There’s nothing quite as satisfying as having just the tool you need for a job, right when and where you need it. Multitools turn a whole box of big, clunky gadgets into a small, portable device so you’re prepared for any task.
We spent hours researching, sifting through specs, and testing tools in real-life situations to narrow down this list of the very best multitools on the market. After getting experience with each tool, we did a thorough side-by-side comparison to make it easy to find one you’ll love.
Check out this quick list of our favorites if you’re in a hurry, or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.
- Best overall multitool for quality, durability & value: Leatherman Wave+
- Best mini multitool: Leatherman Micra
- Best keychain multitool: Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD
- Best budget multitool: Gerber Suspension NXT
- Lightweight multitool with a ton of functions: Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman
- Best budget mini multitool: Gerber Dime
- Simplified, full-size multitool: Leatherman Skeletool CX
- Best multitool for first responders: Leatherman Raptor
What’s Most Important to You in a Multitool?
PRICE – Great quality is often worth paying for when it comes to a multitool you’ll carry with you and use every day. That said, some of our favorite multitools are delightfully affordable and very effective. We’ve tested a range of high quality multitools in different price brackets.
NUMBER OF FUNCTIONS – It’s good to be prepared, but the worth of a multitool isn’t necessarily defined by how many things it can do. In fact, we prefer multitools that don’t include too many extra gizmos we aren’t likely to use. It helps to ask yourself what type of tasks you’ll actually be doing regularly and work backwards from there.
SIZE & WEIGHT – Full-size multitools are generally more ergonomic and have better leverage for extended use. However, small, lightweight multitools can be a great option for everyday carry, since they can be comfortably stashed in a pocket without feeling bulky or getting in the way.
DURABILITY – All of the multitools on this list are high-quality and durable. That said, a few of them are better suited for heavy-duty tasks. If you don’t tend to put a lot of force on your tools, a lightweight, more compact multitool might be all you need.
TRAVEL – If often travel by air and you want to avoid having to check your tool, you’ll need one that’s TSA-approved. These models come without a blade, and any sharp features, like scissors, have to be below a certain length. Keep in mind that there’s no guarantee airport security will let any multitool pass through, so we recommend choosing an affordable one you won’t be too bummed about leaving behind.
Best Multitools of 2023
BEST OVERALL MULTITOOL FOR QUALITY, DURABILITY & VALUE
WEIGHT: 8.5 oz.
FUNCTIONS: Pliers, wire cutters, electrical crimper, wire stripper, knife, serrated knife, saw, scissors, ruler, can opener, bottle opener, file, large & small bit drivers, medium screwdriver
PROS: High-quality, durable, tools lock into place, easy push-button unlock, outside-accessible tools, replaceable wire cutters, holster included
CONS: Heavier/bulkier than some, pliers aren’t spring loaded
BOTTOM LINE: The Leatherman Wave+ is a worldwide bestselling multitool because of its excellent balance of quality and cost. The Wave+ has most of the tools tradespeople and problem-solving MacGyvers need regularly, plus some convenient extras to make life easier – all in a streamlined package. The Wave+ might feel a bit heavy for everyday carry to some, but you’ll appreciate the larger size and heft of the Wave+ if you’re the handy type that tends to use a bunch of tools on any given day. If you want to be prepared for anything and are willing to pay a bit more for a top-notch multitool that will last for many years, the Wave+ is an excellent option for you. Pick up a Leatherman Bit Set to complete the package.
BEST MINI MULTITOOL
WEIGHT: 1.8 oz.
FUNCTIONS: Spring-loadedscissors, knife, flat/phillips screwdrivers, ruler, nail cleaner/file, bottle opener, tweezers
PROS: High-quality, ultralight, compact, affordable, outside-accessible tools
CONS: More expensive than some mini multitools
BOTTOM LINE: The Leatherman Micra has all the tools we find ourselves frequently reaching for, yet it’s so small and lightweight that we barely notice it in our pocket. The Micra’s useful toolset includes decent-size scissors, handy small tweezers, and a variety of screwdrivers that work well for tightening things from big to small (sunglasses, buckle screws, etc.). Because of its practical balance of size and versatility, the Micra is one of our favorite multitools for everyday use and the trail.
BEST KEYCHAIN MULTITOOL
WEIGHT: 0.7 oz.
FUNCTIONS: Small knife, scissors, nail file, flat screwdriver, tweezers, toothpick
PROS: Ultralight, very compact, very affordable, sharp scissors, available in lots of great colors
CONS: Small tools are limited to light-duty tasks, no pliers
BOTTOM LINE: The best multitool is the one you have with you when you need it, and the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD is one of our favorite everyday carry items for that reason. It has everything you need for simple, light-duty tasks like opening packaging and personal grooming, yet it’s so small and lightweight that it’s barely noticeable on a keyring. That’s also why it’s popular among ultralight backpackers. It’s excellent for blister care and other common needs on the trail, but it hardly adds to your pack weight. The Classic is so handy and affordable, we think it’s a must-have micro-tool for everyone, especially those who want to keep “stuff” to a minimum.
BEST BUDGET MULTITOOL
WEIGHT: 6.7 oz.
FUNCTIONS: Spring-loadedpliers, wire stripper, wire cutters, knife, scissors, cross driver, three flathead drivers, can opener, awl, file, ruler
PROS: Very affordable, all tools lock into place, durable, outside-accessible tools, spring-loaded pliers
CONS: Bulkier than some full-size multitools
BOTTOM LINE: The Gerber Suspension NXT is one of the most affordable full-size multitools on the market. Our favorite feature is the great spring-loaded pliers that open wide and are easy to operate with one hand. The NXT’s tool set is focused on the stuff people use the most to make it a bit slimmer and easier to carry than previous Suspension versions. That said, it’s still on the bulkier side to carry in your pocket, so we recommend picking up a holster to carry the NXT on your belt instead. If you need a tough multitool you can put to hard use or stash in the car for emergencies, the Suspension NXT is a great budget buy with a lot to love.
LIGHTWEIGHT MULTITOOL WITH A TON OF FUNCTIONS
WEIGHT: 3.4 oz.
FUNCTIONS: Large & small knives, can opener, small & medium screwdrivers, bottle opener, wire stripper, reamer/punch & sewing awl, corkscrew, scissors, wood saw, multipurpose hook, toothpick, tweezers
PROS: High-quality, lots of functions, affordable, lightweight for the number of tools
CONS: Bulkier than some, no pliers, some tools may rarely be used, some tools are tough to open (nail nicks)
BOTTOM LINE: If you want to have a ton of different tools at your fingertips without carrying a lot of weight, you’ll love the Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman. It’s relatively small and lightweight for a multitool that boasts so many features. The scissors are the sharpest and most effective of those we tested, which is no surprise since Swiss Army Knives are well-known for their fine-tuned craftsmanship and excellent fit and finish. The Huntsman doesn’t have pliers, but it’s very well-equipped for a camp kitchen with multiple knives, a can opener, corkscrew, and a bottle opener. If you’re looking for an affordable medium-size multitool and aren’t likely to need pliers, the Huntsman is a classic choice for everyday carry or outdoor adventures.
BEST BUDGET MINI MULTITOOL
WEIGHT: 2.2 oz.
FUNCTIONS: Spring-loadedpliers, wire cutters, tweezers, bottle opener, knife, package opener, scissors, medium flathead & Phillips screwdriver, file
PROS: Affordable, ultralight, compact, durable, outside-accessible tools
CONS: Some tools are a bit tough to open, file isn’t great
BOTTOM LINE: We’re really impressed with the excellent quality of the Gerber Dime mini multitool, especially at its nominal price. The spring-loaded pliers work well, the tiny scissors are strong, and the knife blade is sharp. It even has tiny tweezers for the unexpected splinter. All of the tools lock securely into place when you’re using them, and the unit feels solid and durable. The Dime can be used as a keychain, but it’s also comfortable in a pocket or clipped onto a belt loop or backpack strap with a small carabiner. We recommend the Dime to anyone who wants a small and affordable multitool for everyday carry or the outdoors.
SIMPLIFIED, FULL-SIZE MULTITOOL
WEIGHT: 5 oz.
FUNCTIONS: Pliers, wire cutters, knife, carabiner/bottle opener, large bit driver
PROS: Lightweight, locking blade, outside-accessible tools
CONS: Fewer functions than some
BOTTOM LINE: If all you need are the basics, the Leatherman Skeletool CX features a refreshing bare-bones design you’ll really appreciate. It’s a full-size multitool that’s been stripped down to emphasize the implements people tend to use most – a high-quality knife, pliers, and a screwdriver. This makes the Skeletool look super cool, and more importantly, keeps it lightweight, slim, and comfortable for everyday carry. We love that you can hook it onto a belt loop with the pocket clip, and that the knife can be opened with one hand. If you’re looking for a multitool that has the most important tools you need and nothing you don’t, the Skeletool is an excellent, streamline option.
BEST MULTITOOL FOR FIRST RESPONDERS
WEIGHT: 5.8 oz.
FUNCTIONS: Shears, strap cutter, ring cutter, glass breaker, ruler, oxygen tank wrench
PROS: High-quality, durable and sharp shears, holster included
CONS: Bulkier than some, fewer functions than some
BOTTOM LINE: The Leatherman Raptor is the best multitool available for first responders or anyone who needs a pair of high-quality, portable scissors. It has everything that’s needed in a rescue situation without too many functions to get in the way when you need to deploy it quickly. The Raptor is durable, super sharp, and intentionally designed to be reliable and efficient. Whether you’re a medical professional working to save lives, or an average Joe who wants to be prepared for emergencies, the Raptor is a useful multitool that you’ll be pleased to work with for years to come. The Raptor is also an excellent, compact cutting tool for gardening, cutting fabric, and more.
The following multitools didn’t make our final list, but they’ve still got a lot of good things going for them. You never know, one of these tools might be perfect for you:
- Gerber Armbar Drive and Armbar Cork – unique pocket-knife-shaped multitool with an emphasis on the large blade and commonly used tools
- Leatherman Wingman – a medium-size, high-quality multitool with an excellent value
- Leatherman Surge – a larger, heavy-duty version of the Wave+ for the job site or toolbox with a large blade and full-size scissors
- Victorinox Swiss Army Rambler – like the Classic SD above, but with a bottle opener
- Victorinox Swiss Army Nail Clip 580 – like the Classic SD above, but with a nail clipper
Need More Gear Advice?
If you liked this list, you’ll love the CleverHiker Gear Guide where we test and recommend tons of outdoor adventure gear from a variety of categories. here are some links to popular articles:
Why Trust Us?
We fully understand how tough it is to find trustworthy gear advice, and that’s one of the main reasons we built CleverHiker. We live for outdoor adventure, and we take these guides very seriously. Here are some of the reasons you can trust us:
- Our choices are completely independent and based on personal experience.
- We’ve logged over 10,000 trail miles and test outdoor gear for a living.
- We own and field test every product we recommend, which is sadly not the norm.
- We travel to industry trade shows to learn about upcoming product innovations.
- We constantly update our guides when new products launch.
- We treat our recommendations as if they were for our family and friends.
- We’re lifelong learners and we’re always open to constructive criticism. If you think we’ve missed a product or got something wrong, we’d love to hear your feedback.
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Thanks for reading and happy trails!
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