The 10 Best Survival Multi-tools: Things to Consider and Top Picks for 2019

Benjamin Roussey

Table of Contents

Introduction

Do you want to make sure that you are prepared when heading out into the great wide open? Whether you are camping, hiking, hunting, or mountaineering, a multi-tool is a survival gear that never fails to come in handy. It is like a toolbox that you can carry in your pocket.

A multi-tool makes your life so much easier when you are out in the wilderness. It is definitely a critical piece of gear for any outdoor adventure. They make excellent gifts for outdoor enthusiasts. So how do you find the best survival multi-tool?

At a Glance: Our Choices for The Top 10 Survival Multi-Tools

Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each multi-tool.

Great Multi-Tools for Survival

How to Choose an Excellent Survival Multi-tool

When it comes to survival multi-tools, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you choose one. Here is a quick look at a few factors to consider before buying a survival multi-tool:

Purpose: The first thing to consider when choosing a survival multi-tool is its purpose – what do you think you will be using it for the most? Will you be using it while camping and cooking, or more for hunting or fishing? Once you have figured this out, you will know what your multi-tool needs to have. For example, if you often go out on hunting trips, you might want to consider a multi-tool that comes with a quality knife.

Functionality: Once you have figured out the main purpose, you can focus on the survival multi-tool’s functionality. Nowadays, multi-tools come with a wide variety of features – from knives, saws, and scissors to toothpicks and magnifying glasses. Take time to think about the specific tools you will need the most on your outdoor trips. For example, if you camp out regularly, a knife and can opener will come in handy.

Safety: This is obviously another important factor when choosing a survival multi-tool. You should look for one that you can easily and safely deploy with one hand, and also one that allows you to use a tool while leaving a few other pieces open. Additionally, make sure that your survival multi-tool features a safety lock. It would not hurt to read a couple of reviews about a multi-tool’s safety before you make a choice.

Size and Weight: You will be carrying your multi-tool at all times when you are in the wilderness. This means that anything too bulky or heavy is a no-no. You will obviously want a multi-tool that is lightweight, compact, and easy to carry. You can choose from those that can be hung on your backpack, belt, or carried in your pocket.

Practicality: Another critical factor when choosing a good multi-tool is practicality, or ease of use. Many people often focus on the multi-tool’s functionality and the number of tools, but it is also highly important to choose a multi-tool that is easy to use. Make sure that you go for one that has a good handgrip, allows you to have easy access to its tools and can be conveniently stored away while not in use.

Sturdy and Reliable: Needless to say, you should pick a survival multi-tool that is manufactured by a sterling company. There is nothing like a high quality multi-tool when you are in the wilderness. It should be sturdy and reliable for all types of situations. Some quality multi-tools may be a little more expensive than you expected, but remember that you can never put a price on quality, plus it is horrendous to have a multi-tool that you know you can depend on for any problem that might pop up while you are on your outdoor trip.

Warranty: A warranty is an assurance that the product you purchase is of striking and awesome craftsmanship and does not have manufacturing defects. It gives you, as a consumer, the right to ask the manufacturer to handle any issues you may have with their product according to their terms and conditions. Before buying a survival multi-tool, you should check out the best deals, including the warranty.

Top 10 Survival Multi-Tools

 #1

Leatherman – Wingman

Leatherman Wingman
Our Rating: (4.8/5)
No. of Tools: 14 Tools
Steel Type: 420 HC
Closed Length: 3.8 inches
Weight: 7 oz

Pros:
(+) A quality product at a fair price
(+) Excellent spring-loaded pliers
(+) Sharp combo knife
Cons:
(-) Ruler is useless
(-) Good screwdrivers, but could be better with a lock bit

Overview

The Leatherman Wingman multi-tool is made of quality stainless steel and features 14 tools – 420HC combo knife, spring-action needlenose pliers, spring-action wire cutters, spring-action regular pliers, spring-action scissors, metal/wood file, Phillips screwdriver, medium and small screwdrivers, ruler, package opener, bottle opener and can opener.

When fully deployed, the knife blade locks neatly into place and needs to be manually unlocked to later fold away, which gives you a much safer user experience. You can open and operate every feature on the Wingman with one hand, so you can keep one hand free for multitasking or any situation that requires you to have a free hand. The Leatherman Wingman is a marvelous choice for any outdoorsman.

Conclusion

The Leatherman Wingman is a great survival multi-tool, although it does come with a few flaws. The good news is that these flaws are not major ones. For instance, the ruler is pretty much useless, but you do not have to use it if you do not have to. It is a tough, well-made multi-tool that is ideal for all types of outdoor adventures, from camping to hunting.

It is worth mentioning that the Wingman’s spring-loaded pliers are awesome, so users who need to use pliers regularly will love this. Last but not least, no other company can beat the warranty offered by Leatherman – it makes getting a Wingman multi-tool well worth the money.

 #2

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-Tool

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-Tool
Our Rating: (4.7/5)
No. of Tools: 12 Tools
Steel Type: 5Cr15MoV
Closed Length: 4.0 inches
Weight: 8.8 oz

Pros:
(+) Superlative quality
(+) Excellent engineering
(+) Greater strength-to-size/weight ratio
Cons:
(-) Scissors and saw difficult to get to
(-) Sheath needs to be improved

Overview

The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-Tool is another sterling product that is well designed and built. It features an ergonomic textured rubber grip, which reduces slippage and maximizes comfort, as well as a spring-loaded jaw for simplified use with one hand.

The Bear Grylls Ultimate comes with 12 stainless steel and weather-resistant components, including fine-edged and serrated knives, needle nose pliers, Phillips screwdriver, a saw, medium and small flat drivers, wire cutters, scissors, a can opener and a bottle opener. Also, it boasts a patented Safe. T. Plus System, which provides improved safety by locking components into usage position. Lightweight and comfortable to use, the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-Tool is definitely one of the top survival multi-tools around.

Conclusion

The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-Tool may not be ideal for the ultralight hiker, but it is a solid addition to any backpack, camping gear or survival kit. It works incredibly well, even for tasks that are a little more heavy duty – it is sturdy and tough. The multi-tool feels good in the hand and the rubber grips minimize slippage. With its sensational construction, this is a highly functional multi-tool.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you should definitely consider the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-Tool. It looks and feels great and performs very well in all conditions. With its lifetime warranty, this multi-tool is a sensible and nice purchase and an awesome gift for any outdoorsman.

 #3

Leatherman – Wave Multi-Tool

Leatherman - Wave Multi-Tool
Our Rating: (4.7/5)
No. of Tools: 17 Tools
Steel Type: 420 HC
Closed Length: 4 inches
Weight: 8.5 oz

Pros:
(+) Enhanced for strength
(+) Improved blade design
(+) Bit drivers can be customized
Cons:
(-) A little stiff and hard to open
(-) Case is a little too large

Overview

The Leatherman Wave is a stainless steel multi-tool that comes with 17 tools to make your life in the wilderness easier. The tools include 420HC knife, 420HC serrated knife, needle nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, wire strippers, spring-action scissors, saw, large- and small-bit driver, medium screwdriver, diamond-coated file, and much more.

The Leatherman Wave comes with all-locking features, which means that every tool on the handle’s body, with the exception of the plier head, will lock into place. This allows you to safely and effectively use individual tools. Additionally, every feature on the multi-tool can be opened and operated with one hand.

Conclusion

The Leatherman Wave is a multi-tool of excellent quality and design. It is a handy, versatile multi-tool that you will be grateful to have when you are in Mother Nature’s living room. It is easy to use and feels comfortable in the hand when performing various tasks. The knife blades should be given special mention as they stay razor sharp for a really long time, plus they can be accessed without opening the entire tool.

You might find the multi-tool slightly stiff and hard to open initially, but this issue stops once you have regularly used it. All the components are well made and perform as they should.  The Leatherman Wave is a must-have for outdoor enthusiasts and even for those people who are not! They use these in the military!

 #4

SOG PowerAssist Multi-Tool S66N-CP

SOG PowerAssist Multi-Tool S66N-CP
Our Rating: (4.7/5)
No. of Tools: 16 Tools
Steel Type: 420 HC
Closed Length: 4.6 inches
Weight: 9.6 oz

Pros:
(+) SOG Assisted Technology improves safety
(+) Well-made, tough components
(+) Versatile
Cons:
(-) Tiny blade actuator makes it easy to get cut
(-) Tools are a tad hard to access

Overview

The SOG PowerAssist Multi-Tool is a quality survival multi-tool that comes with 16 components, including a full-serrated and straight-edge blades, SOG Assisted Technology blades, three-sided file, hard wire cutter, large, medium and small flat screwdrivers, Phillips screwdriver, bolt grip channel, V-cutter, wire crimper, and more. Made of 420 steel, the SOG PowerAssist Multi-Tool is attractive, sleek, and easy to use.

This is a reliable survival multi-tool that you will find helpful for a wide range of tasks in the wilderness. With its awesome design and quality construction, the SOG PowerAssist is a superb survival multi-tool to have in the toughest, most adverse conditions.

Conclusion

The SOG PowerAssist Multi-Tool is an awesome multi-tool that is equipped with many components that you will need whenever you are out on one of your outdoor trips. You can always depend on SOG to give you a high-quality product and the PowerAssist multi-tool is no different. It has an excellent build with well-designed tools and a salient locking system. This multi-tool also has some outstanding pliers and sharp knives (well, you do have to keep them sharp!).

While the SOG PowerAssist Multi-Tool is a sensational product, it is not excellent. You may find it a little difficult to access the tools. Also, the tiny blade actuator can easily make your thumb slip if you are not careful and you could accidentally cut yourself. However, all in all, the PowerAssist is a terrific choice among the survival multi-tools available today.

 #5

Victorinox SwissTool Spirit Multi-Tool

Victorinox SwissTool Spirit Multi-Tool
Our Rating: (4.5/5)
No. of Tools: 27 Tools
Steel Type: Stainless 1.4110
Closed Length: 4.13 inches
Weight: 5.75 oz

Pros:
(+) Unmatched quality
(+) Comes with high-quality components
(+) Built to last
Cons:
(-) Might be slightly too hefty for some
(-) Leather should come with snap closure instead of Velcro

Overview

Compact and sturdy, the Victorinox SwissTool Spirit Multi-Tool is a survival multi-tool that comes with a quality stainless steel body and 27 functions, including 2mm, 3mm and 6mm screwdrivers, Phillips head screwdriver, combi-edge blade, wood and metal saws, wire stripper, scraper/chisel, metal file, and much more.

Lightweight and compact, the Victorinox SwissTool Spirit Multi-Tool is easy to carry and use. Every one of its tools includes a locking mechanism that ensures safety and functionality whenever you use it. The quality and workmanship of this survival multi-tool makes it a must for survival kits and EDC.

Conclusion

You really cannot say anything too negative about the Victorinox SwissTool Spirit Multi-Tool. It is just one of those well thought out, well designed and well-built survival multi-tools. It feels solid and reliable because of its excellent construction. All the components are very well made and function extremely well.

Some might find this survival multi-tool a tad hefty, but it is not too heavy. The Victorinox SwissTool Spirit Multi-Tool performs well for different types of tasks, even heavy-duty ones. The lifetime warranty makes it even better, giving you great value for your money. If you are looking for the perfect gift for an adventurer or you need a quality survival multi-tool, this one is a fantastic buy.

 #6

Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier

Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier
Our Rating: (4.5/5)
No. of Tools: 12 Tools
Steel Type: 5Cr15MoV
Closed Length: 4 inches
Weight: 9.6 oz

Pros:
(+) Outstanding design and construction
(+) Striking components
(+) Saf.T.Plus locking system
Cons:
(-) A little too heavy for some users
(-) Sheath needs to be upgraded

Overview

The Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier is a tough and reliable tool that is designed to help you handle tasks in nearly every situation possible. With its sleek butterfly design and high-quality stainless steel construction, this is the perfect companion for all types of outdoor trips, and EDC too. The Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier also features the company’s patented Saf.T.Plus locking system, which makes it safe to use every time.

This multi-tool comes with 11 convenient tools, including needlenose pliers, straight and serrated blades, wire cutter/stripper, Phillips screwdriver, scissors, large and medium flathead screwdrivers and more. If you are on the lookout for a good survival multi-tool, you should definitely consider this one.

Conclusion

Although it comes with a cheap, flimsy sheath, the Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier is a great survival multi-tool. It has 11 essential components that will help you in many situations when you are out in the wilderness. It is made of top-quality stainless steel and given a cool gunmetal finish. The multi-tool is spring loaded so you can use it with one hand whenever you need to. This is an extremely well-engineered that comes at an appropriate price.

A few may find that the Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier is a little heavier than expected, but it does not make it any less easy to carry. This is a golden addition to any survival kit, bug out bag, backpack or camping gear. If you are in the market for a high-quality survival multi-tool, you should consider getting the Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier.

 #7

Leatherman – Skeletool

Leatherman – Skeletool
Our Rating: (4.4/5)
No. of Tools: 7 Tools
Steel Type: 420 HC
Closed Length: 4 inches
Weight: 5 oz

Pros:
(+) Light, compact and easy to carry
(+) Contains all the basics you need
(+) Easy to use and versatile
Cons:
(-) Ergonomics designed for right-handed people
(-) Liner locking mechanism does not hold up under pressure

Overview

Made of top-notch stainless steel, the Leatherman Skeletool is another awesome survival multi-tool. It features 7 tools – 420HC combo knife, regular pliers, needlenose pliers, wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, large bit driver and bottle opener/carabiner. These tools are accessible while the Skeletool is in its closed or folded position.

You can open and use every tool with one hand, which is fantastic when you need to multitask. For a safe user experience, the Skeletool’s knife blade locks into place when it is fully deployed and needs to be manually unlocked when you want to fold it away. All in all, this is a well-made, must-have survival multi-tool.

Conclusion

When it comes to survival multi-tools, the Leatherman Skeletool is undoubtedly one of the most stylish. It has an awesome design with a gunmetal finish that gives it its sleek look. Apart from its good looks, the Skeletool has some fantastic features that make it one of the top survival tools on the market right now. It is easy to use, safe and very versatile.

It has a few flaws, like the ergonomics, are designed for right-handed users – you can open and close the knife quickly with one, but only in the right. You need to reverse it to open it with the left hand. Apart from this, there are no major drawbacks. The Skeletool is an awesome buy for anyone looking for a good survival multi-tool and for anyone looking for an intrepid product that will come through for them when they need.

Your life in Mother Nature’s backyard can be much more pleasant with this product in your kit and on your person!

 #8

Hoffman Richter HR-100

Hoffman Richter HR-100
Our Rating: (4.3/5)
No. of Tools: 13 Tools
Steel Type: 440C stainless
Closed Length: 5 inches
Weight: 12.48 oz

Pros:
(+) Superb quality and design
(+) Built to last
(+) Easy to use for all types of tasks
Cons:
(-) Could use a few more tools to make it perfect
(-) Knives are not too sharp

Overview

The Hoffman Richter HR-100 is a 13-in-1 multi-tool that comes with a handy belt case. The 13 features in this multi-tool include large and small knife blades, needlenose spring-loaded pliers, large and medium slotted screwdrivers, metal file, Phillips head screwdriver, wire cutters, saw, and more.

The ultra-safe locking mechanism ensures that you do not accidentally cut yourself while using the tool. The Hoffman Richter HR-100 has a rugged construction that makes it durable and awesome for various tasks in rough conditions. This is another judicious option if you are in the market for a survival multi-tool to carry on your wilderness trips.

Conclusion

It might not have many of the tools that a lot of multi-tools on the market have, but the Hoffman Richter HR-100 is still a solid choice. It is well built and comes with almost every tool you need when you are in the wilderness. It is versatile as well as durable, so you will not need to buy another one for a while. It works well even in the roughest conditions; the Hoffman Richter HR-100 has saved lives before and made many peoples’ lives in the wilderness that much more comfortable.

The knife blades on the Hoffman Richter HR-100 are not as sharp as you would like, but you can easily sharpen them to your liking. If you are concerned about safety, the ultra-safe locking mechanism will do away with your worries as it makes the multi-tool pretty safe. The Hoffman Richter HR-100 is a percipient buy that could be your companion for years to come.

 #9

Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier

Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier
Our Rating: (4.3/5)
No. of Tools: 15 Tools
Steel Type: 5Cr15MoV
Closed Length: 4.92 inches
Weight: 8.6 oz

Pros:
(+) Tough and strong
(+) Versatile tools to help with a variety of tasks
(+) Safe and user-friendly
Cons:
(-) The pliers wiggle a little
(-) Stiff at first

Overview

If you are looking for a new survival multi-tool to replace your old one, you should consider the Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier. It looks brilliant and comes with 15 tools that will come in handy when you are out in the wild – needlenose pliers, scissors, partially-serrated knife blade, small, medium and large flat blade screwdrivers, cross-point screwdriver, wire cutter, and more.

The Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier deploys at the flick of a wrist and folds up for easy transport. Strong, versatile and easy to handle, this is an excellent multi-tool to have on your outdoor adventures, whether you are camping, hiking or hunting, and splendid for EDC too.

Conclusion

When it comes to survival multi-tools, there are quite a few to choose from, but the Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier is one of the top ones to consider. Well-made and strong, it is a great multi-tool to have with you on outdoor trips. Its tools are easy to use and perfectly safe. The Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier not only looks amazing, but performs impressively as well, no matter what the task.

You might find the Gerber Diesel Multi-Plier a little stiff at first, but this will not be a problem once you have used it a couple of times. If you need a survival multi-tool, this is one of the best choices on the market.

 #10

Leatherman – Charge TTI

Leatherman - Charge TTI
Our Rating: (4.2/5)
No. of Tools: 19 Tools
Steel Type: 420 HC
Closed Length: 4 inches
Weight: 8.89 oz

Pros:
(+) High-quality stainless steel construction
(+) 19 versatile tools to help with different tasks
(+) Tools can be accessed even in locked position
Cons:
(-) Expensive
(-) Needs a better sheath

Overview

The Leatherman Charge TTI is made of quality stainless steel that features 19 tools, including needlenose pliers, regular pliers, S30V knife, spring-action scissors, 420HC serrated knife, large and small bit drivers and others. It has all locking features, meaning that every tool and knife on the handle’s body, except the plier head, will lock into place.

This allows you to use individual components safely and effectively. Mimicking a pocket knife’s functionality, the tools of the Leatherman – Charge TTI can be accessed even when it is in a folded or closed position. Designed for single-hand operation, you can multitask while using this tool. This survival multi-tool is a super tool to have in the wilderness. You may not intimidate Mother Nature with this tool but she will garner you some respect.

Conclusion

The Leatherman Charge TTI is more expensive than many other Leatherman multi-tools, but it is worth every dollar. Well designed and constructed, this multi-tool is sure to come in handy when you are out in the wilderness. Its 19 tools are versatile and strong, allowing you to perform different tasks effectively no matter where you are. The Leatherman Charge TTI is also easy and safe to use, which is vital when you are in the middle of the elements.

If you are in need of a survival multi-tool, there is no doubt that the Charge TTI is one of the top picks out there. It performs well and is easy to carry, on outdoor trips as well as for your EDC purposes.

Salient Final Points

As you can see, there are many excellent survival multi-tools on the market and you can take your pick from a wide range, depending on your needs and budget. Keep in mind that buying a high-quality multi-tool for your outdoor adventures is critical and since you know what it is like to be out there, you know you need a tool for all contingencies.

It should also be lightweight and compact, making it easy for you to carry in your backpack or pocket. With the survival multi-tools mentioned above, you can get a clear idea of what is available for you to choose from. Pick one and feel secure on your trips knowing that you have a handy multi-tool to help you survive any situation that may arise and even the ones that you expect.

Image by Jim Pennucci

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