Multi-tools offer you the functionality of several different tools in a pocket-sized package. They've grown to be so varied and reliable that they can often replace your toolbox for most situations.
However, you'll only get a lot of use out of a multi-tool if you buy one that suits your needs.
After all, if you're looking for something to handle camp tasks, you won't get a lot of use out of a multi-tool built for dismantling and cleaning firearms.
In this post, I'm going to explain the key differences between the main categories of multi-tools for the outdoors. I'll even list some of my favorite models to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.
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Extremely Tough. Incl. Fire Starter
18 Tools For Use At The Campsite
Military Grade. Incl. Firearm Tools
When you go to buy a multi-tool, you need to think about what you'll use one for before you pick one out. There are simply too many different types, and the tools included with different multi-tools are usually centered around a specific use.
For instance, you won't want an angler's multi-tool if you have no desire to go fishing. If you're an electrician, you won't want a multi-tool that's decked out with saws, awls, and different knife blades.
Establish what you're going to use your multi-tool for before you buy one.
The quality of a tool's craftsmanship is also something you should consider heavily.
A multi-tool can last you a lifetime if you buy one that's built well, and it'll perform admirably during the most demanding tasks you throw at it.
However, a cheap model will probably fall apart within a matter of months, and you'll have problems simply tightening a screw with one.
That's not to say you need to spend hundreds of dollars on the best models available to have a solid tool at your disposal.
It is however critically important to get a good quality multi-tool that will stand up to the tough conditions of survival, hunting and camping.
A multi-tool can easily include any tool that can be scaled down to a couple of inches or less.
My personal EDC (everyday carry) tool has a saw, a can opener, two different knives, pliers, a file, and several screwdrivers. You can also find some that have fishing tools, fire starters or electrician's tools.
However, the most common tools are:
The designs of those basic tools tend to change depending on the tool's purpose, but nearly all multi-tools have at least some of those basic tools.
More specialized tools exist, and they can have some great additions that apply for specific situations such as firearm maintenance or more extreme survival situations.
Extremely robust and made with premium materials to handle tough environments.
19 tool selection so you are covered in a very wide range of survival situations.
Includes fire starter, knife sharpener and whistle.
Multi-tools for survival are practically the same as camping tools, but they're more robust.
You'll still want a saw, knife, pliers, and a can opener, but you'll also want a slew of other tools. That's especially true if you're going to use it for both urban and rural environments.
A good knife blade has obvious uses in a survival situation. You can use it to cut through materials, defend yourself, or to make other tools that you may need.
Saws are great on multi-tools for survival. Not only can you use them to cut saplings to make shelters in the wilderness, but you can also use them to cut PVC for tools in an urban environment, notch wood to create trap triggers, or saw through ropes that are too thick for your knife blade.
If you're trying to be prepared for an emergency, I highly recommend buying a multi-tool that has a saw on it.
Screwdrivers are a must-have addition to any survival multi-tool. You will probably end up having to repair or craft different items, and a variety of screwdrivers will come in handy.
A flat-head screwdriver can also be used as a prying tool for lighter tasks. I wouldn't suggest that you try to pry open a door open with one, but they can get the job done for easier tasks.
Pliers can be used for a lot during a survival situation, and I suggest a model with pliers is essential in any survival situation.
Pliers can grab objects that you're not comfortable touching with your hands, wrench off nuts and bolts, and even cut through wire. They're also great for getting a good grip on something you wouldn't be able to grip with your fingers.
Contains 18 tools useful around camp including all of those mentioned below.
High quality stainless steel to last a lifetime.
Leatherman's International Best seller
This video is the Wave basic model. The Wave Plus has extra tools!
Multi-tools for camping tend to be light, and they usually have a smaller variety of the tools you're most likely to use. They don't really need to have a lot of different tools to work well for camping.
Simplicity is the best choice for camping multi-tools.
When you're going camping, I suggest you buy a multi-tool that has a good quality blade on it. A lot of the typical camping tasks you'll use it for include cutting.
That can be whittling by the fire, cutting rope, shaping tent stakes, cleaning fish, cutting vegetables, or any other cutting task that campers do frequently.
I also suggest having a can opener and pliers to aid with your cooking efforts.
If you're going to camp properly, you'll probably end up cooking over an open fire. Your cooking instruments will get hot, and pliers can be used to safely remove them from the fire. Pliers are also very helpful for loosening tight nuts or gripping any other materials where your fingers are not strong enough.
A Bottle opener is also another very helpful tool found on the best multi-tools for camping.
A can opener is a necessity for obvious reasons. You'll probably end up bringing some canned food along, and you'll want to have a can opener with you.
Saws can also be useful for making notches in wood or cutting small tree limbs, but they won't get used very much if you're bringing along proper camping equipment.
If you are looking for the best multi-tools for camping, make sure you consider the possibility of you ending up in a survival situation. You won't need much to handle your camp tasks, but if you end up in a survival situation, you might regret not bringing along a more robust tool.
Its actually a tie for the best camping multi-tool.
The Wave Plus is a heavier duty multi-tool. A lighter weight Leatherman Sidekick is perfect for carrying around in your pocket all day.
Contains 14 tools useful around camp including all of those mentioned above.
Lighter weight for carrying around inn your pocket.
Quality materials at a lower price.
Includes a range of firearms tools to use in the field.
Contains all the other basic tools you will require
Extremely heavy duty Military grade.
The best multi-tools for hunting and shooting are a little more specialized. You'll want a tool like this if you plan on doing field repairs on your firearm or cleaning your harvest.
First, you'll need to know what you need to properly breakdown your firearm. You can have 800 different screwdrivers on your tool, and it won't mean anything if they're not the ones your gun requires.
Some basic tools for firearms to include in your hunting multi-tool should include a carbon scraper and cleaning rod / brush adaptors.
Besides the tools you need to work on your firearm, you'll want a good knife. A good knife can be used to help clean any animals you harvest, but it can also help you out with many other tasks such as rope cutting.
Since you'll likely be hunting in the wilderness, you can never be too sure that you won't end up in a situation where a handy knife is required.
Other tools are optional for hunting purposes, but I suggest getting a model that has some of the basic tools on top of its hunting-shooting based tools.
These include pliers and a saw at a minimum. A C4 punch is also another very handy tool to help with untying knots or chipping away ice.
It'll make the tool a lot more useful, and you'll have more at your disposal for various hunting situations you find yourself in.
Here's the part where I tell you the specific multi-tool models that I like to carry.
First, I carry the Leatherman Sidekick as my EDC multi-tool.
Number of tools = 14.
It includes a saw, a large blade, pliers, two large screwdrivers, a can opener, a file, a small serrated knife, and a small flat-head screwdriver, a wire cutter, wire stripper and a bottle opener.
That's all I've ever needed throughout my average day, and it's a lot lighter than the tool I keep nearby for emergency use. So, I don't have to worry about it dragging my pants down when I'm wearing shorts or light pants.
Finally, I keep a Leatherman Wave Plus nearby throughout my day, and I always take it with me when I go hunting and camping.
It's a bit heavier than the Sidekick, but it has a lot more tools. 18 tools in total and it's one of the best multi-tools that Leatherman makes.
It is made with premium materials and is Leatherman’s best selling multi-tool.
The only reason I do not carry it in my pocket all day is it's just too heavy for EDC in my opinion. I already carry a Buck 110 for cutting tasks, and I usually have a Case Stockman in my pocket.
This gives me all the tools I may need including survival situations in my backpack.
As you can see I love my multi-tools!!!
I personally prefer Leatherman tools, because they have never let me down, are very long lasting. They have a deserved reputation of being of high quality.
They also come with a 25 year manufacture’s warranty for peace of mind.
That said you can find a lot of great models from Gerber, SOG, and other reputable knife companies.
A good Gerber model to consider is the Gerber Center Drive.
It contains all the necessary tools discussed above and if you use the screwdriver tool frequently, its Centre Drive design is quite unique.
Likewise SOG makes a very good multi-tool in the SOG Power Assist model.
The Focus with this multi-tool on the strength of its pliers. Overall not a bad multi-tool but i believe the quality of the Leatherman products is superior.
Look around to find one that you know you'll love for years to come. Next time you head out camping or hunting make sure you pack at least one multi-tool. You won’t regret it.
Walk Little…….. Look Lots