Have you ever found yourself in a jam where you needed a specific tool but just didn’t have it handy? Is your toolbox sitting at home, gathering dust because it’s never around when you need it? (Damn you toolbox!) In case you have been in that situation, then a multi-tool may be the perfect option for you. Multi-tools are small, portable hand tools which combine a number of various features into a single unit.
The history of multi-tools is a long and storied one–but the most well-known example of the multi-tool is the Swiss Army knife. However, the entire idea of multi-tools was given a serious kick up the pants by Tim Leatherman of the Leatherman Tool Group, who created the “Pocket Survival Tool” in 1984, which rebirthed the multi-tool industry. Since then, a number of other companies have risen to produce quality multi-tools that actually provide all-in-one solutions to man’s daily fixing needs, including Gerber, Victorinox, SOG Knife, and many others. With so many options to choose from, selecting the right multi-tool can become a headache. That’ why we’re here to help. Here are the top 10 multi-tools.
GERBER SHARD MULTI-TOOL
The Gerber Shard Multi-Tool ($6) is the baby boy of all our multi-tools listed, so it’s perfect for your everyday carry keychain and is even safe to carry aboard aircraft. The Gerber Shard features a Titanium nitride coating for corrosion resistance, a small and medium standard screwdriver, a Philips head driver, a wire stripper, pry bar, bottle opener, and lanyard hole. Perfect for any everyday carry arsenal.
LEATHERMAN CHARGE TTI MULTI-TOOL
If you know multi-tools, then you damned well know Leatherman. The Leatherman Charge TTi Multi-Tool ($180) is one of the most comprehensive multi-tools on the market. The titanium handle is ergonomically designed to fit your hand just right, while the stainless steel construction is strong enough to stand up to any job. The TTI has 19 features to cover you in any situation – including pliers, wire cutters, wire stripper, two knives, a saw, ruler, scissor, can and bottle opener, small and large bit driver, and screw driver. The wood and metal, and diamond coated files rounds out the package.
SOG POWER ASSIST MULTI-TOOL
The SOG Power Assist Multi-tool ($60) is a useful multi-tool that combines power and safety. It features SOG Assisted technology, which allows you to use the blades even when the tool is closed. When closed, the blades stay locked without chance off accidental opening. It has 17 tools, including a V cutter, bolt grip channel, 3-sided file, can opener, and both fully serrated and straight edge blades. This tool measures 4.6 inches when closed and 7 inches when open, and weighs 9.6 ounces.
The SWISS ARMY SWISSTOOL SPIRIT X MULTI-TOOL
The Victorinox Swiss Army SwissTool Spirit X Multi-tool ($99) is a top of the line multi-tool from the craftsmen of the famous Swiss Army Knife. This multi-tool features a staggering number of tools, including: needle nose pliers, 2, 3 and 6 mm screwdriver, phillips screwdriver, wood saw, metal saw, chisel/scraper, crate opener, wire bender, stripper, scraper, crimper, and can opener. Of course, it comes with a nylon carry pouch and sports a life time warranty. This everything-in-one multi-tool is only 4.13 inches
LEATHERMAN NEW WAVE MULTI-TOOL
The Leatherman New Wave Multi-Tool ($80) represents the pinnacle of quality when it comes to multi-tools from the brand that creates only the best. The New Wave’s features start with the trademark outside accessible blades which can be operated with one hand. It features capability for almost any situations, including: regular and hard wire cutters, clip-point and serrated knife, small and large bit drivers,a diamond coated file,needle nose and regular pliers, and the list goes on. Every Leatherman comes with a 25 year limited warranty – but with an attractive yet durable 100% stainless steel construction, we doubt you’ll need to use it.
LEATHERMAN SKELETOOL MULTI-TOOL
The Leatherman Skeletool Multi-Tool ($40) is a great product for those who may be looking for a multi-tool which is a step down in size or price from the New Wave. However, this doesn’t make the Skeletool any less than its big brother. Weighing it at only 5 ounces, this compact multi-tool sports needle nose and regular pliers, regular and hardwire cutters, a combo knife and a large bit opener, along with the obligatory bottle opener. It can also be operated with one hand and has a replaceable pocket clip, making this a great tool if you’re on the go.
GERBER DIESEL MULTI-PLIER MULTI-TOOL
The Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier ($48) has a number of features that would make it the envy of any toolshed. It boasts needle nose pliers, a wire cutter, a partially serrated blade, three flat blade screwdrivers, a cross point screwdriver, bottle opener, can opener, file, saw, scissors, and comes backed with a lifetime guarantee. In addition, each tool locks into place for maximum security. The price also allows this innovative multi tool to stand out as a more affordable option. Of course, it can also be opened with a flick of the wrist with one hand.
VICTORINOX MANAGER SWISS ARMY KNIFE MULTI-TOOL
Instantly recognizable, the Victorinox Manager Swiss Army Knife ($27) is the smaller version to the ubiquitous Swiss army knife. This multi-tool comes 10 standard features found on most multi tools, with all of the standard features, including a blade, scissors, regular screwdriver tip, mini-Phillips screwdriver, and bottle opener. One unique feature is the ballpoint pen – meaning you’ll never have to search for that pesky pen again! All of the tools are made from stainless steel, and the entire multi-tool measures just 2 ¼ inches.
LEATHERMAN TREAD WEARABLE MULTI-TOOL
If you don’t feel like carrying your tools in your bag or your pocket, how about wearing them on your wrist. The Leatherman Tread Wearable Multi-Tool ($150+) feature customizable links the contain two tools. These links contain tools like: allen wrenches, screwdrivers, box wrenches, a glass breaker, oxygen tank wrench, cutting hook and a bottle opener. made from 17-4 stainless steel the Tread is corrosion-resistant and built to last. Although it hasn’t been released yet, you can signup to be notified when it is.
19-IN-1 MICRO-MAX MULTI-TOOL
The 19-in-1 Micro Max Multi-Tool ($10) is the ultimate in a comprehensive key ring multi-tool. Weighing in at only 3.2 ounces, we can guarantee you won’t be able to find a multi-tool this size with this many features. And speaking of features, these include: 1.4 inch and 7/16 inch hex wrench, #0,#1, and #2 flat screwdrivers, #0,#1, and #2 Phillip’s Screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutter, stripper, and crimper, nail file, 2 rulers (inches and millimeters), and 2 ruler extensions. All in a solid stainless steel finish and backed by a lifetime limited warranty.
SWISS+TECH 6-IN-1 UTILI-KEY MULTI-TOOL
Don’t call the Swiss+Tech 6-in-1 Utili-Key Multi-Tool ($7) cute. Boasting that it’s the “lightest and most compact multi-use tool ever” this keychain multi-tool packs a punch well above its weight class. It features a straight knife blade with serrated cutting surface, 3 flat screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, a micro-screwdriver, all in 0.5 ounces. The patented quick release design will allow you to snap it on and off of your key ring in a cinch.