In a world that demands versatility, multitools have carved a niche for themselves as indispensable gadgets. These compact, multifunctional devices are designed to handle a variety of tasks, making them essential for everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to everyday users. This blog post delves into the top multitool brands globally, their uses, and why they are crucial for emergencies and everyday carry (EDC).

The Rise of Multitools: A Brief History

The concept of a multitool isn’t new. Ancient civilizations had their versions, often simple and rudimentary. However, the modern multitool as we know it was revolutionized in the late 20th century. The Swiss Army Knife, introduced by Victorinox in 1897, laid the foundation. Fast forward to 1983, and Tim Leatherman’s Pocket Survival Tool (PST) brought a new level of innovation, combining pliers with multiple other tools in a single, compact device.

Why Multitools?

Multitools are celebrated for their versatility. Here are some common uses:

  1. Everyday Carry (EDC): Compact and lightweight, multitools are perfect for daily use. Whether you need to open a package, tighten a screw, or cut a piece of string, a multitool is handy.
  2. Emergency Situations: In emergencies, multitools can be lifesavers. They can break glass, cut seatbelts, and perform minor repairs.
  3. Outdoor Adventures: For hikers, campers, and adventurers, multitools are indispensable. They help with setting up camp, preparing food, and even emergency medical situations.
  4. DIY and Repairs: For minor household repairs, a multitool can substitute for a whole toolbox, making it convenient for quick fixes.

Top Multitool Brands

Several brands stand out in the multitool market for their innovation, quality, and reliability. Here are the top contenders:

1. Leatherman

Overview: Founded by Tim Leatherman, this brand is synonymous with multitools. Known for their robust construction and innovative designs, Leatherman tools are a favorite among professionals and hobbyists alike.

Popular Models:

  • Leatherman Wave+: This is the most popular model, featuring 18 tools including pliers, wire cutters, and a saw.
  • Leatherman Charge TTi: Known for its premium materials, including titanium handles and a steel blade, it’s a top choice for serious users.

Usage: Ideal for both everyday carry and outdoor adventures. The durability and comprehensive toolset make it suitable for a wide range of tasks.

2. Victorinox

Overview: The maker of the iconic Swiss Army Knife, Victorinox is a pioneer in the multitool industry. Their tools are known for their elegance, functionality, and compact design.

Popular Models:

  • SwissTool Spirit X: A robust multitool with 27 functions, including scissors, a saw, and multiple screwdrivers.
  • Classic SD: A small but mighty tool perfect for EDC, featuring a blade, scissors, and a nail file.

Usage: Best for everyday carry and light to moderate tasks. The Swiss Army Knife is particularly useful for those who appreciate a classic design with reliable performance.

3. Gerber

Overview: Gerber, an American brand, has been producing high-quality multitools since 1939. Their tools are known for their innovative features and rugged design.

Popular Models:

  • Gerber Suspension: A budget-friendly tool with 12 integrated components, including needle-nose pliers and a wire cutter.
  • Gerber Center-Drive: Unique for its center-axis driver, which offers maximum torque and rotation.

Usage: Suitable for EDC and outdoor use. Gerber tools are often favored by military personnel and outdoor enthusiasts for their durability and practical features.

4. SOG

Overview: SOG (Studies and Observations Group) is known for its tactical gear. Their multitools are designed with precision and often incorporate military-grade materials.

Popular Models:

  • SOG PowerAssist: Features assisted opening technology, making it quick and easy to access tools.
  • SOG Baton Q4: A unique, pen-shaped multitool that includes 10 functions and a magnetic hex bit driver.

Usage: Ideal for tactical and professional use. SOG tools are built for heavy-duty tasks and are often used in law enforcement and military applications.

5. CRKT (Columbia River Knife & Tool)

Overview: CRKT focuses on innovative designs and collaborations with well-known knife designers. Their multitools often have unique features that set them apart.

Popular Models:

  • CRKT Technician: Combines a multitool with a wrench set, making it perfect for mechanical tasks.
  • CRKT Bivy: Designed with input from adventurer Hans Florine, this tool is built for climbing and outdoor adventures.

Usage: Best for specialized tasks and EDC. CRKT tools are often chosen by those who need specific functionalities not found in conventional multitools.

Choosing the Right Multitool

When selecting a multitool, consider the following factors:

  1. Intended Use: Identify whether you need it for everyday tasks, outdoor activities, or specific professional needs.
  2. Tool Set: Ensure the multitool has the tools you require most often. Common tools include pliers, blades, screwdrivers, and scissors.
  3. Size and Weight: For EDC, a compact and lightweight tool is preferable. For outdoor or professional use, a larger, more robust tool might be necessary.
  4. Build Quality: Look for multitools made from high-quality materials like stainless steel or titanium to ensure durability and longevity.

Emergency Preparedness and EDC

Multitools are not just about convenience; they are crucial for emergency preparedness. Here are some scenarios where a multitool can make a significant difference:

  1. Car Accidents: Tools like seatbelt cutters and glass breakers can be lifesaving.
  2. Natural Disasters: In situations like earthquakes or floods, multitools can assist in rescue operations and survival tasks.
  3. Medical Emergencies: Some multitools come with medical-specific tools like tweezers and scissors, which can be useful for first aid.

For EDC, multitools offer peace of mind. Knowing you have a versatile tool at your disposal for any unexpected task can be reassuring.


Multitools are a blend of innovation, practicality, and reliability. The top brands like Leatherman, Victorinox, Gerber, SOG, and CRKT have set high standards with their unique designs and functionalities. Whether for everyday carry, emergencies, or outdoor adventures, a good multitool is an investment in preparedness and convenience. As technology and design continue to evolve, the future of multitools promises even more versatility and functionality, ensuring they remain indispensable in our daily lives.


An amateur radio operator, military veteran, jack of all trades and master of none.

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