Best Survival Multi Tool 2018 : Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Survival Multi Tool: Since the dawn of human civilization, the range encompassed by the term “tool” has broadened significantly. But what has always remained the same is their purpose. The purpose of any tool, be it a prudish construction of a spade for digging or something much more sophisticated, such as today’s range of survival multitools, is to make human lives a lot easier. And for the benefit of those folks who are always on the move, today we will be talking about the best survival multi tools of 2018 that can help keep you prepared for all kinds of situations, be it outdoors or even an indoor emergency. Let us get a move on.

Best Survival Multi Tool comparison

ImageTool's NamePrice
Leatherman–Charge ALX Multitool4.4 out of 5 Star
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Stansport Emergency Multi Tool4.4 out of 5 Star
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Gerber EVO Multi-Tool3.9 out of 5 Star
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SOG PowerPlay Multi-Tool3.7 out of 5 Star
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Spyderco ClipiTool4.3 out of 5 Star
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TAS Accessories 13-IN-1 Black Pocket Multitool4.6 out of 5 Star
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Leatherman Wave Multi Tool4.4 out of 5 Star
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Victorinox Swiss Army Work Champ4.5 out of 5 Star
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Hoffman Richter EDT 7-in-1 Mini Multitool3.4 out of 5 Star
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Lever Gear Toolcard Pro4.7 out of 5 Star
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Best Survival Multi Tool 2018: A Buying Guide

To aid you in your quest of the best multi-tool for survival, we have picked out some of the best in the business based on features, durability, manufacturer’s reputation, ease of use, and of course, customer reviews. Furthermore, you will find a compact review for each product that we have picked out to help you understand the pros and cons. So without further ado, let us kick start our best survival multi tool reviews in no particular order.

1. Leatherman – Charge ALX Multitool, Stainless Steel with Leather Sheath

We had to start off our survival multi tool reviews with a unit that is universally considered to be one of the very best. The Leatherman Charge ALX Stainless Steel Multi tool comes with some quality features. On board is a total of eighteen different tools ranging from several kinds of pliers, hard and regular wire cutters, files, drivers, and more. What we love about Leatherman’s multi tools is that they are completely foldable and feature certain tools that are fully operational with one hand. When you fold it in, it looks and functions similarly to a pocket knife or an army blade. The pliers and other tools can be brought out when you open it fully. This is also one of the most safety-oriented multi purpose survival tools, as each tool is completely lockable, leaving chances of an unfortunate incident behind. Here is a full list of tools that you will find in the Leatherman Charge ALX.

  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Regular Pliers
  • Hard-wire Cutters
  • Wire Cutters
  • Crimper
  • Wire Stripper
  • 154cm Knife
  • 420HC Serrated Knife
  • Saw
  • Cutting Hook
  • Ruler (8 in |19 cm)
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Wood/Metal File
  • Diamond-coated File
  • Large Bit Driver (I)
  • Large Bit Driver (II)
  • Small Bit Driver

Pros

  • Safety oriented build
  • Eighteen useful features for camping and indoor use
  • Sturdy and good to hold

Cons

  • No scissors included

Verdict:

The Leatherman Charge ALX Stainless Steel Multi tool is the best there is for all purpose usage. Costing over a hundred bucks, it is by no means a cheap piece of equipment. However, if you wish to have complete peace of mind when you are traveling (and have the budget), we recommend that you pick this one up.

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2. Stansport Emergency/Campers Multi-Tool

The next item on our list of the best survival multi tool reviews has to be one that we as well as many buyers consider to be the best budget emergency equipment for survival. While being very different from the Leatherman unit listed above, the Stansport Emergency/Campers’ Multi Tool is favored by many campers who like to be prepared for emergency situations when they are out in the wilderness. The Stansport unit is sturdy, sporting an attractive wood and stainless steel build that reminds us of lumberjacks. On the downside, it is a little bulky for the number of tools that are present, but that’s a trade in necessary to adjust with the very budget price. The unit comes with a small carrying pouch as well as a belt loop to ensure ease of carrying, and the wood handle gives a nice grip. You may not find all the tools terribly useful, but some are very nice. The manufacturers would have done well to leave behind a few and make a lighter, more effective multi tool. Find the tools listed below.

  • Straight knife
  • Bottle opener
  • Wrench
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Saw blade
  • Serrated blade
  • Nail file
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutter
  • Hatchet

Pros

  • Best multi purpose survival tool on a budget
  • Lockable
  • Has some really useful tools
  • Can be held comfortably in one hand

Cons

  • Some of the tools seem to be unnecessary
  • Bulky

Verdict:

If you are on the lookout for a great inexpensive survival multi tool as a secondary equipment to have around, then you can consider buying the Stansport Emergency/Campers’ Multi Tool. The one thing you should know is that the included carrying pouch does nothing for the protruding axe head, so if you have kids around, it will be a good idea to get a sturdier leather pouch.

3. Gerber EVO Multi-Tool

The Gerber EVO Multi Tool is one of the best survival multi tools that you can pick when you do not want to spend nearly a hundred dollars and yet want a quality unit to house all your needs in one sleek, lightweight body. Thanks to its aluminum body, you will not have to make a compromise between a truly feature loaded tool and weight. It is undoubtedly very easy to use with one hand because of a sleek, bulk free build, and also easy to carry around in your pocket. The spring loaded features are great and have a good response. All tools are also individually lockable for the best safety. We feel that this is a great mid ranged alternative for the Leatherman unit that we opened our list with. Some of the most attractive tools included in the Gerber EVO Multi Tool can be found below.

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Saw blade
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Straight edge knife
  • Serrated edge knife
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Large flathead screwdriver
  •  Scissors
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener

Pros

  • Great budget offering
  • Good mid-range alternative for Leatherman users
  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Individually lockable tools

Cons

  • Can feel a little stiff

Verdict:

The Gerber EVO Multi Tool is a great choice for the higher end Leatherman or another plier inclusive survival multi tool. We like that all the tools are equally useful, and yet the product does not weigh down a backpacker or camper by much. This butterfly style knife is all you need to have a great time while you are outdoors with your family or on your own.

4. SOG PowerPlay Multi-Tool PX1001N-CP

Easily one of the most durable units on the market, we love how handy the SOG PowerPlay PX1001N-CP Multi Tool is. Armed with all of eighteen different tools for a high amount of functionality, the PX1001N-CP can take you anywhere with much of the preparation that you may need. The blades can be used opened or unopened, which most campers find extremely useful. SOG’s Compound Leverage technology improves the functionality of their tools by leagues, and this particular unit handles like a dream. The Hex Bit tech adds to the usability and safety features. The best part about this one is the lifetime warranty it comes with. Take a look at the included tools below.

  • Lock blades
  • 1/4″ drive
  • Awl
  • Bottle opener
  • Full serrated blade
  • Large flat screwdriver
  • Multi-angle needle nose pliers
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Small flat screwdriver
  • Wire crimper
  • 3-sided file
  • Can opener
  • Hard wire cutter
  • Medium flat screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Ruler
  • Straight edge blade
  • Wood saw

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Tough tools

Cons

  • On the heavier side

Verdict:

Equipped with a total of eighteen different tools inside its compact body, the SOG PowerPlay PX1001N-CP Multi Tool demands to be taken seriously. It can be opened fully, and in its fully open state, you will have access to the multiple tools on the handles of the pliers. However, the quick access blades are great thinking and campers and backpackers who don’t want to fiddle around too much appreciate this feature. Buy it if it sounds like the tool you want to have when you’re on your own.

5. Spyderco ClipiTool

You may be one for minimalism or just someone who is on the lookout for the perfect secondary equipment without the bulk and weight of the primary tool that you use. If either of these scenarios suits you, then perhaps your search will end with the Spyderco ClipiTool. A smallish equipment containing just a few essential tools, the ClipiTool is the perfect companion to your Leatherman or Victorinox. The units in this line are the perfect combination of performance and durability, which is aided by their no-nonsense construction. Basically what can be described as a multi-purpose pocket knife, the Spyderco unit contains a pair of scissors, a serrated blade, and a bottle opener-screwdriver. It can easily be held in one hand and used by one without fumbling or faltering. The grip around the handle is nice, and the entire unit will fit inside the palm of your hand. So probably not the best choice for folks with larger palms. Find the list of features below.

  • Pocket knife
  • Scissors
  • Serrated blade
  • Bottle opener
  • Screwdriver

Pros

  • Small size
  • Durable and affordable
  • Great secondary choice

Cons

  • Heavy for the size

Verdict: 

Spyderco is one of the best tool manufacturers that can make affordable survival tools for use outside in adverse conditions. If you have never used their equipment before, let us tell you that by no means does the affordability affect reliability. And that is exactly the case with the ClipTool. If a no-nonsense safety and functionality-oriented tool is what you want, buy this best survival multi tool for minimalists.

6. TAS Accessories 13-IN-1 Black Pocket Multitool

The TAS Accessories 13-IN-1 Black Pocket Multitool is one of the sleekest and most useful tools that you can lay your hands on a very agreeable price. TAS takes pride in the fact that this particular tool is built to survive anywhere, and we agree. The TAS Accessories 13-IN-1 Black Pocket Multitool boasts of thirteen different tools that are high on the durability factor while not compromising on safety. While some manufacturers may end up cramming the tools to make their products more saleable, but we love the fact that the fair number of tools included in this particular equipment are all equally useful in any walk of life. Here is the list of tools you can expect to find in the TAS Accessories 13-IN-1 Black Pocket Multitool.

  • Large slotted screwdriver
  • Metal file
  • Small knife blade
  • Medium slotted driver
  • Bottle opener
  • Can opener
  • Large knife blade
  • Mini slotted screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Wood saw
  • Wire cutters

Pros

  • Comes with 3 years worth of manufacturer’s warranty
  • Easy to use and carry
  • All features are lockable

Cons

  • Some tools, like the screwdrivers, could be of better quality

Verdict:

There is no questioning the fact that the TAS Accessories 13-IN-1 Black Pocket Multitool is a favorite of many camping and backpacking lovers. It is lightweight, looks great thanks to the beautiful finish, and is a great unit to have on yourself at all times. Most of the units that come in its range are recommended by most as secondary survival multi tools, but not this one.

7. Leatherman Wave Multi tool

When you are looking for the best multi tool for survival, many will advise you to look no further than Leatherman. And for good reason too, which is why this is our second pick from the stalwarts in tool manufacturers to land on our list. The Leatherman Wave is considered to be the first choice for many professionals, and with the seventeen tools it has on board are each individually strong, efficient, and will last you ages. And with Leatherman’s 25 years worth of limited warranty, you won’t have to worry about a few of them becoming a little too pliant with use over time. The Leatherman Wave is the perfect combination of functionality and practicality, and just like the Charge ALX at the top of this list, most of its tools are accessible with just one hand. The full features list of this best survival multi tool from Leatherman can be found below.

  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Regular Pliers
  • Hard-wire Cutters
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire Stripper
  • 420HC Knife
  • 420 HC Serrated Knife
  • Saw
  • Spring-action Scissors
  • Ruler (8 in | 19 cm)
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Wood/Metal File
  • Diamond-coated File
  • Large Bit Driver
  • Small Bit Driver
  • Medium Screwdriver

Pros

  • Built to last and very durable
  • Puts less pressure on the hands while using
  • All lockable tools
  • 25 years limited Warranty

Cons

  • May feel stiff at first

Verdict:

The Leatherman Wave Multi tool boasts of a bustling array of features and can be used over long periods of time. One of the most important considerations while buying the best multi purpose survival tool is the warranty, and Leatherman is one of the best in service. Go ahead and buy this one if you like the Charge ALX but want to stay within the $100 mark.

8. Victorinox Swiss Army Work Champ

No list of the best survival multi tool 2018 or of any other time will be complete without Victorinox. The original name in survival multi tool, their Work Champ unit comes with a total of thirteen useful and reliable tools that can take you from day to night on the road on your own, with over twenty one functions. Such is the gravity of this unit that even folks who aren’t too keen on the outdoors use this as well. The only qualm that we have about it is that it’s a little too heavy for our liking, especially when you take its small frame into consideration. However, this one is reputed for its versatility and ease of being fitted into pants pockets easily, making it no hassle to carry it around anywhere. If you are looking for the ultimate multi knife unit for survival, you can find it at Victorinox. Take a look at its features.

  • Large locking blade
  • Can opener with small screwdriver
  • Bottle opener with large screwdriver and wire stripper
  • Reamer
  • Corkscrew
  • Key ring
  • Locking blade
  • Wood saw
  • Scissors
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Metal saw with metal file

Pros

  • Ultimate survival knife
  • Small build, very durable
  • The Victorinox brand itself

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Not easily deployable in emergency situations

Verdict:

 The Victorinox Swiss Army Work Champ is one of the best in its class and can be taken anywhere in any situation. The knives are efficient enough for emergencies, and the bottle opener and cork screw make it all the more versatile. If you are looking for the ultimate multi knife unit for survival, you can find it at Victorinox. Starting here isn’t a bad idea.

9. Hoffman Richter EDT 7-in-1 Mini Multitool

Think all multi-plier tools are big and bulky? Take one look at the Hoffman Richter EDT 7-in-1 Mini Multitool and you will change your opinion in no time. Sporting a very different build from the other multi-pliers that we have come across, the Hoffman Richter EDT 7-in-1 Mini Multitool is the best pocket survival multi tool that we have come across. The first thing that you might feel is that a tool this tiny may be fragile, but that’s far from being the case. The 440 stainless steel construction guarantees endurance and tough as nails functionality- something that is backed up by Hoffman Richter’s lifetime warranty. The included tools, which you can find listed below, are great for camping, survival, fishing, and other activities that may demand quick action. Do note that you won’t get Leatherman-grade tool efficiency from this one, so it is recommended to keep this one as a back up for emergencies.

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Can opener
  • Small knife blade
  • Serrated edge
  • Mini Philips head screwdriver
  • Stay-in-place clip

Pros

  • Great affordable multi tool
  • Best survival multi tool with multi-pliers (compact)
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Durable body

Cons

  • Screws and hinges are not as durable

Verdict:

If you don’t want to lug around a massive folding multi-plier unit for less demanding tasks, then we suggest you give the Hoffman Richter EDT 7-in-1 Mini Multitool a try. Although the hinges can be a problem over continued use, the manufacturer’s warranty is a good back up to have. The body of the tool itself is sturdy and can tolerate many hacks, and it is the only multi-plier small enough to fit in your hand.

10. Lever Gear Toolcard Pro (Special Mention)

We talked about business card style toolkits up top, and while they are undoubtedly useful especially while during travel, the fact remains that they don’t exactly fall under the survival category. But when it comes to the Lever Gear Toolcard Pro, we have a very different opinion in terms of the best survival multi tool for being inconspicuous. If you have ever tried traveling with business card-knives hoping that the TSA would not block you from boarding a flight, you would know that it’s easy to be proven wrong. This one, on the other hand, is made with TSA-compliant design with the knife placed on the inside to make traveling with it less of a headache. However, that’s not all that has grabbed our notice. The Lever Gear Toolcard Pro, which basically looks like a business card, packs in a whopping forty functional tools inside its small body. And being a tool that slips easily inside your wallet, you can rest assured that it is incredibly lightweight. The 420 grade stainless steel build is incredibly sturdy and detailed and the laser etched graphics makes it a great to look at. It won’t cut your hands, can be slipped inside a credit card pouch, and is very handy in the most surprising of ways. Here is a look at some of the features that will come in handy when you’re using the Lever Gear Toolcard Pro.

  • Multiple wrenches
  • Two screwdrivers, small and flathead
  • Bottle opener
  • Can opener
  • Prybar
  • Cord cutter
  • Hex bit driver
  • and more

Pros

  • Over 40 different tools in one small body
  • Compliant with TSA regulations

Cons

  • Not much to say

Verdict:

The perfect business card toolkit in our opinion, the Lever Gear Toolcard Pro is a great choice for traveling overseas and keeping your tools on you at all times. Its inconspicuous nature is its greatest asset, and the heavy duty tools featured pack in some surprises. The whole thing makes for a great back up to your existing survival multi tool.

Best Survival Multi Tool Buying guide 2018

What Are Survival Multi Tools?

If you have seen a Swiss Army Knife, then you’re almost acquainted with the concept of a survival multi tool. A multi tool is a single piece of equipment that offers a bunch of different survival tools under the guise of one unit. In that sense, the whole point of owning a great survival multi tool is to ensure that you’re ready for anything when you’re least likely to have help while also being easily portable. Although many are of the opinion that Swiss Army Knives and multi tools are basically two names for a similar system, the latter started offering a more modern outlook by including certain extra tools for increased usefulness at an earlier stage. The biggest point of demarcation is the inclusion of pliers and other modern equipment, although many modern Swiss Army Knife models strive to include these as well. Another difference that most will point out is the matter of size, but multi tools are becoming more compact by the model for providing better portability.

Multi tools vs Swiss Army Knives

In short, there is little to differentiate between multi tools and Swiss Army Knives; in fact, the latter is a subclass of the former itself. Just be sure to know which tools you need on the run and if the model you are picking up comes with those. There are also different kinds of survival multi tools to choose from. Take a quick look below.

Swiss Army Knives: One of the oldest and most popular forms of survival multi tools, these come with a bunch of tools such as knives, scissors, bottle openers, and other additions like screwdrivers and glass breakers. The most renowned manufacturer of these tools is Victorinox, which has ensured that the humble Swiss Army Knife gets a much more relevant facelift to suit modern requirements.

Pocket Multi tools: As the name suggests, these are pocket sized survival tools that pack in as many useful features that their compact build would allow them. Despite being small, they often come with a robust build to accommodate many features, and are also heavier than, say, other kinds of compact multi tools. You will find that these come with many of the most essential features staple to its kind, although some of the bigger ones may be given a miss.

Folding Multi Tools: The most versatile of the lot, the folding multi tool is the best kind of survival multi tool out there, and also the most favored one. These are much bigger than the other types of multi tools, and can be distinguished by the foldable build which accommodates a number of survival essentials. You will almost certainly find these equipped with pliers and wire cutters, knives, scissors, and many more properties that come in handy for safety. Although they are typically meant for both-handed use, some of them also sport single-handed features for extra inconvenience.

Do You Need A Survival Multi Tool?

If you’re not used to carrying one of these on yourself at all times, you may still be looking for a reason to convince you to buy one. However, for those of us who have owned these for a long time, we find it hard to think we would go without them. Think about it. Carrying a survival multi tool on yourself at all times is a win-win situation. They come in all shapes and sizes, which means that they can be small enough to be carried everywhere without any of the offputting bulk factors. But to address the present question, if you are someone who stays out for long times on your own, whether in the wild or just on the job, then you will find that these tools are amazing at making your life much easier. When you take a pick from all the different types available to suit your need, you can simply rely on one equipment to do it all- from cutting open a can of beans, to doing a quick electrical quick fix, everything is possible. Moreover, they can even get you out of potentially dangerous situations. For instance, say your seatbelt is jammed and you can’t get out. Flip open the knife extension and be done with it. Having a glass breaker handy also makes a lot of sense. It’s not that you’ll need it to break out of a car everyday, but you would be surprised at the kind of confidence it gives you purely for safety purposes. For camping, we find that it is almost impossible to do without these as they facilitate just about every activity, such as setting up a tent, cooking, and more. Need we say more?

Things To Consider Before Buying A Survival Multi Tool

For first times, a lot can go wrong when they are on the hunt for the best survival multi tool because of not thinking the matter through. As with any survival tool, it is imperative that you know exactly what you need to be aware of while you are out (or in) buying one, as there is no point in being stuck with a fairly expensive piece of equipment if it is useless for your specific purposes. This holds especially true because unlike what most claim, there is no one piece that will meet your every need for every occasion. You may even have to keep at least two on yourself for different kinds of uses. So to make sure that you don’t make many of the common mistakes associated with buying a multi tool, we have this list of things to consider. Take a scroll.

Pick A Type: We have given a brief account of all the different types of multi tools that can commonly be found on the market. In fact, many of the factors that you will need to consider are directly dependent on the type, including weight, ease of carrying, and functionality. So before you do anything else, take all the time you need to figure out what kind you will benefit from the most. Do you end up being on your own for the most part and need a heavy duty unit? Pick a foldable one in that case. And if you need one to go around town with being as less conspicuous as possible, then a card type multi tool may suffice for you.

Consider Functionality: In case of the best survival multi tool, the more does not always translate into the better. So it is important to understand the functionalities offered by each tool, weigh their significance in your context, and figure out which ones would be the best for you. Once you have educated yourself, be on the lookout for a unit that houses as many of the ones you need. Keep in mind that it may not always be possible to find them all in a single equipment, in which case you may consider buying more than one.

Ease of Carrying: Like we said before, these tools come in all shapes and sizes, but it isn’t always easy to pick one based on that. And because you’re going to need them when you’re out, it is prudent to go through several of these and figure out which ones you find the easiest to carry and use. Many of the larger tools have double handed as well as single handed functionality, but the latter may be a difficult situation for those with smaller hands. Besides, the weight of the article is also equally important to consider, as is how you carry it. Do you want it inside your front pocket for easier access or your backpack for better portability?

Sturdiness: The best survival multi tools will last you ages, and you will find that this is the case with most of the renowned manufacturers such as Leatherman and Gerber. The idea is to take a good look at the manufacturer’s notes, find out all there is to know about warranty and replacements and take good care of your tool.

Know The Laws: If you have traveled across states and borders with a knife, you already know that the smallest of issues can crop up when someone spots anything resembling a blade. Not only will you not be able to carry a multi tool on yourself on a flight, but backpacking to different countries will tell you how different knife laws can be. Having a pocket or wallet sized unit will probably not draw much attention, but the bigger folding types can cause trouble, especially if factors like blade size are taken into consideration. It is quite impractical to buy separate tools for each travel abroad, but it makes sense to at least do your research and be aware of the laws.

Price: To arrive at the final great factor to consider before buying the best survival multi tool, it is important for you to know that these can often be quite expensive depending on the model. You can expect the foldable models and the pocket sized ones to suit a wide range of budgets, but you should pay the bucks first for quality and number of useful features. The most expensive ones are not always the best, so you have really have to weigh the features, portability, and everything else in between to figure out for yourself if it is worth your money. There are a number of budget options to look at as well, especially if you are going for pocket options. How much money you want to spend is entirely up to you, but it is always advisable to get the best out of your buck.

Wrap Up

Although we highly encourage online buying (because of the heavy discounts you will often come across), the best way to really buy the best survival multi tool is by trying them out with your own hands. So while we still recommend buying them on the web, it is prudent to get your hands on as many as you can to know the size, fit, and functionality you need. Once you are fully prepared with your research, our list of the best survival multi tool 2018 will sort you out for good. So go ahead and buy the most suitable one for yourself. And when you’ve done that, let us know how you like using it.

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