4 Things to Look for in Your Next Multi Tool

Keep these features in mind when you’re looking to replace or upgrade your multi-tool selection

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.

Wood Saw

Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier
Gerber Suspension Multi-PlierGerber

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.

Flame Thrower

LEATHERMAN - Wave Plus Multitool
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.

One-Handed Opening

Gerber Dime Multi-Tool
Gerber Dime Multi-ToolGerber

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.

Micro-Tools

LEATHERMAN Micra Keychain Multitool
LEATHERMAN Micra Keychain MultitoolLEATHERMAN

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.