7 Best Survival Multitools Built For Daily Abuse

By Will Brendza | Last Updated: August 16, 2017

Best Survival MultiToolLooking for the best survival multitool money can buy? You’re in the right place. Today, we’ll go over the features you want in your survival multitool and a few that are worth owning.

Because tools have always been essential to survival.

From early discoveries like the wheel, the knife, and bows and arrows to today’s tools like vehicles, computers, and servers.

We continue to develop our tools to sustain and improve our lives.

But the problem with traditional hand tools has always been the same: they are burdensome.

Most are heavy, and keeping a fully stocked toolbox on you all the time would get really old fast.

Even a handful of tools on a tool belt weighs you down.

Luckily, we humans are a clever bunch.

With our modern technology, we’ve engineered some amazing survival multi-tools.

These multi-tool devices are an entire toolbox attached to your hip or can slip easily into a bug out bag.

Our ancestors would undoubtedly be insanely jealous of this solution to that age-old problem.

That’s why I think every serious survivalist should own at least one multitool in their survival gear.

They’re lightweight, packable, and useful for everyday situations, as well as survival situations.

However, there are about forty thousand different types to choose from, and each one boasts a different set of “essential” tools. Each claiming – of course – to be the undisputed best.

So how do we choose from such an overwhelming selection? That’s exactly what this article is for.

If you’re interested in buying a survival multi tool for yourself, you’ve come to the right place!

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8 Best Survival Multi Tools On The Market Today

Here’s the thing, if you want a real survival multi tool it should have the tools you need when you need them—a durable, reliable, applicable device. For survival, you’re not looking for a golf-specialized multi tool.

The novelty of a specialized multi tool is nice, but you won’t need to fix green divots when the shit hits the fan.

You’ll need pliers, can openers, knives, saws, and files. Take that into consideration when making your purchase.

Naturally, some multi tools are better than others – not all are created equal in the eyes of a survivor.

So you have to be careful when you buy online. It can be difficult to know what you are buying without having seen it before – which is why we’ve compiled a shortlist of our favorite survival multi tools with video reviews:

1. Victorinox Swiss Army Work Champ Pocket Knife

This classic-styled multi-function swiss pocket knife has 33 functions! That includes pliers, a large blade, scissors, a corkscrew, and a large screwdriver.

It’s constructed of durable stainless steel and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

There are also six different color choices.

2. Leatherman Charge ALX Multi Tool

Unlike the Swiss Army Knife, this multi tool is bi-fold and comes with a sweet leather case. It comes with

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Regular pliers
  • Hard-wire cutters
  • Wire cutters
  • Crimper
  • Wire stripper
  • 154CM knife
  • 420HC serrated knife
  • Saw
  • Cutting hook
  • Ruler
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • File
  • Diamond-coated file
  • Large bit driver
  • Small bit driver

It also has an “all-locking” feature that fixes every tool in place when folded away. This prevents any of these tools from opening up on you when you’re using another of the tools.

3. Victorinox SwisstTool X

Swiss Tool X

This stainless steel bi-fold multi-tool comes from the reliable makers of the Swiss Army Knife.

Includes three different-sized screwdrivers, a wire stripper, pliers, a bender, a scraper, a crimper, a cutter, and bottle/can openers.

4. SOG PowerAssist Multi Tool S66N-CP

This slick, stainless steel multi-tool comes with 16 different tools and is engineered with SOG’s patented compound leverage – giving the user double the grip and increased cutting power.

It provides easy single-handed access to tools and blades.

5. Leatherman SuperTool 300

This survival multi tool features 19 tools! Including:

  • Needlenose pliers
  • 154CM replaceable wire and hard-wire cutters
  • Electrical crimper
  • Wire stripper
  • 420HC knife
  • Serrated knife
  • Saw
  • Awl with thread loop
  • Ruler
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • File
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Plus, three different-sized screwdrivers

Its matte black stainless steel construction gives this tool a sleek, tactical look. And a built-in lanyard loop allows users to avoid losing it if the device gets dropped.

6. Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier

Twelve different tools are integrated into this lightweight, open-frame stainless steel grip.

Gerber is known for making reliable, durable blades and tools, and this is no exception. It also comes with fitted nylon carrying case.

This one also has “lockers” to keep the tools locked open while in use and prevent you from the tools closing on you during use.

7. Leatherman Black MUT Multitool

Yes, this is one of the more expensive options, but you get what you pay for when it comes to Leatherman products.

This Leatherman is an insanely useful multi tool, with a lot of unique features. It includes 16 tools:

  • Needlenose pliers
  • Replaceable wire cutters
  • Electrical Crimper
  • Combo Knife
  • Saw
  • Replaceable cutting hook
  • Hammer
  • Bolt override tool
  • Replaceable bronze carbon scraper
  • Cleaning rod/brush adapter
  • Replaceable firearm disassembly punch
  • Carabiner/bottle opener
  • Large bit driver

It has damn near EVERYTHING!

There’s even a convenient bit storage compartment built into the handle. Leather holster included.

12-1 Trademate

BONUS: The 12 In 1 Trademate Multi Tool

This survival multi-tool is unique; you won’t find any like it.

This solid stainless steel multi-tool has everything you need in one compact, well-crafted design.

With 12 features in one compact, heavy-duty design, this is a tool that every serious survivalist should own.

This is the perfect tool for everyday carry, to stash in your survival bug out bag and survival kits.

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Unique Multitool Styles

Now, let’s clear something – multi tools are highly useful but supplemental. They are a jack of all trades device. They’re not as effective as a dedicated tool for any of the jobs they perform.

For example, most electric saws are better and faster than a multi tool saw blade. But you can’t wear a table saw on your hip. So a multi tool is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none tool.

They’re ideal for “quick fixes” and small casual problems. They’re not a replacement for a conventional set of tools. Dedicated tools that are extremely useful and extremely valuable.

That being said, every survivalist should have a multi tool because it’s like a ‘mini-me’ of your full tool kit. So the first thing you need to decide when you’re looking for a survival multi tool is which kind you want to buy.

There are three main types of multi tool options:

Swiss Army Knife On A Rock

1. Swiss Army Knives

These are classic folding knives. They’ve been a popular survival tool for well over a century.

The first Swiss army knives included a knife blade, a bottle opener, a reamer, and a screwdriver.

Today though, you can find just about any combination of tools.

Genuine Swiss Army Knives are made by  Victorinox.

Multitool Folding Pliers

2. Folding Multi Tools

Tim Leatherman developed the world’s first ‘modern’ folding multi tools. They’re more robust than conventional Swiss Army knives and include a pair of pliers.

There’s more space for tools than Swiss Army knives because there are two handles for tool storage.

Survival Multi Tool Card

3. Survival Business Card Multi Tools

These incredibly simple multi-tools offer as many cool survival gadgets as possible into a single piece of metal.

They are usually the size of a card. So these fit into wallets, backpacks, bug out bags, and even on key chains.

They are cheap, durable, lightweight, and minimalistic.

I own several and keep one in each of my emergency bags, one in my car, and another on my keys – that way, I’m always prepared with a set of basic tools.

Survival cards often include bottle openers, wrench sockets, screwdriver bits, saw blades, measuring sides, and can openers.

What To Look For In A Great Survival Multi Tool

The best part about multi tools is the fact that they include multiple devices in one small package. So, two of the most important factors to look for when investing in a multi tool are compatibility and weight.

I have seen some novelty Swiss Army Knives that are the size and weight of an actual brick; they are TOO big. While those might carry a ton of tools and gadgets, they’re also unwieldy – to the point of being counterproductive.

The next thing to look for in a multi tool is specialty tools. Most multi tools on the market are for general use and include general tools. But you can also buy specialized multi tools that are designed specifically to aid in a certain task.

There are

So it comes down to you and what you will use this multi tool for most. Analyze your own needs, and decide accordingly.

Where To Stash A Survival Multi Tool

Most people keep their multi tools on their hip or in their pocket. Having a mini-toolbox on hand and at the ready is highly useful.

There are many different holster options for your multi tool – some tools come with a fitted one you can attach to your belt, and others require you to get your own.

That’s alright, though; online, there are a ton of really cool multi tool holsters.

I also keep a spare multi tool in my Bug Out Bag and my backpacking bag.

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It also isn’t a bad idea to tuck one into the glovebox of your vehicle. There are even some multi tools that will fit on your keychain – like the Gerber Shard.

And if you have a survival medical kit, you NEED to keep a small multi tool in there.

Obviously, these smaller tools are not the most versatile, but they’re better than nothing in a pinch.

Brief History Survival Multi Tools

Multi-tools have been around longer than you would probably imagine. The very first known folding, multi-use tool was from around 200 AD!

And (surprisingly) it wasn’t designed so soldiers could carry different types of knives with them. Nor was it intended for construction purposes, medical purposes, or self-defense. No, the very first multi tool was designed for eating.

Some bright Roman did not want to give up his eating utensils when he traveled and built the world’s first folding multi-tool.

It was primarily just a fork and spoon on a hinge, but it made a handy type of invention in motion.

Fast forward 1600 years, and humanity got its second incarnation of the multi-tool. The Swiss company Victorinox began in 1884 as a cutler’s knife workshop – but by 1886 was transformed into the world’s most infamous folding tool company.

The first real Swiss Army Knife was made in 1893; the rest is history, as they say.

It wouldn’t be until the 1980s when another company, started by Tim Leatherman, rose to compete.

Tim had a degree in mechanical engineering. He realized there was a significant gap between what he needed from a multi tool and what was available. So he started his own multi-tool company, Leatherman.

Today, just about every knife manufacturer makes a multi tool – be it a multi-function pocket knife or a techy bi-fold.

The multi tool patent has spread, and you can find just about any combination of tools, style, color, shape, weight, dimensions, or unique attributes you might want.

Final Thoughts

I can’t imagine a more effective everyday carry survival tool than the multi-tool.

It’s the physical embodiment of the survival mentality: versatile, multi-function, durable, and effective.

Even if you own a survival knife already, I would recommend investing in a high-quality survival multi-tool

And don’t be shy when it comes to quantity: buy one for your car, one for your bug out bag, one for your camping gear, another to keep at home, another at the office, and another at your side!

The more, the merrier.

Obviously, they don’t all have to be 33-function multi-tools. I would recommend buying one excellent, high-quality multi-tool to keep on your person. Then a handful of more generic, smaller, less-expensive ones in your gear bags and wherever else.

Any real survivalist wouldn’t dare go without owning at least one multi-tool.

Not because they replace your grandfather’s toolset, not because they mitigate the need for an actual tool bench or tool shed, but because they offer you some basic (and sometimes advanced) tools in an easily accessible, easily packable, lightweight companion.

Simply put, multi-tools are the ultimate survival tools.

Will Brendza

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