The category of best multi-tool under $50 has see no significant change in this month’s update – at least not at the top where the Gerber Suspension, rated at 4.4 / 5 is still reigning.
Yes, that’s the word, reigning, because it has been the top choice among multi-tools in the price range $250-50 for over 2 years now, with a comfortable ratings gap.
Three stats that should paint a pretty good picture:
- Gerber suspension is at the lower spectrum of this price range, close to going a price range lower
- It’s also one of the top-rated multi-tools overall, in the competition of tools that cost 200-550% as much
- With the ratings of 4.8/5 – this Gerber is THE TOP-rated piece in the category of “Value for money” among over 200 tools we keep tabs on
TOP 5 multi-tools under $50
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on Amazon >>
on Amazon >>
on Amazon >>
Gerber Suspension after 5 years of use
As you could see in the video (credit Bushcraft412), it really is amazing that such a budget-friendly piece like the Gerber Suspension can withstand prolonged use with little to no changes.
For that kind of quality in a multi-tool you usually have to spend at least twice. That explains the fact that the it’s the top-rated full-sized tool in the category of “value for money”.
See the Gerber Suspension on Amazon below
Leatherman Style PS & Style CS
Style PS & CS – what’s different?
With the both rated at 4.18/5the choice between these two pieces by Leatherman comes down to SCISSORS vs. PLIERS.
See the Style PS & CS on Amazon below
Leatherman Rev Video Overview
90 Sec Features Demo of the Leatherman Rev
Split opinions on the Leatherman Rev vs. the Sidekick and the Wingman
Few years back, when Leatherman jacked up prices of the Sidekick and the Wingman a bit, it introduced the Rev to fill that void for people looking for a budget-friendly Leatherman.
Let us say right now that we like the Rev and believe it does the job above, it does fill that void. It’s even currently better rated than the Sidekick and the Wingman that are still within the price range and pretty much cost just a few bucks more.
What the people who prefer the Sidekick and the Wingman are saying
- harder to one-hand deploy the blade – which is true, the thumb notch used to deploy the blade is smaller and placed higher, which makes it somewhat harder to open using one hand, especially while the tool is new
- not spring-loaded – Leatherman (whether trying to cut the manufacturing cost or to offer a choice between spring and non-spring loaded action pliers) left out the feature in the Rev. We don’t see it as a significant issue, but only as a choice.
The three are basically the same tool at slightly different prices
Rev, Sidekick & Wingman Amazon Ratings
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Honorable mentions in the price range
In the rest of the guide, we’ll mention a few multi-tools in the price range that we believe deserve a mention.
As you’ll see in the ratings, these are not really close to the TOP 3 of the price range, but we’re mentioning the pieces primarily to add to the diversity of the guide. We won’t go in depth with these multi-tools – we’ll just list their specs and some quotes that we got about the tools from our featured testers.
The Huntsman pocket knife
Rating – 3.56/5
- Comes in beautiful sapphire and red colors
- The tools are stainless steel
- It includes a large blade and a small blade, scissors, a corkscrew, a toothpick, and both a can and a bottle opener.
- Additional tools are a large and a small screwdriver, tweezers, a reamer, wire stripper, a multi purpose hook and a lanyard ring
- The handle is made out of durable nylon
What the users are saying – the PROs:
- When I was a teenager, I worked as a babysitter so I could get one of these babies. I bought this exact model. I still have it today, two decades later. It survived every phase I went through.
- It still works, even though you can see it has aged. But I don’t mind. It has been used for many occasions like camping, drinking, going for hiking, working around the house. I simply love it.
- This multi tool is a nice piece of equipment from a well-known maker. Having said that, you should beware of copies. I have had mine for years, and it has been very useful so far. The blades have surprisingly stayed sharp for all this time. The pocket knife looks really nice, and you will be able to tell it has been used only if you use it often.
- I got this pocket-knife for my son as his Christmas present. He was very happy to get it. I have a similar Victorinox knife that I have used for ages, so I wanted my son to have something similar. My son has repeatedly said the he loves his gift.
- This is the first time I have something like this, and I am very glad I made this purchase. Especially because I use all the different tools. The pouch that I got isn’t something I use, but it is a nice addition. However, I prefer to keep it in my pocket.
CONs from tester reviews:
- Mine arrived with two missing pieces and visibly damaged, I am still waiting for a replacement
- I’ve got the blue one and it’s OK, I just wish there were more color choices
- My old Leatherman is a whole class better…
One of the best Victorinox pocket knives in existence and its ratings and reviews on Amazon prove it.
One thing to understand is that this is more of a pocket knife than a classic multi tool and if the pliers are something that’s important to you, you’ll be better off with some of the 4 other products on the list. If you are fine with a tool without pliers or simply looking for a pocket knife, we believe that the Huntsman is THE choice among pocket knives under $50.
See the Huntsman on Amazon below
Rating – 4.1/5
How the good people at Leatherman describe the Sidekick:
- Comes with several different tools including both a regular and a serrated knife, three screwdrivers including small, medium, and Phillips
- Other tools include regular pliers, wire cutters, and needlenose pliers, all with the spring-action mechanism
- Can and bottle openers are also included in the set, as well as a ruler, a metal/wood file, and a saw
- This multi tool features a removable pocket clip and a nylon sleeve
- Carabiner Bottle Opener Accessory is a welcome addition
- Comes in silver color option
- Weighs 7oz (198.4g)
Main advantages of this multi tool – as per the users:
- This tool is precious. If you are looking for something to have on you all the time, you’ve found it. It is not full-sized, but it still does the job right.
- This little thing packs more power than you could imagine…
- For a long time I haven’t carried any kind of multi tool with me, but I decided to start again. I wanted a really capable one, so after talking to a friend, I got this one. I never looked back, it’s just the right balance between price and usability and every Leatherman Sidekick review I read confirms it.
- The weight is just about right and I can use it with one hand, which is what I needed in the first place. And it doesn’t feel like a toy, which I would hate.
The drawbacks customers reported:
- My Sidekick started rusting only after a few days of usage in humid conditions. It’s a fall in the quality compared to the older Leatherman Wave I owned…
- This is not my first Leatherman, so I know what a real one feels like. The wire cutters and pliers are just not up to Leatherman standards on this one. The finish is just poor and rough around the edges.
Thoughts on the Leatherman Sidekick
When thinking about this tool, you have to keep the price in mind. It hasn’t been among the top-rated Leathermans for some time now, but it still is a solid budget solution.
With the company trying to get a piece of the pie from the lower-price market, they had to cut down on something. When this happens, it’s the quality of the materials that usually suffers. But for the average user, this is no way a deal-breaker.
See the Leatherman Sidekick on Amazon below
Rating – 4.1/5
The basic info:
- Comes in stainless steel
- Some of the tools include pliers with spring-action mechanism, scissor with spring-action mechanism, combo knife, and wire cutters with spring-action mechanism
- Other tools are needlenose pliers, small screwdriver, medium screwdriver, and a Phillips screwdriver
- Additionally, can and bottle openers, and a wood/metal file are included
- The tool weight 7 oz (198g)
- The package does not include the sheath
The PROs from the “real world”:
- I have a dozen of multi-tools, and I have to say that this guy is traditional Leatherman quality. I read countless Leatherman Wingman reviews and I still believe that this is one of the most under-appreciated multi-tools on the market
- I used it today to help my son’s friend with his bike for the first time and it was a pleasure. Good grip and solid pieces, especially the scissors. Just an excellent tool!
- This is my first Leatherman tool and I was very excited when I got it. It doesn’t seem to compare to more expensive Leathermans, but I am really happy with what it offers for the price. I think it is clever design for the knife to be accessible when the tool is closed.
- The one handed access is crucial with the knife usage on this tool. Other things I like are the belt clip, and spring pliers. Also, the price is just unbelievably low.
The not-so-nice comments – the CONs:
- I don’t think that the blade is strong enough to be of any real use…
- I just picked one up. And I had a thorough examination of mine. The knife closing mechanism is placed where I naturally hold with my thumb, and this could lead to accidental locking. As for the pliers, there is somewhat of a slide there
- the wire cutter is basically unusable.
- When I bought this, I expected it to be a decent every-day-carry. But no, it isn’t. Yes, it’s the right size and has the right tools, but that’s about it. It is cheap-looking, and some of the tools are a joke, like the ruler and the file…
It seems like we have a similar situation with the Wingman as we did with the Sidekick. The average user loves it and the connoisseurs and those who need a heavy-duty multi tool, well…not so much.
So, before considering the Wingman, you need to think about your needs, read the user reviews to find your place and see if you and this tool a good fit.
See the Leatherman Wingman on Amazon below
Leatherman Squirt PS4
Rating – 3.52/5
This multi tool:
- Comes with a 25 years of warranty
- Includes 9 tools
- High-grade steel (420HC) used for the blades
- 3 color choices
- Weighs only 1.9 ounces and comes with a keychain ring
- The quality of this thing is amazing, just as expected from a Leatherman tool. The functionality is great, especially when you consider its size and weight. If all you need with you is a pocket knife and few of the nifty tools, I think the Skeletool would be perfect for you.
- I’ve been wanting this tool since its release in 2007. I finally got it a few days ago and I couldn’t be happier. For what I have experienced so far, this tool is everything but heavy compared to the versatility it offers
- I’m an electrician and it’s amazing what this little keychain tool can do to a wire. One of the best carry-on multi-tools for electricians, hands down
- It is sturdy and well-built and I love the ergonomic design.
- The number of tools is just right and it’s first-grade quality. So, for this price, it’s a steal.
- The knife is extremely easy to operate by using just one hand, and it looks attractive. Add a 25-year warranty to it and its weight, this multi tool is a clear winner.
- This multi tool looks great, so I thought I wouldn’t have any problems with it. However, the metal was disappointingly pliable, while the pliers are not really metal.
- Even though it is supposed to be made from stainless steel, I can see signs of rust only few months in. The last, but not the least, the pliers were not sided properly. A disappointment…
- This cheaper version of a true Leatherman is a disgrace for its name. I have the real one, and nothing compares to it, especially not this junk. The handles are awfully designed, as well as the pliers. The only good think about it the great knife…
Second best choice among keychain multi-tool under 50 bucks, right after the Gerber Dime Micro Multi-tool . It might not be a top choice to consider if you need a heavy-duty tool but for what it is, and that’s a keychain multi-tool, the Squirt PS4 is solid choice.
See the Leatherman Squirt PS4 on Amazon below
The Gerber MP600 Multi-Plier
Rating – 3.52/5
- Included limited lifetime warranty
- Designed for opening using only one hand
- Blades which are fully locked
- Includes wires cutter, medium and large flat blade screwdrivers, cross point screwdriver, , wire cutter, cross point screwdriver, small, bottle and can opener, and scissors
- Partially serrated knife blade, needle nose pliers, file and saw are also included
- The tool weighs 8.6 oz (244g)
- The length of the open multi tool is 61 inches (16.8 cm) and 4.92 inches (12.5cm) when it is closed
Positive reactions of the users:
- I need a replacement for my old multi tool, and I was a bit skeptical about purchasing this one. But after some asking around, I succumbed and got one. I was skeptical about it being strong enough and I had to check right away. Luckily for me, it was. I used it on hex bolts, wing nuts, and different fasteners. It was all as I could have only wished.
- I have got my first Gerber tool when I was a teenager as a gift from my father. Because I am a grown up now, and a soldier nonetheless, I upgraded my old one to the Gerber Diesel. I use it all the time when I am cleaning my rifle. It is also amazing for cutting annoying string hanging from the ACUs, and opening a cold bottle of bear. My army mates borrow it constantly…
- I own several multi tools and the Gerber Diesel is possibly my favorite. The blade is just superbly sharp and the pliers are unbelievably strong. I love how all the tools are durable and the coating is so lasting. I even used it to scare off potential muggers when I was on my trip to New York. This is just a really useful piece of equipment to have on you. Bottom line, one the best Gerber multi-tools and I own five…
- I don’t use mine very often, but I think it is very well-built and sturdy and I don’t see any major problems. And I love the general feel of it, the quality of the blade and the finish quality…
- As far as I am concerned -this multi tool has a big problem- it’s very heavy. it might be just me but I can almost feel it pulling my pants down.
- I got black grease all over my clothes and hands after opening the package. It was just too oiled…
- I expected more from Gerber, it feels flimsy…
- It is just OK… the build is fine, but it really lacks some functionality compared to some of the more upscale multi tools I’ve used.
The Gerber MP600 is one of the best-selling Gerber multi-tools. The fact that it’s not rated as high on our website comes down to the way we test, review and rate the pieces.
That aside, the Gerber MP600 is a very popular choice.
See the Gerber MP600 on Amazon below
What would I get in this price range?
If I had a budget of 50 bucks and I needed a multi tool today, it would be simple:
I’d go with the Gerber Suspension any day of the week.
As simple as that.
Stay smart and safe,