The 10 Best Multitools
10. Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate
- mildew-resistant materials
- rubber grip reduces slipping
- difficult to fit into pouch
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
9. Leatherman Skeletool
- blades accessible from exterior
- built-in carabiner
- has a few redundant tools
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
8. TAS Accessories 13-in-1
- ideal for tossing in car's glove box
- thumb crease for easy opening
- saw is too small to be useful
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
7. HexFlex BO23S
- good for quick jobs
- multiple hex drivers
- heavier than it looks
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
6. Jakemy Portable
- perfect for stashing in a tackle box
- bright color makes it easy to find
- too small for heavy-duty tasks
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
5. Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier
- comfortable for large hands
- ships with belt sheath
- can pinch when closing
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
4. Victorinox Swisstool
- can access tools with gloves on
- handy measurements etched on side
- inner springs prevent tool jams
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
3. Leatherman Raptor Shears
- convenient pocket clip
- includes molle holster
- an oxygen tank wrench
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
2. Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster
- extremely rust-resistant
- high-quality scissors
- knife holds edge well
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
1. Leatherman Super Tool 300
- tools lock when opened
- wire cutter is replaceable
- blades are razor sharp
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
A Few Words On A Few Tools
Even the simplest task can prove an almost insurmountable challenge if you don't have the right tools at your disposal. Consider an ordinary can of soup or tomato sauce: the "modern" double seam can approach to canning food has been used for well over a hundred years now, and remains one of the most reliable and convenient ways to store food. But if you don't have a can opener handy, that can of food might as well be back in the store, because accessing it will be remarkably hard.
Consider next the simple act of inserting a screw into a wall or a piece of wood. With a screwdriver, few actions could be simpler to complete; without a screwdriver, however, it will be nearly impossible to get that screw inserted.
From sawing through wood to slicing vegetables to filing down a rough patch of metal to opening a bottle, there are truly countless activities that can be handled in minutes -- if not in mere seconds -- when you have the right tools at your disposal, yet which may be impossible to complete if you are empty handed.
It's no wonder, then, that most professions and hobbies have their own dedicated types of tools. A plumber will use different wrenches then an auto mechanic, the former being more concerned with piping, the latter with nuts and bolts, for example. A fisherman might have a kit filled with hooks, lures, and sinkers, while a hunter will have animal calls and ammunition. The furniture craftsman relies on saws and screwdrivers that a a tile installation specialist might never even touch. And the list could go on ad infinitum, thus instead let us state the point directly: there are few tools that prove genuinely useful across multiple fields of professional work or recreational activity.
But there are certainly exceptions. One that comes to mind is the vaunted Swiss Army Knife, a pint-sized jack of all trades as useful to the hiker or hunter as it can be to the electrician or roofer. Even more versatile than those classic instruments, though, is the multitool, a device that can often serve as pliers, screwdriver, blade, ruler, and so much more.
A Multitool For Everyday Use
If you're looking for a multitool to help you in daily life, first consider what your average day looks like. A person who works in construction might value a strong set of pliers, both a flathead and phillips screwdriver, and a rugged saw. These tools can help a worker tackle a quick job, like replacing a single or removing a bit of extra wood from the end of a beam, without the individual needing to sort through a toolbox for a purpose built item.
A person more likely to spend his or her day fishing than building a house, on the other hand, might have little need for a screwdriver but still value a pair of pliers, which can he helpful for removing a hook from a fish's mouth or for safely baiting a hook without getting poked. And of course the blade is useful for dealing with sales, fish guts, or for cutting away a line that has become snagged or otherwise compromised.
And for the individual simply looking to be prepared for the little issues that pop up in life, from the need to open a battery compartment sealed with a screw to the need to slice through an apple, almost any multitool will suffice; the main concern when it comes to selecting a multitool without a specific activity in mind should be price. While a perfectly decent multitool can be had for around thirty dollars, top of the line options cost more than a hundred dollars, so price tag is certainly a factor.
A Multitool As Wilderness Gear
If you are including a multitool along with the gear you pack into your hiking, camping, or mountaineering kit, you are making a wise choice. But you also must choose the right tool wisely. When you are carrying all of your gear on your back, every ounce matters. Some multitools weigh only a few ounces, while others weigh as much as a pound or more. That might not seem like much weight when you're standing in your own home packing your backpack, but when you're clambering up a hill or scaling a cliff, you'll certainly feel the weight.
When choosing a multitool to bring along for an outdoor adventure, it's important to keep in mind how valuable some tools can be, and how superfluous you will find others. A good pair of scissors is great for preparing a wound dressing in a first aid situation, for example, while an adjustable wrench might be rather useless. A saw is always a good idea, as it can help you build a fire or build a shelter.
Selecting the right multitool for a camping our mountaineering trip does not mean selecting a tool with every accessory you might need out there in the field; rather it means choosing a multitool that will complement the gear you already have, filling in any gaps. It's a safe bet that you will already be bringing along a good, solid knife, for example (and if not, then reevaluate your planned gear at once), so the length and type of blade on your multitool can be of secondary concern. And while some multitools have LED lights built into them, the responsible outdoorsman will already have at least two light sources along for the journey, thus making it a fine choice to opt for a smaller multitool that is without a light built in.
As for the need for a bottle opener when you're out in the woods, that's a priority you can order for yourself.