What’s The Best Multi Tool? Top 5 Revealed

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Are you truly prepared for the wilderness? Before setting off on your next big adventure, check out some of the best multi tool options on the market.

We’ve reviewed the most popular multi tools to whittle down what it means to be the best for wilderness use. We look at all the traditional uses but also highlight some of the life-saving features that make these multi tools the best.

comparison table

Best Multi Tool FAQ

Before we review the best multi tool options on the market today, let’s first go over some of the most frequently asked questions about them.

1. WHAT IS A MULTI TOOL?

2. WHAT DOES A MULTI TOOL DO?

3. HOW DOES A MULTI TOOL WORK?

4. WHAT ARE USES FOR A MULTI TOOL IN THE WILDERNESS?

5. HOW DO I PICK THE RIGHT MULTI TOOL FOR ME?

6. WHERE CAN YOU BUY THEM?

How We Reviewed

victorinox handyman multi tools

Image via Pixabay

We’ve reviewed the following best multi tool options based on their features, pros, cons, price, durability, weight, where to buy and warranty. We looked specifically at how each multi tool would fare for use on a trek. Some multi tools are better than others for wilderness use. For this review, we're looking for the little things; those things we often forget but at one point or another always wish we’d remembered to pack.

OVERALL PRICE RANGE OF THE BEST MULTI TOOL

The best multi tool options come at different price ranges. Pricing really depends on what you are looking for in the tool. Smaller multi tools with fewer features cost less than a multi tool with many individual components. Durability is another factor for pricing. Cheaper multi tools are often not as strong as those that come with a higher price tag.


We’ve reviewed the best multi tool for every budget. The multi tools below start at around $55. The most expensive of the best multi tools cost around $175.

WHAT WE REVIEWED

  • Gerber Diesel
  • Leatherman Skeletool
  • Leatherman Charge Plus TTi
  • Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Handyman
  • SOG Powerlock EOD

1

GERBER DIESEL

Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier, Black [22-01545N]
  • True one-handed deployment
  • Industrial strength components...
  • 15 total tools
  • Weight: 8.6 oz
  • Big. Tough. Capable....

FEATURES


The Diesel multi tool by Gerber is designed for big jobs, tough challenges, and frequent use. This durable tool comes with larger-than-average pieces for even the most complex uses. Gerber’s Diesel comes in a sleek all-black finish.


The Gerber Diesel black multi tool comes with 12 heavy-duty tools that are all secured into place with the company’s patented Saf.T.Plus system. Diesel sets itself apart from most multi tools by featuring needle-nose pliers, rather than traditional flat-nosed pliers, to fit into the tightest spaces. Other tools included in this multi tool are:  bottle opener, can opener, cross point screwdriver, file, partially serrated knife, three flat screwdrivers, scissors and a saw.


The Diesel by Gerber weighs 8.5 ounces and comes with a black nylon carrying sheath. This product is made in China and assembled in the US.

pros

  • Lifetime warranty.
  • The Saf.T.Plus safety locking system.
  • Sharp blades.
  • Nice-looking tool with many features.

CONS

  • Wire cutter feature – not durable enough.
  • Tool’s knife blades – thin.
  • Tool not great for one-handed opening or use.

WARRANTY


Gerber provides a lifetime manufacturer’s defect warranty for the Diesel multi tool in the US with some restrictions. The warranty may not apply for all purchasers; contact the seller of the product before purchasing to verify the warranty terms.

2

LEATHERMAN SKELETOOL

LEATHERMAN - Skeletool Lightweight Multitool with Combo...
  • READY FOR ANYTHING: The...
  • FIT MORE FUNCTIONALITY: The...
  • LET'S BE PRACTICAL: Sometimes...
  • ALWAYS ON HAND: The Skeletool...
  • GUARANTEED: Our 25-year...

FEATURES


The Diesel multi tool by Gerber is designed for big jobs, tough challenges, and frequent use. This durable tool comes with larger-than-average pieces for even the most complex uses. Gerber’s Diesel comes in a sleek all-black finish.


Leatherman designed their Skeletool smaller for those who don’t want to carry a cumbersome multi tool around. The Skeletool comes with a stainless steel full-body finish or with a blue, green or tan handle finish.


The lightweight stainless steel Leatherman Skeletool comes with seven essential tools and is designed for efficient single hand use. Features included in the Skeletool are:  bottle opener, hard-wire cutters, half serrated knife blade, needle-nose pliers, pliers, wire cutters and a universal bit driver. The Skeletool comes with the following bits:  Phillips #1, Phillips #2, 3/16-inch screwdriver and 1/4-inch screwdriver.


Built in to Leatherman’s Skeletool is a convenient and removable pocket clip to attach to a belt loop and bit storage in the handle. The tool is compatible with other separately-sold Leatherman accessories, including a 25-piece bit set and sheaths. This five-ounce multi-tool is made and assembled in the US.

pros

  • Tool easy to use with one hand.
  • Skeletool – lightweight and ergonomic.
  • Tool appropriate for working with electronics and light industrial needs.
  • Inexpensive Leatherman multi tool option.

CONS

  • Tool isn’t suitable for heavier jobs.
  • Pliers not spring-loaded.
  • No sheath included with tool.

WARRANTY


The Leatherman Skeletool comes with a limited 25-year warranty.

3

LEATHERMAN CHARGE PLUS TTI

LEATHERMAN - Charge Plus TTi Titanium Multitool with...
  • READY FOR ANYTHING: All the...
  • FIT MORE FUNCTIONALITY: A...
  • LET'S BE PRACTICAL: Sometimes...
  • ALWAYS ON HAND: Equipped with...
  • GUARANTEED: Our 25-year...

FEATURES


Leatherman’s Charge Plus TTi is the king of the multi tools made with an extra sturdy and durable design. This tough and reliable companion tool is ready to tackle any task on command. The premium stainless steel and titanium Leatherman Charge Plus TTi Multi Tool features 19 individual tools in a compact 12.8-ounce body design. It comes with a lanyard ring, replaceable pocket clip and a black nylon sheath.


Tools within the Charge Plus TTi include:  420HC serrated knife, bottle opener, can opener, cutting hook, diamond-coated file, eight-inch ruler, electrical crimper, file, medium screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, large bit driver, pliers, premium replaceable wire cutters and hard-wire cutters, S30V 2.9-inch knife, a saw, a small bit driver and spring-action scissors.


Bits included with the Charge Plus TTi are: eyeglasses screwdriver, square drive #1 and #2, Phillips #1, Phillips #2, Phillips 3/16, screwdriver 1/8-inch, Torx #15, and Hex: 5/32, 9/64, 1/8, 5/64, 1/16, and .050.


The Charge Plus is proudly designed, built, and repaired in the US.

pros

  • Has many high-quality tools.
  • Well-made with a thick and durable construction.
  • Versatile and appropriate for use on a variety of jobs.

CONS

  • Carrying case sheath  – a little small for the tool.
  • More expensive multi tool.

WARRANTY


Leatherman backs the Charge Plus TTi with a limited 25-year warranty.

4

VICTORINOX SWISS ARMY KNIFE HANDYMAN

Victorinox Handyman
  • Large blade
  • Small blade
  • Corkscrew
  • Can opener with small...
  • Bottle opener with large...

FEATURES


The Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Handyman comes from the makers of some first modern multi tools on the planet. The smooth and compact traditional Swiss Army Knife body design is easy to carry and use.


The Handyman includes 24 tools, including: 2.5-millimeter screwdriver, 3-millimeter screwdriver, awl, bottle opener, can opener, chisel, corkscrew, nail cleaner, nail file, large and small knife blades, key ring, metal file, metal saw, multipurpose hook, pliers, toothpick, tweezers, wire cutter, wire stripper and wood saw.


The Handyman weighs 5.5 ounces and is made in Switzerland. The product is compatible with a Victorinox leather belt pouch that is sold separately for around $16.

pros

  • Tool – tough and built to last.
  • Has most crucial tools for all-around use.
  • Tool – perfectly pocket-sized.

CONS

  • Doesn’t have a Phillips screwdriver.
  • Blades – not TSA approved.

WARRANTY


The Swiss Army Knife comes with a lifetime warranty.

5

SOG POWERLOCK EOD B61

SOG Multitool - PowerLock EOD Heavy Duty Tactical Multitool,...
  • 18 STURDY STEEL TOOLS FOR MEN:...
  • POWERFUL MULTITOOL PLIERS...
  • BALLISTIC NYLON MULTITOOL...
  • GSA-APPROVED 420 STAINLESS...
  • BLACK OXIDE COATING: Multitool...

FEATURES


The 420 stainless steel SOG Powerlock EOD B61 has 18 tools in one and comes with a ballistic nylon sheath. This multi tool’s namesake comes from the inbuilt locking mechanism called Powerlock. This feature locks all tools with the press of a single button.


Tools featured for this multi tool are:  1/4-inch hex bit driver, blasting cap crimper, knife, needle-nose pliers, pliers and scissors. The Powerlock EOD also comes with a 12-piece hex bit kit.

pros

  • Has removable safety covers for the tools.
  • Exceptional plier quality.
  • Tool – fully functional with one hand.
  • Locking mechanism – safe and effective.

CONS

  • Shape – different and might take some getting used to.
  • Wire cutters –  not tough as necessary for most jobs.
  • Knife blades dull quickly.

WARRANTY


SOG offers a manufacturer’s defect warranty throughout the lifetime of the original purchaser.

THE VERDICT

When selecting the best multi tool for your needs, consider what you plan to use the tool for. The best multi tool for small jobs is not the best multi tool for heavy-duty and industrial tasks. Some of the best multi tools cater to hiking and camping more than others such as those featuring can openers, saws and tweezers. As mentioned, finding the best multi tool for you depends on your personal needs. We’ve highlighted our top choices for outdoor use below.

MOST VERSATILE


The best multi tool for versatility is the Victorinox Swiss Army Handyman. It features every tool imaginable for long treks in the wilderness. The lightweight and small body design is perfect for stowing away in a pocket, pack or pouch. The Handyman contains the little, oft-forgotten elements crucial for longer outdoor excursions, like tweezers, toothpick and a serrated saw. It’s sold at a very affordable mid-level price range and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

BEST OVERALL


The best multi tool for overall outdoor use is the Leatherman Charge Plus TTi. This tool is tough and contains many of the most valuable wilderness features. Although it is the most expensive multi tool on this list, it earns this place for its reputation of unparalleled strength and reliability in any situation.

Featured Image via Amazon

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