In this price range, up to the very end of last year, the margin between the Skeletool 830850 and the Gerber Legend was very close.

Well, something has changed (still not sure what) and the Skeletool has been “crowned” as the best tool in the price range in the last 3 updates (that’s 6 months).

Being an ex multi tool factory worker of 20 years and a serious collector, I know from experience that this is the price range where things get “real”.

It’s where the compromises in materials stop and only true quality can stay afloat in the competitive market. I know for a fact that this is also the most lucrative price range for the companies.

That’s why it’s also the most dynamic category (in terms of new arrivals) and most interesting for me to work on in every update.

Here are the results of the last ratings update of July 2015:

ModelRead moreOverall Quality RatingPicture
The 830850 Skeletool Multi Tool CXbutton4.8 / 51_top_rated_50_100_Skeletool_83850
MP800 Legend Multi Toolbutton4.7 / 5Gerber 08239 MP800 Legend
Wave Black Multi Tool with Oxide Finishbutton4.2 / 5Leatherman Wave Black Oxide Finish Multi Tool with Nylon MOLLE Sheath
S66N-CP Power Assist Multi Toolbutton4.7 / 5SOG Specialty Knive - PowerAssist Multi-Tool
830039 New Wave Multi Toolbutton4.7 / 5Leatherman 830039 New Wave Multitool

If you are new to my website, the whole idea behind it is to help you choose the best piece for your money. In other words, do the research so you don’t have to and share my experince.

And how exactly am I going to do that?

  • I dissect what the manufacturers are saying and explain it
  • I check out all the positive and negative comments and reviews of the multi tools in question from the people using them
  • I combine these ratings with my own and come up with an Overall Rating that’s statistical, proven and tweaked over time

So let’s not dilly-dally and let’s get to work.

Our WINNER – The 830850 Skeletool Multi Tool CX

1_top_rated_50_100_Skeletool_83850From Leatherman

The fact sheet:

  • The 830850 comes with a 25 year warranty
  • The handles are made of stainless steel and the handle scale is carbon-fiber with scratch-free coating.
  • Weighs 5 oz – one of the lightest tools in its category
  • Customizable for all sorts of jobs and chores
  • One-hand use design of the blades

Click here to see its Amazon ratings >>

Chosen positive feedback – customer PROs:

  • When it comes to multi tools, the most important thing for me is their versatility. I’ve realized this after getting a more expensive piece than the 830850. I thought I was upgrading, but as time had gone by I have realized that I’ve made a mistake. Not only was it bigger and chunkier, but I didn’t find it to have the versatility of this Leatherman CX…
  • My Skeletool is great for any around-the-house chore you can think of. The blades on this baby work much better than on my old Gerber that was twice as expensive…
  • As a proud collector and owner of almost any Leatherman and SOG multi tool there is, I have to say that this could possibly be the best one. It is incredibly light, it looks stunning, and the quality is top-notch. What sets it apart from older Leatherman tools is the locking feature, which has amped up safety a lot.
  • I just got my Skeletool CX from my wife as a gift. God, I am as happy as a lark. I’ve wanted one for ages. I opened it immediately, and I couldn’t believe how lightweight it was for its full size.
  • I have only used the blade so far, to check it out, and it is as good as you would expect from a Leatherman. Can’t wait to try the pliers tomorrow…

Some of the negative feedback – the CONs:

  • What I am really missing with this tool is the scissors. I have gotten used to using them on my older tool, and it just feels weird when I reach for them, and I have to settle for the blade.
  • After exposing it to salt water on regular basis, I could see a hint of corrosion…

Conclusions and Overall Rating

With it’s “smaller brother” suffering a blow in the category of $25-50, it’s a bit of a surprise that the 830850 has been so dominant over the past 6 months, but the jury has spoken and this piece of eye-candy is by far top rated in the category.

Overall Rating 4.8/5.

830850 Skeletool Multi Tool CX review rating

 

This multi tool looks like a savvy choice for anyone who wants to purchase a quality tool they would actually use on regular basis.

MP800 Legend Multi Tool

Gerber 08239 MP800 LegendFrom Gerber

What Gerber said about the MP800:

  • Includes 12 tools that will fold into your pocket
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Weighs 2 pounds
  • Some of the 12 tools: scissors, wire cutters, 3 standard screwdrivers in various sizes, a Phillips screwdriver, and a hacksaw
  • The blades are carbide-steel
  • A nylon carrying case for your belt is a welcome addition
  • Aluminum handle is nickel-coated and die-cast
  • The rest of the tools are stainless steel

Here is what owners are saying about it on Amazon.com >>>

Some of the PROs from user reviews:

  • I work in inaccessible spots, and my position is sometimes elevated. This tool really helps me do my job. All the parts are really well built, and the best part is that I can use it with just one hand. I have cut and stripped wires, used it as an electrical jumper, and opened enclosures, among other things, all with using just one hand.
  • I had my Gerber Legend for almost a decade. I love it to bits. It is not as universal as larger multi tools, or a full tool box, but the tools it has are top-notch in what they are meant to do. The things you might miss are not something that I would need often. Everything I need I have with my Gerber Legend. It is almost a love story, really.
  • This tool is without competition. It is the most durable and handy multi tool you can get. Everything is accessible without opening the tool, how revolutionary. Laugh not! I am serious. The time this has saved me…and the spring-loaded cutters are just a treat to use. You won’t regret getting one.

And now for the CONS:

  • I am a building superintendant, and I have to use similar tools on an everyday basis. I thought that a Gerber would be a great replacement for my old ones. The pliers really disappointed me. They don’t open wide enough. Also, the Phillips screwdriver is too difficult to open. And it really is a hassle. Lastly, the rubber grips are rubbish. They came off too quickly for me to oversee.
  • The handles are a real peeve. They should really change those when they upgrade the model. That is the only thing that is wrong with the Gerber Legend, but it really makes it looks much worse because of one thing.

My summary

The Gerber Legend is a great multi tool and one of my all-time-favorites. It has been praised booth for its functionality and tool quality. From the one-hand use everyone is talking about to the overall quality of all the tools, it’s a stellar piece.

Overall Quality Rating  – 4.7/5.

Gerber MP800 Legend Multitool review rating

Very close second best in the price range.

Let’s move on and check out another Leatherman model that made it to TOP 5 of the category.

The Wave Black Multi Tool with Oxide Finish

Leatherman Wave Black Oxide Finish Multi Tool with Nylon MOLLE SheathFrom Leatherman

Let’s check out what the company is saying:

  • This tool comes in a pitch black color option
  • Various tools include a large and a small bit driver, a large screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, scissors, pliers, a can opener, lanyard ring and a ruler
  • Other tools include wire cutters, wire stripper, clip-point knife, a serrated knife and a saw
  • Also included are a wood/metal file, needlenose pliers, a bottle opener, flat tip eyeglasses screwdriver and a diamond-coated file
  • Comes with warranty for parts
  • It is made in the USA

See the pricing and ratings on Amazon >>

The advantages listed by users:

  • I am a college student and I get to be in many situations where I need to use a multi tool. I bought this one because they recommended Leatherman to me in a hardware store. I can say that I didn’t make a mistake. It was clearly made to last.
  • I love that it comes with a warranty. Gives me a certain feeling of trustworthiness. Every tool is really easy to reach, and they cover most all of my real needs.
  • I got this as a gift to my husband who has been a fan of Leatherman’s for more than twenty years. Since he “misplaced” his last one, I got him this one for Christmas. He loves it. He talks about how well it is built all the time. He calls it indestructible. I think this is the best present I ever got him.
  • This is a real man’s tool, not a boy’s toy. This is a tool you can use without being afraid it won’t look pretty after that. It also gives you great value for money. I have ordered some extra bits, because I use them all the time. It is great that I can just order up when I need some.

The few disadvantages of getting this multi tool:

  • When I first took it into my hands, I thought how disappointing the finish was. Also, the lubrication was cheap and filthy. My hands got all black and oily. You just expect more from a renowned company. What a shame.
  • My pliers broke under pressure and now I can’t use them anymore. It could be my fault, since I did really go overboard. Then again, you expect these to be more durable.

My thoughts

This Leatherman is a tool for “hardcore” handymen.

Overall Quality Rating 4.2/5.

Leatherman Wave Black Oxide Finish Multi Tool review rating

To sum up, the Wave is a sturdy heavy-duty tool, an industry classic and one of the best pieces to ever carry the proud Leatherman name.

S66N-CP Power Assist Multi Tool Combined with Satin Finish

SOG Specialty Knive - PowerAssist Multi-ToolFrom SOG Specialty Knives

The company describes it as:

  • Offering 16 essential tools
  • Portability is ensured by an additional nylon sheath
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Made from stainless steel
  • The blade and all the tools have locks for improved safety
  • Designed for cutting, gripping, hygiene and anything that could surprise you
  • Includes a full-serrated blade

See complete customer reviews on Amazon >>

The PROS:

  • This tool is going to be your companion forever. It is not going to wear down like most of the others. The secret is in the smooth and tight fitting with increases its lifetime. In addition to that, the pliers are perfection. The engineering is very clever, with every bit having functionality. The build is impressive, and the tool itself is durable. The spring-assisted knife is just the most amazing thing.
  • I for once think that the quality of the material used here is superb. The handle covers are a fine addition. And all the tools that are foldable have a security lock, called the Piano Lock. Imagine that! Not only that, I ordered some pieces online, and customized my multi tool to suit me even better. The nylon sheath is great for storing my SOG. I am afraid I don’t damage it, even though I know it is next to impossible.
  • As a soldier, I am very well-aware of what this tool can mean in a moment overseas. Every member of our military would kill for one of these. My multi tool is a verified lifesaver. I always have it with me.

The CONS:

  • I was in love with my SOG, but then I was suddenly disillusioned when the Phillips screwdriver broke during its first real use. I think the shaft is just too thin. My replacement SOG had the same issue.
  • SOG really dropped the ball on this one. It is an ergonomic nightmare. And that is one of the multi tool’s most important aspects. I am really disappointed.

Would I get it?

The SOG Power Assist Multi Tool looks like a decent market entry, and it is very competitively priced. Users praise its build quality and functionality, but some people have had issues with other aspects, like ergonomics.

Overall Quality Rating 4.7/5.

Sog_Paratool_best_multi_tool

Would I get it if I had to choose one?

Honestly, NO.

If I was already paying more than $50, I would opt in for a much more reliable option, even if it were a bit more expensive. Not that this is that bad of a product per se, I just I feel like the other options on the list provide a bigger bang for your buck.

830039 New Wave Multi Tool

Leatherman 830039 New Wave MultitoolFrom Leatherman

So, two “Waves” make it to the list of top 5 in the price range – not a surprise for the connoisseur.

Let’s see why:

  • Full-size offering of 17 different tools
  • 25 years of limited warranty
  • 100% made of stainless steel
  • Various tools include two pliers, a saw, scissors, two knives, wire cutters, two files, a bottle opener, two drivers, and much more
  • Comes with a combination nylon-leather pouch

Read what actual owners are saying >>

The PROs:

  • You can tell right away that this tool is not cheap. It is amazingly built. It resists torque unlike most of its competitors. It is neither too light, nor on the heavy side. And I love the options with this many tools.
  • I was planning to get something to my male buddies that came to my wedding party, and this seemed like the perfect solution. I didn’t want them to use copies, since the difference between those and the real deal is just immense…
  • The quality of steel, the way that pliers work, and the precision of the wire cutter, it is all better with the Leatherman Wave.

CONs:

  • This is a very nice multi tool, but the price is insane. It should have been much more affordable. I don’t think the value for money ratio is to my advantage.
  • I am a Leatherman veteran. And I have used the old Wave for decades, it was strong and durable. Unfortunately, I was robbed of it at an airport. Anyhow, I expected this one to be even better, but boy was I wrong. The small screwdriver broke right away, so I got a replacement from Amazon. The same replacement was broken the next time I used the scissors. I gave up on it…

My comment

The Leatherman New Wave is one of the pricier models, but rightfully so.

Leatherman_830040_new_wave_multi_tool

Overall Quality Rating 4.7/5 – another well-made industry classic and a safe choice coming from Leatherman. High end craftsmanship and a great conversation-starter.

Final thoughts

As I stressed, this is probably the most dynamic category with a lot of new arrivals a lot of changes in the TOP 5s on every update.

It’s also the most profitable price range for the companies, the most competitive and most fun to work on.

If you have any comments or questions feel free to use the section below or email me using the contact page.

Choose wisely,

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