The Best Mid-Sized Multi-tools for EDC in 2017

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We all know how great full-sized multi-tools are. In your workshop, desk, or your car, they’re a toolbox worth of utility minus the actual toolbox. But for everyday carry, they’re not always the best. While you do save yourself the trouble of having to lug around said toolbox, full-sized multi-tools aren’t exactly featherweights either. Carrying one as part of your EDC isn’t an optimal use of pocket space and can end up weighing you down.

So we’ve rounded up a list of the best mid-sized multi-tools you can actually carry every day, because a cumbersome tool is an unused one, after all. They may not have all the functionality you would get from a full-sized tool, but in exchange you get a more compact profile that isn’t a hassle to carry and still gets the job done when needed.

Leatherman Juice XE6

Leatherman’s probably the first brand in mind when talking about multi-tools, and their Juice line has a long history of compact utility. With 18 tools, the XE6 is the most capable model in the series, packed into a very pocket-friendly 3.25” package when closed. Its textured, anodized aluminum handles meet at pliers in the signature Leatherman butterfly design, with the rest of its tools folding out from its middle and and ends. From knives to scissors to drivers and even a corkscrew, the XE6 has the bases covered for everyday tasks.

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Leatherman Skeletool SX

The Leatherman Skeletool is an EDC favorite thanks to its solid selection of tools and its lightweight, skeletonized, and carry-friendly design. But our pick here isn’t the carbon fiber-accented CX model you may be familiar with. In exchange for the CF accent (at no additional weight), a diamond-coated file adds an extra bit of functionality to the Skeletool SX’s handles. You still get robust functionality from its pliers, 420HC combo knife, bit driver and handy carabiner, with an extra touch of utility for filing and sanding tasks.

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Leatherman Juice S2

The second Juice on this list may have fewer functions than its brother (15 tools compared to the XE6’s 18), but sticking to the basics saves it a lot more weight. It measures 3.25” closed like the rest of the Juice line, but it’s one of the lightest at 4.6 ounces. The lighter weight doesn’t cut down on its usefulness, though, as the S2 comes with essentials like pliers, a knife, scissors, and a solid set of drivers and openers. It’s the perfect middle ground in the Juice line with a nice balance of tools and weight.

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Victorinox SwissChamp

You can’t have a list of multi-tools and not include Victorinox. They’ve been at it for decades, getting the job done with multi-tools of every size from keychains to full-sized workhorses. But among their dozens of models, only one has “Champ” in its name. The SwissChamp is undoubtedly the king of their mid-sized multi-tools, packing 32 functions into 3.6 inches. From pliers to drivers to blades and files and features you didn’t even know you needed like a hook disgorger and magnifying glass, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more functionality in 6.5 ounces.

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Victorinox Huntsman

The Huntsman has the distinction of being one of the few 3.6” Swiss Army Knives that come with an LED flashlight. Add that to a versatile set of 20 other tools and you have incredible utility in your pocket. With its blades, scissors, openers, drivers, saw, corkscrew and many more functions, there are very few everyday tasks you couldn’t handle, not to mention being a great way to consolidate your EDC.

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Victorinox Pioneer X Alox

Victorinox’s Alox line gives you the robustness of their 3.6” multi-tools while drastically reducing their weight thanks to embossed aluminum scales with anodic oxidation. What you lose in handle-based tools like tweezers and toothpicks, you gain in sleekness that make them ideal for everyday carry. Among the Alox Swiss Army Knives, the Pioneer X is unique thanks to its pair of scissors, adding much-needed utility when a blade isn’t the perfect tool for the job. With 8 other tools it’s a perfect pocketable multi-tool to add to any EDC.

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While this list is about saving pocket space with more compact tools, sometimes you just don’t have any space left to spare.  The SOG Sync II takes advantage of a spot you wouldn’t think to find a multi-tool—your belt. It’s specially designed to fold into a compact 3.1” rectangle, which when paired with a detachable base, gives you access to 12 useful tools when used as a belt buckle or clipped to a pack. It’s a clever use of space which gives you plenty versatility to add a multi-tool to your EDC.

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Do you carry a compact multi-tool in your EDC? Let us know your favorite and how it’s helped with your daily needs in the comments below.

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