BestMultiToolKit.com is where some of the most trusted names in the community test and rate the pieces. The best multi-tool reviews in a range of categories are then listed and discussed here.

 

How we test and review the multi-tools

So, I started the BMT (me being Morry, the chubby guy you’ll see in the videos) in 2012 after loosing my job of 10 years in a multi-tool company where I worked as a Market and Demand Analyst.

There’s now three of us at the “office” (by office I mean a rented warehouse space) and a dozen of featured testers – people we send the tools out to use, review and rate (usually outdoorsy bloggers and handymen).

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Latest batch ready for testing (picture taken about 7 months ago) –  94 multi-tools reviewed and tested, over 110 pieces and yes,  we love the pink dotted table cover, too 🙂 – below you’ll see which 5 we deemed as best

 

But, enough about us and enough small talk, let’s give you some answers.

Okay, let’s get down to business – below the introduction video, you’ll see a table of 5 currently best multi-tools followed by their reviews.

 

5 Top-rated Multi-tools

Model
Overall Rating
& Type
Price comparison
link
Leatherman_wave_silver
Leatherman Wave
Silver >>
4.7 / 5


type: full-sized
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runner-up-leatherman-skeletool
Leatherman Skeletool >>
4.56 / 5


type: full-sized

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Leatherman_charge_alx
Leatherman
Charge ALX >>
4.56 / 5


type: full-sized
button compare
supertool300-heavy-duty
Leatherman
Super Tool 300 >>
4.54 / 5


type: heavy-duty
4.5 inch closed length
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gerber-dime
Gerber Dime
Pocket Multi-tool>>

4.42 / 5


type: pocket
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Leatherman New Wave
best full-sized multi-tool & an industry classic

 

leatherman wave best multi-tool overall

Leatherman Wave – the most popular multi-tool ever made and our top choice

The Leatherman Wave is an industry classic.

It’s by far most popular multi-tool ever made and for good reason. This is the tool to get if you’re only getting one.

90 Sec Video Brief

Specs & ratings of the Wave

Length (in inches)4
Weight (in ounces)8.5
Primary Blade Length (inches)2.9
Durability (out of 5)4.8
Versatility (out of 5)4.7
Materials (out of 5)4.7
Design (out of 5)4.6
Value for money (out of 5)4.7
Overall Rating (out of 5)
4.7

 

Click below to see the Wave on Amazon

read more

Heat-hardened surgical steel

wave-blade420HC hardened steel (our estimate hardened to about Rc55-58), well-thought out design and tool placement. It’s the quality of the steel that allows the company to offer 25 years warranty on the Wave.

25-years-leatherman-warranty

And the Warranty is “real”, meaning that it is our experience that they honor any complaints and don’t ask many questions if there’s a problem, which is not often a case with other companies that offer limited warranties and make you jump through hoops to replace your tool.

34 years of experience embodied in one tool

wave-25years-edition
Leatherman was founded in 1983 and there’s no denying that they’re the industry leaders.

They made bigger multi-tools, they made smaller-tools, they made tools that look fancier, they made tools that look duller, but they’ve never quite struck the balance between size, functionality and materials like they did with Leatherman Wave.

With the outside-accessible design (meaning you can use the most important tools without deploying the Wave), Wave is THE choice for most people who know their multi-tools.

The old Wave was good, but…

In 2003, Leatherman celebrated its 25th birthday. The company made a limited edition of the Wave to mark the milestone, discontinued the tool in 2004 and introduced the Leatherman New Wave.

wave-gold-limited

Limited Edition of the Wave – gold and Damascus

Since then, the tool has seen dozens of updates, limited editions and sub-models. The Original Leatherman Wave is now a collection piece, but still better than 95% of multi-tools on the market.

The New Wave has seen significant improvements. It features a removable Philips screwdriver, the handle design is much more comfortable and allows for a better grip. All the tools safely lock into place and the blades, pliers and scissors are made from a more durable steel that holds edge much longer.

Click below to see the Wave on Amazon

read more

 

Available choices of the Leatherman Wave

Wave Silver
Leather Sheath
Wave Silver
Nylon Sheet
Wave Black
Oxide
leatherman wave with leather sheath
leatherman-oxide-black

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Main PROs resume

The pliers are one of the strong suits of the tool. The needlenose tip comes with very fine teeth at the top and coarser set of teeth for the midsection. The fact that the pliers have such fine teeth makes no problems with cleaning, which is surprising because the finer the teeth, the harder is it to clean them after messy jobs.

The blades are hardened surgical steel and hold an edge very well. They are just hard enough to be sharpened once in a blue moon without being brittle. We haven’t heard experiences nor have we seen any complaints about the blades of the Wave. A full, more in-depth multi-tool review of the product is in the works and you’ll soon see it here. It is a solid choice from general purposes to specific uses like those of a, say, electrician…in those terms it is just as good as the famous Klein Multi tools.

3rd best-rated multi-tool
Leatherman Skeletool – a class of its own

Skeletool - the best multi-tool when it comes to functions/weight ratio

The Leatherman Skeletool will be the choice of those who are not in need of an all-singing-all-dancing tools with dozens of pieces. Study the short multi-tool review to better understand what the Skeletool is about.

 

90 Sec Video Brief

Specs & ratings of the Skeletool

Closed length (in inches)
4.0
Weight (in ounces)
5.0
Primary Blade Length (inches)
2.6
Durability (out of 5)
4.7
Versatility (out of 5)
4.7
Materials (out of 5)
4.7
Design (out of 5)
4.7
Value for money (out of 5)
4.7
Overall Rating (out of 5)
4.7

Click below to see the Skeletool on Amazon >

read more

Options of the Skeletool to choose from – RX orange is our favorite

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Leatherman Skeletool
RX
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Leatherman Skeletool
Stainless Steel
3-skeletool-CX

Leatherman Skeletool
CX

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In a class of its own

In a way, Skeletool redefines the multi-tool by only including a few tools and a total of 7 features. It basically comes down to pliers, blade and the bit drivers.

 

Leatherman-Skeletool-CX-parts

 

It’s small, compact and light (1x4x1, 5 ounces) but, for what’s it designed to do, works perfectly.

Easy to one-hand

3rd-top-rated-skeletoolIf you are new to the multi-tool reviews, to one-hand something means to handle your tool with one hand. The Skeletool is one of the tools that’s best when it comes to one-handing.

The slick ergonomic design (that btw. looks awesomely aggressive) allows you to get a good grip (which you wouldn’t think by looking at the images).

It’s also covered by the same 25 year warranty as the Wave.

Looking closer

In spite of being minimal with only a few tools, the Skeletool is a diverse tool if you look closer.

close-up-skeletool

Here’s what we saw when we looked closer:

  • The Leatherman proprietary driver bit comes with two (regular and Philips) double-ended bits (4 bits) and can be upgradesd with an inexpensive set of bits which include a torx and hex-style screwdriver. That’s all the screwdrivers anybody will ever need. The upgrade has to, however, come from Leatherman because the bit driver is their proprietary “squashed” shape
  • The lanyard is also a bottle opener
  • It packs one of the sturdiest and most effective set of wire-cutter have ever seen in a multi-tool under $100

The lightest full-size multi-tool we’ve reviewed

Leatherman Skeletool does qualify as a full-sized multi tool and it’s by far the lightest in the class (5oz).

The first tool “following” the Skeletool on the list of lightest is the Rebar which is 1.3 times as heavy. We’ve talked to a number of people that choose the Skeletool as the best multitool for them.

Closet competitor by tool type – /

Most similar lighter tool – Leatherman Squirt PS4.

Leatherman Charge
4th best multi-tool – titanium & diamonds

 

limited-gold-wood-edition-charge-tti

Limited Edition of the Charge TTi – wood & gold

The reason why the Charge is not the best-rated multi-tool on BMG is the fact that we have a “value for money” category and the Charge is on the expensive side.

If you’re our avid reader, you’ll see us often say that a multi-tool is a good alternative to some of the “all-singing-all-dancing” tools.

Well, in case you wondered, this is the one tool we are referring to when we say that. We’ll say this – if money was no object, Leatherman Charge would be the tool we’d go for.

Pinnacle of the Leatherman story

leatherman-charge-unboxingWrapped in titanium and with all the tools you could wish for, smartly designed and located for the smoothest operation possible, the Charge is considered the pinnacle of Leatherman craftsmanship (by us among others).

Leatherman Charge is 19 tools working together as smoothly as the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra on their New Year’s concert.

Most often compared to the Wave

If there’s two pieces that are compared to the Leatherman Wave over and over again in multi-tool reviews, it’s the Leatherman Charge and Surge.

charge_vs_wave

Side-by-side – Leatherman Charge (left) and Wave (right) – similar tools for a very different price

 

Vast majority of reviews won’t mention the fact that the Charge is about twice as expensive as the Wave. In other words – this is probably the best multitool if money is no object.

Let’s take a moment and watch at the video brief to see why it might be so expensive.

 

90 Sec video brief of the Charge

Click below to see the Charge on Amazon

read more

Specs & ratings of the Charge

Length (in inches)4
Weight (in ounces)
8.89
Primary Blade length (in inches)2.9
Durability (out of 5)4.9
Versatility (out of 5)4.7
Materials (out of 5)4.8
Design (out of 5)4.7
Value for money (out of 5)3.7
Overall Rating4.56

The 4 Choices you have if you are the lucky bastard
who can afford it 🙂

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Charge TTI
Leather Pouch
2-charge-tti-nylon

Charge TTI
Nylon Pouch

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3-charge-alx-leather

Charge ALX
Leather Pouch
4-alx-nylon

Charge ALX
Nylon Pouch

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Further analysis of the tools included

Ergonomic and smooth

The charge finds the sweet spot between portability and usability. The functions can only be compared to a handful of best multitools, but its’ still light enough to be an every-day-carry for most people. Especially those who like to turn heads.

best multi-tool - high-end category

Titanium Handles of the Charge TTi add to the overall look of luxury and make the Charge one of the tools with the best grip on the market

 

Versatile as no other

If you tally all the bits that come included as secondary, the Charge blows away the competition in versatility. Whether you need or will be using all those bits is a whole different story. Most people won’t.

Best pliers we’ve seen in a multi-tool

best-pliers

Pliers of the Charge are the best ones we ever tested – here, you can see them side by side with the second best, those of the Wave

Leatherman’s statement that the Charge is a tool like no other starts with the pliers – you won’t see pliers like this in another tool (including the Wave).

They’re 4-in-1, from a sturdy deep set of wire-cutters, through surgically precise needlenose and crimpers to the hard serrated jaw – “skilled and ready” to take any bolt on.

Outer corners are a toolbox

The smart people of Leatherman neatly placed the tools that are used most frequently at the outer corners of the handles so that you can access these with ease.

The wood-saw first of all, looks great, it’s a serious tool that could easily compete with a dedicated saw.

 

Wait, it gets better

diamond-coated-file1

Diamond-coated file of the Charge can handle anything…nails to steel

Flip the wood-file and there’s the other file with a diamond finish that can sharpen pretty much anything, including steel tools.

It’s all easily, one-hand accessible and safely locks into place.

We’ll get into more details in the full updated review of the Charge that’s coming soon, so here, let’s just mention the rest of the tools with a short commentary:

ruler-position-charge-multi-tool

In a flat position, the handles of the Charge can be used as ruler

  • Ergonomic scissors – easy to deploy and use
  • A minuscule double-ended (normal and Philips) bit driver in a holder right next to the scissors – we can only assume this little guy is aimed for those working with tech or simply need their eye-wear screws tightened
  • Can and bottle opener – heh, it works like in most tools it’s just shinier.

If somebody was to say that this is the best multitool there is, we wouldn’t argue.

Bottom line – the Charge TTI is a must-have for any collector and will be the choice of people who can afford to pay for it. Good for them.

The Leatherman Super Tool 300
the best multi-tool in “4.5 inch heavy-duty” category

 

best multi-tool - heavy-duty category

Leatherman Super Tool 300 is the obvious choice among 4.5-inch, heavy-duty multi-tools

 

If you are new to the multi-tool arena, let’s first explain why this tool is unique (at least on this list).

There are pocket pieces (like the Gerber Dime), there are full-sized tools and then there are heavy-duty multi-tools made to be used for the most toughest of jobs.

Multi-tools like the SP300 are not designed to be your every-day-carry, they are designed to be in your car or truck or on your belt at a construction site.

Only two competitors in its class, really

 

supertool300-vs-swisstool-plus

Super Tool 300 and its main competitor side-by-side the SwissTool Plus (left) and the Super Tool 300 (right)

The “heavy-duty” class is 0.5 inches longer (closed length) than standard multi-tools.

In the 4.5-inch class, there are only two other tools that can compete with the raw aptitude of the Super Tool 300 – the Leatherman Surge and the Victorinox SwissTool Plus.

In our ratings, the two “competitors” are not even close.

The Super Tool 300 is currently rated at 4.54/5 and the runner-ups in its class (Surge and SwissTool Plus) are rated at 3.96 and 3.88, respectively.

 

 

 

 

Watch the video brief to get a better idea on why that is

 

 

90 seconds brief – Super Tool 300

Specs & ratings of the Super Tool 300

Length (in inches)4.5
Primary blade length (in inches)9.6
Weight (in ounces)3.2
Durability (out of 5)4.7
Versatility (out of 5)4.8
Materials (out of 5)4.8
Design (out of 5)3.8
Value for money (out of 5)4.6
Overall Rating4.54

See the Super Tool 300 on Amazon >

read more
 

The Super Tool 300 Choices

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Super Tool 300
Stainless Steel
(leather or nylon pouch)
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Super Tool 300
Black
(leather or nylon pouch)

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A few more words about the Super Tool 300

Complete updated multitool review is in the works but for now, let’s scratch the surface with some basics.

Another industry classic and the best multitool in its class

The Leatherman Super Tool 300 embodies all that Leatherman stands for, especially the quality of the craftsmanship.

It was almost a sin rating it under 4 in design

Our rating system is far from perfect and one of the flaws is butting heads of multi-tools that should not be compared in the first place.

full-view-of-the-best-heavy-duty-multitool

Super Tool 300 is designed with most demanding jobs in mind – notice the bulky pliers compared to the slick pliers of the Surge and Wave we’ve seen above

What brought down the rating of the Super Tool is the low score in design because that particular number includes portability and our testers are instructed to bear that in mind.

So we had two choices, either leaving the Super300 from this list of top 5 entirely and rate in on a separate set of criteria adjusted to heavy-duty tools or include it here, even if it’s the 5th best rated.

You’d miss out if we didn’t mention it here

We are currently working on a guide that will include best heavy-duty multi-tool reviews that will right this wrong, but we also didn’t want to keep this tool from the eyes of the readers and decided to include it here, too.

Gerber Dime – best pocket-sized multi-tool

best multi-tool - pocket-size category
Gerber Dime is 2.75 ” long and weighs only 2.2 oz.

It’s by far the best-rated pocket multi-tool but packs serious power and functions (10).

For such a small and light multi-tool, the pliers are a big surprise.

Spring loaded, sturdy and hold position over time. In fact, the contact surface of the pliers touches so precisely that they can be used as tweezers. The jaws also include a wire-cutter which works surprisingly well.

This is not a full-size multi-tool like the Leatherman Wave or heavy-duty like the S300 and is not meant to be used for serious jobs.

But, as an every-day-carry or even as a keychain, it’s dangerously close to perfect. Let’s watch it’s video brief before we move on.

 

90 sec video brief – Gerber Dime

Specs & ratings of the Dime

Length (in inches)2.7
Weight (in ounces)2.2
Durability (out of 5)4.6
Versatility (out of 5)3.9
Materials (out of 5)4.4
Design (out of 5)4.4
Value for money (out of 5)4.8
Overall Rating4.42

Click below to see the Gerber Dime on Amazon >>

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Color choices of the Gerber Dime

gerber-dime-black

Black
gerber-dime-red

Red
gerber-dime-green

Green
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Silver
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Purple
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Handles – comfy

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Ergonomic handles make the Dime easy to operate

The handles are ergonomically shaped with a solid grip. They are symmetrical but offer better grip if you holding it with the concave side against your palm.

For a pocket tool, it’s easy to use even by those with hands on the bigger side.

 

 

 

Flat-head and Phillips driver – as advertised

7-flat-driver

The flat driver of the Dime is not a “deep” tool and will be useful only to easily accessible screws

Just as good and usable as any flat-head of a full-sized multi-tool. Apart from using it as a driver, we tried and successfully used it as scraper or even a pry-bar.

If there’s a downside of the flat-head it’s the fact that it’s relatively short and cannot be extended because it’s placed on the hinge side.

The Phillips driver, on the other hand, can be extended and used for “deeper” jobs because it’s on the “bottom”

 

An issue with the Phillips

6-phillips-screwdriver-of-gerber-dime-red

The Philips driver has a “deep” access because it’s on the bottom side of the tool

The downside of the Phillips is that it is two dimensional which makes it harder to use for more serious jobs.

The Phillips driver is the tip of the file.

The file itself is not very useful, maybe nails or wood – but don’t expect it to hold surface against anything harder.

 

 

 

Scissors – pretty good

5-scissors

We liked the scissors and so did our featured testers. Just as usable as the ones in full-size tools and do not dull easily.

The design of the scissor handles (broadened adit for the thumb) gives you better control compared to most scissors we’ve used. Good spring-action.

 

 

The Blade – nothing to write home about

3-bladeThe steel used for the blade is 3Cr13 so don’t expect it to hold edge like 420HC would, you’ll need to take 20-30 second to sharpen it ever once in a while.

The double beveled edge of the blade is not long but the cutting power is superb. It easily cuts through 99% of materials you might need it for, from paper to plastic and wood.

 

Package opener – it works

4-package-openerSmart addition of a unique tool found only in handful of pieces out there.

We can’t really say much about it, apart from the fact that it works as advertised and it’s an end to that worn-out joke about needing a knife to unpack a knife.

 

 

 

Finally -all pieces (except the pliers) are outside accessible.

To sum it up – a pocket tool doesn’t get any better than the Gerber Dime.

 

Honorary mentions

The tools that were close but didn’t make TOP 5

MODELRatings
Victorinox SwissTool Spirit Plus >>3.88 / 5
Leatherman Crunch3.82 /5
Victorinox rambler pocket knife >>3.7 / 5
Gelindo Premium 10-in-1 >>3.7 / 5

Here, we’ll provide an excerpt and a link to the full review of the best-multi-tools.

About the TOP 5 Choices

 

We know, we know…4/5 are Leatherman

It’s one of our fundamental principles that we never receive “testing samples” or any kind of compensation.

We compile the reviews of the best multitool independently and buy the products at retail, much like you would.

We test them ourselves (for the Rc of the steel, brittleness, edge holding against different materials and the quality of each piece included – that means different things for each tool).

After our in-house tests (a few weeks) we pass the multi-tools along to our testers to be used on almost daily basis and receive reports back.

That’s how we keep the process as objective as possible and as close to scientific as possible.

The results & ratings are update every two months and this time the top 4 happened to be all Leatherman models.

We absolutely have no favorites in the industry.

Our reviews and ratings are a pool of data we gather from:

  1. Our in-house testing
  2. Reviews and ratings of our featured testers in 5 different quality aspects
  3. Existing users we meet and contact on forums

The aftermath of the guide on the best multi-tools

Our main effort when compiling this list was not only to slap (pardon our french) the multi-tools that are the best-rated onto the page, but to make a well-rounded list that would include a little something for everybody.

You have your Gerber Dime for those who want to forget that they have a tool in their pockets, then you have the three interim champions among full-sized multi-tools with the Wave being the top dog.

An finally, you have the power-house in the form of the Super Tool 300.

It is our hope that you, the reader, finds this guide useful.

One thing is for certain – it’s up-to-date, it’s objective and it’s close to science as reviewing multi-tools can be.