There isn’t a more useful item category out there than pocket tools (also known as multi-tools). These small tools contain anywhere from a couple to over 20 different useful tools such as knives, screw drivers, scissors, bottle openers and more. The problem is that there are a lot of sub-par products out there. A lot have bad reputations for breaking and potentially letting you down when you least expect it. So which are the best pocket tools out there? Which ones should you take on your next camping trip?
Here are our picks for the top 10 best pocket tools that money can buy:
The undisputed leader in pocket tools is absolutely Leatherman. For good reason too. All Leatherman tools have a full 25 year warranty. And if you had to crown one winner, it would undoubtedly be the Leatherman Wave. This is the go-to pocket tool for anyone that needs the best tools for the job in a very compact and durable package. The Wave has a whopping 17 tools made our of 420HC steel. Take a quick look online and you will consistently see the Leatherman Wave mentioned as by far the most recommended pocket tool available. And we would tend to agree. This is far and away the most fully featured one you can buy.
The bigger brother to the Leatherman Wave is the Surge. It ups the number of tools to 21 but continues the tradition of great quality, durable construction. It’s basically just as good as the Wave but the Leatherman Surge is slightly larger at 12.5 ounces verses the 8.5 ounce Wave. We tend to favor the slightly smaller Wave due to its increased portability. But of course the choice is yours.
We also love the Leatherman Juice S2 as a model for people that don’t want quite as much bulk. At just 4.6 ounces, this is one of the lightest tools, but it also covers the main tools you’ll need in the field: knife, 4x screwdriver heads, wire cutters, scissors, pliers and a bottle opener.
One of my personal favorites is the Leatherman Skeletool. This unique tool takes everything you love about other Leatherman products and slims it down, removing unnecessary weight and bulk to make a more sleek pocket tool. Of course this sleek design comes at a cost. It only has 7 tools. But for most cases out in the wild this will get the job done. I personally carry this tool with me when traveling. The knife and bottle opener alone have saved me in many circumstances while overseas. This tool is only 5 ounces due to the unique cutout design across the whole tool. It is absolutely up there with the best of the best. Although I do wish it had a pair of scissors from time to time.
Victorinox has always been a crowd favorite in the pocket tool space. All of their products are designed and manufactured in Switzerland. Two of our absolute favorites are the Victorinox SwissTool and the Swiss Army SwissChamp. The Swisstool is a direct competitor to the best pocket tools out there from Leatherman, Gerber and others. With a stainless steel body, that quite frankly looks sexy as hell, this tool contains a whopping 27 functions! The smaller SwissChamp is a more typical Swiss Army knife. But it somehow packs in 32 different tools into a small body. We love both of these models and it just depends on what your style is and how much you will want to use the larger pliers on the SwissTool.
Gerber makes a great product as well. Perhaps not quite as high regarded as Leatherman, but great nonetheless. There is a reason why the US Army gives each soldier a Gerber tool. The two main models that we recommend are the MP400 and the MP600. These are basically just the same tool in two different sizes. Gerber makes a great locking mechanism on both of these models which is awesome. There’s nothing mind blowing about either of these models but I do love the way that the pliers slide out as you push the locking mechanism. You not only look cool, but it is just great design.
SOG is another company that makes a great pocket tool. Their B61 and S61 models are both awesome (the B61 has 3 more tools for a total of 19). They both come with a lifetime warranty and a really great set of pliers. If you think you’ll be using the pliers a lot consider looking at either of these due to their patented compound leverage design. We love these pocket tools!
Here is the full list of our top 10 best pocket tools from least to most expensive: