembles a balisong

Parts Of A Basic Multi-Tool

best-multi-tools-sebring-design-build

NY Times

Multi-tools have come a long way since the inception of the Swiss Army knife, and modern designers have added new tools into the mix. Basic tools, however, remain at the core of multi-tools. So, what are these basic tools?

Knife – the blade of multi-tools can come smooth or serrated. Some multi-tools, like this DeWalt multi-tool, has a combination of the plain-edged and serrated blade. You can cut a lot of things with multi-tool knives, including food, rope, fabric, paper, wood, and more.

Pliers – this includes regular and needle-nose pliers. Regular and hard-wire cutters are also included.

Screwdrivers – a lot of multi-tools have small, medium, and large screwdrivers. Phillips screwdrivers are also mandatory.

Saw – many multi-tools are equipped with saws. The serrated blade is ideal for cutting thin tree branches, plywood, plastic pipes, and more.

Awl – this is a pointed tool used to punch holes into plastic, wood, or leather.

Can and Bottle Openers – the lifesaver for many mountaineers, hikers, campers, recreational fishers, and even ordinary homeowners. What better way to cap an adventure or the end of a project than opening a bottle of beer with your handy multi-tool’s bottle opener?

Optional Tools:

Some of the tools you’ll find in other models include:

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Fish scaler
  • Nail/wood/metal file
  • Corkscrew
  • Keyring
  • Toothpick
  • Hook
  • Chisel
  • Magnifying lens
  • Mini-screwdriver
  • Sewing eye

Check out this page for more exciting and helpful articles to read.

Conclusion:

There you have it. Our rundown of the 7 best multi-tools available online. But of course, this review is incomplete without giving you my favorite multi-tool on the list.

In my opinion, the best multi-tool right now is the Leatherman Skeletool Lightweight Multitool. Other tools on the list have 16, 21, and even 33 tools. This particular multi-tool only has seven, including the basic knife, large bit driver, wire cutters, pliers, and carabiner/bottle opener. But that doesn’t mean that this Leatherman multi-tool can’t stand up against its rivals when it comes to performance and durability.

This multi-tool is made of long-wearing stainless steel that can withstand regular use. It is designed to be compact and has a butterfly design that neatly encases all the tools inside when they are not in use. You’ll barely feel this lightweight multi-tool even when you slip it inside the pocket of your jeans or cargo pants.

The quality and performance of this Leatherman multi-tool are superb and impressive, but it has an affordable price tag. This is an ideal gift for yourself or somebody else.

To view our Amazon Associates Disclaimer, please click here.