Sometimes life can be unpredictable. You might start out doing one task only to find yourself with even more chores than when you started. Or you might need to mitigate an unplanned emergency using the limited tools you have on hand.
In short, it pays to be prepared. Many do-it-yourselfers choose to invest in a quality multitool-an aptly named implement that offers the functionality of several different tools all in one. Continue now to check out some of the best multitools on the market, according to the handy homeowners who use them.
- BEST OVERALL: Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier
- BEST FOR EMERGENCIES: LighterBro Lighter Sleeve
- BEST FOR PAINTING: Hyde Tools 17-in-1 Painter's Multitool
- BEST FOR EVERY DAY: Victorinox Swiss Army Midnite Manager @Work
- BEST FOR KEYCHAINS: Leatherman Micra
- BEST FOR WALLETS: Wallet Ninja
- BEST TOOLBOX SUBSTITUTE: Sheffield Premium 14-in-1 Multitool
- There are different types of multitools designed for different types of applications. Once favored for outdoor activities like fishing, traveling mechanics, and survivalists, this classic multitool has evolved over the years to adapt to a modern lifestyle. This ever-expanding category of tools now includes everything from classic folding knives to LED lights and USB drives. You're bound to find one that's designed for the tasks you regularly face.
- By forging a set of individual tools into a compact design, they can save on space and weight in a toolbox. Cumbersome tools like scissors, files, screwdrivers, and knives are combined into a sleek and portable unit. The most famous multitool is probably the Swiss Army Knife, an icon that dates back to the 1890s. American companies later innovated this pocket-sized design to also include a pair of pliers, leading to a boom in multitool design.
- They're naturally ready to go. These versatile, portable tools are designed to be kept on hand (or in a pocket) for whatever the day may bring.
1. BEST OVERALL: Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier
This modern classic does the work of 12 tools: needle-nose pliers, a straight blade, a serrated blade, a Phillips screwdriver, large and medium flathead screwdrivers, a wire cutter/stripper, scissors, bottle opener, can opener, saw, and awl. The open-frame design makes it lightweight and versatile, and its safety locking system prevents it from accidentally opening in your pocket (and makes this multitool a great choice if you may leave yours around children). Slide it into the included nylon sheath for protection from the elements, and you can even attach it to a belt. Buy now.
Rave Review from a DIYer: “This tool has it all. I've had it for over three years now, and the number of times it's come in handy has been incredible. The pliers set these apart from other multitools. They have been very handy for fixing my bicycle, motorcycle parts, and countless other things. On top of that, the tool has a fantastic locking mechanism which prevents them from slipping shut and injuring you, and I've used it without fear of hurting myself or anyone else. Absolutely fantastic purchase and worth buying for anyone, around the house, car, or on the go with you.”
2. BEST FOR EMERGENCIES: LighterBro Lighter Sleeve
Genius! This multitool incorporates all the features of a typical multitool into a lighter sleeve. Now, you have the ability to make fire, in addition to being ready for almost anything, thanks to the scissors, knife, bottle opener, and micro Phillips head screwdriver (size 000 for delicate repairs on eyeglasses and small electronics like phones) cleverly built into the LighterBro. Buy now.
Rave Review from a DIYer: “This is great for everyday carry or to keep in your bug-out bag. The blade is very sharp, as advertised, plus the end of the blade can be used as a flathead screwdriver, sharp spring-action scissors, and handy tiny Phillips head screwdriver. The LighterBro can also open any beer/soda bottles with ease. I would definitely recommend this item for anyone who carries a regular sized Bic Lighter, especially anyone who is a prepper/survivalist.”
3. BEST FOR PAINTING: Hyde Tools 17-in-1 Painter's Multitool
Painting is a complex job that can involve a lot of scraping, nail-pulling, and can-opening, among other tasks. This multitool aims to lighten your load by anticipating all of the steps necessary in a typical project and equipping you with just about everything you'll need along way. The lightweight carbon steel blade-which shaves loose paint, spreads putty, and cleans out cracks-features additional distinct edge profiles that serve as tools for removing nails, cleaning rollers, opening cans, and cracking open bottles. All the while, the handle of the tool stores four different screwdriver bits, specialized tools for spray guns, and a scribe for setting nails. Buy now.
Rave Review from a DIYer: “I just bought a new house and am in the process of painting 90 percent of the inside. This stays in my back pocket the entire time! I've used it for opening cans, scraping rollers, applying spackle in a pinch when I'm stuck on a ladder, stripping old paint globs on trim, pulling nails, and even opening beer bottles.”
4. BEST FOR EVERY DAY: Victorinox Swiss Army Midnite Manager @Work
The most famous multitool in the world-once used as a survival tool for soldiers-now includes an extra for the digital age: a removable 16GB USB flash drive for USB-C or USB-A ports. With its other practical features-a LED light, ballpoint pen, small blade, scissors, bottle opener, Phillips screwdriver, second screwdriver, wire stripper, and nail file, all on a key ring-the Swiss Army offers something for everyone. Buy now.
Rave Review from a DIYer: “This medium-sized multitool fits on my keys and can be carried every day, yet you almost never notice it. The Swiss army knife has a fair amount of options for its size. The dual USB-C & USB-A flash drive is awesome if you have one of the new MacBook Pro's and not all of your other devices support USB-C. This is an excellent addition to anyone's keychain.”
5. BEST FOR KEYCHAINS: Leatherman Micra
Leatherman has been at the forefront of multitool design since Tim Leatherman created his first “pocket survival tool” in 1983. This keychain-sized version-which squeezes in scissors, Phillips and flat head screwdrivers, a knife, bottle opener, nail cleaner, nail file, tweezers, and ruler-stays true to the neatly-folding design of the original Leatherman, while splashing it with your choice of four bright new colors. Buy now.
Rave Review from a DIYer: “I would highly recommend this pocket tool to anyone who is looking to save space but requires a durable product. I personally bought this one for a survival tin, but I also keep one in my glovebox and briefcase. The scissors have a strong resistance and allow for a superb cut. The other tools also come in handy quite a bit: short/sharp knife, nail file, flat/Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener, and tweezers. This tool even has a keychain and a basic ruler on the backside. Plus, I cannot stress how small this tool is when completely folded down. I've carried it in my fifth pocket and didn't even realize it was there. If you're an avid outdoors person, an urban warrior, a traveler, or a parent that can't be burden down by carrying a full-sized Leatherman, then this is the best choice out there.”
6. BEST FOR WALLETS: Wallet Ninja
Do you always find yourself needing a multitool at moments when you aren't carrying one? The solution might be to keep this credit card-sized tool in your wallet at all times. Made from heat-treated steel, the Wallet Ninja is strong, rustproof, and downright reliable whenever you need to use one of its 18 features. Believe it or not, the card packs in the power of six wrenches, four screwdrivers, four openers (letter, box, can, or bottle), two rulers, a fruit peeler, and a cellphone stand. It's just bound to come in handy one day. Buy now.
Rave Review from a DIYer: “I wouldn't believe how many times I find myself using this tool to go and do everyday tasks. This tool works great and fits in my minimalist wallet perfectly. And, it is made of thick enough steel so that, when actually working on a project with this multitool, you won't have to worry about it breaking and wishing you used a normal tool. I feel confident in this tool and its construction.”
7. BEST TOOLBOX SUBSTITUTE: Sheffield Premium 14-in-1 Multitool
This multitool offers just what most others are missing-a hammer. Even better, the head of the hammer actually does the work of two additional tools; its halved design enables it to be used as pliers or as wire cutters. Eight more tools fold right into the handle-large and small slotted screwdrivers, a Phillips head screwdriver, knife, serrated knife, bottle/can opener, wire stripper, and a soft file. If you're not very handy and rarely take on projects around the house, this popular 14-in-1 may be the one and only tool you need.Buy now.
Rave Review from a DIYer: “Very handy especially for emergencies. I bought this for my freshman daughter to have for an emergency toolkit, and we began using it almost immediately on dorm move-in day. This is definitely something I will order again for myself to keep in the car. I have full-size tools in the garage, but it's always nice to have something handy when you are out and about and have a need.”