7 of the Coolest Multi-Tools on the Market

No matter how meticulous pre-outing planning may be, things can, and will, go wrong. Oftentimes, quick recovery from pending disaster depends upon a simple too: a pair of pliers, knife, screwdriver, bottle-opener; any of these can potentially save the day. Fortunately most sporting goods shops have knife counters. These counters happened to stocked full of multi-tools. Some military inspired models can cut through tank tread and splice telephone cable, they also happen to be heavy and pricey.  Sorting through all the options, and finding the right tool can be difficult. The following list should help narrow the field, and help you find the perfect tool.

Victorinox
Probably the most recognized name in multifunction knives, Victorinox is credited with the invention of the original Swiss Army Knife. Quality steel, sharp blades, and meticulous attention to construction all insure the ruggedness and longevity of these tools.victorinox

Deviating from the traditional multi-tool design the Spirit X allows access to most implements without having to open the whole tool. With 11 individual tools the Sprit X has up to 22 functions and retails for around $114.00.

Leatherman
Literally the granddaddy of multi-tools the Leatherman tool has been credited with life saving feats from Alaska to Antarctica, and most places in between. Made in Portland, OR, USA.leatherman

Super Tool 300
The more mature, evolved version of the original multi-tool. Complete with enough implements to overhaul a VW or build a Barbie Dream House, the Super Tool 300 is a great addition to any pack or everyday belt. Replaceable wire-cutters, locking tools, and a full sized frame are the stand out options for this tool. The Super Tool 300 retails for around $88.00.

Gerber
For years Gerber has injected creativity and innovation into the multi-tool field. Known for quality, reliability, and practicality, many of the original Gerber multi-tools are still in service today.gerber

Steady Tool
With many of the standard multi-tool gizmos the Steady Tool has one truly unique feature, it can double as a mini-tripod for small cameras, or the ever present smart-phone. A great gift for the shutterbug, $64.00.

Shard
A single piece of stainless steel with a titanium coating, this little key fob can tighten screws, strip wire, clean fingernails, scratch lotto tickets, and open that all important post workday brew. Airline safe, the Shard is also a very economical little tool for around 7 bucks.

CRKT
Known for high quality tactical knives CRKT also manufactures two of the most innovative multi-tools on the market today.crkt

Guppie
The Guppie’s adjustable wrench and interchangeable screwdriver bits set it apart from many other multi-tools. Ideal for quick fixes on bikes, fishing reels, and small machinery, the Guppie also comes equipped with an LED light for those predawn trailhead rendezvous. The carabineer style clip will also keep this handy little tool close for immediate deployment, and all for around 50 bucks.

Zilla-Tool
Ergonomically designed the Zilla-Tool is comfortable in the hand and comes complete with spring-loaded blade, pliers, and interchangeable driver bits. Fine enough to release a 12-inch brook trout; this tool also has the muscle to accomplish many common backcountry repairs. $50

Swiss+Tech
Big, burly belt sheaths can attract unwanted attention. If subtly is the order of the day the Utili-Key will fit the bill. The quick-release design allows this little tool to fit on any key ring and look as ordinary as a typical house key. This 6-function tool can do everything from fixing eyeglasses to cutting rope, and all for around 16 bucks.swissntech

Multi-tool selection should be done according to activity and possible use. Hiking, biking, skiing, or fishing can all require different tools. Choose the best one for your lifestyle, and recreational pursuit. However, the tank tread cutter may look sexy in the glove box.

by Durty Kurt

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