Best Camping Multi-Tool in 2021

Best Camping Multi-Tool in 2021

Published: Feb 12, 2021

Whether you're planning to go on a camping trip or preparing for an emergency, having a multi-tool can be a life-saver in any case. If you're looking to replace your old tool or buying a new one, you're at the right place. In this article, we'll show you the best.

A multi-tool is a great hand tool that is useful for many different occasions. This essential item is usually lightweight, compact, and is equipped with multiple tools that can help you in different situations.

In this article, you'll find the three best multi-tool brands on the market today — Leatherman, Victorinox, and SOG. We've chosen their best selling products and we'll review them one by one to see why hikers choose them over their competitors' products.

 

Go to Comparison Table

Best overall camping multi-tool

1. Leatherman Charge TTi

Leatherman Charge+ TTi

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 8.89oz

Closed Length: 4”

Open Length: 6.25”

Materials: 420HC Stainless Steel, S30V, Titanium

Scissors: Yes

Sheath Included: Yes

Despite all the multi-tools on the market today, nothing can beat the Leatherman Charge TTi with its overall comprehensive functions. If you're willing to spend a couple more bucks to get the best tools in a compact product, then this should be the multi-tool to choose from.

What we like

The Charge is equipped with a 4-in-1 plier selection. You'll find serrated jaws that help you twist and turn bolts and nuts, a broad set of wire cutters, an insert crimper, and a precise and tapered needle nose. With this set of pliers alone, you can already call this multi-tool an exemplary engineering marvel.

If you're a right-handed user, you'll be happy to know that you can access three different tools using your right thumb. On the edge of the tool, you'll find one straight blade, one serrated, and two other blades. On the other side of the serrated blade, you'll find a hook-shaped webbing cutter that is sharp enough to cut through a seatbelt (comes in very handy if you're in a dire situation with your car submerging in water).

Flip the edge of this multi-tool on the other side, and you'll find a pair of saws. The wooden saw is sharp enough to cut like your full-sized saw at home. The metal saw is good enough to complete some small tasks. Although, what makes this saw extra special is its features on the side.

It has a standard file on one side that can smoothen out metal and polish burrs. On the other side is a titanium side-plate diamond-embedded file that can sharpen carbide steel tools — and you'll rarely find this on multi-tools! These external tools are equipped with a liner-lock system.

The other tools would require you to open the plier before you can deploy it. Once you open it, you'll find a small pair of scissors, and next to it, a bit holder which you can use to secure a removable, double-ended screwdriver (one end is Phillips, and the other end is straight). We find that this tiny screwdriver is of great use if you're trying to repair eyewear while you're on the go, for example. Lastly, you'll find a straight screwdriver on the arm of the plier.

There are other small features in this Charge multi-tool. Among them are a driver and a thinner bit holder. Alongside the bit driver is a bottle/can opener. Other than that, we can say that all the tools that are included in this product are all functional and positioned properly to ensure that you'll be able to access them whenever you need them.

The only difference between the old version, the Charge, and the Charge is that it's now equipped with changeable wire cutter jaws, which are minimal and will be noticed by people who cut wires extensively.

What we like about the Leatherman Charge is that it has one of the best carrying cases. It comes with a nylon belt sheath that can be closed securely. There's an elastic pouch at the back of the sheath where you can put a sleeve for smaller tools. Also, there are pockets on either side of the pouch to carry additional accessories. Lastly, there's a keychain/lanyard loop and a removable pocket clip.

You also don't need to worry about how long you can use this tool because Leatherman is well-known for producing long-lasting products. Many Charge users have mentioned that they have been using the same multi-tool for more than 3 years, which means a lot when it comes to compact tools.

Although the Leatherman Charge TTi is not the lightest in this review, it's undoubtedly the most efficient and offers the most tools of all multi-tools on the market. If we compare it to all the additional accessories that come with the Charge , the competition would need twice the amount of tools just to match the Charge.

However, it's worth noting that left-handed users may have a hard time opening the tools because these are accessible by using your nails. 


 

Best Leatherman's multi-tools

2. Leatherman Skeletool CX

Leatherman Skeletool CX

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 5oz

Closed Length: 4”

Open Length: 6”

Materials: 154CM Stainless Steel, DLC Coating

Scissors: No

Sheath Included: No

If you only have a specific set of tools in mind and are looking for a lightweight multi-tool option, we recommend you to check out the Leatherman Skeletool CX. It's a full-sized tool that has fewer features compared to its competitors, but it has the most efficient and most practical design.

What we like

The Skeletool CX only has two main features: a bit driver and pliers with a blade. But if you look closer, you'll also find a wire cutter within the pliers, which is a big advantage compared to its direct competitors. If you open the lanyard/key clip, you'll have access to a bottle opener, which is a bonus point if you're planning to drink in the middle of nowhere.

This multi-tool is equipped with Leatherman's proprietary ¼” driver. You'll find that it comes with two double-ended bits that have four functions in total. On each side, there are Phillips and flat screwdrivers.

If you're looking to take on more sets of bits, you can purchase an upgraded pack that includes Torx style and hex drivers. However, if you do this, it's important to keep in mind that you would also need to purchase an adapter, so that you can fit in the receptacles.

We also love the fact that the Skeletool CX is ergonomically designed for you to be able to access the tools you need in one smooth move. You can access the blade just by using one thumb, which comes in handy if you're in a hurry. The pliers include an accent of carbon fiber that's comfortable to use. Lastly, the bit driver is located at the end of the handle, so it allows you to reach in further even when you're in tight spaces.

Another feature that we like about the Leatherman Skeletool CX is that, although it's full-sized, it only weighs 5 ounces. So if you're looking for a camping multi-tool that allows you to prioritize weight, compactness, durability, and portability, the Skeletool is ahead of the pack.

What we didn't like

Although it's not counted as a feature or function, it's worth noting that this multi-tool doesn't come with a sheath. Apart from this, the Leatherman Skeletool CX is an excellent tool at an affordable price.


 

3. Leatherman Wave

Leatherman Wave+

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 8.5oz

Closed Length: 4”

Open Length: 6.25”

Materials: 420HC Stainless Steel, Black Oxide

Scissors: Yes

Sheath Included: Yes

The Leatherman Wave has almost all the features you'll find in the Charge , at an affordable price. It provides a variety of carrying options, and you can add other accessories as well. It's not as lightweight as other multi-tools, but compared to its direct competitors, it has a massive selection of tools.

What we like

The Wave has everything you need s to fix your gears. Indeed, it features scissors, pliers, two blades, wire cutters, a bottle/can opener, two saws, and a good selection of screwdrivers. The blades are good enough to cut out small tasks, and the wire cutters are replaceable.

Just like the previous products, this multi-tool has Leatherman's multi-tool proprietary bit driver format, which means that you can equip it with a multitude of driver bits. Although, it's important to make sure that you purchase an adapter to ensure that you can use these bits.

There's a built-in flat-head screwdriver on the Wave . Also, the blade is made with 420HC stainless steel and a cordage cutting hook at the back. The external plates of the Wave are smooth and seem to be more comfortable than metallic materials.

At 8.5 ounces, the Wave is leaning toward the heavy side, but the nylon sheath and carrying options make this a portable option. Also, since it's made by Leatherman, there's no doubt that the quality is durable enough for the product to last for years.

We didn't find any downside to the Leatherman Wave . Because of its affordable price, great portability, and many exciting features, we truly believe it's worth every dollar you spend.


 

4. Leatherman Free P4

Leatherman Free P4

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 8.6oz

Closed Length: 4.25”

Open Length: 6.45”

Materials: 420HC Stainless Steel, Stainless Steel

Scissors: Yes

Sheath Included: Yes

Rumor has it that Leatherman receives a thousand repair requests during their warranty period to sharpen the blades and pliers, but comes with a side note “not to tighten the hinges”. Because of this request, Leatherman made an entirely new array of a multi-tools collection called “Free” that connects all the hinges with magnets.

What we like

The Leatherman Free P4 is somewhat your typical multi-tool with all the features you'll need to repair your gears. Although, it's worth noting that this tool doesn't have a bit driver, which means that you won't be able to equip it with different screwdriver sizes at all.

You'll find two knife blades in this tool; one is serrated and the other one is straight. There's also a pair of scissors that is a bit bigger than other scissors you'll find in Leatherman's products. Another feature you'll find is a separated can and bottle opener, but we noticed that the file is a bit smaller than the usual file you'll see.

Construction and quality is not a problem with Leatherman multi-tool products, but we are concerned with the ergonomics of the Free P4. Since the hinges are only connected using magnets, we're a little doubtful when these hinges will connect.

What we didn't like

The lacking bit driver is what turned us off on the Free P4, especially since, in almost all circumstances nowadays, you'll need a screwdriver to repair things. Additionally, since this tool uses a magnet for its hinges, we noticed that it picks up anything small magnetic.

We recommend the Leatherman Free P4 to people who don't need a screwdriver. We see this as a general-purpose multi-tool with basic features. The ergonomic design makes it portable and compact, making it ideal to bring anywhere with you.


 

Best Victorinox's multi-tools

5. Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X

Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 7.4oz

Closed Length: 4.1”

Open Length: 6.4”

Materials: 40HRC, Stainless Steel

Scissors: Yes

Sheath Included: Yes

The Victorinox Swisstool Spirit X is one of the best contenders in the multi-tools industry. Since Leatherman is the one who “invented” this category, Victorinox has decided to join in by upgrading their well-known Swiss Army knives. The Spirit X has many different features, but still has a long way to go for competing head-to-head with the Charge.

What we like

Even though Victorinox separated all the features on their catalog, you'd still find the common tools in this item. On paper, they listed 24 functions for the Spirit X, but compared to other products, it would just be around 3-4 features all-in-all.

The tools enumerated on the catalog are the following: a hard wire cutter, soft wire cutter, needle-nose pliers, wire stripper and scraper, wire bender, cable cross crossways cutter, 7-mm chisel, cable cover longitudinal cutter, and a crate opener. You'll find all these tools inside the jaws of the pliers, and folded on the arm of the metal.

Since the Spirit X is manufactured by Victorinox, who is well-known for also producing the Swiss Army knife, we have no doubt about the quality and durability of this product. We can confidently say that this multi-tool is smooth, polished, and offers precise tools that can help you with your tasks.

Also, we love the fact that the Swiss X is comfortable to touch, even though it's made with stainless steel. It's at least an ounce lighter than the products mentioned above, so it's also portable and easy to carry around.

What we didn't like

The only thing that we didn't like about the Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X is that there is no option to attach any external bits, meaning you can't use any sizes of screwdrivers on this tool.


 

6. Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD

Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 0.8oz

Closed Length: 2.3”

Open Length: N/A

Materials: 440A and 420 Proprietary Stainless

Scissors: Yes

Sheath Included: No

Although it's categorized between a knife and a multi-tool, we included the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD on our list because of its practical usefulness, portability, and efficiency with the features that it has. Not only that, but it's also the most affordable product in this review, making it easy for anyone who's looking for a simple tool to purchase one.

What we like

The Victorinox Swiss Army is well-known for its blades and knives, and the Classic SD is no exception. Even though its blade is short and slim, we find it suitable enough to be used for light tasks. Once you take it out, it might seem a little wobbly, but many users have been happy to know that it still has the same tightness in the hinge and sharpness, even after years of using it.

You'll find two more tools on this Victorinox multi-tool: the scissors and screwdriver/file. You can access all the features just by flicking it up using a fingernail, making it easily deployable. On the side of the tool, you'll also find an inserted pair of tweezers and a toothpick.

With this inexpensive multi-tool, you'll be surprised to know how durable it is. You can easily attach it to your car keys, making it portable and compact. Since it's just under an ounce, you won't notice it dangling beside your belt or inside your pocket.

The only thing that we didn't like about the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD is that it's not meant to be used for heavy-duty tasks. This is completely understandable, however, since the tools are small and it is very much affordable. There's no doubt that you can purchase another one just in case you lose it.


 

7. Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman

Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 3.4oz

Closed Length: 3.6”

Open Length: 4”

Materials: ABS/ Cellidor

Scissors: Yes

Sheath Included: No

If you're looking for a multi-tool that has all the basic features that you need in an ultra-lightweight category, then you should take a look at Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman. For just 3.4 ounces, you'll already get a handful of tools available at a compact size.

What we like

The Huntsman has two blades. One is light enough for you to carry simple tasks, while the other one is built to help you with heavy-duty tasks. In the middle of the tool, you'll also find a saw blade that might look like a flimsy one, but many users have mentioned that it can cut through rough items, like a full-fledged saw.

Beside the saw is a pair of scissors that can handle easy work like cutting through threads, blister packs, or wires of your tent. Other features you'll find in this Victorinox multi-tool are a multi-purpose hook, a can opener, a bottle opener, 3-mm and 6-mm screwdrivers, a reamer, wire strippers, a corkscrew, a punch and sewing awl, a tweezer, toothpick, and a key ring.

Just like the previous products, we have no doubt about the quality and durability of the Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman. If you're in need of a pocket multi-tool that is in the affordable price range, but still requires numerous features, this is your go-to product.


 

Best SOG's multi-tools

8. SOG Multitool with Pliers - PowerAssist

SOG Multitool with Pliers - PowerAssist

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 9.3oz

Closed Length: 4.6”

Open Length: 17.8”

Materials: 420 Stainless Steel, Ballistic Nylon

Scissors: No

Sheath Included: Yes

The SOG PowerAssist is one of the most sought-out multi-tools by expert handlers and people who prefer to have a portable dedicated toolbox by their side. SOG has done a great job at providing this tool with just the right features and ergonomics, making it almost comparable to big manufacturers' products.

What we like

The first thing that caught our attention on the PowerAssist is the geared pliers. Because of its ergonomic design, it can handle more force when you're trying to fix up some wrench tasks. Although, we don't encourage anyone to use these pliers for heavy-duty tasks that require full-sized pliers since it's not designed for that.

Inside the jaws of the pliers, you'll also find deep wire cutters that we find suitable to use, even with large sized wires. The pivots and handles all seem to hold up well. A lot of users even mentioned that they still haven't had any problem with the hinges. We also love the fact that the needle nose of the pliers comes to a tipping point, which makes it more precise than other multi-tools.

Right beside the pliers, you'll find a set of almost full-sized tools. There are two blades on one arm of the handle. One is a serrated blade, and the other one has a straight-edged drop-point cutter. Both blades are equipped with a lock system and can be accessed without opening the pliers.

SOG is proud to say that they are the only manufacturer to equip their multi-tool with an assisted-opening feature. If it's your first time purchasing a tool with this feature, you may find it difficult at first, but would, later on, realize that it's very handy at times.

On the other arm of the PowerAssist, you'll find a few more features, including a file, a pair of openers, a webbing cutter, a V-style cord, and a pair of openers. We also love the fact that it's equipped with a small Phillips head driver, which anyone could easily use.

In terms of durability and quality, the stainless steel used by SOG in their multi-tools seems to be good enough to last many years. Additionally, the spring-loaded handle cover and the blades can easily be replaced if ever you need a sharper one.

All the tools are secured with SOG's locking mechanism, which is why a lot of users choose to buy their multi-tools, time and time again. It's easy enough to open the tools that you need and close them when you're done.

What we didn't like

Out of all the products in this review, the SOG PowerAssist is the heaviest of all, which puts it down on our most portability list. Although, this is understandable since SOG takes pride in their tools being able to withstand heavy-duty tasks in a compact product.


 

9. SOG MacV 12-in-1 Multi-Tool

SOG MacV 12-in-1 Multi-Tool

Click to view on amazon.com.

Weight: 0.6oz

Closed Length: 2.5”

Open Length: N/A

Materials: 420 Stainless Steel

Scissors: No

Sheath Included: No

The lightest multi-tool in this review is the SOG MacV tool. Not only does it weigh just .6 ounces, but it's also the most affordable product on this list. You'll find 12 useful tools in this compact tool.

What we like

Compared to the previous products, the MacV doesn't have a blade nor a pair of scissors to cut through things. Rather, it has some efficient tools which you can use anytime you need them, and which you'll each find handy.

This SOG multi-tool is mostly comprised of different screwdrivers. It has a large flat screwdriver, one small flat screwdriver, a ¼” hex bit driver, a Phillips screwdriver, a nail puller, a cord cutter, a pry bar, ¼” wrench, ⅜” wrench, 5/16” wrench, a bottle opener, and a carbide sharpener.

Since it doesn't a blade, we find that the carbide sharpener comes in handy when you have a pocket knife that's starting to get dull. Many users have mentioned that, even after using it numerous times, it still does a pretty good job at sharpening your blades.

Apart from this, the MacV is your typical low-cost multi-tool that is equipped to help you with your typical day-to-day tasks.

What we didn't like

Many reviews stated that the black coating may tend to depreciate and fade over time. This means that you'll notice scratches on it. Also, we notice how soft the metal is on the bottle opener. Also, several reviews mentioned that the bottle opener bends if you use it with too much force.


 

Best multi-tool: Comparison table

Foto Multi-tool Closed Length Materials Scissors Sheath Included Weight
Leatherman Charge+ TTi

1. Leatherman Charge+ TTi

4”420HC Stainless Steel, S30V, TitaniumYesYes8.89oz
Leatherman Skeletool CX

2. Leatherman Skeletool CX

4”154CM Stainless Steel, DLC CoatingNoNo5oz
Leatherman Wave+

3. Leatherman Wave+

4”420HC Stainless Steel, Black OxideYesYes8.5oz
Leatherman Free P4

4. Leatherman Free P4

4.25”420HC Stainless Steel, Stainless SteelYesYes8.6oz
Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X

5. Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X

4.1”40HRC, Stainless SteelYesYes7.4oz
Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD

6. Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD

2.3”440A and 420 Proprietary StainlessYesNo0.8oz
Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman

7. Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman

4”ABS/ CellidorYesNo3.4oz
SOG Multitool with Pliers - PowerAssist

8. SOG Multitool with Pliers - PowerAssist

4.6”420 Stainless Steel, Ballistic NylonNoYes9.3oz
SOG MacV 12-in-1 Multi-Tool

9. SOG MacV 12-in-1 Multi-Tool

2.5”420 Stainless SteelNoNo0.6oz Weight

 

Reasons why you need a multi-tool for camping

Having a multi-tool by your side, whether you're camping or carrying your day-to-day activities, can be a big help in your tasks. Whether you're cutting outlines on your campsite or breaking a car window in an emergency situation, a tool with many features is handy at all times.

 

Here are some reasons why having a multi-tool ready anywhere you go can be a huge life-saver.

  1. Tightening or untightening screws

Cars, cooking stations, lights, and almost everything portable nowadays have screws attached all over them, which is why it's essential to have screwdrivers. Whether your multi-tool has a screwdriver attached to it or a nail file, these items can help you tighten or loosen screws.

  1. Removing splinters

Hiking can be a little tricky, especially if you're traversing new terrain. If you or your hike-mates ever encounter splinters, removing them can be a little hard, especially if you're doing it with your hands. But, a multi-tool can either provide a pair of scissors or tweezers that can help you get them off.

  1. Cutting clothes or threads

Speaking of scissors, this essential everyday tool can help you in almost everything you do. Whether you're cutting out an excess thread on your clothes, opening packages, or handling bandages in the middle of nowhere, having a pair of scissors or a blade is vital.

  1. Opening canned goods

Nowadays, you won't find that many canned goods in the stores, but if you're into week-long camping trips, then you're familiar with the importance of having canned goods in your storage boxes. However, some of these canned goods don't have an “easy open” option. Luckily, having a multi-tool with a blade or can opener can save you in such times.

  1. Seat-belt cutter or car window breaker

A multi-tool will not only help you with your day-to-day tasks, but also in emergency situations. Nowadays, many handy tools have specialized features that can help you cut through your seatbelts or even break a car window.

  1. Self-defense

Even if you haven't taken any self-defense lessons, having a multi-tool can help you in unwanted situations. Whether you use the blade, screwdriver, corkscrew, or even the nail file, you can use these tools to do some damages and protect yourself.

 

Final thoughts

A multi-tool can help you in everything you do. Whether you choose to buy from Leatherman, Victorinox, or SOG, all these brands can save you anytime you need them. Just make sure that you take good care of your tool to ensure that it won't hurt you, or that you don't lose it while you're out.


I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

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