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20 of the Best Multi Tools You Can Buy

By May 26, 2020April 18th, 2021No Comments
20 of the Best Multi Tools You Can Buy

A lot of companies claim to have the best multi-tool on the market. But what exactly constitutes the bona-fides to make that claim? What specific criteria should a multi-tool be judged by? When most people think of a multi-tool, the most evocative image that comes to mind is the Swiss Army Knife from famed company Victorinox. It’s been around for so long and had such success that it essentially became a proprietary eponym. Kind of like Kleenex has become a proprietary eponym that is used interchangeably with the word facial tissue. 

And while Victorinox still makes the original Swiss Army Knife, it, and other high-end multi-tool manufacturers have stepped up their game. Today’s modern-tool is a veritable cornucopia of features and tools for nearly every occasion. Of course, I’m not saying that even the best multi-tools you can buy are a replacement for full-sized tools and a well-equipped toolbox. While that statement rings true for many DIYers and professionals, a top-rated multi-tool can fill in when carrying around a full set of tools is not practical or desirable. 

So what standards of excellence should a multi-tool live up to in the year 2020? Before we get to that, let’s first examine the types of multi-tools that are available and why you should own one. 

Types of Multi-tools

There are generally four to five types of multi-tools available on today’s market, depending on who you ask. Of-course, startup tool makers are continuously creating new forms and shapes with ever more clever takes on what combination of features constitutes a multi-tool. Most multi-tools fall into the following categories:

  • Full-size multi-tools (traditional butterfly design and one-piece solutions)
  • Mini multi-tools
  • Keychain multi-tools
  • Credit card multi-tools
  • Non-traditional designs like bracelets

Why You Should Get a Multi-Tool

Aside from being a fantastic and essential part of your EDC gear, a multi-tools very purpose is to be adaptable to almost any situation. If you pick the right multi-tool, you’ll always be ready. Consider all the conditions a multi-tool can be handy in:

  • Small home repairs and fixes
  • Outdoor activities such as biking
  • Camping or hiking
  • Multi-day backpacking adventures
  • A survival tool in the wild
  • A DIYers best friend when working with your hands
  • A construction workers handy tool
  • Saves money and space over full-size tools if they’re not needed
  • A handyman’s best friend
  • Excellent for all kinds of travel

Most of you will know what you’re looking for in a multi-tool. But if you’re reading this and need a bit more direction, scroll down to the bottom of this page. There I’ll tell you how to pick the best multi-tool for your purposes. I’ve scoured online retailers and manufacturers for countless hours to bring you the best-reviewed and most reliable multi-tools in the world, and here are twenty of them.

1. SOG - PowerLock Multi-Tool S60N-CP - 18 Tools

Remember how I told you that today’s multi-tools are like an entire toolbox in the palm of your hand? That minor over-simplification applies to the SOG PowerLock Multi-Tool. While not quite as famous as the Victorinox brand, SOG has made a considerable name for itself in the world of incredibly impressive pocket-knives. They’ve also been in the multi-tool game for a long time, thus earning a well-deserved reputation for creating workhorse tools like this one. Based around SOG’s compound leverage system, the PowerLock multi-tool is excellent for cutting, gripping, personal care and more. Crafted out of satin-polished 420 stainless steel, this is one of the best multi-tools available anywhere.

What makes it so good? In addition to the massive 18 tools you’ll get in this SOG multi-tool, and the exceptional construction quality, it’s the proprietary Compound Leverage system that rockets this tool above many others. It uses multiple pivot points that create more handle travel in relation to the plier movement. This provides you with about twice as much power, gripping strength and cutting strength than the average multi-tool.

Key Features

 Made of 420 Stainless Steel
Satin finish
Compound leverage system
Removable handle covers
Included tools: Gripper, wire crimper, double toothed wood saw, 3-sided file, Phillips screwdriver, awl, small screwdriver, medium screwdriver, rulers, hard wire cutter, blasting cap crimper, partially serrated blade, large screwdrier, 1/4″ drive, bottle opener, and scissors.


 Brand: SOG
 Model: PowerLock Multi-Tool S60N-CP 18 tools
 Overall Length: 7″
 Closed Length: 4.6″
 Weight: 9.6 oz

2. Leatherman - OHT One Handed Multitool

Leatherman is another absolute giant in the field of multi-tool production and sales. The OHT is unique in the sense that it’s been designed to be 100% operable with only one hand. This of-course, provided a whole new level of functionality. Leaving your other hand free for added tool use or simply to hold something while operating your multi-tool is kind of a game-changer. With a grand total of sixteen included tools, the OHT features spring-loaded pliers and wire-cutters. And while this is one of the better-looking multi-tools I’ve seen, especially in the matte black, we all know that design is not how a thing looks, but rather how it works. That’s why my favourite feature of this multi-tool for all your camping, worksite, and DIY needs is the imprinted handles. They visually and by way of touch quickly indicate the location of each tool. This can cut-down valuable time you may otherwise spend fussing looking for just the right tool, even in complete darkness.

Key Features

 16 tools
One-handed operation for every tool
Spring-loaded pliers and wire-cutters included
All tools including pliers and knives fully lock for safety while operating
Included tools: pliers, wire cutter, strap cutter, cleaning rod, oxygen tank wrench, screwdrivers, 420HC knife, 420HC serrated knife, saw with blade exchanger, small, medium, large and Phillips screwdrivers.


 Brand: Leatherman
 Model: OHT One Handed Multitool
 Includes 1 key tether and 4 external carry straps

3. Gerber - Center Drive Multi-Tool

At first, as I initially did, you may completely underestimate this multi-tool. Perhaps what it may lack in immediate impressiveness is more than made up for by way of design ingenuity. This Gerber is designed for real life, heavy-duty work, and is created around a central axis, which allows for the exertion of far more torque than a standard off-axis multi-tool. The unique and thoughtful one-thumb opening mechanism gives you immediate access to three full-size tools you’ll likely be using most: the pliers, the blades, and the screwdriver. But the innovation doesn’t stop there.

The Gerber Center-Drive Multi-Tool includes a full-size outboard knife that is 30% longer than most blades found in other tools. But perhaps the most useful and innovative aspect of the Gerber is found in its full-sized driver with a standard bit. This means you’ll be able to change the Center-Drive bits with bits you already own. This is truly a professional multi-tool.

Key Features

 Nearly full-size tools
One-thumb opening pliers
Comes with sheath and magnetic bit set
Manufactured in the USA


 Brand: Gerber
 Model: Center-drive Multi-Tool with Sheath & Bit Set
 Blade Length: 3.25″

 Warranty: Limited Lifetime

4. The James Brand - The Ellis Knife

Not every tool has to be a behemoth of utter tool overload insanity. Sometimes what you’re looking for is a multi-tool with minimalistic undertones, a few of the most useful tools, and that’s it. After all, when it comes to living, the EDC lifestyle, weight, and size matter nearly as much as what tools you have with you. That’s where the Ellis Knife from The James brand comes in. Made from Sandvik Steel and high-grade aluminum, this pocket multi-tool boasts a good number of tools for most occasions and also includes a lanyard/keychain attachment point.

Key Features

 Made of Sandvik 12C27 Steel & Aluminum
Primary tool is the knife which is a partially-serrated drop-point blade with nail nick
Included tools: flathead screwdriver, scraper & bottle opener
Lockback locking mechanism


 Brand: The James Brand
 Model: The Ellis Knife
 Blade length: 2.6″
 Total length: 6.1″
 Weight: 2.8oz
 Warranty: Limited Lifetime

5. Roxon - CM1349 Spark Multitool Plier

This multi-tool from Roxon may be the ultimate camping and outdoor adventure tool you’ll come across. The part I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around however, is how much value the Roxon CM1349 provides at its current, very affordable price point. With a total of fourteen tools, this outdoor camping and hiking tool includes a useful flint rod to solve problems like lighting a fire to hook or for warming by a fire. As a survival tool, it also does the job by including a loud signal whistle. With an all-black anti-corrosion and anti-rust body, the CM1349 from Roxon is an outdoor enthusiasts dream. That is if you like to fondle really useful multi-tools. And I almost forgot. For the total amount of functionality, this is a surprisingly lightweight tool. It accomplishes this by using a combination of nylon and fibre plastic in its handle.

Key Features

An independent locking mechanism for all tools ensures safe handling
10 Year warranty
Included tools: Saw, can opener, flat screwdriver, needlenose pliers, wire cutters, whistle, scraper, knife, bottle opener, phillips screwdriver, regular pliers, flint stone, reamer, and awl.


 Brand: ROXON
 Model: CM1349 Spark Multitool Plier
 Overall length: 16.1 cm
 Weight: 226.9 grams

6. Victorinox - Swiss Army Swisstool

While some prefer multi-tool brands like Leatherman, SOG, and Gerber, there’s no doubt that Victorinox is the company that popularized this tool format. Billed as the ultimate multi-tool, the SwissTool is a tight package with a massive twenty-four tools. Yes, you read that right. The lock and release system, along with included springs, is designed to lock each tool in place when opened. Given the massive amount of choices you get with the SwissTool, I would say that it belongs in the pocket of any handyman that wants the reliability and flexibility of the Victorinox brand. With a solid stainless steel construction designed to resist corrosion and provide the strength you need, there’s not much this tool can’t accomplish.

Key Features

 Stainless Steel
Each tool can be accessed from the outside
Locking mechanism for each tool
Made in Switzerland
Tools include: pliers, screwdriver (2mm, and 3mm, 5mm, 7.5mm), wire cutter, bottle opener, large blade, serrated blade, metal file, metal saw, wood saw, reamer, Phillips screwdriver, chisel / scraper, strong crate opener, wire bender, wire stripper, wire scraper, wire crimper, can opener, ruler (cm), ruler (inches), hard wire cutter.


 Brand: Victorinox
 Model: Swiss Army SwissTool
 Length: 4.13″
 Weight: 10.29oz
 Warranty: Lifetime

7. RoverTAC Survival Camping Tool

It’s hard not to notice that this is a very specialized tool, but boy do I wish I had something like this on my last camping trip. Designed by RoverTac, this survival and camping multi-tool has fourteen implements designed to give you everything you need in the great outdoors as far as tools go. This is an excellent gift for any adventure seeker, including those that like to hike, go fishing, go camping, hunt, or go backpacking. Made of heavy-duty stainless steel and oxidized in black to prevent corrosion, this multi-tool is robust, reliable and easy to handle. While the RoverTAC has many included tools, its core is the included hammer and axe. Powerful enough in a self-defence emergency and with enough torque to break car glass. Includes a sturdy nylon sheath case that can attach to your belt.

Key Features

Includes 14 tools
 Stainless steel with black oxidation
Included Axe and Saw can cut branches and wood for campfire, snares or marshmellow sticks.
Included tools: Axe, saw, knife blade, regular plier, fish descaler, assorted wrenches, slotted screwdriver, file, hammer, wire cutter, flaw jaw plier, bottle opener, Phillips screwdriver, large slotted screwdriver.


 Brand: Miggo
 Model: Agua Versa Backpack 90
 Exterior Dimensions: 11.42 x 18.9 x 6.3 inches

8. Gerber - Truss Multi-Tool

Seventeen tools are brought to bear in this Gerber multi-tool built for the professional user in a size-conscious chassis. Every tool is accessible from the exterior of the body and is locked for safety. The Truss also brings full-size hybrid pliers, all constructed from a single piece of steel for additional strength. At only 8.4 oz, it features one of the lowest weight to tool ratios amongst the multi-tools featured here. The fact that its MOLLE -compatible is another bonus, and of course, the pliers are spring-loaded to reduce hand fatigue while operating it.

Don’t have a ton to spend on a great multi-tool? Then you’ve come across the right product. Its beautiful design is one of the two cherries on top, while the other is the incredible value you get for what is one of the world’s best and most affordable multi-tools.

Key Features

All outboard tools
All locking tools
Lightweight to tool ratio
Included tools: spring-loaded needlenose pliers, wire cutters, real cross driver, small, medium, large flathead driver, scissors, bottle opener, ruler, full fine edge blade, lanyard hole, standard pliers, saw, wire stripper, full serrated blade, can opener, awl, file, tool lock.


 Brand: Gerber
 Model: Truss Multi-Tool
 Weight: 8.4 oz

9. Victorinox - Swiss Army Midnite Manager @ Work 3.0 16GB

This is a solid attempt by Victorinox to bring their classic Swiss Army knife into the modern digital world. It’s also a perfect tool for the would-be spy or night-owl worker. Made in Switzerland, the Swiss Army Midnight Manager includes a USB-A and USB C 16 GB flash drive and a powerful LED flashlight. It also contains a bevy of standard multi-tool features, including something not commonly found in multi-tools: a ballpoint pen. Small, handy and capable of storing digital files while also cutting some things, this is a terrific and small multi-tool from Victorinox.

Key Features

 Made in Switzerland
LED light included
 Incredibly light at only 1.41oz
 Included tools: Pivoting USB-A, USB-C, led light, ballpoint pen, small blade, scissors, bottle opener, Phillips screwdriver, wire stripper, nail file, screwdriver and key ring.


 Brand: Victorinox
 Model: Swiss Army Midnite Manager @ Work 3.0 16GB
 Warranty: Lifetime

10. SOG - PX1001N-CP Powerplay Multi-Tool with Sheath and Hex Bits

Like many of the other SOG tools, the PX1001N-CP, awesome name, I know, features the compound leverage system, which I highlighted earlier. This means you’ll get twice the power and torque of a similar-sized multi-tool when you use the SOG. At only 6.25″ long, it’s one of the more compact multi-tools available on the market with a total of eighteen functions. The included set of magnetic hex bits expand the capability of this tool to near-limitless capacity. You won’t regret buying this nearly flawless multi-tool.

Key Features

 Blades accessible without opening the entire multi-tool
Compound leverage mechanism
Eighteen toools.


 Brand: SOG
 Model: PX1001N-CP Powerplay Multi-Tool
 Closed Length: 4.1″ 
 Weight: 12.2 oz

11. Leatherman - Charge Plus TTi Titanium Multitool

This beautiful multi-tool from Leatherman combines some key features that make for a higher-priced product. First, there’s the fact that it has been thoughtfully designed to create a tool that can be operated one-handed. Next is the fact that the handles are made out of Titanium, exceeding the strength and durability of most stainless steel multi-tool handles. And while it has plenty of included tools, it also features a replaceable pocket clip and quick-release lanyard ring for added convenience. But perhaps the single most impressive feature of the Charge Plus TTI is the S30V steel knife blade. This type of steel has become common in high-end pocket knives and provides for longer-lasting sharpness, more cutting power and corrosion resistance.

Key Features

 Replaceable wire cutters
Locking blade
Includes a pocket clip and quick-release lanyard ring
Included tools: variety of pliers, wire cutters, wire crimper and stripper, serrated and plain knives, saw, spring-action scissors, cutting hook, can and bottle opneres, files, screwdrivers and a ruler.


 Brand: Leatherman
 Model: Charge Plus TTI Titanium Multitool
 Main Blade Length: 2.9″
 Closed Length: 4″
 Weight: 8.89 oz
 Warranty: 25 years, limited

12. Victorinox - Swiss Army Swisschamp Knife

They don’t call you a champ for no reason. This Victorinox multi-tool may be the most versatile piece of equipment you could possibly carry with you. That’s why it’s an EDC dream. No matter if you carry this around with you every day or simply use it for those small maintenance and repair jobs around the house, the stunning 33 built-in stainless steel tools will find some use. On top of that, it is relatively lightweight, compact, and of course, carries that usual slick and minimalist aesthetic that Victorinox products have become famous for.

Key Features

Stainless steel tools
Included tools: large blade, can opener, bottle opener, reamer, scissors, wire crimping tool, fish scaler, metric & imperial rulers, nail file, metal saw, magnifying glass, 4 mm chisel, toothpick, pressurized ballpoint pen, key ring, small blade, screwdrivers (2.5mm, 3mm, 6mm), wire stripper, corkscrew, pliers, wire cutter, gut hook, wood saw, nail cleaner, metal file, 1/2 Phillips screwdriver, multipurpose hook, tweezers, and mini screwdriver.


 Brand: Victorinox
 Model: Swiss Army SwissChamp Knife
 Weight: 6.5 oz
 Length closed: 3.6″

13. Leatherman - Skeletal CX Multitool Stainless Steel

Sometimes going back to the basics is not such a bad idea. That’s the thought process behind this stylish and useful multi-tool from Leatherman. With only the most necessary features, it provides a lot of smart compromises. With this set of tradeoffs, the Skeletool CX is able to remain lightweight enough to be included in your EDC gear while maintaining full-sized tool functionality. Smartly Leatherman has recognized a gap in the market to position just such a tool. The Skeletool CX is perhaps the best looking traditional multi-tool I’ve come across.

Key Features

 Designed for one-handed operation
Locking blade
Store an extra bit in the handle for more versatility
Included features: Needlenose pliers, regular pliers, hard-wire cutters, wire cutters, 154 cm knife, carabiner / bottle opener, large bit driver.


 Brand: Leatherman
 Model: Skeletool CX Multitool
 Closed length: 4″
 Blade length: 2.6″
 Weight: 5 oz.

14. Lever Gear Toolcard Pro

Upon first sight of this plainly different multi-tool, the EDC aficionado in me had a little party in my pants. So what was it about this amazing credit-card-sized multi-tool that gave rise (pun intended) to my excitement? I mean, just look at it—forty tools in a compact, credit-card sized 420L stainless steel tool. TSA compliant for travel, this bad boy can go anywhere you go. So what can this handcrafted in the USA little bad boy do? Pretty much anything. From opening bottles and boxes, fixing stuff around the house, prying open cans, measuring, drafting, and screwing, the Lever Gear Toolcard Pro is one ingenious device. And unlike many of its flat, credit-card like competitors, the Toolcard Pro has no sharp or jagged edges allowing you to confidently use plenty of torque without cutting your hands or damaging your wallet. I’ll take two, please.

Key Features

 Made out of 420L Stainless Steel
No sharp edges
CNC milled, heat treated and bead plasted for a satin finish
Corrosion resistant
Fits in your wallet


 Brand: Lever Gear
 Model: Toolcard Pro
 Weight: 1 oz.
 Thickness: 1.5mm

15. SOG - Baton Q3 Multi-Tool

Another quality multi-tool comes in the form of this Baton Q3 tool from SOG. With thirteen of the most useful tools on hand, this multi-tool’s draw isn’t the sheer amount of things you can accomplish. Instead, it prides itself on a unique 5.8″ design that can serve as both a tool and a blunt-force weapon if you ever find yourself in a jam. With twelve great tools and a sharp knife, the Baton Q3 is a nice balance of features, size, and weight.

Key Features

 Designed for the weekend warrior
Anodized handle for increased durability
Knife blade made of 5Cr15MoV Stainless Steel
Included tools: Pliers, knife, can/bottle opener, Phillips screwdriver, awl, wire cutter, 3-sided file, small & medium flat screwdriver, chisel, jewelry driver


 Brand: SOG
 Model: Baton Q3 Multi-Tool
 Closed Length: 5.8″
 Weight: 6 oz.

16. Gerber - Dime Multi-Tool

As you’ve probably gathered by now, even the most popular multi-tool manufacturers tend to produce them in one of two colours. Silver or Black. There’s a reason for that; it’s the appeal to the male demographic. But from time to time, a manufacturer comes along and throws the proverbial caution to the wind. Such is the case with the Gerber Dime Multi-Tool, which comes in five different colour options. This perhaps makes this particular tool the most female-friendly. But regardless of your colour choice, the Dime is a mini multi-tool with an impressive list of features. It’s small enough to fit on your keychain but capable enough to accomplish plenty of tasks.

Key Features

 Traditional butterfly open tool
Fits on your keychain
Available in multiple colors
Available as a bladeless version
Included tools: Spring loaded needlenose pliers, tweezers, fine edge blade, scissors, coarse + fine file, wire cutters, bottle opener, retail package opener, medium flat head driver & cross driver and lanyard ring.


 Brand: Gerber
 Model: Dime Multi-Tool
 Overall length: 4.25″
 Closed length: 2.75″
 Weight: 2.2oz

17. Leatherman - Squirt PS4 Keychain Multi-Tool

I know that many people consider the mini version of these fantastic devices to be plenty for their individual needs when it comes to multi-tools. That’s why alongside the Gerber mentioned above; I also wanted to include this keychain-sized multi-tool from Leatherman. With nearly all the functionality of a full-sized folding multi-tool, the Leatherman Squirt comes with nine standard tools. Weighing only 2 ounces, it’s the perfect high-quality tool you can incorporate into your EDC gear.

Key Features

 Stainless steel construction
Keyring attachement
Outside accessible tools
Included tools: Spring-action needlenose pliers, spring-action regular pliers, wire cutter, 1.6″ 420HC knife, scissors, flat/Phillips, head screwdriver, bottle opener, file.


 Brand: Tarion
 Model: Camera Bag Backpack Large
 Capacity: 18.5 L

18. SOG - Multitool Pliers - PowerAssist

The SOG brand has appeared numerous times on this list, but that’s because they are one of the best in the game when it comes to multi-tools. This PowerAssist tool EDC loadout is for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities. The black-oxide finish makes for a very handsome looking multi-tool and quite frankly adds to the badassery of the whole thing. This powerhouse of a tool is crafted in 420 stainless steel and comes surgical knife-sharp straight out of the box. With a black ballistic nylon sheath and plenty of tools for your everyday carry and adventuring needs, it’s hard to go wrong when choosing this product.

Key Features

 2 one-hand open multi-tool pocket knife
Black oxide coating helps prevent corrosion
Made of 420 Stainless steel
Included tools: Pliers, 2 knives, file, wire cutter, sheath, four screwdrivers, v-cutter, can/bottle openers, crimpers, and ruler.


 Brand: SOG
 Model: Multi-tool Pliers – PowerAssist
 Weight: 9.6 oz.
 Closed Length: 4.6″

19. Leatherman - Signal Camping Multitool with Fire Starter

Speaking of being completely tailored for the outdoors, let me introduce you to the Leatherman – Signal Camping Multitool. This is the perfect accessory for any outdoor adventure you plan to have. It features nineteen tools a relatively compact package and includes something I wish I had as a boy scout—a goddamn fire starting tool. Yes, the included Ferro rod will let you quickly start a fire for your wild camping adventure. But that’s not where the fun stops. This excellent multi-tool from Leatherman is an all-around achiever with plenty of functions, including a built-in hammer. The DLC coating the stainless steel components ensure a high level of corrosion and rust resistance. And if that’s not enough, it also includes a safety whistle as well as a diamond sharpener.

Key Features

 One-handed operation
420HC combo blade
Includes emergency whistle
Included tools: pliers, wire cutters, knife, saw, hammer, bottle/can openers, diamond coated sharpener, fire starter, and more.


 Brand: Leatherman
 Model: Signal Camping Multitool with Firestarter

20. Leatherman - Tread Bracelet

I wanted to finish this list with what is probably the most innovative multi-tool that has ever been conceived and produced. And yes, it came from a large brand. Despite the notion that a lot of innovation comes from small startups, most of it comes from the corporate behemoths of the world. After all, they are the ones that have the money to dedicate to this little thing called R&D.

Whatever the thought process was to bring this multi-tool to market, it must have been an EDC enthusiast that gave this product the go-ahead. If you’ve ever wanted to simply wear a multi-tool on your wrist, instead of jamming some six-inch tool in your pocket, Leatherman came up with the solution. Each stainless steel bracelet link is a tool. Adjustable to accommodate nearly any size of wrist, the Leatherman Tread is both stylish and functional. But the pure genius of this product is that each link is fully customizable, allowing you to determine which tools you want to carry on your wrist.

Key Features

 Made of 17-4 stainless-steel
Over 29 tools available
Available tools: #1-2 Phillips, 1/4″ box wrench, 3/16″ screwdriver, 6mm hex drive, 10mm box wrench, 5mm hex drive, 1/4″ hex drive, oxygen tank wrench, 3/16″ hex drive, 1/8″ hex drive, 3/16″ box wrench, 3/32″ hex drive, 3/32″ screwdriver, 1/8″ screwdriver, 4mm hex drive, 8 mm box wrench, 3mm hex drive, 5/16″ screwdriver, 3/8″ box wrench, 1/4″ screwdriver, #1 Phillips, cutting hook, carbide glass braker, pick, sim card tool, bottle opener.


 Brand: Leatherman
 Model: Tread Bracelet Multi-Tool

How to Pick The Best Multi-Tool

These days, multi-tools tend to come with a smorgasbord of features. These can include but are not limited to various knife blades, pliers, screwdrivers, scissors, wire cutters, cans, bottle openers, and more. We’ve seen tools with as many as 30 different functions. Of course, there are tradeoffs when choosing just how many features you’ll want to carry around in your multi-tool. Here are the primary factors you should consider when selecting a multi-tool:

Consider the Tools and Features You Want

Before making your choice, consider what scenarios you’ll likely find yourself. Is it designed to go with you when you’re camping or hiking? Perhaps you’ll be using it just around the house for minor repairs. Or is it something that you’ll always have in your pocket when on a construction site? Maybe its something that you bring with you on long bike rides in the country? If all you ever need are a knife and a screwdriver, perhaps you should consider getting a very lightweight or mini multi-tool. There’s of-course also a question of torque and leverage. The larger the tool, the more torque you can likely exert on it in situations where such power is required. 

Knowing what tools you’ll need most often should dictate a large percentage of your decision when choosing the right multi-tool. 

Size & Weight

Being a multi-tool means that it will be something that is most likely with you in many different situations. That of-course, belies the consideration of weight and size. Are you ok with something more bulky and heavy, or do you need your multi-tool to be more discreet and lightweight. While materials do play some role, the significant tradeoff is most common between the size and weight of a tool and how many features it carries. 

Strength, Durability, Build Quality

Without a doubt, you don’t want to skimp on a multi-tool that doesn’t exhibit qualities of strength and durability. A multi-tool used in the field prone to failure can lead to both frustrating and potentially dangerous situations. That is why I always advise buying both a trusted brand with a reputation for excellence in craftsmanship. 

Tool Variations

There are some minor tool variations to consider:

  • If your multi-tool has pliers, are they blunt-nose or needle-nose? Blunt-nose pliers tend to be great for gripping and squeezing, while needle-nose pliers are better for more delicate work where you might need to get into tighter spaces. Are the pliers spring-loaded or not? Spring-loaded pliers tend to be easier to use. 
  • Wire cutters – What thickness of wire is the included wire cutter rated for?
  • Included knives – are they straight-edged or serrated? Are there other knives included for specialized functions?

How it Looks

Being a common EDC item means that many multi-tools need to look as well as they function. Is it a tool you’ll be happy looking at for years to come or something you’ll want to discard into a drawer, thereby limiting its usefulness. You’ll notice that every multi-tool I’ve listed here tends to hew towards simplicity and minimalist design as that is a personal aesthetic that I tend to favour amongst almost all products. 


Finally, if you’re going to spend north of $100 or $200 for a genuinely great multi-tool, make sure the manufacturer thinks its as great as you do before buying it. That means looking into what kind of warranty it comes with. These days it’s not uncommon to find lifetime warranties against manufacturer defects on the highest quality tools. 

Sebastian Arciszewski

Sebastian Arciszewski

An enthusiast of all things minimalist. I love simple design and always look for an aesthetic that complements how an item works. Because after all, a design is how a thing works. You can find me on twitter: @sebastian_a