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

How to Select the Right Leatherman Multitool

Leatherman Multitool – The Everyman Tool for Everyday Use

We are user supported and some of our links are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you click through and make a qualifying purchase.

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.

We are user supported and some of our links are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you click through and make a qualifying purchase.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *