The Best Multi Tool of 2018 – Buyers guide

Call it an instrument, device, utensil, or apparatus, tools have been a part of everyone’s lives since they were invented. It has and continues to make everyone’s lives easier and more convenient.

If you’re wondering whether you need a multi-tool or not, the answer is YES.

Seeing that a multi-tool offers a variety of style and many more components, it’s reasonable to get second thoughts about purchasing one at all. Deciding is actually the easy part. Choosing which one is where it gets tricky.

Product Name

Price

Rating

Check price

gerber suspension multi-plier review

Gerber Suspension Multi-tool

$26.99

ravpower pocket knife plier review

RAVPower Multi-tool Knife in Black

$18.99

punada pocket plier knife review

Punada 24-in-1 Pocket Multi-tool Plier

$17.99

leatherman wingman review

Leatherman Wingman Multi-tool

$49.95

morpilot multi-pliers tactical flashlight review

Morpilot Multi-pliers Tactical Flashlight Set

$18.99

gerber center drive review

Gerber Center-Drive Multi-tool

$84

leatherman sidekick review

The Best Multi-Tool of 2018: Leatherman Sidekick Multi-tool

$49.93

How to Choose the Best Multi-Tool

Being prepared for anything is not something everybody thinks about at all times. Preparing for the day, such as showering, eating breakfast, brushing your teeth, going to work is something we have trained our minds and bodies to do. But what about when disaster strikes? You’re on your way to work, you dropped your glasses and the screws got loose. What do you do? You got your mail and you need to open it without ripping the envelope, but you’re not carrying any scissors or knife. How will you open it neatly? You’re putting on a pair of earrings while walking to the garage when you tripped and the backing fell into the crevices of the tiles. How will you get it out? What if those instances occurred to you and you don’t have a single thing with you that could help solve the crisis? That’s exactly why you need to buy a multi-tool.

There are different multi-tools suited for a specific use or situation. In this guide, we will consider its general purpose, instead, so that you can narrow down your choices and decide on the right one for you.

Preparedness is always the top reason why people buy multi-tools. Whether you’re on a camping trip or out hiking in the mountains nearby, any mishap can surely be dealt with by a multi-tool.

Size matters.

It matters because of how you’re willing to carry it. There are different sizes of multi-tools available and it essentially boils down to personal preference. The smallest variants are the credit card or keychain multi-tools. These types were appropriately named to correspond its portability. You can either slip it inside your wallet or hang it in your keychain along with the rest of your keys. Although it proves to be the most flexible in terms of transportation, it usually has fewer components and features. The next well-known kind of multi-tool is the pocket one. It’s a bit bigger and heavier but it still manages to fit in your pocket or in your bag. Along with its reasonable size is the advantage of having more components. The pocket multi-tool is what I would personally recommend since it combines both portability and function. For a more serious tool enthusiast or handyman, belt multi-tools are the way to go. It carries nearly to full-sized tools in a transportable package for heavy-duty jobs.

Once you’ve figured out which size is suitable for you, you can now focus on the key features of the multi-tool. The list above is certainly going to help you a lot, especially if you are not too familiar with the specifications. Remember that not all multi-tools have the same components and use, so consider the tools which you think will be most useful to you. However, having all the key tools in one unit doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. In fact, you could just be setting yourself up to be disappointed in the unit you chose. Having everything doesn’t mean excellence. Having the right ones, though, means you’ve decided to be smart and practical about it.

Despite being small, not all keychain or pocket multi-tools break easily. The same applies to full-sized ones, not all are sturdy. What I’m saying is that you need to look deeper into the making of the tool. Multi-tools made of high carbon steel turns out to be the most popular and durable, so consider this when you go shopping.

When it comes to multi-tool brands, a lot of companies and manufacturers have definitely stepped up their game. Of course, you won’t go wrong with brands such as Leatherman and Gerber Legendary Blades which are both very well-known when it comes to tools. Other great brands include SOG, Victorinox, and Swiss+Tech.

Multi-Tool Reviews

To get an even better sense of which multi-tools are worth your time and money, here’s a list of reviews on the ones that actually are.

Gerber Suspension Multi-tool

The Suspension Multi-Tool from Gerber Legendary Blades is an amazing product that’s sure to make your life convenient. It’s a 12-in-1 multi-tool with a sleek, butterfly design and engineered to be lightweight and powerful at the same time. It is also safe to use thanks to the Gerber patented Saf.T.Plus system. It has a unique suspension style that was inspired by Portland, Oregon’s famous suspension bridges. It’s comfortable to hold and compact enough, measuring 2x4x3/4 inches when closed. There are two knives in the Suspension Multi-tool, one is straight and the other is serrated. It’s perfect multi-tool for cutting materials, both fine and rough. There’s a Phillips screwdriver as well as a flathead screwdriver which comes in both large and medium sizes. The needle-nose pliers in this multi-tool are located at the very center and are designed with spring-loaded action, so there’s no need to worry about pinching yourself. There’s also a dedicated wire cutter and stripper, scissors, a bottle and can opener, an awl, and a saw. Along with it all is a lanyard ring and a ballistic-cloth nylon sheath to ensure your tool’s protection. 


The Verdict

The Suspension Multi-Tool is certainly reliable and one of the best gadgets you can own.

RAVPower Multi-tool Knife in Black

If you’re looking for a basic multi-tool, this one might just be right for you. The RAVPower 5-in-1 Multi-Tool Knife is a multipurpose pocket tool made of durable stainless steel material. It has beautifully designed tools that transform seamlessly from one to the other including a plier, a can opener, a knife/saw blade, a bottle opener, and a screwdriver with a 9-in-1 bit set. It has a safeguard feature discretely integrated into the unit which prevents the blades from closing on your fingers.


The Verdict

The RAVPower multi-tool is ergonomic and is comfortable to hold by both lefties and righties. It’s a great all-around tool for everyday use, camping, fishing, or hiking.

Punada 24-in-1 Pocket Multi-tool Plier

The Punada Pocket Tool is a multi-plier with 24 individual functions. It’s probably one of the most functional and portable multi-tools in the market which works great for people on the go. This unit is made of 420 high carbon stainless steel which allows for heavy-duty work due to its premium hardness. It has improved strength at high temperatures and it’s rust resistant. Along with its ergonomically designed handles, it has an anti-slip edge which ensures comfort and reliability. The 24 components of the Punada multi-tool includes both a needle-nose as well as a standard plier, a saw, a long, blade knife and a short blade knife, a wire cutter, a small and medium-sized screwdriver, a ruler, a metal nail file, a fish hook remover, a can opener, a bottle opener, a Phillips screwdriver with bits connector, and 11 other bits for screwdrivers. Aside from all these amazing features, you also get a nylon sheath to cover up your tool and a free multifunction survival bracelet that acts as a compass, an emergency whistle, and can even start a campfire. 


The Verdict

This multi-tool is definitely a “jack of all trades”.

Leatherman Wingman Multi-tool

From one of the leading brands that specializes in knives and multi-tools, we have the Leatherman Wingman. If you’ve ever considered a multi-tool as your best friend, this one is definitely it. The wingman is a 14-in-1 multi-tool with a modern and ergonomic design that promotes comfort and function.  It has 14 features inclusive of a knife, pliers, a wire stripper and a wire cutter, screwdrivers, a package opener, a pair of scissors, a bottle opener and a can opener, a ruler, and a file. The Wingman also comes with the Leatherman’s 25-year limited warranty as well as the option to add a nylon sheath, which protects the tool from external elements.


The Verdict

It’s simple to use, making it a great entry-level tool.

Morpilot Multi-pliers Tactical Flashlight Set

If you’re adventurous and love to be outdoors, the multi-tool from Morpilot is a great choice. It’s a multi-pliers tactical flashlight set with 14 individual functions. It’s equipped with both long and short blade knives, spring-loaded pliers, a wire cutter/stripper, a separate wire cutter and wire stripper, a mini flat-head screwdriver, a medium flat-head screwdriver, a large flat-head screwdriver, a crosshead screwdriver, a can opener, a bottle opener, a fish hook remover, and a metal nail file. It also comes with a tactical flashlight with 5 different lighting modes. It switches between low, high, medium, strobe, and SOS with just a single push of a button.


The Verdict

This multi-tool is made of aviation grade aluminum ensuring its durability.

Gerber Center-Drive Multi-tool

Here’s another one from Gerber. It’s more up there in price, but it sure is worth it. The Gerber Center Drive is a multi-tool which features 13 high-quality components made of 420 high carbon steel in one ergonomically designed unit. At the very top, in between the handles, is where you can find the needle-nose pliers which work great for cutting and holding things as well as with snipping and re-positioning wires. There are two types of blades with one being serrated and the other with a plain edge, so you get two options whenever cutting or slicing through materials. Other functions included in the Center Drive are bolt and nut grippers, a rotating wire cutter and wire stripper, different sizes of Phillips screwdriver and a flat-head bit drill, a bottle opener, a pry bar, a ruler, a nail puller, an awl, a file, a tool lock, and a magnetic axis bit driver. T


The Verdict

he unit itself is easy to use thanks to its one-thumb opening design for deploying the pliers, the blades, and the screwdrivers. It’s one of the best multi-tools you could ever find.

The Best Multi-Tool of 2018: Leatherman Sidekick Multi-tool

From the brand that launched the “Pocket Survival Tool” comes a younger, newer, and more compact multi-tool. Measuring at 3.8 inches, the Leatherman Sidekick is a great, lightweight companion to have especially when it comes to dealing with small repairs and emergency cases when you’re on the go. It’s equipped with 14 fully functional tools including a saw blade, a wire stripper, a regular knife and a serrated knife, a small and medium-sized screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, a wood and metal file, a bottle and can opener, and a 1.5-inch ruler. Along with these, there’s a needle-nose plier with spring-action design as well as a gripping zone to ensure accurate work every time. Transportation wise, the Sidekick is very portable thanks to the included removable pocket clip, lanyard ring, and a leather sleeve.


The Verdict

Overall, this multi-tool is seriously the sidekick we’ve all been wishing for

Multi-Tool Maintenance

The multi-tool is always there for you whenever you need it, so it makes perfect sense for you to do the same. Taking care of this gadget means prolonging its life as well as making sure that each individual tool works great every time. Maintaining your multi-tool means keeping it free from rust and corrosion, sharpening the blades, and generally having it cleaned. In this guide, I will share with you some tips on making sure that your multi-tool is as good as brand new.

First, let’s discuss the different cleaning methods that are safe for your tool.

If your unit doesn’t get exposed to extreme environments and you just want to have it cleaned, using a mild solution of detergent and water will generally do the trick. The same process works great if there are debris or sticky substances that have accumulated in between the tools. After that, you simply dry your multi-tool and apply a light machine oil or water-displacing product (like the WD-40) to ensure that no moisture gets trapped in between joints. However, if there are some particular kinds of dirt, you may need to use specific solutions. For example, if there’s tar or any related substance, you’re going to need some turpentine or other kinds of mineral spirits. When it comes to saltwater or marine environment exposure, you should thoroughly rinse your multi-tool with fresh water. Then, proceed to dry and lubricating it with WD-40. Meanwhile, if your multi-tools show signs of rust and corrosion, don’t panic just yet. This is either because you don’t clean it regularly or it was exposed to a damp or marine environment. For this situation, once you’ve cleaned your multi-tool, re-oil the pivoting areas with a light machine oil or penetrating type of oil. Take a polishing cloth or a non-metallic abrasive such as a Scotchbrite pad, and buff the affected area.

If none of these tips worked for you, it may be best to contact your multi-tool’s manufacturer and revisit the statements of the warranty. Brands like Leatherman offer a 25-year limited warranty wherein you can send your unit and have it fixed or replaced.

Remember, a multi-tool can do as much as save your life, so do your best to make it their worth.

Conclusion

To wrap this up, always consider that being overly prepared is way better than not being ready at all. It’s a simple concept which most of us still choose to set aside. That is why when worst comes to worse, we end up feeling helpless. It’s time to change that mindset. Whether you’re going on a beach trip, jogging around your neighborhood, or simply going to work, a multi-tool might just save your life.

Congratulations! You made it through! 🙂 

That's it for this buyers guide. Until next time!

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