Best multi tool??

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by Monofletch, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Monofletch

    Monofletch Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 14, 2010

    I have been looking at multi tools/pliers for a few days and it seems I need to consult with the Bladeforums EXPERTS on the subject. I have looked at SOG, Leatherman, Gerber, Ganzo, Roxon. SAKS are in it too..... I even liked the Ruike tool.

    I have a SAK Monarch (needs a scale replaced) - a SOG Switch tool- and my Army issue Gerber 300(?) I was looking to upgrade if I could. My Army Gerber always pinches my hands. The Switch doesn’t have a lot of options for tools. My Monarch is functional but needs a scale replaced. I have had it since 1990 when I graduated basic training.

    If weight and size are not an issue ..... (your opinion) what is the most useful multi tool available? Please explain why if you can.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
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  2. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 17, 2013
    If it is pliers based multitool, I would highly recommend Victorinox Spirit X--one of the lightest weight full size MTs, every tool can be accessed from the 'outside' and they are so well made that each individual tool could be taken out with buttery smooth action. Wave/Charge series from LM is pretty decent as well, but in terms of QC and material, I would think Victorinox is one step ahead.
    jeepin, clayton c, Storm 8593 and 4 others like this.
  3. jideta

    jideta Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    I like Swisstool.
    Have a Spirit X. Looked at everything under the sun and I still got it (going on 9 years!). Seems like it's just built a little better.
    Depends though on your application and the features you need.
  4. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    I have an original Leatherman Wave. Made in 1998 in think. It doesn’t show much wear. I never needed to replace or upgrade it.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  5. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    I have tried two Leatherman Charge TTI multitools. Honestly the quality of them is just so so. Maybe it has to do with the complexity and function, but definitely not as good of quality as SAKs (yeah it's an apples vs oranges comparison).
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  6. Monofletch

    Monofletch Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Victorinox Spirit X?

  7. Monofletch

    Monofletch Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Of all the Leathermans I have held or used I never tried a Charge or Wave. Just the Supertool and the Sidekick (I think). Both seemed well built, but if that Swiss tool is even!
    Hairy Clipper, lieferung and GABaus like this.
  8. PaultheCarpenter


    Jul 12, 2020
    I find the Surge invaluable for the bosch t-shank.
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  9. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. Sanity Not Included Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    I've had a Leatherman wave for well over ten years. It's been good to me.

    I also keep a SOG Powerassist in my glovebox, it's nice too. It rarely sees the light of day, whereas the wave is really beat up. Probably time to replace it.
    Hairy Clipper likes this.
  10. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Still like my original Leatherman and Supertool.
    Hairy Clipper likes this.
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I have the Vic Spirit and find it well made. I also like SOG pliers-based multi-tools and I favor both over Leatherman (except for the tiny LM's like the Squirt and Style PS). I have a couple Gerber's too. Bought one when they first came out and it never clicked with me. I would suggest you look at the shape of the pliers. I generally prefer ones that are more like a needle-nosed pliers. The SOG PowerPint was my most recent one. It is geared toward smaller jobs with smaller sized tools.

    I don't use them hard generally. I have never broke one as you read about that happening. I think it boils down to personal preference overall and choosing one that fits your mode of carry or use. I don't carry one (except the Squirt) but keep them handy. Having the tools open outward is a big advantage in terms of access.
    Hairy Clipper likes this.
  12. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 17, 2013
    I have used and collected close to 40 LM multitools, and owned a handful of both Spirit X and Swisstool. And as much as I like LM products, I would still recommend Spirit X as a pliers based MT. The only drawback to Spirit X is it doesn't have a one hand opening blade, and it doesn't have the option for proprietary hex bits like LM does.

    If your main use of the MT is blade or the hex bits, then Wave/Charge maybe more suitable, but otherwise, I would recommend Spirit X over them(even over the latest P2/P4)
    jeepin, Hairy Clipper and Pomsbz like this.
  13. Wasatch11253

    Wasatch11253 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2020
    I’ve got both the Swiss Spirit X and the new Leatherman Free P4. Both are great quality. Often I’m in a situation where the item I need to work on is already in one of my hands. The Free P4 is a one handed too. I’m able to open it or access the various items on the outside one handed.
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  14. Climb14er


    Dec 16, 2003
    Have a fourteen year old Leatherman Wave that is working beautifully, been in the 4Runner glove compartment since I bought the Charge Ti about eight years ago. Both have seen good use, the latter in my pack on the high peaks and back country.

    I don't think you could go wrong with any of the highly recommended SOG, Victorinix or Leatherman, longevity tested models.
    Hairy Clipper likes this.
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I got the SOG PowerPint mostly for it's smaller size and the ability to use regular hex bits. I keep looking for one I might actually carry. Most are heavy. The only time I carry one is when I suspect I will need it.
    Hairy Clipper likes this.
  16. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    The best pliers-based multi-tool *for me* is my Victorinox Swisstool Spirit. Mine is not the Spirit “X” version (with the scissors); mine has a serrated sheepsfoot blade instead of the scissors. I’ve had it for 10 years. For about 10 years prior to that, I carried various Leatherman tools (PST II, Supertool, Wave, Blast, etc.), and found them all good, but IMO, the Spirit is at another level for me. It also feels more solid to me in use. The only downside for some is the screwdrivers are polished and feel more slippery during use than the ones on the Leatherman tools. But TBH, I’ve never found it to be a problem.

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  17. Monofletch

    Monofletch Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Are any of these “springy”? I kind of like that.
  18. Arathol


    Jan 1, 2003
    I've had my LM Supertool 200 since it was first introduced. I carried it every day at work and did just about everything you can imagine with it, from cutting mud flaps to repairing equipment in the field, trimming small branches, cutting drainage pipe, repairing guard rail, you name it, it did it. I broke the saw blade once, but I had a beat up LM I got from fleabay for parts so repairs were simple. The only thing I changed was the pivots. I removed the factory parts that were hard to tighten if required and replaced them with hardware store parts that you can use an allen key on. The raised ends also make it a lot easier to hold on to when extracting it from the sheath.


  19. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 17, 2013
    I think Wingman and Sidekick from LM have spring loaded pliers, but IIRC, most models from LM, Vic, Gerber and SOG don't have that feature.

    One friendly precaution, I think LM suffer Pliers binding issue in recent years, which some users complain the pliers would easily bind upon easy/moderate use. I have spotted that problem with some of my LMs, and they would bind upon a firm hand shake on the handles(but may eventually loosen if you keep on opening and closing them) but YMMV.
    Hairy Clipper likes this.
  20. GatorMedic

    GatorMedic Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    My favorite multitool is a Leatherman Style PS. Why? Because every time I fly I take that with me since I don't check baggage. It takes the place of a knife for me on those trips and has been surprisingly useful in that role. When I'm not flying, it resides in my work backpack and also gets thrown in my small hiking pack for short trips as well. Thus it's my most used multitool despite being by far the smallest and most recent addition.

    My favorite full-size multitool is a Leatherman Wingman. They used to be priced in the $30 range (with sales sometimes in the $20-25 range), and man there was no better value out there when they were that price. I have a few of them, and I prefer them over the Wave due to spring-loaded pliers, weight, and pocket clip. I own a couple Leatherman Waves and keep one in my truck and one in the house. They are are awesome in their own right and can accomplish many things. However, for my needs I don't need all the extras most of the time, and thus they reside in convenient, stationary places vs. actually get carried.

    For the OP specifically, I would say the two benchmark multitools out there are the Leatherman Wave and the Swisstool Spirit. Either of those will last you a lifetime.

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