Now, quite literally, a multitool can save your life. However, there is much more going on with a multitool than just looking gorgeous. You need a tool that offers the function you need; it should be durable, easy to use and most of all, small enough to fit in your pocket.
Apart from saving your life, the multitool should be able to help you perform a couple of daily functions like opening up a bottle, maybe a can of beans, or perhaps cutting up small slices of bread. While there are multitools that offer these and more functions, finding one that will work as intended when needed can be more challenging than you first assume.
So, the question is, how do you sort through all the available options out there? Which is the best multitool for you and possibly save your life if ever the time comes? Well, we’ve put together a list of the best multitools in our experience. These tools are well-engineered, and most of all, they may save your life!
Gerber has been manufacturing sharp objects like knives for decades. The company brings its years of experience to the table, with the sturdily built Gerber 30-000469 Dime. The stainless steel construction, lightweight, and compact design mean that it can fit in just about every size pocket. However, being made from stainless steel means that it isn’t easily bent, broken or rusted.
The multitool includes 10 tools, i.e. wire cutter, needle nose spring-loaded pliers, fine-edge blade, and a bottle opener, amongst a few other tools. This particular multitool’s best feature is that it is easily opened using a butterfly mechanism. So, there is no need to grow your thumbnails here!
2. LEATHERMAN, Wave Plus Multitool with Premium Replaceable Wire Cutters, Spring-Action Scissors and Nylon Sheath, Built in the USA, Black
The Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool with replaceable wire cutters is one of the best multitools out there that will always work when you needed. The brand recently updated its most popular multitool, which now includes the ability to replace wire cutters, making it possible to tackle any size jobs. In addition, buyers get treated to 18 tools: wire strippers, knives, a pair of scissors, a bottle opener, etc.
The multitool feels sturdy in the hands, and the company is proud of its product. So proud that they stand behind it with a solid 25-year warranty. In our experience, that’s the longest warranty period ever. However, we can see how this multitool can potentially last a lifetime.
The Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier tool comes with 12 integrated tools. It’s built from lightweight stainless steel, which can honestly handle just about anything that comes its way. Furthermore, the SAF.T.Plus component locking mechanism guarantees safety.
We appreciate the durable ballistic nylon sheath, which protects it from dirt, mud and water. Measuring just 4 inches and accompanied by a lifetime warranty means that the company stands behind its product.
4. RoverTac Multitool Pocket Knife Camping Tool Fishing Pliers Safety Lock 12 in 1 Knife Screwdriver Bottle Opener Saw Durable Sheath
RoverTac is one of the most popular brands in the multitool industry. We’ve had the pleasure of using many of their previous products, and each one of them was well built. This time around, the company is backing their multitool with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
However, apart from the guarantee, the tool seamlessly and cleverly combines pliers, knives, wire cutters, a saw and a screwdriver as part of 12 tools in the kit. The number of tools here and the fact that each one works as advertised means that it should be part of your survival kit.
Speaking of durability, the tool is made from black oxidation stainless steel, which means no rust, and no chance of it bending. Remember, this is one of the highest quality steel in use, so it will hold up well for years to come.
The multitool comes accompanied with a heavy-duty, we could say ruggedly designed nylon pouch that feels good in the hand, but it makes strapping this tool to a belt loop easy too. If anything, it’s the best-looking pouch we’ve seen yet. Whether it is hiking, camping, or fishing, make sure this multitool is part of your kit.
5. LEATHERMAN, Wingman Multitool with Spring-Action Pliers and Scissors, Built in the USA, Stainless Steel with Nylon Sheath
The Leatherman multitool comes with pliers, a knife, a pair of wire cutters, a bottle opener a few other things. You have just about everything ever needed in the kit.
What’s more, is its lightweight design and tiny dimensions mean you can carry it in any size pocket and anywhere. During our time with the multitool, we often forget it was even in our pockets! That’s saying something about the portability of the tool.
6. LEATHERMAN, Skeletool CX Lightweight Multitool with Pliers, Knife and Bottle Opener, Stainless Steel
The Skeletool CX is a classic and often touted as being king in the world of multitools. We’ve used the Skeletool CX extensively, and it will be our go-to in a life-or-death situation. The knife deploys and then subsequently locks smoothly with one swift move. It does not force you to start by opening up the pliers like some other tools. The blade within this tool is the high-quality 154CM type, and it is longer than most other ones we’ve seen on multitools.
Many of the multitools we’ve tested over the years are bulky, and that means they have to be carried within a belt sheath, though the Skeletool CX is light and slim, which means it can comfortably fit with any size pocket. It can even be slipped into your backpack. Since it doubles as a bottle opener, we wouldn’t leave home without it.
In addition to all the regular tools in this multitool, it also includes two Phillips flathead screwdrivers, which in our experience, covers 79% of screws you’ll encounter. Plus, the 25-year warranty is good enough for most people, and we think that unless there is a major defect with your unit, the Skeletool CX can easily last past 25 years.
7. LEATHERMAN – 830278 , Surge Heavy Duty Multitool with Premium Replaceable Wire Cutters and Spring-Action Scissors, Black with MOLLE Sheath
As we like to call it, the Surge comes with 21 tools built into what is a comparatively beefy frame. However, despite what anyone tells you, the beefy frame is still lighter than carrying these 21 tools separately, highly durable and easy to use.
The benefit of the thicker frame is that you are treated to the longest knife and the deepest pliers that the company has to offer. All tools are very easy to open, and that makes using them easier than some of its competitors offering the same features. Plus, its blackwashed to reduce glare and glint, the best choice for a clandestine operation, perhaps!
8. LEATHERMAN, Charge Plus TTi Titanium Multitool with Scissors and Premium Replaceable Wire Cutters, Stainless Steel, Built in the USA
The premium design of the Charge Plus TTi by Leatherman isn’t earth-shattering. However, this is the upgraded version of the previous Charge, which we truly liked. The tool combines several of the same features but this time in a premium frame. You get upgraded materials, i.e. stainless steel, a set of replaceable wire cutters, pliers, wire crimper, plain knives, a saw, bottle openers, etc.
Leatherman is one of the most established brands in the multitool industry. Just about everything they produce comes backed with a pretty comprehensive warranty, and the Charge Plus is no different. Speaking of which, it comes backed by a 25-year warranty, so you can be sure that this will last you at least one lifetime.
Opening the tool is a one-handed affair; you can use all the tools which are easily accessible from the outside. You can then use the all-locking blades that allow you to cut pretty much everything with a degree of confidence that it will not break.
Finally, the pocket clip coupled with the easily released lanyard ring ensures that it never leaves your sight.
Gerber Gear Truss Multi-tool is one of the best multitools out there when it comes to quality, durability and an excellent finish. While it weighs slightly more than some competitors out there, it does include numerous tools, such as all locking tools, a spring-loaded set of pliers, wire strippers, awl, flathead medium size screwdriver, and a ruler.
The low-profile sheath is mounted vertically, or it can also be mounted horizontally on a belt. The sheath is MOLLE compatible and is perfectly suited for operations that require a MOLLE vest or some or their pack mounting options.
The handle of the tool is a sturdy steel piece, which provides much more strength despite its slimmer design. However, we’d strongly recommend that you look past its slim design because it certainly isn’t flimsy.
We enjoy the fact that the multitool does not feel cheap in the hands. In fact, it feels well built.
What looks like a pen but isn’t a pen? Honestly, it isn’t a trick question, but us alluding to the Tactical Pen, with a built-in LED flashlight, doubles as a window breaker and bottle opener. It is a very different multitool compared to all the others we’ve reviewed. However, there is something brilliant about carrying a pen in your front pocket that not only can write but offers a whole slew of life-saving features. You can carry it anywhere, and judging from the way it is designed, we’ll bet it’s waterproof too.
We had the pen for a while, and during this time, we tested it on windows, and it certainly does a good job of breaking them. That said, you cannot expect it to break bulletproof windows; again, we couldn’t give it a shot. The flashlight is bright enough to light your way if the power fails, and the bottle opener is going to be a party trick you become famous for showing off. Though in seriousness this is a multitool that’s impossible to leave at home.
The 12-in-1 multitool is one of the most impressive ones we’ve encountered. The gadget offers 12 different, handy tools, which include pipe grip pliers, nail claw, small hammer, Phillips head screwdriver, bottle opener, straight knife, a saw and serrated blade, along with a few usual suspects.
It is the perfect companion for your next camping, fishing, hiking, or skiing trip. We’d also pack it along for a day at the beach just in case you need to open a few bottles of champagne. The anti-slip mechanism makes using the tool a quick and easy affair. That’s why we’d recommend it to people who have never used a multitool before.
In terms of durability, we think that this gadget is built to last. Made from stainless steel, it has been put through a great deal of testing according to the manufacturer, which means that you can trust that it is amongst the hardest and most tenacious out there. That’s why it will not bend, break or get busted up even when dropped from the seventh floor. However, the protective coating layer added to prevent rust and corrosion may flake off after a few years.
Weighing just 0.6lbs, it is lightweight and designed to be portable. What’s more is that you are putting 12 various tools into your pocket, which may never fit otherwise if it wasn’t part of a multitool set. If anything, it is a DIYer dream come true, the perfect gift for anyone who likes the great outdoors.
The SOG Multitool is another one of our favorites. While SOG is an established name in the industry, it is because the company invests a great deal of money in making sure that its tools can hold up to some serious use. If anything, the term “military” shouldn’t be taken lightly. While we are not sure if this is the same multitool used by the US military, we would recommend it to them if they asked us about it.
The SGO multitool is easy to use and can easily be opened one-handed. We used the multitool on a series of rusted bolts and stuck screws, it worked to our surprise where others failed. It also worked as desired, and as we’d expect to cut wires with relative ease. Though we could not cut through heavy gauge sheep fencing, and that is not what this tool is meant to do. The saw and two knife blades are of excellent quality.
The only problem, and we’re a little nitpicky here, is that you can’t at times deploy a single tool at a time. Sometimes you will inevitably deploy multiple tools at once, so you need to fold them back in. Other than that, this tool is good as it gets.
13. WATERNEST, Tool,Multitool Pliers, Military Multitool,Equipped with Military Quality Replaceable Tungsten Steel Pliers Slices, Spring Scissors and Nylon Sheath
It is the latest upgrade to the multitool, which now includes a replaceable wire jaw that’s designed and built using military-grade YG12 tungsten steel. In addition, there is a double tooth milling saw that’s made from 420 stainless steel, which should be able to cope with some of the toughest items thrown its way. Now for the uninitiated, the YG12 tungsten steel is amongst the most durable and hardened out there. That’s why we’re pretty sure that the multitool should be able to handle arduous tasks for many years without breaking.
The WATERNEST comes with 16 built-in tools, including a high-quality set of screw pliers, nose pliers, elastic scissors, bottle opener, can opener, slotting screw cutter etc. So, you’re getting just about anything needed when it is needed.
The body of the pliers is lightweight and yet is the hardest you’ll find, which means it can handle most types of wear and tear with ease. Plus, the ergonomic grip ensures that this will not be slipping out of your hands anytime soon. Weighing 260 grams makes it slightly heavier than the competition, but that is to be expected with the type of metal used. Plus, each accessory can easily be locked, making it safe to carry in your back pocket, front pocket, coat pocket or just about anywhere you want.
Finally – How to Choose a Multitool
Now many of the multitools we have listed above tend to go out of stock and then come back in stock every now and then. If you are in a real hurry to buy a multitool and none of the above are available (near impossible), we’ve put together a short guide to help you find and buy the right multitool for your use.
How Will You Carry the Tool?
Now, this is the most important question to answer before you start searching for a multitool. Generally, you will want to be able to pull out the tool when you need it the most. Plus, shouldn’t weigh more than a few hundred grams because any heavier and it’s going to be a chore to carry around.
We often tell people that a multitool is only as good as its ability to be portable. Sure, you can buy a multitool with 127 built-in tools, but if they aren’t with you, then they are useless. So, you’ll want to choose a tool that fits your needs the best.
Normally, you’ll run into three carrying styles, which will vary depending on the multitool that you choose:
Keychain carrying style – These are often the smallest, and you can carry your keys around with them. They can literally follow you anywhere. However, they aren’t always built as ruggedly as you may want them and, using them can be a chore too. Plus, some tools may not work well. So, you’ll want to choose something with the tools that you need.
Carrying in the Pocket – Now, these multitools are often heavier, and they can ride in your pant pocket or backpack with ease. The larger size means that these tools can be heavy duty and include necessities like pliers and wire cutters. Usually, these are available with a sheath and are safe to carry. However, you’ll want to buy one that’s the right size based on the size of your pockets.
The One-Piece Multitool – The one-piece multitool was first made by craftsmen like the famous Peter Atwood, and then it was popularized by Piranha. Now the company has been acquired by none other than multitool maker Leatherman, and that’s reflective in the quality of tools they manufacture. The company’s tools can easily be clipped onto belts, a belt loop, keys etc. Plus, the tools include more than just the bare essentials, which, quite frankly, you might need at any time to save your life!
A multitool can save your life. It should be durable, easy to use, and most of all, small enough to fit in your pocket. Function, essentials and style.