The old “Tools don’t make you a good electrician” is still true. But the propper tools, especially a good multi tool for electricians, will make your life a lot easier. We’re sure you’d agree. That’s why we set out to compile this guide about a year and a half ago and we finally managed to pool all the data together and present them in a simple and straightforward way.
The updated guide for 2020 is bringing some exciting changes and new arrivals. We’d say that this is the most significant update we saw so far. After a period of being dormant and the same products dominating, we’re seeing shifts in most quality categories. It makes our job of rating and ranking the pieces harder, but in the end, you end up with a super relevant information.
We’ll look at both carry-ons and power tools. We hope you’ll find it useful.
58 tools tested over 22 months by 8 electricians
We tested 58 electrician’s multi purpose pieces, from the bulky Gerbers to the finer and, let’s face it, cooler Leatherman and Klein multi tools, as well as power oscillating tools and electric bit drivers and punchdown. We separated the wheat from the chaff and selected one product in each category.
In the category of hand multi-tools we tested 10 pieces:
Multi-tools tested for the 2020 update, left to right – Gerber Groundbreaker, Gerber Cable Dawg, Leatherman Super Tool 300, ToolZall Crescent, Leatherman Surge, Leatherman Wave, Gerber Flick, Leatherman OHT, SOG PowerAssist & Leatherman Squirt ES4 for electricians
Our featured testers for this update – Randy Shadel, Jeff Poholsky, Jack Osborne, Alex Green, Jack Burke and Alexander Marston – all seasoned electricians
In carry-on multi-tools this update near as close as we would’ve expected – the martensitic 154CM steel (heat-treated and hardened to an Rc of 61) which is used for the wire-cutters, strippers and crimpers of our winner ( the Super Tool 300) and the surgical-grade steel used for the blades was obviously too much for the competition. There was no surprises in the multi-tip drivers and punchdowns, Klein is still the overlord of both categories.
Enough with the pleasantries, time for work!
Let’s head-shot! For those in a rush, let us present the list of top-rated multi-tools for electricians in each category (type of tool) right away.
We stand behind our words when we say that these electrician multi tools are the best the market has to offer right now.
Top choices by type
Top choice in carry-on multi-tools for electricians
The one piece that probably stands the test of time best – it’s been at the very top for a few years now. Let’s take 90 seconds to watch the video brief of the S300.
90 Sec Features Demo – Leatherman Super Tool 300
That’s all well and good, but…
You hopefully watched the demo video above. If you didn’t, it would be good to do it now because it will help you better understand what you’re about to see which is the “meet” of the review.
How the tool faced every-day trials and tribulations of electrical work
To be fair, the demo video does make the tool look good, but it’s coming from the company making the tool. But let’s get real.
The video below shows the st300 after 3 YEARS of serious, every-day use on electrical jobs, big and small.
After 3 years of every-day use on electric jobs
Specs & ratings of the Super Tool 300
Length (in inches)
Primary blade length (in inches)
Weight (in ounces)
Durability (out of 5)
Versatility (out of 5)
Materials (out of 5)
Design (out of 5)
Value for money (out of 5)
The Super Tool 300 Choices
Super Tool 300
(leather or nylon pouch)
Super Tool 300
(leather or nylon pouch)
The ST300 put all the tested tools to shame
It was the only tool with clean cuts of both solid and finer-stranded cables
The wire cutters were tested on:
12 gauge stranded
16 gauge stranded
20 gauge solid
20 gauge stranded
12 gauge finer strand (like you’d see in a battery cable)
The smaller tools were too fiddly, leaving the too many strands and the dedicated tools like the Groundbreaker or the Cable Dawg performed well, but then again, these are practically not carry-ons. They’re bulky tools (the Groundbreaker is 9″ inches long) designed to do one or two things – cutting and stripping.
That’s why they were included in the tests in the first place
We included the two dedicated tools in the testing to see if any of the multi-tools can cut as clean as these.
The only multi-tool with clean one-time cuts in all the wire tested was the Super Tool 300.
Below is an example of what we’re talking about – the results of the Gerber Flick and the Super Tool 300 with a 12-gauge stranded.
Gerber Flick – very fiddle and with sloppy results on a 12 gauge stranded
Clean cut of the Super Tool 300 on the same fine-stranded 12 gauge
Before we move on
We’ll get back to the results in a minute, allow us 20-seconds to explain why should you trust our reviews.
If you are new to our website, this is what we do
We test and review the best multi-tools out there and separate the wheat from the chaff. For general purpose tools we do it in-house (our Editor-in-chief did after all worked in a multi tool factory for 10 years) but for specific use like electric it would be to just wing irresponsible not to.
We don’t just wing it – we have experts test and choose the best electrician’s tools
For this guide we recruited 6 electricians who know their tools to test the 44 pieces and provide insights and ratings.
This page is the aggregate of all their impressions and ratings as well as user reviews – you’ll see top choices in 4 categories of multi-tools for electricians:
The 5 categories:
The SP300 was the only one with clean cuts of the finer-stranded wire
We said it before , but we can’t stress it enough, the guide on the best multitool for electricians is especially tricky because we have to be very picky about who we bring on as a featured tester.
Our proprietary system for rating multi tools has been developed in 2012 and tweaked over the years . It includes expert testing and their ratings, and a pool of data from user reviews.
The Overall Rating of a tool combines the two
Best multi tool for electricians – the Super Tool 300
Leatherman Super Tool 300 is a POWER HOUSE
There are cool multi-tools and then there’s the Leatherman Super Tool 300. If multi-purpose tools were cars, the Wave would be an Escalade.
Over the past months, we set out to separate the wheat from the chaff among electricians multi-tools. The testing and review results came as a bit of a surprise mainly because we expected the latest arrivals and most modern pieces like the Gerber Groundbreaker and the Cable Dawg to find their ways to the top.
The 420HC steel used for the blades, drivers and files is simply superior to materials used in similar tools
None of the other tools were close to the Super Tool 300
The Super Tool 300 for electricians is rated 4.8/5 by our featured testers and the Groundbreaker and Dawg at 3.94 and 3.78 respectively. Even the small pocket multi-tool for electricians – the Squirt ES4 is rated higher at 4.34. The Super Tool 300 by Leatherman blew away the competition in any quality category that’s be relevant to an electrician.
We saw changes in other rankings but the very top is the same since the get-go. This Leatherman dominates in the 2020 update, too.
Materials used set the bar way too high for other multi-tools
420HC heat-hardened (blades) is the same steel used for surgical instruments and the 154CM (used in the wire-cutters, crimpers and strippers) is as good as it gets in terms of materials. This tool is built to last long enough for you to give it to your grand kids as a memento.
Both of these are martensitic steels
The word “martensitic” means that they can he heat-hardened to make them more durable and hold edge longer.
The 420HC steel used in the blades
The 420HC (High Carbon) used for the blades of the SP300 has been heat-hardened and it’s the same steel used for surgical instruments
The 420HC steel is an improved version of the 420 steel. It’s improved by adding carbon (HC stands for high carbon). The Carbon combined with the Chromium (also added to the 420HC) results in high-end steel that:
Holds edge much longer
“Lives” longer and is less prone to abrasions
Is corrosion resistant
The 154CM used in the wire-cutters,
crimpers and strippers
The 154CM used in the wire-cutters, crimpers and strippers
If there’s anything setting this multitool for electricians it’s the replaceable wire-cutters and the 154CM steel.
It’s double tempered to make it tougher
It’s the sweet spot between hardness and brittleness
The ruler that you’ll actually use
Super Tool 300 features a 2-in1 ruler – in a flat position, the two sides of the handles can be used as two rulers, one for approximate and the other for fine measuring
Some of the PROs testers shared with us:
This is one mighty tool. I expected to use it occasionally but ended up using it more frequently than my dedicated pieces. I use all of the tools it carries, and you can use them just as you would your regular electrician gear.
Pretty strong and durable tools, and don’t become all loose/unusable after a couple of harsher jobs. I used it to fix fridges, heating, AC units, and it never let me down. I have a feeling as if I’m using my standard gear which is just unbelievable since it’s a multi tool. I’m impressed
This hefty guy is up for any job, period. You can feel the high quality of every tool when you use it, and every single one works without a hitch. I work in the maintenance, and this is a perfect tool for me. Much better than my old Gerber.
These wire cutters and strippers worked just as well as those in my Vise-Grip. No downsides I can see here, so I recommend it to every electrician out there. It will save you the trouble of carrying around all that extra gear. Top to bottom, this is one cool tool for any electrician. I’m saying goodbye to my Victorinox, this is the best pocket pocket knife for electricians.
Some of the CONs:
This electrician multi tool is big and heavy. I couldn’t get the true length from the pictures on my computer so I just thought it would be smaller. The tool itself is extremely good, but a bit heavier than I expected
This tool is not insulated. It’s very high quality and functional though, and you can see the tools are all there for a purpose. I solve this problem by just turning off one of the circuit breakers, and I’m good to go. Still don’t like the extra trouble though
Overall Quality Rating of 4.7/5.
Let me get this out in the open. The only major downside of this piece is that it’s not insulated. But, as one owner said there’s a really quick fix to this problem – if you use it “live” you’ll have to turn off the circuit breaker or simply use gloves. Other than that it’s really the best every-day-carry option out there.
It’s bigger than your average multi tool but it’s, according to our testing, the best multitool for an electrician out there.
Honorary mentions among pocket tools
The honorary mentions include general purpose tools and are not specifically designed for electricians like the squirt. All of the tools here are more versatile than the ES4 but they don’t feature wire-strippers but classic pliers.
That’s it, that’s the difference. So, if you do have (or get) a wire-stripper, the tools we’re about to present are a solid choice for an electrician.
Leatherman Wave with cap crimper
It’s by far the most popular multi-tool and one of the best-rated on BMK (BestMultiToolKit.com – it’s not out of arrogance that we use the abbreviation, we just get tired of typing the whole thing).
It’s an industry classic and we can’t even keep track any more on the of the number of products in the Wave Series.
However, one of them stands out as a choice for an electrician, it’s the version with the needle-nose pliers a a cap crimper.
It’s a general, full-sized multitool that’s usable for smaller jobs but lacks the power in areas that matter to an electrician, like the cutting power of pliers.
Almost twice as big and 4 times heavier than the Squirt, the Wave is the obvious choice if you need a heavy-duty tool
Here, we only take a look at an excerpt review, it’s specs and some PROs and CONs from our testers.
17 tools including needle-nose pliers and a cap crimper (which is what makes this Wave version suitable for an electrician)
Handles made of stainless steel, 420HC steel blade and serrated blade
Features are all-locking (every tools locks into place making it much safer to use)
This tool is definitely made having versatility in mind. It can do just about anything you need it to. The blades are sharp and easy to open so you can use this tool just as you would your everyday pocket knife.
I realized out-of-the-box that this multi-tool will be a good option for an electrician, I thought I’d get some bulky contraption overstuffed with blades and screwdrivers that I’ll never use. But it’s not about the number of tools here, it’s about how well thought out their placement is. The cap crimper works as advertised.
It’s very sturdy and heavy, it feels like it’s built to last. I only use USA-made tools, no patience to experiment with cheaper inferior tools from China, so this fits the bill.
When the Wave arrived, I expected that it would take time for the sturdy locking pieces to loosen up. It wasn’t the case, this is the tool to look at if you need it for serious work but still need to one-hand stuff.
I just love how elegant and classy this tool looks. The finish is great, and you can really feel the quality. It’s very durable as I had mine for quite some time now and not even a scratch on it
This is by far the best electrician multi tool I’ve ever bought. I use all of the tools, and they all work perfectly. The blade is sharp and well situated ergonomically for cutting, hinges holding the pliers don’t become loose at all, the screwdrivers are a must in my business, and I use a wire cutter/stripper like crazy. All in all, an awesome buy and recommendation from me
I forgot my phone, keys wallet even my wife when I get out of the house. But this little guy is always with me. If you do the math, this cool tool is the best pocket knife for electrcians. It’s bulkier but way more useful.
It is advertised as carry on, but it’s more of a piece that you keep in the glove compartment. All I’m saying is that it’s not a seamless carry at 7 ounces of weight. You can EDC this Wave, but you’re gonna now it’s there as your pants start to get pulled down.
This kind of tools deserves a much better carry sheath. I use the tool and wear it on my belt but I got a premium leather sheath.
Review resume of this electrician multi tool
With an OQT of 4.4 /5, it seems that’s it’s mention is well deserved.
Click below to see the Wave on Amazon
Other tools we deemed are worth mentioning – Bear & Son and Klein multi tools
Klein Multi Tools
Klein 11-in-1 screwdriver multi tool
Take a minute to watch how this inexpensive tool can change the way you go about your work.
Quick Video Demo of this Klein multi-tip
Specs of the Klein multi purpose driver tool:
11 bits in 1 tool
Both #0 and #00 Philips bits included
Comes with a#1 and #2 combo, square, Phillips and slotted tips
Ergonomic cushion grip handles for a better, more comfortable grip and better torque
Tip is heat-treated for extra strength
Driver sizes – 1/4, 3/8 and 5/16 inch
PROs of the Klein multi-tip:
This multi-tip from Klein performs just as advertised. Fast opening and efficient use, good grip and overall a cool electrician’s tool
This multi-tip is a tank. Breaking it is nearly impossible, I’ve had it squashed under a brick wall and it survived with a few scratches
I already own Klein curve strippers and a few other pieces so I expected good things from this multi-purpose and it lived up to every expectation.
This Klein multi tool is well worth the price, well-made, small and easy to carry and works better than my old Neiko that I though I’d never replace.
Just simple and functional. I just open the knife with one finger when I need it. No flopping all around when I want the pliers, just one finger used to lock/unlock it. It’s simple, yet effective and very durable
This is by far the best multi-tip screwdriver I ever owned. Great torque, easy on the hands, budget-friendly
Its one-piece construction makes it virtually indestructible
I’ve overhauled my tool shelve this past month and a good multi-tip is a big part of that, I also got the NECA tools booklet to get ready for next season.
This Klein is a good multi-tip driver, the issue that I’ve seen is that when I need real pressure, the shaft tends to slide into the handle. It happened to me twice over these 6 months…
The multi-tip screwdriver itself is good and cheap, but they get you over time with the replacement combo bits
Review resume of the Klein 11-in-1 tool
It’s rated a solid 4.6/5 by our testers, which make it by far the best multi-tip screwdriver for electricians.
As the man said, this is a beast among multi-tips. It’s sturdy, reliable, effective and low-cost.
Click below to see this Klein punchdown on Amazon
Bear electrician multi tool
By Bear & Son Cutlery
Fact sheet of this product:
Includes Nylon sheath
Contains Phillips/large/medium screwdriver, pliers, wire stripper/cutter, Drop point and serrated blade, 2-in-1 file, standard scale, lanyard ring
Pretty straight forward, I like that. I love to see when company is so sure of their product’s quality it lets it speak for itself. No cosmetic mumbo jumbo is well appreciated here.
So, let’s here some of the good experiences the customers shared with us:
I’m an electrician, and I just knew I had to have this gadget since the moment I saw it. When I need to do some quick work outside my area and without my gear around this is a lifesaver.
I was impressed when it arrived. This is one fine electrician multi tool. It’s very high quality, well made and sturdy. Everything functions as it should and I really like the pliers. They don’t loosen up even after continuous use
I literally use every single tool this little thing has to offer. When you hold it, it leaves an impression of a very high-quality piece. Everything lies tightly in its socket, and it does the job perfectly
Very solid construction and I like the stainless steel and the finish. Very nicely done
One of the best electrician multi tools I’ve ever owned. It does the job I need it to do, it’s very reliable and can take some heavy-duty abuse. The price is great, compared to the quality of the product, and I couldn’t be more satisfied with it
Sounds like a real doozy to me. But we operate a bit outside the scope here, so we’ll check the other side too for some clues.
Here are some CONs:
I just don’t have any use for the serrated blade. I would be better off with something different and useful in its stead. Other tools I like a lot though
I’m not an electrician, and I bought this tool expecting a standard pocket multi tool. Then I realized, no toothpick, corkscrew, tweezers… Had to return it. I guess I should do some reading before buying. Looked pretty well made, just not my thing…
Overall Quality Rating of 3.5/5 and one of the best electrician multi tool out there.
I’ve read hundreds of pros and cons considering this multi tool and it’s on my top list for a reason. It’s just an electrician’s dream tool in a pinch. Well made, very functional, a lot of tools inside, and every one of them is up to the task. No mistake with this buy for sure. And now, that you have you own guide on multi tools what happened to this last gentleman will never happen to you.
My first punch ever, and considering the sturdiness might be my last
I work at JazzyJoelProductions, and all of our techs are using this product
Great price for a very reliable tool
Excellent quality! If you’re set on terminating some Cat 5 phone cable, for example, this is a must
Before it used to lock in “closed” position for some reason. Didn’t happen recently though
Review Resume of the Klein punchdown multi tool
This Klein multi-purpose punchdown is, hands down, the best value for money we’ve seen among the punchdowns tested. To date, we’ve received no reports from our testers using the tool every day.
See this Klein punchdown on Amazon
That’s our list of winners for now. I state my reputation on any of the choices because I know the people that tested and reviewed the products, they jumped a lot of hoops to be here. It’s the list of absolutely best electrician multi tools the market has to offer at this moment.
We do hope that the next update brings some new kids to the block to challenge the veterans, it makes the whole process more exciting.