Comprehensive hands-on reviews of the best multitools on the market!

Gifts for Guys – 5 Top Rated Multitools

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Looking for a great gift for the man in your life? Whether he is an outdoorsman, home handyman, technology geek or just an average Joe – there is a multitool that he will love. Long gone are the days of the clunky sheet metal multi-tools that cut into your palm when using the pliers and shred your fingers trying to pry open the tools, today’s modern multitools combine extreme function with intelligent, artful design and precision engineering.

Best Multitool Overall: Leatherman Charge TTi

Leatherman Charge TTi multi-tool

Leatherman combined all of the most requested features into one functional tool when they made the Charge TTi. Premium comfort-sculpted titanium handle scales and an S30V stainless steel clip-point knife really take the Leatherman Charge TTi multi-tool to the next level. Who says a multi-tool can’t be stylish and functional?

With top of the line S30V steel on the clip point blade, the Charge TTi will hold its edge up to 6 times longer than standard 420HC stainless steel used on many multitools. The proprietary Leatherman bit drivers mean that there are no compromises when it comes to screwdriver heads – many models come with 14 different bit drivers that can be stored in the sheath and expansion kits are available that include a bit driver extension for added reach. Note that standard 1/4 inch drive bits will not work without the Leatherman extension adapter.

Read our full Leatherman Charge TTi review.

Best Multitool for the Sportsman: SOG PowerDuo

SOG PowerDuo PDO2N-CP multi-tool

SOG is noted for their military equipment and the PowerDuo PD02N-CP lives up to the hype. Equal parts knife and pliers, with the required other tools: flat and Phillips screwdrivers, can opener and bottle opener, and even tweezers and a toothpick.

A good knife blade is key for the outdoorsman and the 2.9-inch blade on the PowerDuo is a full inch longer than many competitor multitools. With thumbholes for one-handed opening and 9CR18MOV steel with RC. 58-60 hardness the SOG PowerDuo blade keeps a long-lasting and durable edge. With the blade folded, the SOG PowerDuo is 4.3 inches long and with the blade opened it is 6.2-inch overall length.

The PowerDuo has SOG’s signature Compound Leverage pliers with one-handed flip opening capability. At 6.3 oz, the SOG PowerDuo is best carried in the nylon sheath and includes a pocket clip for everyday carry.

Read our full SOG PowerDuo review.

Best Multitool for the Handyman: SOG PowerLock EOD 2.0 V-Cutter

SOG Powerlock EOD B61N-CP multi-tool

SOG’s patented Compound Leverage technology uses interlocking gears to increase leverage – SOG pliers generate twice as much torque for the same amount of hand pressure compared to conventional multitools. Packed with 18 tools, the SOG PowerLock is the perfect multitool for the handyman because the individual components can be switched out – simply purchase the parts, disassemble the PowerLock and swap in the new items. The ability to disassemble the multitool is also a great feature for cleaning after using the SOG PowerLock in wet, gritty, or greasy situations.

SOG was the first company to include a 1/4 inch bit driver on their folding multitool and it greatly increases the utility of the SOG PowerLock. With the optional adapter, the PowerLock is compatible with all specialty (Torx, hex, socket, etc) that use standard 1/4 inch bits. The V-Cutter safely opens those frustrating plastic clam-shell packages and boxes, cuts cord and fishing lines, and can be a lifesaver by cutting seat belts in emergency situations.

The SOG PowerLock is 4.6 inches long when folded and extends to 7 inches when opened. At 9.6 oz, the PowerLock is easily carried in the included ballistic nylon sheath with a leather belt loop.

Read our full SOG PowerLock EOD 2.0 V-Cutter review.

Best Keychain Multitool: Leatherman Squirt PS4

Leatherman Squirt PS4 blue multi-tool

The best multitool is the one you have with you, and the Leatherman Squirt PS4 virtually disappears on your keychain. At only 2 oz and 2.25 inches when closed, the Squirt PS4 is easily forgotten until you need to use one of its 9 tools. Leatherman packed a lot of functionality in a small package: needlenose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutters, 1.6 inch 420HC steel knife, scissors, regular/Phillips screwdriver, wood/metal file, medium flat screwdriver, and even a bottle opener.

Leatherman Squirt ES4 multi-tool

Stylish as well as functional, the Squirt PS4 is available with anodized aluminum handles in three colors: blue, black and red. The Squirt ES4 trades out the regular pliers for wire strippers (12ga, 14ga, 16ga, 18ga, & 20ga). Each of the pliers, wire cutters and scissors have spring action for easy use.

Don’t be misled by their small size, these multitools are backed by Leatherman’s engineering experience and offer serious functionality when it is not possible or practical to carry a larger multi-tool.

Read our full Leatherman Squirt PS4 review.

Best Essential Multitool: Leatherman Skeletool CX

Leatherman Skeletool CX multi-tool

The Leatherman Skeletool does three things and it does them very well. With a 2.6-inch knife blade, pliers with wire cutters, and two double-ended bit drivers, the Skeletool has everything users want and need most.

Leatherman uses high-quality 154CM steel with 60-61 HRC hardness on the knife blade that is a step up from their standard blades. A large thumb hole makes the blade easy to actuate with your right thumb (sorry lefties) and a liner lock keeps the blade from closing accidentally while in use.

The pliers on the Skeletool are strong and the curved handles are comfortable and allow for good leverage. With a slight taper to the tip, the needle nose pliers are able to reach into tight spaces and use one-handed. Leatherman is known for their precision – the plier jaws keep their alignment even after tough use. The needle nose close squarely with no play and the wire cutters cut cleanly.

Two double-ended bit drivers are included with the Skeletool – one Phillips head bit and one slotted head bit, both with large and small tips. The Skeletool CX is comfortable to carry with its included pocket clip – get one today for the man in your life and put a smile on his face!

Read our full Leatherman Skeletool CX review.

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How to Select the Right Leatherman Multitool

Leatherman Multitool – The Everyman Tool for Everyday Use

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After the Swiss Army knife, the Leatherman is probably the best known multitool on the market. Leatherman created a new market with their Pocket Survival Tool in 1984 and have continued to define the market with their line of multitools and knives. With so many to choices finding the right one for your needs can be challenging.

Perhaps no single item has been produced to be more versatile in more situations than the multitool. The category of modern multitool was created by Leatherman with the release of their original model, the Pocket Survival Tool, in 1984. Since then many other manufacturers have also come out with their own multi-tools: SOG with the ParaTool in 1992, Victorinox with the SwissTool and Gerber with the Multi-Plier 600 both in 1998, and CRKT (Columbia River Knife &Tool) in 2007 with the Zilla-Tool.

Leatherman multitool logo
Victorinox Swiss Army multitool logo
SOG Knives and Tools multitool logo
Gerber Gear multi-plier logo
CRKT multitool logo

There are so many different designs on the market that the choices can be overwhelming. If you are looking for your first multitool and wondering which one is right for you, we recommend the following guide to help you narrow down the options and make your decision.

Identify the Primary Purpose

While many multi-tools are designed to be a jack of all trades, some multitools can be very specialized. Leatherman has tried to design multitools to fit the various needs of their consumers. With all of the options on the market today, there is sure to be something for you whether you are an outdoorsman, tradesman, bicycle enthusiast, or home handyman. While some people think that more is better, in our experience you want to get a tool that will fit your needs but not weigh you down with added weight and bulk for tools you never use. Before you buy, decide how you will use your Leatherman and what primary tools are needed:

  • Will this be your everyday pocket knife replacement? Get the right blade style and invest in higher quality blade steel.
  • Will you be holding other items when you need to use your multitool? Some multitools have their tools accessible from the outside, others you have to unfold the handles to access the tools. If you need to operate one-handed then look for flip-open pliers and a knife blade with a thumb stud or thumb hole.
  • Will you be traveling with your Leatherman? Get a TSA-compliant version if you want to keep it in your pocket or carry on.

With so many different models to choose from, there is no reason to purchase something that does not meet your needs.

Choose Your Carry Method

Not all Leatherman multitools can be carried in your pocket. In fact, some are designed specifically for being carried in a holster on your belt. Don’t get overwhelmed by the tool selection on a specific model without checking out the size and weight of the item. If you are not interested in carrying a multitool in a holster on your waistband, then you will need to either get a smaller model or find an alternate way to carry it. Be careful when looking at online photos and reviews, many of the keychain tools are miniature versions of full-size multitools but are only about the size of an AA battery! Check out our reviews of the top multitools in each of the three main categories: full-size, pocket-size, and keychain.

Photo of three Leatherman multitools - full size, pocket size and keychain

A multitool is designed to help you accomplish your everyday tasks and provide you with the tools you might possibly need in a variety of situations. That being said, if the product is too large to take with you, it will do you absolutely no good. The best multitool is the one you have with you and not the one that is left on the dresser at home. Choose wisely.

Determine Your Budget

Leatherman multitools are available from as low as ~$25 to their high-end models that are nearly $200 (or more if you get a custom setup). It is important to choose a tool that is not only a fit for your needs but also a fit for your budget. If you are depending on the multitool every day for your job then investing in a solid and reliable tool makes sense, if the multitool will see only occasional use then a less expensive choice may be right for you.

Leatherman offers a 25-year warranty on their multitools so you can spend a little more on your purchase and have confidence your multitool will last.

Accessorizing With Your Multitool

Ok, so you might not actually think about your multitool as a fashion statement, but if you are a DIY diva there are options for you. Leatherman multitools are made in nine colors other than stainless steel grey. There are even models in pink and purple! So while the color should probably not be your first deciding factor, it is nice to know that you have some choice in the matter.

A Lifelong Friend

A quality multitool can last for decades. Choosing the right one is important considering how long it will probably be with you. Hopefully by using the suggestions in this article you will be able to identify just the right tool for you, and get a lifetime of enjoyment from your purchase.

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