No one likes to lug around a heavy toolbox wherever they go. For this very reason, the multitool was invented. They have since become indispensable to practically anyone who needs to fix anything.
Since they’re basically the holy grail of all EDCs (Every Day Carry), the multitool has to be made with ergonomic design and has to stick it out through the most grueling tasks. While a lot of multitools have emerged on the market not all of them are created equal. So we’ve scoured for the best of the best.
Here are 6 of the top multitools in the market:
Needlenose Pliers, Large Bit Driver, Regular Pliers, Carabiner/Bottle Opener, Hard-wire Cutters, 420HC Combo Knife, Wire Cutters
Leatherman arguably invented the pliers-type multitool and are still dominating the market to this day. One of their most popular is the Leatherman Skeletool. The Skeletool keeps it simple: 5 ounces of stainless steel and 7 of the most important functions you could ever need in any job. That’s it. This no-frills tool may be smaller than most (it’s only 4 inches when closed), but it’s proven to be one of the most reliable multitools out there. Many users prefer it because it’s lightweight and minimalist.
Leatherman New Wave
Features: Regular pliers, needlenose pliers, wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, wire stripper, 420HC serrated knife, 420HC knife, spring-action scissors, can opener, wood/metal file, large bit driver, medium screwdriver, saw, ruler (8in, 19cm), bottle opener, diamond-coated file, small bit driver
According to Leatherman’s website, the New Wave is their most popular model, and for good reason. Since it was redesigned in 2004, it’s gotten a facelift: bigger knives that you can access one at a time, sturdier pliers and longer wire cutters. Its ergonomic design is executed really well: you can easily access the tools without opening the Wave. It’s packed with a variety of all locking tools useful for any occasion. Reviews mention that its serrated blade is handy for rescue cuts; its scissors, although smaller than most models are sturdy enough to cut through materials like leather. It’s a versatile medium-duty tool great for everyday use.
Victorinox Swisstool Spirit X
Features: Needle-nose pliers, Leather pouch, 6mm screwdriver, 3mm screwdriver, 2mm screwdriver, Soft Wire Cutter (for wire up to hardness of 40 HRC), Lanyard hole, Bottle Opener, Hard Wire Cutter, Screwdriver, Crate Opener, Coupling for Corkscrew, Multi-edge Blade, Multipurpose Hook, Scissors, Can Opener, Metal File, Wire Scraper/Cutter, Metal Saw, Wire Stripper, Wood Saw, Reamer, Wire Bender, Phillips Screwdriver, Wire Cover Cutter, Chisel
A strong contender to the Leatherman New Wave as an EDC is Victorinox’s Swisstool Spirit X. Victorinox has been in the business of making reliable tools since its inception of the Swiss Army Knife (SAK) back in the late 1800s. However, they’ve always seemed to focus on specialty knife-type tools. Enter the Swisstool Spirit X. At a mere 4 inches, the visually stunning Swisstool Spirit X is packed with 24 functions that can outlast even the most demanding tasks. It’s heavy for its size, but as one review mentions, this tool was “meant to be used and abused”. Its sleek design is pretty darn easy on the eyes, too.
Features: 3-Sided File, Wire Crimper, Blasting Cap Crimper, V-Cutter, Bolt Grip Channel, Straight Edge Blade, Bottle Opener, Small Flat Screwdriver, Can Opener, Ruler, Full Serrated Blade, Philips Screwdriver, Hard Wire Cutter, Needle Nose Pliers, Large Flat Screwdriver, Medium Flat Screwdriver
SOG has been making reliable multitools since the 80’s and you gotta admit, the SOG Powerassist (especially the Black Oxide variety) looks formidable. At a hefty 9.6 ounces, this multitool is great for heavy duty tasks. What makes SOG multitools special is it’s Compound Leverage technology, making the tool twice as stronger. This one is definitely for the pros; it’s chunky and beefy and definitely not for the light-hearted.
Gerber Center Drive
Features: Spring-loaded needle nose pliers with X-Channel rail system, Serrated blade, Fabric sheath, Awl, Rotatable carbide wire cutters and strippers, Pry bar with nail puller & bottle opener, Lanyard hole, Full-size 3.25″ 420HC fine edge blade, Magnetic flathead and Phillips bits, Magnetic 3.2″ Center-Axis bit driver, file
What people love about the Gerber Center Drive is its efficient design. As its name suggests, the Center Drive has a center axis driver that opens and has all the muscle of a regular screwdriver. It’s a compact tool with all the qualities of a full-sized one. Mix it up with 10 other functions that you can easily access with a flick of the thumb and you’ve got a clear winner.
Leatherman Charge TTi
Features: Needlenose pliers, medium screwdriver, regular pliers, small bit driver, hard-wire cutters, large bit driver, wire cutters, crimper, diamond-coated file, wire stripper, wood/metal file, S30V knife, bottle opener, 420HC serrated knife, can opener, saw, ruler, cutting hook, spring-action scissors
The Charge TTi is the cream of the Leatherman crop, and it’s not for the casual multitool user, either. It’s a bit pricier than most multitools in the market, but the Charge TTi is worth its weight in gold (or titanium, in this case). This top of the line beauty has titanium handle scales and everything else you could ever ask for in a multitool. With 19 functions, this one is heavy duty, fancy, and it does everything you need to do flawlessly. The guys at Outdoorgearlab were positively raving about this; so much so that they made it their Editor’s Pick. If you’re looking for a tool to last a lifetime, you need to look no further than this one.
So Which One Do You Pick?
It really depends on your preference and needs. Casual users would opt for the lightweight Skeletool as an EDC, while heavy duty users would most likely gravitate towards the Charge TTi or the SOG Powerassist. Whichever you pick— choose wisely. Your multitool is like an extension of your arm; it’s that indispensable.
Do you have a favorite multitool that you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments below!