This story was originally published by Outdoor Life.
Multi tools are go-to gear for every outdoorsman and they’re available with a wide variety of functions, and in varying sizes and weights. In addition to the usual knife blade options, pliers, bottle and can openers, screwdriver bits, and scissors, here are a few other attributes to look for in a well-rounded multi-tool.
Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier Gerber
A saw blade on a multi tool can be used for everything from field dressing game to building emergency shelter. Not all multi tools have this feature, but if you’ve ever needed a saw in the woods and didn’t have one, a full-function multi tool is a great way to make sure you always have that blade on hand.
Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool Leatherman
Some multi tools will throw a spark with a ferrocerium rod and others won’t. It requires hard steel and a square spine on the back of the knife blade, which should firmly lock to avoid accidental closing when scrapping the ferro rod or fire steel. Carry a bit of wet/dry tinder in your tool’s sheath and you’ll have everything you need for fire making in one versatile package.
Gerber Dime Multi-Tool Gerber
Not all multi tools are designed with one-hand operation in mind, but most can be handled single-handed with the right technique. They don’t have to be spring loaded to perform as such; they just have to fit your hand comfortably and offer a platform against which you can lever the tool open using your thumb.
Leatherman Micra Keychain Multitool Leatherman
A small “micro tool” is the best keychain you can own. The two most common types feature either a plier or a scissor as the main element. Some have both. All other things being equal, you’ll likely get more use out of the pliers than the scissors.