How much time do you think we spend rummaging through tool boxes over the course of our lives? Do we even want to know the answer to that? If only there was a way to get those hours back.
We’ve all had the experience of turning the house upside-down for some tool we never seem to be able to find.
But when you own a great multi-tool, all the essentials are right there at your fingertips. No searching. No rummaging. Of course, there are a lot of great multi-tools out there today, which is why we decided to track down the best.
Over the course of our search, we found some unique and innovative tools. We also rediscovered some old classics, many of which have been ever-so-slightly tweaked, updated and improved in 2020.
Every tool on this list impressed us in some way. Some with their toughness, some with their unique designs, and some with their affordability. Any one of them deserves a place in your backpack or back pocket.
1. Gerber Suspension-NXT Multi-Tool with Pocket Clip
It’s hard to find fault with the Gerber Suspension-NXT Multi-Tool, a great all-around pick for anyone in need of a trusty companion. The most recent generation of this tool has added several new features, including a wire stripper, awl, file, ruler and medium flathead driver.
That brings the total number of facets on this multi-tool up to 15. Also included are spring-loaded needle-nose pliers, designed to reduce hand fatigue, and a blade with both serrated and straight-edge sections.
Open length is 6.25 inches, and the construction of both the handles and the blade are stainless steel. It’s tough and well put-together.
Another big point in this multi-tool’s favor is its weight. At just 6.7 oz., it’s light enough for comfortable everyday carry, without losing any of the functionality that a professional tradesman would look for. And with a slim profile and sturdy pocket clip, it easily rests on your belt or in your pocket without coming loose or getting in the way.
The Gerber Suspension-NXT Multi-Tool is also amazingly affordable, and has a convenient butterfly design that makes all the tools easy to access.
2. Leatherman Wingman Multitool
Leatherman has more than earned its place as a leading creator of multi-tools that are tough, hard-wearing and beautifully designed. The Wingman Multi-tool is an excellent addition to the Leatherman lineup, and true to its name, it’s like a trusted friend who will have your back when you need it most.
The design incorporates 14 tools in one, and the sleek, sturdy stainless-steel construction can take a beating and walk away without a scratch. Plus, the tool has a rounded design that makes it comfortable no matter how hard you need to grip it.
If you have it in your budget to spend a little more on a multi-tool, The Leatherman Wingman is one that will most likely last a lifetime. And just like every Leatherman, it comes with a 25-year warranty.
This particular model also comes with a detachable pocket clip—a nice touch, as not everybody needs one—and is compact enough to carry wherever you go.
It weighs in at a relatively trim 6.9 oz. and measures 3.8 inches closed. Some of the tools are accessible from the outside and others are not, but the Wingman is designed for one-hand opening so you can always get to whatever you need while keeping one hand free.
3. Pohaku 13 in 1 Multitool Knife
If you’re in search of a budget-friendly multi-tool that won’t let you down, the Pohaku 13 in 1 Portable Multifunctional Multi-Tool is a tough one to beat. We simply have not found a better tool in its price range. It’s made of sturdy stainless steel with a black anti-corrosion and rust-proof coating.
The whole tool has a curved design which not only makes it comfortable, but improves the utility of the knife feature in particular. True to its name, this multi-tool incorporates13 distinct tools into its design. As a bonus, it comes with a snap-closure carrying case, a relief for anyone who’s ever lost a tool due to a cheap Velcro case.
This is a substantial multi-tool, measuring 4.2 inches closed and sporting a blade just over 3 inches. It weighs in at 8 ounces flat, so it’s not the heaviest multi-tool but not the lightest either.
Let’s say if you carry it in your pocket, you won’t forget it’s there. But this is also a great addition to your tackle box or camping gear list.
Outdoor use is where the Pohaku 13 in 1 really shines, and the extra-long blade makes it useful for cleaning fish, preparing kindling and other outdoor use. Throw it in your pack and it’ll be there when you need it.
4. MOSSY OAK 21-in-1 Multitool
Mossy Oak’s 21-in-1 Stainless Steel Multi-Tool gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Right out of the gate, let’s address the number 21. This tool does indeed offer that many features, and one of the ways it reaches that impressive number is with four detachable double-sided screwdriver buts, which snap into a magnetic screwdriver sleeve.
This multi-tool also has a handy self-locking design, rugged stainless-steel construction, and spring-loaded pliers that are comfortable and easy to use.
It’s worth noting that, as multi-tools go, this is a big boy. The Mossy Oak 21-in-1 Multi-tool tips the scales at 16 oz. (otherwise known as one pound) so it’s not the tool for you if you need something lightweight for everyday carry.
But it’s incredibly versatile, which makes it the perfect tool to throw in with your hunting gear, or keep in a kitchen drawer so you always have it handy in case of emergency. The 21-in-1 is also affordable, and comes with a hard-wearing nylon pouch with a separate pocket for the screwdriver bits.
5. Amenitee 18 In 1 Multi-Tool
One of several recent multi-tools that utilize the unique “snowflake” design, the Amenitee 18 In 1 Incredible Tool packs a lot of features into its compact, eye-catching design.
With a flat profile that easily slides into a pocket or backpack, the Incredible Tool weighs just 2.3 ounces and is a little over 2 inches across. Among its 18 features are both flathead and Philips head screwdrivers, a box cutter, bottle opener and several sizes of Allen wrenches. It’s made of solid stainless steel with a slick anodized rainbow finish.
One minor strike against the Amenitee multi-tool is that its design, while ingenious and undoubtedly nice to look at, isn’t always as easy to use as one might hope.
Some users have found the edges of the tool to be a little sharp, which can make it rough on the hands if, let’s say, you’re trying to turn a really stuck screw. That aside, it’s a unique and innovative tool that also happens to be affordable. It makes a great gift, and is sure to be a conversation starter.
6. Gerber 30-000469 Dime Mini Multi-Tool
Lightweight, compact and easy to take with you wherever you go, the Gerber 30-000469 Dime Mini Multi-Tool is one of the best small multi-tools of 2020. Measuring just 2.75 inches closed (4.25 inches open) this tool is truly made with everyday carry in mind.
It’s small enough to keep it on your keychain, but still has most of the features you would want in a multi-tool. The Dime has 12 tools in total, including a fine edge blade, spring loaded needle-nose pliers and wire cutters, scissors, bottle opener and—this last one will make fans of old Swiss Army knives happy—tweezers. The bottle opener is always in the “open” position, which is handy if that’s something you use regularly.
The Gerber 30-000469 Dime Mini Multi-Tool weights a dainty 2.2 ounces and comes in several colors (black is standard). It also comes in a bladeless “travel” version.
If you need a heavy-duty multi-tool for everyday use and rugged wear-and-tear, this probably isn’t it. But if you need something that will come in handy without weighing you down, this is a great option. We especially recommend it for hikers and backpackers looking to minimize their pack weight.
7. MOSSY OAK 13-in-1 Multitool
Made with the outdoorsman in mind, the Mossy Oak 13 in 1 Multi Function Pliers are sturdy and able to take plenty of wear and tear. In terms of size and weight, it falls a little on the larger end of the spectrum (4.25 inches closed, about 12 oz.).
But along with that weight you get a rugged multi-tool that never fails to do what’s asked of it. It’s especially useful as a fishing, hunting and general outdoor-use tool. Toss it in your tackle box or glove compartment, and there’s a good chance you’ll get plenty of use out of it.
This is essentially a scaled-back version of Mossy Oak’s 18 in 1 Multi Tool (there’s also a more lightweight 11 in 1). It’s made of hardened stainless steel with a camo finish, and comes with most of your multi-tool standards: pliers, wire cutter, knife blade, screwdrivers, file, bottle and can openers.
This tool also comes with a leather hole punch and a serrated saw blade that actually cuts better than most of the so-called saws that get stuck onto multi-tools. Each tool, aside from the pliers, locks into place for secure and easy use, and the tool comes with a protective nylon sheath.
8. Pro-Master Multitool Knife
The slick blue color of the Pro-Master Multitool Knife certainly makes it stand out in a crowd. The handles are designed for comfort too, and the whole package is compact, lightweight and easy to work with. The multi-tool measures 4 inches closed, and opens up to just over 6 inches.
Among its 15 tools are a sturdy set of pliers and wire cutters, several screwdriver sizes, double-sided file, bottle and can openers, and a ruler. A hook remover and fish scaler make it perfect for fishermen, but it’s also a great tool for around the house.
One minor quibble is that the individual tools don’t lock into place. It’s a small omission, but that would have been a nice feature to have. Other than that, this multi-tool is hard to beat for the price. It’s constructed from 420 high carbon stainless steel, and comes with a sturdy sheath holder. As an entry-level tool that can actually take heavy-duty use, the Pro-Master Multitool Knife gets high marks.
9. DR.LILIANG Hammer Multitool
Hammer multi-tools are a relatively new category of tool, and one that continues to evolve as new innovations are made. The Dr. Liliang Hammer Multitool has a lot of unique features that make it a leader in this category. This model incorporates 13 different tools into its design, including a wrench, wire cutter, pliers, bottle and can openers, nail file, knife and saw blade.
The multi-tool also has a screwdriver with four interchangeable bit attachments, which are stored in a compartment in the handle. All in all, it’s a handy tool that makes unique use of its space.
So, the big question is, “what about the hammer?” It’s pretty solid. You wouldn’t want to build a house with it, but for driving in tent stakes or leveling the odd popped-out nail, it does nicely. This actually makes a great camping companion, and is a good tool to keep in your vehicle at all times, just in case.
The Dr. Liliang Hammer Multitool measures 6.8 inches and weighs just over 13 oz., with 2CR13 stainless steel construction. The design includes two safety locks and a non-slip handle.
10. SOG Powerlock Multitool
The SOG Powerlock Multi-tool goes well beyond your average multi-tool in terms of function and strength. This tool is made with tactical military use in mind, and that intention really comes through in the design.
It’s utilitarian and no-frills, which is just fine if you want a tool that’s made to work with and not to look at. The design incorporates 18 tools, including a few that one doesn’t typically see on a run-of-the-mill multi-tool (seatbelt cutter and C4 spike, for example).
It’s a great tool for firefighters, electricians, and anyone who needs their multi-tool to do more than open bottles and tighten the occasional screw.
If there’s a drawback it’s that the hard edges of the handles can be rough on your palms, especially when using the pliers. Work gloves are recommended during heavy use.
But the patented Compound Leverage technology gives the pliers and wire cutters twice the gripping power of an ordinary multi-tool. The SOG Powerlock is made from black oxide-finished stainless steel, weighs in at 9.6 oz., and has a 4.6-inch closed length.