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The 20 Best Multi-tools for EDC in 2021

Gabriel Colin
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The 20 Best Multi-tools for EDC in 2021

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When it comes to everyday carry, having the right tool for the job can determine your success. But unless you’re a contractor, the idea of carrying an entire tool box everywhere is simply impractical. That’s why so many people consider the multi-tool to be an essential part of any EDC. A good multi-tool gives you quick access to many useful tools in a streamlined, compact package you can fit in your pocket. There’s a wide range of multi-tools out there, from traditional butterfly designs to unique one-piece tools, and they all help you accomplish more than what you can do with your bare hands. So whether you’re looking for something to help you with do-it-yourself projects, trying to find the right tool in an emergency, or just looking for a good can and bottle opener, there’s a multi-tool out there for you. In this guide, we’ll explain what to look for in an EDC multi-tool, recommend the 20 best multi-tools you can buy right now, and explain what application each multi-tool is best used for.

How to Pick the Best Multi-tool for Your EDC

Consider the features and tools you want in your multi-tool. A good EDC multi-tool should strike a balance of functions you actually use and some you might need in a pinch. Some people prefer to pare things down to the essentials, while others seek multitools with additional features they might need “just in case.” As far as what is essential, you’ll probably want a multi-tool that has at least a knife, a pair of pliers, some screwdrivers, and an opener for cans and bottles.

Size is an important consideration, too. After all, the smaller a tool is, the smaller the tasks you can accomplish with it in hand tend to be. On the flip side, if you have a bigger and heavier tool to carry around, you might find yourself actually leaving it at home instead. Pick something small enough to manageably carry with you every day that’s still big enough to be comfortable and effective for the type of tasks you use it for.

Now that you know what to look for, narrow it down with these 20 recommendations, starting with traditional multi-tool designs and ending with more specialized tools for more unique use cases.


The Best Multi-tools for EDC


Leatherman

Leatherman Wave+ Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Outboard blades
Precision eyeglass screwdriver
Made in the USA
Specifications
No. of Functions
18
Weight
8.5 oz
Materials
Stainless steel, 420HC blade
EDC Rating


Price
$$
For many people in the EDC community, Leatherman’s line of multi-tools is the be-all and end-all when it comes to butterfly-style tools for everyday carry. And for years, the Wave+ has been the standard by which all others are judged. With 18 tools including strong needle-nose pliers, a replaceable wire cutter, straight edge and serrated knives, a saw that can be accessed while the wool is closed, and interchangeable screwdriver bits, the Wave+ has just about everything you need for EDC. And it does all this while still being contained in a relatively small package that still fits your pockets.
Gerber

Gerber Shard Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
TSA-compliant
Keychain-sized
Limited lifetime warranty
Specifications
No. of Functions
7
Weight
1 oz
Materials
Titanium nitride-coated stainless steel
EDC Rating


Price
$
If you’re looking for a cheap, effective, no-frills one-piece multi-tool you can set and forget in your EDC, look no further than the Gerber Shard. It’s the most used tool with members in our EDC community by a large margin and it’s easy to see why. It’s designed to fit right on your keychain and give you easy access to the bottle opener, wire-stripper, pry bar, and driver. And at the tip of the tool you’ll find a Phillips screwdriver bit that works well in a pinch.
Leatherman

Leatherman FREE P4 Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
All tools except pliers outboard
Magnetic design allows one-handed operation of entire tool
Made in the USA
Specifications
No. of Functions
21
Weight
8.6 oz
Materials
Stainless steel, 420HC blade
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
Not content to sit on their laurels, Leatherman introduced a new line of multi-tools last year, with the FREE P4 is their new flagship tool. Think of it as the spiritual successor to the Wave+, bringing its utility into the 21st century with a new tactile magnetic system that allows for easy one-handed opening of the tool with a flick of your wrist. For added convenience, all of the functions on the tool face outward, meaning they can be accessed without opening the tool up completely. And the new system allows for easy selection of the tools with a single hand, with a nice bump letting you know that what you picked is locked into place and ready to go. If you prefer a more streamlined tool with just the essentials, also consider the slightly more compact Leatherman FREE P2. See our full Leatherman FREE P2 review here.
Leatherman

Leatherman Style PS Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
TSA-compliant
Tweezers built into the handle
Keychain-sized, carabiner in handle
Specifications
No. of Functions
8
Weight
1.58 oz
Materials
Stainless steel, glass-filled nylon handles
EDC Rating


Price
$
If you want a TSA-compliant multi-tool that you can take with you when you fly, the Leatherman Style PS is a good choice. It’s small and lightweight, with a carabiner gate built into the handle that lets it attach directly to your keychain for convenience. And because it lacks a knife, you shouldn’t get into trouble when you go through TSA checkpoints. To ensure less hassle, open up the tool fully and deploy the functions so it’s easy to see in the x-ray machine.
Leatherman

Leatherman Skeletool CX Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Full-sized blade
Carabiner built into handle
One-hand operation
Specifications
No. of Functions
7
Weight
5 oz
Materials
Stainless steel, 154CM blade
EDC Rating


Price
$$
Few multitools tend to have a true high-quality blade, and even fewer tend to be this lightweight while providing so much utility. The Skeletool CX features a full-sized plain edge blade made out of 154CM steel. It’s also designed to allow for access to the knife without opening up the whole tool, and if you do, it can be done with a single hand. It includes a replaceable bit driver as well, whose standard bit actually functions as a glass breaker for emergency situations.
Gerber

Gerber Dime Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Spring-loaded scissors
Bottle opener built into handle
Lifetime warranty
Specifications
No. of Functions
12
Weight
2.2 oz
Materials
Stainless steel
EDC Rating


Price
$
The compact and relatively inexpensive Gerber Dime is one of the best choices if you need a pocket-friendly multi-tool that you can use day-in, day-out without too much worry. It features 12 useful EDC essential tools in a lightweight 2.2 oz frame, and it even has a bottle opener built into the handle that doesn’t require you to open up the tool itself to crack a cold one open after you’re done working.
Gerber

Gerber Prybrid Utility Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Standard contractor blade, retractable
Prybar, nail puller at rear
Bottle opener
Specifications
No. of Functions
8
Weight
4.2 oz
Materials
G10 handle scales
EDC Rating


Price
$
If opening boxes is something you do on a regular basis, you know how cardboard can dull even the best quality blades after extended use. That’s why it’s a good idea to carry a multi-tool that uses cheap and easily replaceable utility blades for opening boxes. The Gerber Prybrid Utility is a hybrid of a utility knife that accepts standard utility blades and a proper pry bar tool. Between its blade and pry bar, this multi-tool can handle opening packages from cardboard boxes to larger crates you might encounter on the job.
Leatherman

Leatherman Raptor Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Carbide glass breaker tip
MOLLE-compatible holster
Designed for first responders
Specifications
No. of Functions
6
Weight
5.8 oz
Materials
420HC stainless steel, glass filled nylon handles
EDC Rating


Price
$$
Sure, lots of multi-tools offer a pair of spring-loaded scissors, but few can perform to the level of the Leatherman Raptor, giving you a pair of compact foldable shears that can help you get through an emergency situation without a problem. It was designed with EMTs and fire professionals in mind, and along with the sharp 420HC stainless steel shears built in, there’s an oxygen tank wrench, provisions for cutting straps and rings on people’s fingers, and a carbide glass breaker for quick access in the handle. And the holster it comes with is MOLLE compatible, for easy mounting on your webbed gear or in a PALS-compatible tactical vest.
Gerber

Gerber Center-Drive Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Bit driver-focused ergonomics
Flick-opening pliers
Made in the USA
Specifications
No. of Functions
16
Weight
9.5 oz
Materials
420HC stainless steel
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
The Center-Drive's namesake feature is the large, curved arm on its bit driver. At 3.25” long, this locking arm positions the bit on the center axis of the tool and gives you more room to work with, which makes using it feel more like a dedicated screwdriver. And because you don't need to fully open the tool to center the driver, you can get a more controlled grip on the tool in its wider, closed position. With traditional multi-tool designs, they can feel lopsided and difficult to turn or even uncomfortable to grip when partially unfolded. The Center Drive also uses standard bits, letting you easily swap in or replace ones you might already have in your EDC.
Leatherman

Leatherman Charge+ TTi Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Gut-hook/strap cutter built into the serrated knife
Dual-tone design
Made in the USA
Specifications
No. of Functions
19
Weight
8.89 oz
Materials
Titanium, S30V blade, 420HC
EDC Rating


Price
$$$$
If you really like the Wave+ mentioned above, you’ll like the more premium Charge+ TTi. It’s functionally similar to a Wave+, but upgraded with a premium titanium construction and much higher quality S30V stainless steel for the plain-edge blade. Some users prefer the Charge+ as well for comfort in the handles, which lack the hard edges of the Wave+. The dual-tone aesthetic also makes the Charge+ TTi a cut above the standard Wave+ as well.
Leatherman

Leatherman Signal Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
One-handed operation
Outdoor focused toolset
Built-in ferro rod
Specifications
No. of Functions
19
Weight
7.5 oz
Materials
Stainless steel, 420HC blade
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
With a variety of configurations and sizes, there's a Leatherman for every job. With the Signal, that includes outdoors work too. The Signal adds some hardy survival options to its traditional complement of tools, including a ferrocerium fire starter and emergency whistle. It also includes a diamond-coated file to keep its 420HC combo blade in tip-top shape, and its can/bottle opener, saw, and hammer ensure your preparedness for any excursion.
Victorinox

Victorinox Pioneer X Alox Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Spring-loaded scissors
Reamer, punch
Made in Switzerland
Specifications
No. of Functions
9
Weight
3.3 oz
Materials
Alox scales, Sandvik stainless steel
EDC Rating


Price
$
The Swiss Army Knife (SAK for short) is the premier type of EDC multi-tool for people who don’t need a pair of pliers. The best models of SAK feature Victorinox’s corrosion resistant and lightweight Alox (aluminum scales with anodic oxidation) scales, like those found on Pioneer X. With a dimpled texture, you get a more sure grip on this tool compared to the standard SAK. Along with the Sandvik stainless steel blade, the Pioneer X features a pair of spring-loaded scissors, a reamer and punch, and assorted bottle and can openers built into the flathead screwdriver functions.
Victorinox

Victorinox SwissTool Spirit X Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
All-locking tools
Ruler built into handles
Pry tool
Specifications
No. of Functions
28
Weight
10.2 oz
Materials
Stainless steel
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
While Victorinox is most well known for their Swiss Army Knives, they produce traditional butterfly-style multi-tools with many of the same high-performance implements found in their knives. The Victorinox SwissTool X boasts an impressive 28 assorted functions, making it well-equipped for most projects. These include a pair of spring-loaded scissors, an awl, and a file, and they all lock into place making the tool well-suited for heavy-duty tasks. The contoured stainless steel handles also make it comfortable to use the pliers for extended periods.
Gerber

Gerber Armbar Drive Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Dedicated bit driver
Texturized aluminum handle
2.5" blade
Specifications
No. of Functions
8
Weight
3.1 oz
Materials
Stainless steel, aluminum
EDC Rating


Price
$
Gerber’s Armbar series of multi-tools takes on a different form factor from the butterfly-opening styles of their more popular offerings. Starting off with its main tool, it features an ultra-thin 2.5“ long bit driver, designed to get into most nooks and crannies you might encounter in your day to day. It also comes with an included two-sided ¼” bit, with both a flat and a Phillips head. Rounding out its utility you’ll find a pair of spring-loaded scissors, an awl, a prybar, a bottle opener, a hammer and a plain edge blade made out of 420HC steel.
BigIDesign

BigIDesign TPT Slide Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Multiple integrated tools
Camping fork
Pocket clip and lanyard
Specifications
No. of Functions
14
Weight
2.39 oz
Materials
Titanium, stainless steel
EDC Rating


Price
$$
If you're looking for a utility knife that really puts an emphasis on "utility," look no further than the TPT Slide. Its titanium housing deploys a standard sized blade (or its included finger-safe package opener/camping fork hybrid blade) via an ambidextrous, one-handed slide mechanism. The rest of the tool is jam-packed with EDC features, including a flathead screwdriver, bit driver, scraper edge, and universal wrench set.
SOG

SOG PopGrip Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Compatible with wireless chargers
Magnetic twist system
Pop Socket compatible
Specifications
No. of Functions
5
Weight
1.44 oz
Materials
Stainless steel
EDC Rating


Price
$
The PopGrip SOG Multi-Tool is a compact EDC essential that squares away right under your fingertips when you’re holding your phone. It features five functions, including a mini pry bar, a ¼” hex bit driver, a 4mm hex bit driver, and the old reliable bottle opener. The bottle opener part has an edge that’s sharp enough to help you open up packages, but not sharp enough to raise any eyebrows while you’re traveling. And at only 1.44 oz, you’ll barely feel any added weight to your phone, but you will definitely notice all the utility it provides in a pinch.
EverRatchet

EverRatchet Clip Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Unique ratcheting system
Built-in clip
Bit holder
Specifications
No. of Functions
12
Weight
0.56 oz
Materials
Titanium
EDC Rating


Price
$
The EverRatchet from Gear Infusion hits just the right balance of size and functionality while adding something never before seen on a keychain multi-tool. The EverRatchet’s integrated bit driver has a unique ratcheting mechanism that makes quick fixes even faster. In addition to the ratchet, you’ll find a fire flint, scraper, pry bar, measuring tool, and 7 wrenches of different sizes. The tool measures in at just under 2.5” in length, ideal for keychain or coin pocket carry.
Leatherman

Leatherman Bond Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Inspired from original PST
Non-locking mechanism
Contoured handles
Specifications
No. of Functions
14
Weight
6.21 oz
Materials
Stainless steel, 420HC blade
EDC Rating


Price
$
As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The same can be said for Leatherman’s design philosophy when it comes to their newest (sort of) multi-tool, the Bond. It’s based on the original Leatherman PST multi-tool from 1983, but updated with a few, subtle improvements to keep it fresh. The Leatherman Bond brings with it 14 functional tools in its minimal, no-frills design that simply gets the job done the way it has for over 35 years. All of the tools deploy from the interior of the handles in a non-locking mechanism similar to a slipjoint.
Victorinox

Victorinox Classic SD Dessert Warrior Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Limited edition collaboration
Unique donut-inspired design
Timeless keychain model
Specifications
No. of Functions
6
Weight
0.8 oz
Materials
Cellidor scales, stainless steel
EDC Rating


Price
$
This Blade HQ Exclusive Victorinox Classic SD model is truly something to admire. Itt features an unconventional yet memorable design for a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, meant to resemble the pink frosting of a donut, sprinkles included. Inside you’ll find 6 classic Victorinox tools like a pen knife, a nail file with the namesake Screw Driver, a pair of scissors, a keyring, and the iconic tweezers and toothpick combo.
CRKT

CRKT Pry Cutter Multi-tool

Purchase
Key Features
Unique cord-cutter tool
Jimping
Bit holder
Specifications
No. of Functions
7
Weight
1 oz
Materials
Stainless steel
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$
Joining the one piece multi-tool market is the CKRT Pry Cutter, an unusual-looking tool with an effective solution for more handiwork-focused tasks. The big circle in the middle of the tool is its replaceable cord-cutter, designed to remain safely inside the tool with no exposed sharp edges to prevent accidents. The other main part of the tool is its prytool, equipped with a nail puller to give you more utility. Rounding out its features you’ll find a Phillips head bit as well as 1/4", 5/16", 3/8" hex wrenches built into the tool.

This post was researched and written with the help of our growing (and awesome) Facebook community. What's your favorite multi-tool?

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