The Best Multi-tool Brands
Depending on your belief, brand names may either be one of the most influencing factors in your decision or it may not have any effect at all when you are buying for something. Either way, you must consider it somehow, especially since more and more brands are stepping up their game just so they can maintain their high ranking status in the market.
When it comes to multi-tools, I’m sure you already have some names floating in your mind. But if you’re quite new to the pocket tools scene, you may want to read on and get familiar with the best brands in multi-tools.
Starting off with the best brand, if I do say so myself, is Leatherman. The Leatherman Tool Group is an American brand of multi-tools and knives based in Portland, Oregon. It was founded in July 1983 by Timothy S. Leatherman, a mechanical engineering graduate of Oregon State University, and his business partner Steve Berliner. The two designed and created a capable and easily portable hand tool with multiple functions which they called the PST (Pocket Survival Tool), and was sold as the first multi-tool that same year. The inspiration for the PST came about when Leatherman and his wife were traveling Europe and the Middle East in 1975. They constantly found themselves having to repeatedly repair their malfunctioning car and leaky hotel plumbing. He wanted to create a sort of “Boy Scout knife” but with pliers. After several years of perfecting and refining his work, Leatherman sold the Pocket Survival Tool (PST) in 1983 and by 1984, he sold nearly 30,000 tools. Today, Leatherman primarily sells multi-tools and knives which are mostly built around a pair of pliers with up to 21 additional tools.
Some of the best and most well-known Leatherman multi-tools include:
- PST and PST II
- Wave (Original and New)
- Surge (Original and New)
- Charge (Ti, XTi, AL, ALX, TTi)
- Skeletool (CX, SX, RX)
- MUT and MUT EOD
- Squirt (P4, S4, 24, ES4, PS4)
Also known as Gerber Gear or Gerber Legendary Blades, Gerber makes consumer knives and multi-tools. The business started as an advertising firm in Portland, Oregon, which later on became Gerber Legendary Blades when Joseph Gerber mailed 24 sets of kitchen knives to clients as holiday presents. The popularity of the handmade knives even caught the attention of catalog retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, requesting more knives from Gerber to be sold in their catalog. In 1987, a Finnish company named Fiskars purchased Gerber Legendary Blades and by 2003, the company was already the second leading seller of multi-tools in the United States. Leatherman was the first. Today, Gerber continues to produce problem-solving knives, multi-tools, cutting tools, and other equipment.
Some of the best and most well-known Gerber multi-tools include:
- MP600 - ST
- Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Pack
- Cable Dawg
- Center Drive
SOG Specialty Knives and Tools
SOG began when some members of the MACV-SOG, a highly classified US special ops unit, carried a one of a kind combat knife during cover missions. In 1986, Spencer Frazer, a young and up and coming designer, was so inspired by that knife that he founded the SOG Specialty Knives. SOG knives are field-proven by US Special Forces and honored by the Navy SEAL as their knife of choice. Aside from the specialty knives, SOG multi-tools are also making headlines, offering a wide variety of heavy-duty tools ranging from tactical, hunting, to outdoors, and everyday carry.
Some of the best and most well-known SOG multi-tools include:
- Sync II
Victorinox is a knife manufacturer based in Switzerland. It was founded by Karl Elsener in 1884 and has been responsible for delivering knives to the Swiss army, hence the name Swiss Army Knife. In 1896, Elsener succeeded in adding tools on both sides of the knife’s handles through a special spring mechanism, and the Swiss Army Multi-tool Knife was born. Victorinox now carries a wide range of products from pocket knives and kitchen knives to watches and travel gear.
Some of the best and most well-known Victorinox multi-tools include:
- Swiss Army
- Cadet Knife
- 54874 Trekker
- 53481 Deluxe Tinker