LAST UPDATED: November 21, 2019
Best Multitools: Carry Pliers, Scissors and More Everywhere You Go
Get access to a variety of tools in the palm of your hands with these multitools
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON November 21, 2019
A multitool is a handy kit for anyone who doesn't like to sort through their toolbox for the right tool to handle daily tasks. It can be used by every auto mechanic, handyman, electrician, HVAC technician, DIY warrior, and camper. Our buying guide will help you find the best multitool on the market that will make your life easier.
A safe multitool that’s equipped with 17 tools that can handle heavy-duty tasks around the home or campsite.
Durable stainless steel construction. All tools lock in place when fully opened. Compact, slender, and streamlined design. Has both straight and serrated knives. Allows for one-handed operation. Replaceable wire cutters included.
The handles may pinch your hand. The handle may lock and make it difficult to close in a tool.
This is an affordable multitool that’s shaped like pliers and has 15 tools tucked away in its compact design.
Can help you perform quick repairs and simple tasks. All the tools are easy to use. Tools feature high-quality stainless steel construction that resists corrosion. Convenient belt pouch included.
None of the tools lock in place when pulled out. Some of the tools are awkwardly positioned. Somewhat heavy.
A durable, stainless steel multitool with 27 tools that can be used individually outside of the handle.
Includes tools that help with light mechanical work and camping. Lightweight and ergonomic design. The tools lock in place when in use. Safe and highly functional. It can fit in your back pocket. It comes with a leather pouch.
Expensive. May come with a few tools missing. The leather pouch doesn’t snap to close.
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Benefits of Multitools
- Convenience. Typically you can carry a multitool in your pocket, on a belt loop, or in a purse. There’s no reason to have separate tools to locate (and then store) when you need to perform a task.
- Multi-use. With a multitool, you can repair a loose armrest, a lamp, or a caster in your work space or in your co-workers’ spaces. You can also cut cardboard or paper and open boxes, bottles, and cans. If you’re working outdoors, you can cut wire or saw wood.
- Great for the outdoors. When camping, hunting, or hiking, your multitool comes in handy. Use it to cut rope, filet fish, and prepare food for cooking. You can also repair your truck, car, camper, or ATV with it.
Types of Multitools
A full-size multitool has quality tools worthy of your toolbox. You can use the multitool to perform almost as many tasks as the tools in your toolbox. Carry this multitool in a leather or nylon holster that usually comes with it. Attach the holster and multitool to your belt for instant, easy access.
This is a pared-down version of the full-size multitool. What remains are essential, specialized tools, and usually smaller versions of them. The tool is typically small enough so you can carry it attached to a keychain or in your pocket unnoticed. Yet you can still perform thousands of different tasks with it.
These miniature multitools have minimal functions such as a bottle opener, knife, and flathead screwdriver. They are not designed to actually replace anything you carry, but function instead as modified keychains. The tool is definitely handy for various jobs and it is small enough to be almost invisible, so you can carry tools and no one will notice.
The idea for the company started in 1975 on founder Tim Leatherman’s trip to Europe. He needed basic tools to fix his car and the plumbing in his budget hotel room but didn’t have them. The multitool idea took root then and in 1983, after years of rejection by major companies, he started Leatherman and engineered and produced his first multitool model, the PST. Leatherman multitools are still manufactured in Portland, Oregon, where the company started. Popular models include the Super Tool 300 and the Free P4.
The Gerber company was founded in 1939. It is an American brand that focuses on products for tradesmen, soldiers, and hunters. Gerber is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, where the company engineers and still produces many of its products. Although based in the USA, it sells products worldwide. Check out its Suspension Multi-Plier and the Truss Multitool.
The story of SOG Knives begins in the jungles of Vietnam where a U.S. Army special ops unit carried a uniquely-designed knife on covert missions. This knife inspired company founder Spencer Frazer to engineer and produce the commemorative SOG Bowie knife starting in 1986. With offices in Lynwood, Washington, the company now produces a full spectrum of knives and tools, including the Multitool Pliers PowerPlay and the PowerAssist Multitool.
- Under $30. In this range, you’ll find multitools made in China and other areas outside of the U.S. that are of fair quality. These light-duty tools usually have pliers, flat-head screwdriver, scissors, bottle opener, and a few other standard tools. They do not normally lock in place.
- $30-$75. The tools in this price range are sturdy yet economically priced. Many are engineered and manufactured in the United States. In addition to the standard screwdrivers and pliers, look for rulers, wire cutters, and other helpful tools.
- Over $75. These upper-crust multitools are manufactured from premium stainless steel and appeal to the quality-conscious professional and homeowner alike. They often feature one-handed accessibility, magnetic locking, numerous tools, and a top-grade sheath.
Number and Type of Tools
Some multitools have as few as eight implements; others have as many as 21. More tools equals more variety, of course, but the type of tools are also a consideration. Do you want simple tools like pliers, a screwdriver, and a knife, or do you need others like wire cutters, a ruler, and a saw blade? Some multitools even have personal grooming implements such as tweezers and nail files.
Materials and Construction
Obviously you want a tool that is made of a durable, long-lasting material like high-carbon steel so it gives you years of dependable use. Other materials to take into consideration are those from which the handle is made (plastic, bone) and even the storage sheath (nylon, leather).
How does the multitool operate? Does it have a “butterfly” or a rail system design? Can you operate it with one hand or does it require two? These considerations come into play depending on whether you are a professional, like an electrician, who needs a multitool with definite capabilities, or if you are a homeowner who simply likes to have tools at the ready when performing tasks around the house.
- Size and Weight. The size and weight of the multitool when it is folded is important so you can decide if you feel comfortable carrying it in your pocket or purse. How the tool feels in your hand when you use it is also largely dependent on size and weight.
- Locking Capability. If the tool has a locking capability, it locks in place so it does not move or pivot during use. This gives you added stability and power, and allows you to get the job done sooner and more efficiently.
- Manufacturer and Warranty. Choose a reputable manufacturer that backs up the purchase of your multitool with a solid warranty. Many top-brand companies feature either a 25-year or lifetime limited warranty. Research both the company and the warranty specifications.
Best Multitool Reviews & Recommendations 2020
We recommend this multitool as the best overall because it handles the toughest jobs and yet it is compact, durable, and safe to use. The tool is modeled after the original Leatherman multitool, called the PST, which the founder of the company designed.
This tool has 17 different functions, including screwdrivers, pliers, knives, wire cutter and stripper, electrical crimper, can and bottle opener, file, awl, saw, and ruler. At 9.6 ounces, it is lightweight. It measures 4 by 1.5 by 1 inch, so it is compact and slender in your hand. A lanyard ring makes it readily available and the all-locking ability allows all tools to lock when fully opened, keeping you safe.
The multitool is made of stainless steel for durability and strength. The design allows for one-handed operation. Some users, however, report the handles may pinch your hand. Also, the handle may suddenly lock, making it difficult to close the tool.
If you are on a budget and are looking for a user-friendly multitool, we recommend the Gelindo Premium Multitool. It has 15 tools integrated into one pliers-shaped unit, and can help you perform quick repairs. The tools are crafted from heavy-duty, stainless steel that’s resistant to rust and corrosion to offer prolonged, reliable performance. Some of the tools include pliers, a ruler, fish scaler, saw, can opener, bottle opener, flat file, sharp knife, wire cutters, and screwdrivers of different designs.
The non-slip handles have a built-in spring-loaded mechanism for easy one-hand operation. All the tools can be pulled out at the same time and they tuck into a compact design when folded back in. Also, Gelindo provides a belt pouch for safely storing the multitool.
The main issue we found with this model is that none of the tools lock in place when pulled out. They can collapse when you are using them. Apart from that, the multitool feels somewhat heavy and would be inconvenient for hiking. Also, some of the tools are awkwardly positioned. For instance, using the can opener can be quite challenging since it's blocked by the tool handle.
This tool has 27 functions, among them are needle nose pliers, four screwdrivers, bottle and package openers, scissors, file, saw, wire stripper, and scraper and chisel combo. One neat feature is that you can use these tools individually outside of the handle.
The tool is lightweight at only 9.8 ounces and small (4.13 by 1.22 inches), so you can take it with you wherever you go. It’s great for light mechanical work and for camping. Tools lock in place for safe usage. This multitool comes with a leather pouch for storage.
The tool is a little pricey for some buyers. Also, the storage pouch does not always close properly, which can be frustrating.
Gerber multitools are known for their practicality, and the Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier isn’t an exception to the rule. It has a tactical design with 12 tools integrated into the butterfly-opening handles. Everything from the handles to the tools is made from stainless steel, but it’s lightweight enough to serve as an everyday carry tool.
The tools are designed with Gerber’s component locking system, meaning that they lock in place when pulled out. Therefore, you can apply extra force when using the tools without worrying about collapsing them. The tools include a fine-tune cutting blade, a serrated blade, a straight blade, wire cutter, a variety of screwdrivers including a Philips head, and needle-nose pliers that can fit in tight spaces.
One of the few drawbacks of this multitool is that the nylon sheath provided is of poor quality. The stitches may come loose easily, the Velcro may start to loosen, and it may fall off your belt with frequent use. Also, most of the tools may not survive a drop and can snap easily.
If you are looking for a multitool that you can use for camping or conducting simple repairs in your garage, then this is a great place to start. The SOG PowerPlay features 18 tools that serve a wide range of applications, and provide an easy way to accomplish tasks. They include two multi-tool knives, needle-like pliers, scissors, 12 magnetic hex tools, a blasting cap crimper, and a Torx screwdriver set. The unit is designed from rust-resistant stainless steel.
All the tools lock in place when opened, and the pliers can be folded in to form a compact, portable tool. You can easily access the tools without unfolding the pliers. Also, SOG provides a ballistic nylon sheath for storing the tool and the hex bits.
However, the tools don’t lock when closed and could open if you store the tool in your backpack without the sheath. Also, the wire cutter might not make clean wire cuts. The pliers might nick your fingers if you fold them in with just one hand.
RoverTac offers a multifunctional tool with 12 tools tucked away in its rugged design. These include a wire stripper, long-nosed pliers, knife, saw, can/bottle opener, and a screwdriver. The tools are made from durable stainless steel with a black, oxidized coating to make the tools rust- and corrosion-resistant. It also makes them more resistant to everyday wear and tear.
The pliers can fold in and the tools lock in place when folded or pulled out. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about tools tearing through your backpack. In addition, the pliers feature a built-in tension spring. RoverTac provides a heavy-duty nylon pouch for storing the multitool, and you can strap it on your belt loop.
While this tool offers great value for the money, it’s a bit bulky and heavy. It’s best to store it in your vehicle’s glove box instead of carrying it around. Also, it may not hold up to heavy-duty use, and some of the tools may snap when exerted.
The Pro-Master Multitool is another affordable option that features 15 tools tucked away in a compact design. These include needle-nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutter, sharp knife, bottle opener, hook remover, ruler, fish scaler, double-sided nail file, and a variety of screwdrivers. It’s suitable for camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and light mechanic work.
The unit is designed to handle a tactical environment and the demands of the modern thrill-seeking outdoorsman. It’s crafted from durable, high-carbon stainless steel with a spring-loaded handle mechanism for easy one-hand operation. It folds into a neat, compact design, and is light enough to carry on your belt or in your pockets.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a locking mechanism that keeps the tools steady when you slide them out. You might strain your hand trying to prevent the tools from collapsing. Also, some of the tools might get stuck in the closed position.
A pen is a handy tool to have when you are working outdoors. You never know when you may need to jot something down. This is why we included the SOG Multitool Tactical Pen, which is a TSA-approved accessory and convenient EDC gear. It features a sleek design with four tools. They include a pair of folding scissors, a bottle opener, a medium-sized screwdriver, and a ballpoint pen with replaceable ink cartridges.
The multitool is 6 inches long, and crafted from a combination of anodized aluminum and steel. The tactical pen can write in any position and in any weather condition. You can fold in the scissors to make the pen feel well-balanced as you write.
You shouldn’t expect this multitool to come in handy for survival situations. It’s more of a travel accessory and will help you open bottles, write, cut paper, or tighten screws along the way. Also, the scissors might snap if you try to cut hard material such as a zip tie.
- Sharpen the knives in your multitool to keep them from getting dull. If you sharpen the knife on a grinding wheel, remember to use water to cool the knife; otherwise, it may get damaged.
- Store the tool in a cool and dry place to prevent rust from forming. Also, wipe each tool with a dry cloth to remove grease and dirt stains that may corrode the metal.
- Remember to slide the tools back in the handle before putting the multitool in your pocket to avoid tearing your pockets and injuring yourself.
- Apply a few drops of oil between the blades and the spring to keep the tool release mechanism functioning at its optimal level.
Q: Where should I store a multitool?
A: Store the multitool in the most convenient and accessible place, preferably where you do most of your work. You can put it in your kitchen drawer, toolbox, glove box, or in the back pocket of your overalls.
Q: Can a multitool handle heavy-duty mechanic jobs?
A: A multitool is not a permanent replacement for most hand tools. It simply helps you accomplish light jobs when your toolbox is not in sight. It can help you tighten a loose screw, open bottles, remove splinters, and cut through light material. That's why it’s a great survival tool for camping.
Q: Can I rearrange a multitool?
A: It is possible to rearrange the tools if you feel like they aren’t in the order that you prefer. Most multitools have a screw holding all the tools together, and you can remove it to carefully rearrange the tools. Just take care not to damage the locking mechanism. Also, the warranty won’t cover any damages or defects thereafter.
Q: Do all the items in a multitool come out at the same time?
A: Only if you pull them out at the same time or if the locking system is faulty. Most of the tools have small slits that allow you to pull out each individual piece with your fingernail. You can also pull out two pieces at the extreme ends of the handle. For example, you may have a knife on one side and a screwdriver in the other.
Our top pick is the LEATHERMAN Rebar Multitool. It has a tough all-steel construction, and its slim design will help you maneuver into tight spaces.
Consider the Gelindo Premium Pocket Multitool if you’re looking for a product that will offer great value for your money.