Choosing a Multi-Tool

I’m looking to buy a new Multi-Tool, and for many reasons, there’s so many different brands and varieties to choose from.

Gerber, SOG, Swiss Tools, and of course Leatherman make fabulous multi-tools, and every brand have have more than a few versions to choose from. Because of all of the options, it really depends on your personal preference when choosing something like a multi-tool.

Personally, I have never owned anything but a Leatherman, but I’ve seen some pretty sweet Gerbers, and a SOG that I really liked, but I didn’t have much time to use or get used to it.

My one negative thing to say about Leatherman is that the metal clip attached to the actual tool is not very strong. Rather, if you are putting it in your pocket on a daily basis, you may be in danger of it falling out. This has happened to me in the past, most recently when I took a huge trash load in my Dad’s truck to the dump, and after returning home, found that the Leatherman was no longer in my pocket. Unfortunately, I wasn’t smart enough to use the belt loop that came with the Leatherman, but that’s my fault. My point – if I buy a Leatherman again, I will make sure that the clip is strong enough so that I actually have to give it some force to get it out of my pocket.

I went to my local outdoor store yesterday (Thank you Bass Pro Shops!) to test out the latest Gerber Multi-Tool, which has 14 compressed into it.

This has all my must-have’s for a multi-tool. Flat head and Philips screwdrivers, a serrated edge saw, and an opener, or prier tip. Now, if you need more than just the tools that I have described as must-have’s for me, then I would look further. If you are in construction, and need something with more tools, then I would look for an upgrade. There are plenty of these multi-tools that have up to about 30 different tools on them. That’s a bit bulky for what I’m looking for, but I’m just doing things around my house, and side jobs that don’t need much more. (Disclaimer – this will obviously not be allowed on a plane, since it has a saw. I will recommend a TSA approved Leatherman below).

In the end, I like the Gerber because of the durability, and the build of it. The one I bought has a thin, hard plastic shield around it, which I like for grip purposes. This is different than Leatherman, which is stainless steel all around. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I really liked the hard plastic mold because it feels good in my hands.

This cost me 70 bucks at Bass Pro Shops ,and I was very happy with the purchase I made.

If you’re looking to travel with a multi-tool, my favorite is the Leatherman Squirt. It’s a bit more expensive than the Gerber Dime, but I like the versatility a bit more.

MAKE SURE before you travel that you actually call TSA and ask them if your multi-tool or pocket knife is actually TSA approved, and get it verified. TSA often have their heads where the sun doesn’t shine, so even if it is an approved item, then may still throw it away because they are not the smartest people in the world (Sorry TSA, it’s true).