BestMultiToolKit.com is where some of the most trusted names in the community test and review multi-tools and share their views and ratings of the best.

Two sentences about us

I started the BMK (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 factory in Portland.

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

best-multi-tools-tested

Latest batch ready for testing (picture taken about 7 months ago) –  94 multi-tools tested and reviewed, over 120 pieces and yes, we know, 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 link to a comprehensive comparison chart of the 5-top rated multi-tools at the moment.

5 Top-rated Multi-tools

Model
Overall Quality
Rating
Price comparison
link
gerber-dime
Gerber Dime
Pocket Multi-tool>>

4.7 / 5
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Leatherman_wave_silver
Leatherman Wave
Silver >>
4.7 / 5
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runner-up-leatherman-skeletool
Leatherman Skeletool >>
4.56 / 5

button compare
Leatherman_charge_alx
Leatherman
Charge ALX >>
4.55 / 5
button compare

TOP 5 – excerpt reviews

Gerber Dime – best pocket-sized multi-tool

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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 and 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 use 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)4.8
Versatility (out of 5)4.2
Materials (out of 5)4.7
Design (out of 5)4.8
Value for money (out of 5)5
Overall Rating4.7

 

Click below to see the Gerber Dime on Amazon >>

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Color choices of the Gerber Dime

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Black
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Red
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Green
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gerber-dime-silver

Silver
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Purple
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Handles

1-handlesThe 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 or a keychain tool, it’s easy to handle even by those with hands on the bigger side.

 

 

 

Flat-head and Phillips driver

7-flat-driverJust 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 because to reach deeper – it’s located on the “bottom” side of the multi-tool.

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

The extension where the Phillips driver is also a file. the file is nothing to write home about, useful for nails or wood – but don’t expect it to hold surface against hard metals.

 

Scissors

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.

 

 

Blade

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 it for, from paper to plastic and wood.

 

Package opener

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

We can’t really say much 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.

 

 

 

All pieces (except the pliers) are outside accessible.

A pocket tool doesn’t get any better than the Gerber Dime.

Leatherman New Wave – best full-sized multi-tool

leatherman-wave-best-multi-tool

The Leatherman Wave is an industry classic.

It’s by far most popular multi-tool ever made and for good reason. This is the tools 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 >>

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Heat-hardened surgical steel

wave-blade420HC hardened steel (our estimate hardened to about Rc55-58) and 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.

And the Warranty is “real”, meaning that it is our experience that they honor any complaint 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-editionLeatherman 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.

This design allows for the blade and the saw to be longer compared to those in other tools.

The old Wave was good, but…

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

wave-gold-limitedSince then, the tool has seen dozens of updates, limited editions and sub-models. The “old” Leatherman 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 >>

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Main PROs resume

The pliers are one of the strong suits of the blade. 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 very well 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 experinces nor have we seen any complaints about the blades of the Wave.

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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3rd best-rated – the Leatherman Skeletool

3rd-bestLeatherman-Skeletool-CX-multitool

The Leatherman Skeletool will be the choice of those who are not in need of an all-singing-all-dancing multi-tools with dozens of pieces.

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 >>

see_on_amazon

 

In a class of its own

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

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

As we mentioned below it’s video brief it includes:

  • regular and needle-nose pliers
  • regular and hard wire-cutters
  • locking combo blade (420HC steel) -combo here meaning that it’s half regular and half serated

Easy to one-hand

If you are new to the multi-tool world, too one-hand something means to handle your tool with one hand. The Skeletool is one of the tools that’s best for one-handing.

The slick ergonomic design (that btw. looks awesomely aggressive) allows you to easily use the tools with one hand.

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.

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 upgrades with an inexpensive set of bits which include a torx and hex-style screwdrivers. That’s all the screwdrivers anybody will ever need. The upgrade of bits 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

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.

Closet competitor by tool type – /

Most similar lighter tool – Leatherman Squirt PS4.

4. Leatherman Charge AL

Click below to see the Leatherman Charge on Amazon >>

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5. Leatherman Super Tool 300

See the Super Tool 300 on Amazon >>

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Honorary mentions – the tools that were close but didn’t make TOP 5

MODELRatings
Leatherman Charge TTi >>3.82 /5
Leatherman Crunch - See it on the heavy-duty tools page4.05 / 5
Victorinox SwissTool Spirit >>3.94 / 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 buy the multi-tools at retail, much like you would, 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).

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

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.

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

An overview of the results:

Best pocket multi-tool – Leatherman Wave

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

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on by presenting the:
Let’s move on to take a closer look at the best multi-tools and their reviews, one by one.

The Dime will be the best choice for people that need something seamless for their pockets and the Wave will be the choice of people who need more serious work done.

Honorary Mentions

Victorinox SwissTool RS

Victorinox SwissTool RSIf you came this far in your pursuit of the ultimate multi tool, then you probably know about these Swiss guys at Victorinox.

I know some people that actually collect only this brand army-knives and multi tools.

If we are being completely honest, it’s head to head between the Swiss and Leatherman on who makes the best multi tool.

This particular piece weighs only 10 ounces and when closed it’s just 4.5 inches long. And within those 4.5 inches you have three types of screwdrivers – two-, three-, and five-millimeter.

Pliers, bender, scraper, crimper, wire cutter, saw, bottle opener…you name it, this baby’s got it.

And yes, don’t you think that a lifetime warranty sends a message?

Victorinox got game. The Classic SD is rated as one of the two best multi-tools for women.

 

Gerber 08239 MP800 Legend Multi tool

Gerber 08239 MP800 Legend

Twelve tools and 3 sizes of screwdrivers. Two pounds in weight this is your man’s man multi tool, no backpacker will want this around his pack.

This is a great looking piece and with it’s nickel coated aluminum handle, it is a clear sign of manhood is a head-turner no question about it.

Very well crafted, it is praised by customers for it’s functional design.

People say this tool is number 1 when it comes to being able to open one tool with the other hand occupied. Replaceable cutting edge.

When it comes to cons, customers often mention that they would like to be able to open the pliers more.

 

 

 

Final answers

You must be asking yourself right now:

  • Should I go for the more expensive ones?
  • What will I be using it for?
  • Do I really need all those tools?

And while I can’t tell you the answers to the last two, let me tell you that investing is a high end piece here is a no-brainer.

I know a lot of people that have gone through a couple of multi tools because something broke or started being flimsy.

Just think about it, some of these brands offer life-time guarantee. Do you think that in 10 years of using your favorite tool, you will be thinking about the extra 10 or 20 bucks you spent on this.

No chance!

Conclusion

It’s up to you now.

I can share the pros and cons that I came across in my research of the best multi tool but I can’t tell you what is right for you.

I’ll be updating this website with new models as I update my collection of multi tools.

Multi tool away!

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