Whether you’re out camping or need to quickly fix something around the house, nothing matches the convenience of a multi-tool. From pliers and scissors to knives and bottle openers, multi-tools offer everything in a small compact package.
Choosing the right multi-tool comes down to three things — functionality (available tools), portability, and durability. In this article, our multi-tool reviews pick out the best multi tools on the market and talk about all their pros and cons so you can find the one that you’ll enjoy using.
How To Choose A Multi Tool – Buying Guide
Number and Type Of Tools
It’s easy to think that a multi-tool with a larger number of tools is better, but this isn’t necessarily the case. There is a point where functionality becomes more important than the sheer number of items, so we advise that you pick a model with a smaller number but that is more practical.
Almost all multi-tools come with a set of pliers, a knife, and often a screwdriver. However, some models also include scissors, box openers, bottle openers, exchangeable bit sockets, and even small hammers. Since packing all of this in a single well-functioning tool isn’t easy, it’s best to consider what you need and choose accordingly.
Pliers Or Scissors
Depending on the model you get, the head of the multi-tool can either come with a set of pliers or scissors. We can’t say outright which one is better because this comes down to how you plan to use it.
For example, an angler will appreciate scissors more for cutting lines, while a handyman might prefer a good pair of pliers. If you want both, 2-in-1 models also exist with pliers on the head and foldable scissors in the handle. Regardless of which one you get, it’s a big bonus if the system is spring-loaded so it’s easy to use.
The type of blade on your knife greatly influences its functionality. With this said, most multi-tools have knives with plain edges that are useful for making clean cuts (slicing food for example). On the other hand, a serrated blade will be more useful for sawing through things like rope or small branches.
The good news is that some models are equipped with both knives, so you have more options when cutting. But, if you feel like having two knives is adding too much bulk, you can also find a multi tool with a single half-serrated blade.
Functionality and Ease of Use
Since they are a blend of several different tools, functionality is high on the list of priorities for every multi-tool. The best multi tool is designed in a way that every function is accessible almost immediately, without unnecessary complications.
About this, we particularly like it if one of the blades and extensions is on the outer surface, so you can pry them out even without opening the handles. As you’ve had the chance to see, most multi-tools come with a butterfly opening, and it’s a huge plus if you can do everything with one hand.
Size and Weight
While all multi-tools are compact, there can still be significant differences in size and weight. Smaller models (2 to 3 inches long) are perfect for carrying in your pocket but might not have enough strength for more demanding tasks.
On the other hand, multi-tools that are 5+ inches long when closed and weigh around 10 ounces are much more versatile when working but might be a nuisance to carry. Because of this, it’s often best to find a balance and go with a mid-sized tool.
Material Quality and Durability
For optimal results, the tool extensions on the multi-tool should be made from high-carbon stainless steel. This material is strong, corrosion-resistant, and lasts a long time. While some models are made entirely of steel, others combine several different materials to improve the functionality.
For example, because aluminum is lighter than steel, multi-tools with an aluminum handle are fairly common. On the other hand, manufacturers like Victorinox often use ABS plastic for scallops because it looks and feels good. Regardless of the materials, multi-tools are generally very durable and many are covered by lifetime warranties.
Q: What Is A Multi-tool?
A multi-tool is a combination of multiple different individual tools in a single well-organized unit. Its main goals are practicality and ease of use, so it’s designed to fit easily in the pocket and be readily available anywhere you go.
Q: How To Use A Multi-tool?
While this depends on the model, most multi-tools have a butterfly opening. Usually, you first need to unlock the tool and then open it like standard pliers. If the model you have comes with a tool lock, make sure to always use it to prevent any accidents. The majority of pieces are usually located inside the handle, and you need to pry them out with your nail.
Q: Are Multi-tool Blades Universal?
The short answer is no because different models have blades in various shapes and sizes. For this reason, it’s best to get a knife blade replacement from the same brand, designed for the same model. However, some blades are interchangeable with models from the same manufacturer, but you should always check first.
Q: Which Is Better Leatherman Or Gerber?
Even though this often depends on a particular model, many consider Leatherman to be a superior product. This is in no way to say that Gerber multi-tools aren’t good, but Leatherman has a type of functional design that many people prefer. However, in terms of durability, you won’t go wrong with either brand.
Q: Is A Multi Tool Worth It?
Yes, multi-tools are worth it. Not only do they have an abundance of tools that you can take anywhere, but the best multi tools are also usually made of high-quality materials that will last a lifetime. If you enjoy being handy and fixing things, it doesn’t get better than a multi-tool.
Globo Surf Overview
When choosing a pocket multi tool, keep in mind that it needs to be well-made and have the right combination of tools you need. We hope that our reviews helped you narrow down on the best EDC multi-tool and we guarantee that once you start using it you’ll never leave it behind.