Top Rated Multi Tool Reviews
Bringing a multi-tool with you when you are camping could save you a lot of hassle and a lot of packing space. A multi-tool is a little pocket-sized tool which melds together the function of nearly everything you would find in a typical household toolbox. Instead of carrying pliers, screwdrivers, knives, and a saw, you can carry one small, compact tool which does it all.
You won’t need to worry about finding space for all these tools in your backpack or the trunk of your car. A multi-tool is so compact that it can fit in your pocket. You won’t need to worry about trying to find specific tools when you need them, because your multi-tool can easily slide into your pocket, clip on your belt, or hide away in a backpack pouch.
You already know that a multi-tool could be extremely helpful to you in outdoor situations, but which one should you choose? With so many versions of every type of product available on the market today, it is difficult to know which one you should purchase. This page has been designed to help you come to a conclusion. I have reviewed most of today’s most popular, top-selling multi-tools and brought you just the information you need to make an educated decision.
Before proceeding to read the reviews of specific multi-tools, it may be a good idea to get a grasp on just what is available out there and which features will best suit your needs. Take a moment to read our buying guide for more information about the features and specifications you should consider when making your purchase.
Top Three Multi-Tools
To make things just a little bit simpler for you, I decided to select three of the best multi-tools and list them here. I want you to see why they are much more popular among campers than all of the other top-selling multi-tools on this list and just how beneficial they can be to your camping experience. The other multi-tools listed further down this page in our “Runners Up” section are also quite impressive and do deserve your attention, but something about each of these multi-tools sets it apart from the rest of the pack.
Best Overall Multi-Tool
Hoffman Richter HR-100 13-in-1
The Hoffman Richter 13-in-1 has claimed this top position on the basis of its strength, durability, 13 useful tools, and small, compact size. Crafted of 440 stainless steel which has been coated in titanium, this multi-tool will easily handle anything you throw at in during your wilderness adventure. Dropping it, banging it against things as it hangs from the outside of your backpack, and allowing it to get wet during rainfalls should be of no concern.
The HR-100 is made up of 13 different tools. The most obvious of the 13 tools is the set of needle-nose pliers which makes up its main body. The pliers also feature a cut-out section with grippers so that you can use them to hold rounded objects or crack nuts. Also included with this tool are the following: wire cutters, can opener, bottle opener, tiny flathead screwdriver, mid-size flathead screwdriver, large flathead screwdriver, mid-sized Philips screwdriver, a small knife, a large knife, a saw, and a nail file. A tool such as this one can easily accomplish camp-related activities such as cutting rope and sawing branches. It will also be helpful in food preparation and personal hygiene.
Each of the tools folds up neatly inside of the handles and the handles fold back around the pliers tip, creating a small 2.25-inch by 0.5-inch rectangular object which can easily slide inside a pocket or backpack pouch. For added convenience, Hoffman has included a tough nylon case with the HR-100. The case features a belt loop so that you can hook the tool around your belt for easy access. Carrying it inside your backpack, pocket, or purse, or on your belt, shouldn’t be much hassle since it is extremely lightweight. The interesting cut-out design of the metal handle may appear to be all about fashion, but is actually meant to reduce the weight of the tool while maintaining its strength.
Leatherman Micra Stainless Steel Multitool
I find it quite remarkable that this budget-friendly multi-tool has received consumer reviews and ratings which are nearly at par with some of the most expensive multi-tools on this list. It is no doubt that many of the consumers who reviewed this product took its low price into consideration and rated it accordingly, but I must argue that any poor-quality tool would not receive ratings as high as this one did.
So, what is so wonderful about the Leatherman Micra? As far as I can tell, there really isn’t anything incredible which sets this tool apart from all the others. I suspect that, in helping consumers save money, Leatherman decided to create a very average multi-tool. Instead of focusing their resources on creating a multi-tool with extra features, they seem to have ensured that they created an average tool with exceptional quality. How else could an average-looking, low-price tool achieve such positive consumer ratings?
One example of the quality with which the Leatherman Micra has been crafted is its knife. Instead of using regular stainless steel to create this knife, Leatherman chose to use high carbon stainless steel. Though slightly less rust-resistant than regular stainless steel, high carbon stainless steel will hold a sharp edge for much longer, meaning that you will not have to sharpen it as often. In addition to the knife, this tool also includes spring-action scissors, an extra small flathead screwdriver, a mid-sized flathead screwdriver, a mid-sized Philips screwdriver, a 4.7-inch or 12cm ruler, a nail file and nail cleaner, tweezers, and a bottle opener.
Though it does not boast some of the survival tools of some of the other multi-tools on this list, this tool will be sufficiently helpful to people who usually camp with many accessories and luxuries and, therefore, will not be requiring the assistance of, for example, a saw and a fish hook.
Victorinox Swiss Army SwissTool Spirit Plus
Boasting an incredible 38 functions, it is no surprise that this impressive multi-tool found its way into our Top Three Multi-Tools. Quite honestly, I cannot think of many things you could possibly do in the wilderness for which it would not be helpful or which may leave you wishing you had a different tool. I want to quickly list all of the functions of the Victorinox so that you understand its incredible applicability to many situations. It features a bottle opener, a can opener, a serrated blade, a straight-edge blade, a saw, a nail file, a pair of scissors, a chisel/scraper, a pair of pliers with a built-in gripper/nut cracker, and a bit wrench with multiple bits. No matter what task your camping or hiking experience sends your way, this highly functional tool should be useful in helping you accomplish it. Whether you need to cut branches for a fire, scrape scales from a fish, open a can, or fix something which has broken, this tool has you covered.
Measuring a mere 4.13 inches in length and weighing only 5.75 ounces, this small tool manages to jam an entire toolbox-worth of accessories into a small carrying case. Unlike many other multi-tools this one isn’t entirely one piece. The bits and bit wrench are separate from the main tool but fit easily inside the carrying case alongside everything else. In fact, it may actually be a good thing that these three parts of the tool are separate, because it allows you to option of carrying both the main tool and the bit wrench or only one of the two, depending on the situation and the amount of weight you can carry with you at a given time. For example, if I am backpacking, I don’t usually bring many things with me which could possibly require the use of a screwdriver. Therefore, to save weight, I would leave the bits and bit driver at home during backpacking expeditions.
Whether one of the multi-tools listed above does not meet your needs or you simply like to shop around, I have included seven more multi-tools on this page which I believe are all worth your attention. Though they may not have made their way into one of the top three positions, each of the following tools is very popular on the current market, which speaks volumes to their quality.
Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman Pocket Knife
Made by the same company known for their innovative Swiss Army pocket knife design, this multi-tool boasts a similar design to the typical pocket knife but with so many tools I just had to place it in the multi-tools section of this website. If I am honest, I believe that it exists somewhere in between a typical pocket knife and a typical multi-tool. It boasts 15 great features, but fails to include anything rugged enough to compete with many of the other multi-tools on this list.
So, how did it find its way on the best multi-tools list? Some people are in need of the exact functions that this particular tool offers. Many campers need something capable of doing more than a simple pocket knife can achieve. At the same time, they aren’t in need of pliers and Phillips crosshead screwdrivers. It is this space in between the pocket knife and the typical multi-tool that the Swiss Army Huntsman appears to have been designed to fit. The excellent consumer reviews it has received only solidify the fact that many people are in search of such a tool and that those who’ve found this one believe it is top quality.
This small tool is similar in size and shape to a typical pocket knife but manages to boast 15 functions instead of the one to three functions you typically find in a pocket knife. Those fifteen tools include one large straight-edge blade, one small straight-edge blade, a can opener, a bottle opener, scissors, a tiny saw, a corkscrew, a parcel carrier, a toothpick, tweezers, and two flathead screwdrivers. It should be noted that both the large and small knives are less than 3.5-inches long. The entire tool only measures 3.5 inches in length and fits neatly into a small leather carrying case.
Leatherman Skeletool 7-in-1 Stainless Steel Multi-Tool
The Leatherman Skeletool 7-in-1 features rounded-nose pliers with a built in grip, thick wire cutters, regular wire cutters, a part straight-edge/part serrated blade, and a carabiner which also works as a bottle opener and a large bit screwdriver. The lack of a can opener is something which made me think twice about including this particular tool on this list. However, after realizing that you could easily puncture a can with many of the tools included here I decided that I was taking its 7-in-1 description too literally.
In fact, the Skeletool has many more functions than simply the seven listed in its product descriptions, if you are creative enough to find them. Two bits have been included for the screwdriver, but since the bits are removable, you can always purchase additional bits to use with this tool, thus extending its range of possible uses. Also, the gripper built into the pliers can easily double as a nut cracker.
Weighing in at a mere 5 ounces, this lightweight tool measures 4 inches in length when it is fully closed, and only 1.25 inches wide. An interesting feature of the Leatherman Skeletool is that its knife can be accessed even when it is fully closed and the rest of the tool is inaccessible. In my opinion, the large handle this creates for the knife allows you even more control than you would find when using the knives of most of the other tools on this list.
Gerber Suspension 12-in-1 Multi-Plier
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the Gerber Suspension is that it features Gerber’s patented Saf.T.Plus system which locks each tool in place, whether it is in use or not. Many multi-tools feature locking systems only for sharp tools and only lock things in place when they are in use. The Saf.T.Plus system ensures that even the dullest of tools is locked into place when it is in use to keep control of the tool in the palm of your hand. Though losing control of a screwdriver may not be as devastating as losing control of a knife, it can still have a negative outcome.
A total of twelve tools have been built into this set, including pliers, wire cutters, a straight-edge knife blade, a serrated knife blade, a mid-sized Philips screwdriver, medium and large flathead screwdrivers, a pair of scissors, a bottle opener, a saw, an awl, and a lanyard ring so that you can easily carry it on your keyring or attach it to your backpack. The pliers have built-in spring-action so that they actually end up doing half of the work for you. Be careful if you decide to use the wire cutters to strip wire, as they do not include a stripping notch.
Despite the fact that multiple screwdrivers are listed in this tool’s specifications, there is actually only one screwdriver. The screwdriver is bit based which means that you add different screwdriver tips to the main screwdriver shaft, creating many different screwdrivers. In addition to the three bits which come with this tool, you can choose to purchase extra bits. All of the included tools fold up inside of the stylish metal handles. Of course, you will have to find somewhere else to store any additional screwdriver bits you may purchase.
Much like the Hoffman Richter multi-tool listed further up this page, this Gerber’s handles have designs cut out of them to reduce its weight. The lighter a multi-tool is, the easier it is to carry with you on backpacking trips. In total, this tool weighs 9.6 ounces and folds up to become a mere four inches in length.
Ridgeworks Multitool Locking Premium Utility Tool
I should tell you that this multi-tool received such incredible consumer reviews that it was a top contender for one of our positions in the Top Three Choices for multi-tools. It was a very close call between this Ridgeworks and the tool which received the “Best Value” title. In the end, the Hoffman Richter HR-100 simply offered a little more for its slightly lower price.
What makes this particular tool so impressive that it has received very positive consumer reviews and nearly took a place in our Top Three section? Unlike many of the fully stainless steel options on this list, this Ridgeworks multi-tool features hard anodized aluminum handles. Unknown to most people, hard anodized aluminum is actually stronger and much more durable than stainless steel. Just be careful not to use this tool with anything hot (such as using it to hold something over a fire), because aluminum is also a great conductor of heat. Although the tools themselves have been made from stainless steel, the handle is still likely to grow warm, so, if you absolutely must use it with something hot be sure to wear protective gloves while you work.
I’m sure that you are probably wondering just how many tools are packed into this super-functional, compact multi-tool. The answer to that question is – 16. Sixteen useful tools have been built into this unit, each of which is destined to offer some sort of assistance to you in the wild. The tools included are needle-nose pliers with a built-in grip, a straight-edge knife, a serrated knife, a can opener, a bottle opener, a fish hook remover, a leather punch, 2 different grades of files, and four screwdrivers.
Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool
This heavy duty multi-tool may be a little more expensive than some of the others on this list and may weigh a little bit more than some of them as well, but if you are looking for rugged durability it may be worth the extra money and the extra weight. If the extra weight concerns you because you are planning a backpacking trip, you will be happy to know that the Leatherman Wave comes with a nylon carrying case which can be attached to your belt.
Measuring 4 inches in length when fully closed, this tool manages to hide 17 useful tools into one compact space. Included are the following: needle-nose pliers, a pair of scissors, a knife, a small saw, a file, wire cutters, a bottle opener, a can opener, a mid-sized Philips screwdriver, an 8-inch ruler, a lanyard attachment, and a tiny flathead screwdriver. Since the screwdriver is bit-based you can choose to carry extra bits with you for even more versatility, and you can extend it with an optional 21 piece bit kit.
Many of this tool’s functions are important in survival situations. The saw will help you cut branches to build a fire, the knife and can opener will be part of what helps to keep you fed. However, this tool also has useful functions you may not even realize you could need in the wild. I know from experience how frustrating it can be to find yourself with a loose glasses arm in the middle of the forest when you have nothing to fix it with. People like me who wear glasses will be very happy to hear that the tiny flathead screwdriver is exactly the right size to tighten the arms of glasses.