Top 7 Multi-Tools of 2018

There was a time when multi-tools ruled. Sportsmen loved them, tradesmen used them, and survivalist depended on them. No matter where you went or what you were doing outdoors, there was a multi-tool hanging on your belt. Although they suffered during the “everything tactical” era, multi-tools are now making a comeback. No doubt the popularity of EDC tools has helped revive the multi-tool. They are after all the ultimate EDC tool, or tools, wrapped into one easy-to-carry package. That begs the question: Which multi-tool is best?

Even in the multi-tool’s heyday, there were only a few types to choose from. While some manufacturers offered both a full and mini version of the same design, most selections revolved around picking a maker, not a final product. Over the years that has changed. Now you can choose a multi-tool geared toward specific activities, so they contain the tools you will most likely need. There are EOD tools with wire cutters and crimpers, rifle maintenance tools with carbon scrapper and sight adjustment devices, and even tools small enough to fit on a keychain. Of course, there are still basic models available for those who just like the idea of having the most popular tools close at hand.

We have searched our inventory and selected the seven best multi-tools available. Below is a brief description and the pros and cons of each, enough to help you decide if one of these may be the multi-tool for you. If you like what you see, make sure to click the link and get yours now.

Leatherman Wave

Leatherman is the undisputed leader when it comes to multi-tools. Its Original was the premier example for many years. In 2004, Leatherman redesigned the Wave, combining it with the Original. The result offered all the features, accessories, and function users were looking for in one single package. Plus, larger blades, stronger gripping power, and a lifetime warranty mean you can tackle more projects with less worry. It’s available in black or stainless steel.

Standard Features

  • Needle nose pliers with improved grip
  • Larger wire cutters for improved performance
  • Wire stripper
  • 420 HC utility knife
  • 420 HC serrated knife
  • Saw blade capable of taking on small branches and thick line
  • Spring action scissors
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Diamond-coated file
  • Three different-size screwdrivers
  • Size: 4 inches (closed), 8.5 ounces

PROS

  • Strong, long-lasting construction
  • All tools are well designed and functional
  • The combination of tools is likely to meet the average day-to-day needs of most users

CONS

  • Knife blade sticks out a bit when not deployed, causing occasional discomfort when squeezing the handle to use other tools
  • Some of the tools are missing a fingernail groove or hole, making deployment difficult

Leatherman OHT

Although the undisputed leader in multi-tools, Leatherman did suffer a bit of a setback when Gerber entered the market. Gerber offered a simpler plier deployment than Leatherman’s multi-tools. Leatherman’s design required users to open the handle, fold out the pliers for use, and repeat the process when done. Although it worked well enough, it was not as user-friendly as Gerber’s flick-out design. The OHT is Leatherman’s attempt to fix that, and it appears the company succeeded.

Leatherman also addressed a different tool-deployment problem: the need to use two hands. On the OHT, the tools are all folded into the outside of the handle, which not only frees interior space for the pliers, but allows each tool to be deployed single-handedly. With oversized finger holes and exterior graphics, it is easy to locate and open each one. It comes in black and coyote versions.

Standard Features

  • Spring action pliers
  • Spring action 154CM wire cutters that can be replaced
  • 420CM utility blade
  • 420CM serrated blade
  • Saw blade
  • Strap cutter
  • #8-32 cleaning brush adapter
  • Can and bottle openers
  • Oxygen tank wrench
  • Three different-size screwdrivers

PROS

  • Easy to open; most tools can be accessed with only one hand
  • Slide-out pliers
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Not all tools can be used or accessed without changing plier position
  • Some tools, such as the oxygen wrench and the cleaning brush adapter, are needed by every user

Gerber Compact Sport

There are plenty of great multi-tools on the market. But, there are not many quality multi-tools that comfortably attach to a pocket. While it is true that most users just assume that “multi-tool” means “belt holster,” there are times when that is not an option. If that’s the case for you, you’ll like the Gerber Compact Sport. This slightly smaller multi-tool, measuring 4.3 inches closed and 5.5 open, is designed to provide all the tools you need without the size you don’t. It’s available in black and includes a sheath.

Standard Features

  • Compact size: 4.3 inches (open), 5.5 inches (open), and only 6.6 ounces
  • Stainless steel handle
  • Non-reflective coating
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutter and crimper
  • Combination utility and serrated knife
  • Fiskar scissors
  • Three different size standard screwdrivers
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Can and bottle openers

PROS

  • Compact lightweight size for easier carrying
  • Extremely sharp Fiskar scissors that work well
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Combination knife not as good as two separate blades
  • Screwdrivers are small and very short

Leatherman MUT EOD

The MUT EOD is not for everyone. As the name implies, this multi-tool is designed for the explosive ordnance disposal specialist, and the choice of tools that come with it confirms that. Although I would not expect the EOD tech to replace a full toolbox with a multi-tool, it does make for a good backup, and a means of providing the average ground pounder with some useful tools in a pinch. It is big, weighing in at over 11 ounces. But, thanks to the handy belt clip, it is not too cumbersome to carry. Why don’t more multi-tools include a clip?

Standard Features

  • Needle nose and wide grip pliers
  • Stranded wire cutters
  • Replaceable 154CM fuse wire cutters
  • Cap crimper and electrical crimper
  • 420HC combination blade
  • Saw blade
  • Cutting hook with replaceable blades
  • Hammerhead
  • Bolt override tool
  • Bronze Carbon scraper
  • #8-32 cleaning rod adapter
  • Large bit drive
  • Carabiner/bottle opener

PROS

  • Designed for warriors with options unavailable on other multi-tools
  • Carabiner allows large, heavy tool to be carried easier
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Replaceable cutting blades

CONS

  • Very heavy at over 11 ounces
  • Many of the tools are good but cannot replace the real thing

The MUT is also available in a standard version, with regular needlenose combination pliers with hard-wire cutters instead of the crimper and fuse-wire cutters. In addition, the MUT Utility has a firearm disassembly punch in place of the C4 punch.

SOG PowerAssist

SOG is known for its quality hardworking and user-friendly knives. By taking these attributes and applying them to a multi-tool, SOG has tackled two of the biggest concerns of users: having a quality blade that will last, and being able to get to that blade in a hurry. Of course, SOG also includes many of the other tools and features users look for, and in doing so, it has entered the multi-tool market with a bang. It comes in stainless steel and includes a sheath.

Standard Features

  • Serrated and utility knives, both with SOG Assisted Technology release
  • Wide, smooth handle for increased grip
  • Piano locking system to secure tools in an open position
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • V-cutter for line and webbing
  • Two screwdrivers
  • Bottle and can openers
  • File
  • Lanyard ring
  • Quarter-inch socket drive

PROS

  • SOG Assist Technology makes accessing blades easier than ever
  • Separate, longer screwdrivers make using those tools more practical
  • Socket drive is a nice addition that should be on more multi-tools

CONS

  • Larger than many other models, which makes it a bit bulky for everyday carry
  • Accessing the tools, other than the blades, is not as easy as it should be

RAVPower RP-TL001 Multi-tool

Despite their popularity, there are two major problems with multi-tools: size and cost. Not everyone, especially those who already carry a folding blade regularly, want a large, bulky multi-tool on their belt. Even more potential users are put off by the high price tags, which can easily exceed $100. Sure, a serious user sees this as an investment, but for the occasional user, it is a barrier. The RAVPower may be the answer. While this is not a top-notch multi-tool to hang your life and livelihood on, it is a quality option for those who want more than a blade without the large size or high cost others bring to the table. It comes in black, with a bit set and sheath included.

Standard Features

  • Full-size folding blade, with a combination of straight and serrated edges
  • Narrow pliers
  • Can and bottle openers
  • Multiple screwdriver heads
  • 9-piece bit set
  • Fits in your pocket

PROS

  • Smaller and less costly than most other multi-tool available
  • Can be used with right and left hand
  • Offers more than just a folding blade in the same general size

CONS

  • Not as high quality as many other multi-tools
  • Limited selection of tools

Gerber Center-Drive

The Gerber Center-Drive is one of the most anticipated multi-tools on the market. Blade enthusiasts have awaited the release with as much excitement as techies anticipate the latest iPhone. Why all the hype? The longer, offset screwdriver promised to finally provide a workable screwdriver that would actually remove a screw and do so without busting your knuckles. Plus, it includes all the standard tools you expect from a Gerber multi-tool, while removing some of those you never use (or even know what to do with).

Standard Features

  • Heavy-duty tapered pliers with cutter and wire stripper
  • Quarter-inch magnetic bit driver
  • Serrated blade
  • Utility knife
  • Course file
  • Awl
  • Can opener with a pry bar
  • Standard and Phillips bit with storage for extra bit in the handle
  • Optional 12-piece bit set
  • Lanyard attachment point
  • Nylon sheath

PROS

  • Full-size center drive design makes screwdriver functional rather than something of a last resort
  • Large blade
  • Limiting selection of tools to those you might actually use

CONS

  • The holster does not secure the bit drive kit as well as would be expected
  • Would prefer to see a better metal selection for blades

Check out our review of the Center-Drive here!

US Patriot Tactical

US Patriot Tactical

US Patriot is a veteran owned and operated US-based retailer supplying boots, uniforms, apparel and gear to military and law enforcement personnel. By soldiers for soldiers. Visit them online at uspatriottactical.com.
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