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Top Picks

How we choose: The best multi-tools highlighted here were selected based on 191 reviews of 95 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

If you've used a multi-tool that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

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Leatherman Super Tool 300

user rating: 5 of 5 (6 reviews)

This is my EDC tool. I take this with me everywhere. It is very handy and not heavy at all, in fact, this is the best Leatherman you could possibly own. The package says 19 tools, but I found 21 uses for this handy tool and recently I had 'No Fear' engraved on it. That's how much I love this tool. It's my favorite Leatherman and I own a few. You can't go wrong with this one.

Reasons to Buy

  • Stainless steel
  • All tools lock
  • Not too heavy
  • Very tough and durable
  • Phillips fits any bit adapter to use any bits!!
  • No proprietary bits needed
  • Long screwdrivers
  • Replaceable wire cutters

Reasons to Avoid

  • No pocket clip
  • No scissors
  • Expensive
  • Tools are on the inside
  • Cheap sheath

This is a tough tool indeed. This is not a medium-duty tool like the Wave, Rebar, or Charge. It is not a budget tool like a Wingman or Sidekick. This is a heavy duty MT like the Surge, but the Super Tool 300 is lighter and has 21 uses, even though the package says 19 tools. I never leave home without my Super Tool. I have owned this tool for a few months and I was able to fix my mountain bike, my mother's car, a friend's light switch, a bathroom rack. I just fix and replace many things with my Super Tool, it's very handy and easily eliminates the need for a lot of other tools.

Read more: Leatherman Super Tool 300 reviews (6)

Leatherman Sidekick

user rating: 5 of 5 (5 reviews)

The Leatherman Sidekick is an awesome multi tool with sharp knives/saws. It is great for camping since you can saw wood for fires, screw things in, and lots more.

Reasons to Buy

  • Strong
  • Easy to use
  • Stainless steel
  • Sharp knives
  • Lots of tools

The Leatherman Sidekick is a great heavy duty multi tool. It is constantly easy to use. All you have to do is open it and pull out the tool you need. One great thing about this particular tool it that the saw is very sharp. It is very well made having thick tools. It really hasn't changed that much only the knives and saws getting a little duller, but they are still sharp. I've used this on many campouts in all seasons. I've had this for 3-4 years and it has still stayed nice. This would be a great knife if you like to camp a lot since it lasts a long time, stays sharp, and works great.

Read more: Leatherman Sidekick reviews (5)

Leatherman Skeletool

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (6 reviews)

A minimal approach to a multi-tool after years with the now-discontinued Leatherman Wave. I like that it’s lighter and less expensive. Definitely worth getting a case and extra driver bits. I wish it had one non-serrated blade. Very solid build quality.

Reasons to Buy

  • Price
  • Simplicity
  • Versatility
  • Build quality

Reasons to Avoid

  • No non-serrated blade
  • No file

Leatherman’s Skeletool is a great option for people who wonder why they don’t use all the fold-out attachments on a multi-tool or Swiss Army knife. As with any simplified tool, there are certain options that people might miss; if so, look at Leatherman’s other, more tool-heavy options. Personally, though, there are very few situations where I miss having the extra tools. For an extra $20, you can get the Skeletool CX. It’s a half-ounce lighter, the knife blade is not serrated, and the blade is made from 154cm, a premium type of stainless steel that should hold an edge a little better.

Read more: Leatherman Skeletool reviews (6)

Victorinox Swiss Army Farmer Alox

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Another iconic design from a company with unsurpassed manufacturing process control and product quality control. The Victorinox Pioneer is a great all-around knife to have at home and afield. I'll not be caught without mine.

Reasons to Buy

  • Beefiness
  • Steel and ease of sharpening

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lanyard ring vs. bail
  • Lack of instructions for wire stripper.

Another great all  around knife. This knife is the two layer Victorinox Pioneer with a third layer for an added root saw. In fact, the Victorinox 93mm alox line is known as the Pioneer series. Like the Pioneer, this knife in not just for camping but for everyday use too. This is a bit longer (93mm) and a bit beefier than most Swiss Army Knives.  It's a five tool/blade scout pattern (main blade, can opener/small screw driver, cap lifter/large screw driver/wire stripper, punch/awl, and root saw).

Read more: Victorinox Swiss Army Farmer Alox reviews (4)

Victorinox Swiss Army One Hand Trekker

user rating: 5 of 5 (5 reviews)

I actually carry this in my pocket most days and out on the trail whenever I go. It has a large blade that is serrated at the end and non-serrated near the base. It's the opposite of most knives, but it makes more sense. The blade is locking, as is the flathead screwdriver / bottle opener. The tools are all top quality, and, again, Victorinox has set the standard when it comes to small saws. One thing to note, is that Victorinox has come out with a "new" Soldier's Knife. This knife is exactly the same as the one-handed trekker, except for the outside shell of the knife. So, I would buy whichever one is cheaper.

Read more: Victorinox Swiss Army One Hand Trekker reviews (5)

Leatherman Squirt PS4

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Though small in size, this is still a serious tool. It is well-made and has the diminutive heft of pocket-sized tool that is meant to be more than an ornament. Its chief limitation is its size, which is also its chief virtue. An excellent option for small repair jobs, removing a hot pot from a fire, or similar tasks. Great for everyday carry as well as backpacking.

Reasons to Buy

  • Made of quality materials
  • Useful array of tools
  • Handy size encourages it to be carried
  • Excellent fit and finish
  • Durable

Reasons to Avoid

  • No toothpick, no tweezers, no awl
  • Small scale limits utility
  • Chisel-ground knife

The quest for the perfect backpacking multi-tool is one in which many of my friends have engaged. Trying to find the perfect balance between features and weight or size and utility proves elusive. I think there is still some money to be made by someone nails this combination. But in any case, it was with the goal of continuing this quest that I purchased the Leatherman Squirt PS4. This review is based on a half year of near daily use, both in urban and backcountry environments. Leatherman has been around since 1983, and—so closely is Tim Leatherman's name attached to the idea of a multi-tool—the company's catch phrase is "the original American multi-tool." I own another Leatherman, the PST that was retired in 2004.

Read more: Leatherman Squirt PS4 reviews (4)

Leatherman Surge

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

The Surge is everything-in-one with its only limit being your own creativity. It's on the heavier side, but it won't fail you when you're out in the backcountry and need it the most.

Reasons to Buy

  • Reliable
  • Versatile
  • Durable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Heavy

I brought the Surge backpacking in the Manistee National Forest. I found the design and features of the Surge to be incredibly intuitive and easily mastered. This tool does catch some slack for being on the heavier side, but the weight directly translates to sturdiness and versatility. I would trade in the extra oz for the assurance that the multitool won't bend or break in a densely packed backpack. It also has the potential to replace nearly everything on your camping tool list.

Read more: Leatherman Surge reviews (4)

Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2 reviews)

The best tools are the available ones.

Reasons to Buy

  • Tiny
  • Unthreatening
  • Functional
  • Durable
  • Legal to carry

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not a solution, for every problem
  • Can work its way off your key ring

I've carried this tiny set of tools on my key ring for perhaps 20 years. It weighs nothing, arouses no anxiety in the office, and causes the Police no concern—although it's not legal to carry on a flight in the UK. Made of stainless steel with plastic scales (or alloy, for a few pounds extra), the classic is 58mm in length and features a pen blade, file, flat head screwdriver, scissors, toothpick and tweezers, plus a loop to attach to a keyring. None of the tools lock in place and neither could they be described as "heavy duty"—but if used appropriately they will function for a very long time.

Read more: Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD reviews (2)

Victorinox Swiss Army Recruit

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

The perfect first pocket knife that I recommend for all Scouts. It has the most commonly needed tools with a high quality steel that holds an edge well in a size suitable for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts alike.

Reasons to Buy

  • Two blades
  • Can opener
  • Fairly simple
  • High quality

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not so many tools

Ease of Use:  Easy to use! Liner lock securely holds blades open and allows Cub Scouts to close blades easily. Blades come sharp and ready to use. Can opener works great! Features: Large blade, small blade, can opener, small and large screwdrivers, tweezers, and tooth pick. It also has a bottle opener, wire stripper, and key ring. I find that the blades and can opener are used the most, followed by the screwdrivers and tweezers. Additional tools, though occasionally helpful, make the multi-tool harder to use in general.

Read more: Victorinox Swiss Army Recruit reviews (2)

Victorinox Swiss Army Pioneer

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Iconic design from a company with unsurpassed manufacturing process control and product quality control. The Victorinox Pioneer is a great all around knife to have at home and afield. I'll not be caught without mine.

Reasons to Buy

  • Size
  • Grip
  • Blade thickness
  • Heat treat and ease of sharpening

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lanyard ring/bail
  • No explanation on use of wire stripper.

This is a great all around knife. Not just for camping but for everyday use too. This is a bit longer (93mm) and a bit beefier than most Swiss Army Knives. It's a four tool/blade scout pattern (main blade, can opener/small screw driver, cap lifter/large screw driver/wire stripper, and punch/awl). The steel is Scandinavian stainless (on the order of Sandvic 12C27) with the main blade's hardness at 56-58 Rc. Other tools are treated to be softer so as to be less brittle and less likely to snap with the sideways force/torque they undergo when used as designed.

Read more: Victorinox Swiss Army Pioneer review (1)

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