There are plenty of other multi-tools out there, and brands like Leatherman and Victorinox have models upon models that make it confusing to figure out exactly what to buy. Here are a few others I like.
Leatherman Skeletool CX for $90: This is a bit smaller than the Wave Plus, but it’s still a standard-sized multi-tool. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles our top pick has to offer, you can probably get by with a less bulky gizmo that still has the most commonly used basic tools like a knife, bottle opener, can opener, bit drivers, and pliers.
Victorinox Swiss Tool for $153: Yeah, I did a double take when I first saw the price tag too. At 10 ounces, it’s also on the heavier side. But it’s beautifully made, and I like the square, straight-edged handles. Sometimes it’s nice to have a tool that doesn’t try to look modern. It’s lovely.
Leatherman Charge TTi for $190: This is a weak recommendation. It’s packed with 19 useful tools and comes with that stellar Leatherman build quality and warranty. I’ve been using one happily for years. Yes, that price. Although it’s made of titanium, it’s no lighter than the Wave Plus, which costs significantly less and comes with 18 mini-tools, many of them the same as the Charge TTi. Buy Wave Plus, unless In fact like the look of dark titanium.
Free Leatherman P4 for $150: I was on the fence about this. Like most of Leatherman’s line, the Free P4 is a quality, well-built tool, but is it worth a $40 bump over our top pick, Leatherman’s $110 Wave Plus? The big differentiators are that the Free P4, with its 21 tools, uses magnets to open and lock the tool, and a new mechanism to unlock and close the mini tools that doesn’t rely on putting your finger in the path of the blade. . The magnets require no less force to initially open the tool than other Leathermans, but once it starts the opening mechanism is very smooth and effortless.
Smallrig Universal Multi-Tool for Videographers for $30: If you find yourself lugging around a lot of videography equipment, like our product reviewer Eric Ravenscraft, you might want a multi-tool made for adjusting and maintaining cameras without knives or pliers. The Smallrig consists of nine tools, including hex keys of various sizes common to cameras, a Phillips head screwdriver, and a pair of flat head screwdrivers. Eric likes the wider flat head for screwing in and removing tripod heads, which he says normally get scratched and chewed with smaller screwdrivers.
Leatherman Micra for $57: Instead of pliers, the Micra opens into a pair of scissors. It feels like it’s made of cheaper materials and has thinner tool blades than the Victorinox Mini Champ, which is similar in size, purpose and price. The spring mechanism is difficult to open and close without pinching. But it has character, and I like the little thing. It’s a good alternative to the Mini Champ, especially if you want a small multi-tool that revolves around scissors.
Leatherman Wingman for $70: The Wingman feels great to use. No wild textured surfaces, and no plastic anywhere. The smooth scales feel old-school, in a nice “remember when” way, similar to the Victorinox Swiss Tool. It has 14 tools in its handles, all of which open and close as smoothly as if they were smeared with butter. The entire package collapses to just 4 inches long and weighs 7 ounces. At this price, it’s a great bargain.
SOG Razor for $12: The best knife is the one you have on hand. That Leatherman Wave Plus will not do you any good if it is at home and you are not. Micro tools like the Mini Champ and Micra are easy to fit in a pocket, but you still need to remember them. The Key Knife goes right on your keychain, so it’s always with you. The blade opens to 1.5 inches, which is plenty for most minor cutting tasks. However, he is a one trick pony and only has one blade. You are not getting a premium product, but the stainless steel blade is sharp enough.
Answer from Leatherman Raptor for $80: Instead of taking the form of pliers, these medical scissors feature a blunt tip so doctors won’t accidentally stab a patient while trying to cut through clothing. The Raptor Response is very special. If you have to ask, then no, you don’t need to. But for an EMT or wilderness medic on remote backcountry trips, it’s a nifty packing solution that includes an oxygen tank wrench and ring cutter (for cutting constrained jewelry).