Unless you feel like making a construction worker’s tool belt a part of your everyday style — more power to you if so — then you’ll probably want to start carrying a multi-tool.
Exactly what kind of multi-tool, though, is another matter entirely. And in our everyday carry communities, there’s heated debate about what the best EDC multi-tools really are.
Rather than take one side or another, we’d like to take a different approach: Offering a whole range of styles and prices for everyday carry multi-tools, from the large and comprehensive to the small and specialized. That’s exactly what follows in the five tools below.
The Leatherman brand name is practically synonymous with multi-tools at this point, and with good reason: They have perhaps the widest range of multi-tool styles, and make everything from simple keychain tools to buy-it-for-life favorites.
Leatherman’s Wave+ Multi-Tool is definitely in the BIFL category, and it’s one that we’ve had success with for years. At over $100, it’s certainly not cheap — but its time-tested design puts it in a uniquely versatile position that we just can’t get enough of.
Thirteen lockable tools are contained within the Wave+’s four inch, half pound frame, with many accessible from the outside with one hand. It’s a bit of a beast to hold in your pocket, but not so large as to feel uncomfortable when stowed away in your EDC bag.
If you’re looking for one multi-tool to take with you everywhere, capable of handling all but the most specialized jobs, Leatherman’s Wave+ is the way to go.
Stepping significantly down in size and price, you’ll find the Leatherman Micra. Designed as a keychain-ready tool, it lacks some of the versatility of the Wave+ — but more than makes up for it in convenience.
Ten tools are hidden away in a 2.5-inch, 1.8 ounce housing, complete with a keyring attachment. This makes the Micra truly small and light enough to keep on your keychain, or you can tuck it away in the small “watch pocket” on your jeans.
And since the Micra is made entirely from 420HC stainless steel, you can count on having this keychain multi-tool with you for decades to come.
The most affordable multi-tool on our list comes courtesy of Gerber Gear, and is designed as a compact and lightweight keychain tool. And in contrast to Leatherman’s Micra, it has pliers as its main tool — as well as a diminutive pair of scissors for added utility.
If you want a supremely portable multi-tool that still has a wide range of features, Gerber’s Dime is your best bet (especially given its small price tag). There’s just one caveat: The Dime isn’t as sturdily built as tools offered at a higher price, so if you’re looking for a small tool for heavy duty work, look elsewhere.
WESN MT Multi-Tool
On the supremely minimalist side of multi-tools, you’ll find WESN’s MT Multi-tool.
At just under three inches long, and built with a hollow frame, the MT weighs in at a tiny 0.4 ounces. But don’t let its petite size and weight fool you; the MT is made entirely from milled titanium, so it’s as strong as it is lightweight.
This is a multi-tool stripped to its bare essentials, with just a bottle opener, pry bar, scraper tool, and flathead screwdriver included. We like the MT more for urban everyday carry, as its sleek look and feel are right at home in the office.
Poler Hobo Knife
And for something entirely different — a multi-tool geared towards camping and hiking, but not in the traditional manner.
Poler’s Hobo Knife excels in one area that other multi-tools don’t: Eating while at camp. The tool features three interchangeable locking heads, including a knife, fork, and spoon, each made from stainless steel. That’s paired with a bottle opener on the back end of the tool, so you can crack a brew or two while you prepare your next meal outdoors.
Is it the right tool for everyone’s EDC? No. But for $25, it does a great job on exactly what it’s made for. And it makes a great gift, too, since there are so few other multi-tools like it.
Frequently Asked Questions
And to wrap things up, we’ll answer some of the most common questions the internet has to offer.
What is the best multi-tool to buy?
The best EDC multi-tool is the one that’s right for your needs. So consider: How do you want to carry it? How many tools do you really need to use on a daily basis? And how much are you willing to spend? That will guide you to the best EDC multi-tool for you.
What is an EDC multi-tool?
Not to be confused with a construction worker’s multi-tool, an EDC multi-tool features a streamlined selection of common tools (knife, screwdriver, pry bar, etc.) stowed away neatly in a fold-out metal case.
Interested in learning even more about the everyday carry gear that will make your life better, smoother, and more interesting? We have a few guides you may want to check out:
- Our guide to bags for men will help you discover what size and style of EDC bag is right for you.
- In our guide to minimal everyday carry, you’ll learn all about the world of downsizing your EDC gear to just the essentials.
- You may not even need a multi-tool — an EDC pry bar might do the trick instead, and we’ll walk you through the best ones in our guide.