Best Camping Multi Tool in 2020

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camping multi tool with several functionalities

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A multi-tool is one of the most essential items that you should bring with you when doing any kind of outdoor activity. If you don’t own one yet, then you’ll definitely benefit from this guide on how to find the best camping multi tool.

What makes a multi-tool so great is the fact that you can use it for a number of applications from cooking, fixing stuff to applying first aid. Most multi-tools are pocket-sized and allow you to perform all the functions of a screwdriver, pliers, saw, knife, and so on.

Aside from camping, you can use your multitool for other outdoor tasks around the house or when you’re out and about. The best part is that these multi-tools come with different features and are available in different types of designs.

Best Multi Tool for Camping

The key to finding a quality camping multi tool is to know what you’re looking for.

This implies being aware of the best options on the market and then making an informed choice based on that. A multi-tool can really come in handy when you’re setting up camp and all throughout your trip.

To help you find a quality multitool, we did some research and the following is what we found.

1. LEATHERMAN Surge Heavy Duty Multitool

This is a fantastic multi-tool from Leatherman. It’s called the Surge model and is designed to prepare you for anything that you might come across in the outdoors. It comes in a large size that makes it ideal for tasks that require a power-tool level of functionality.

This multi-tool comes with features such as multiple blades, massive pliers, a saw, awl, ruler, can and bottle opener, an electrical crimper, screwdrivers, wire cutters, and knives. One thing’s for sure; with this tool, no job is too big.

The best part is that all of these tools are easy to use and accessible with a single hand. You’ll be glad to know that the Surge Heavy-Duty Multi-tool comes with a 25-year limited warranty, as is the tradition with most Leatherman multi-tools.

This means you’ll be able to send it back to the company whenever you experience problems, and they’ll fix it for you at no extra charge. Plus, the repairs are done in the US, where the company’s products are also manufactured.

Pros
  • Comes with 21 built-in tools
  • It’s backed by a generous guarantee
  • Accessible tools
  • Can be opened with one hand
  • Portable size
  • Suitable for most outdoor applications
Cons
  • Scissors could be better

2. Gerber Center-Drive Multi-Tool

This is the best multi tool knife for camping from Gerber, as it boasts a relatively small size while packing a variety of useful tools in one neat package.

When making this tool, Gerber consulted with a lot of outdoorsmen, mechanics, contractors and even armed forces members to make sure that they’re not doing quantity over quality and that tools are as easy to use as they are varied.

After doing much research, Gerber then narrowed the list of tools to ones that met the common denominator to create the Center-Drive multi-tool. The great thing about this multi-tool is that it has all the tools you need and none of the ones you don’t. It’s not weighed down by useless “filler” tools and only comes with the primary features and tools that you’ll probably use regularly.

This well-designed multi-tool comes with a spring-loaded plier that slides out of the knife in an upward motion and you only need one hand to operate it.

It also comes with a large plain-edge knife that’s suitable for a number of different applications as well as a big screwdriver with its inward angle that enables you to rotate it on its center axis. The screwdriver even comes with replaceable bits which we think is just genius.

Pros
  • Proudly made in the US
  • Features one-thumb opening sliding jaws
  • Comes with a 3. 25-inch outboard knife made with full-sized 420 HC
  • Includes a black sheath and 12-piece standard bit set
Cons
  • The knife blade has a knack for just snapping off

3. LEATHERMAN Charge Plus TTi Titanium Multitool

If you’re a fan of the Wave+ model by Leatherman then you’ll love the Charge TTi. It’s made with high-end materials including high-carbon S30V steel which is what the main knife blade is made from.

This particular metal is known for its ability to effortlessly hold an edge while being corrosion resistant. You’ll be glad to know that all four of the external access tools measure just below 3 inches which is ideal for camping application. The saw will definitely come in handy when you need to cut medium-sized tree branches for fire or shelter building.

Another feature worth mentioning is the needle-nose pliers which are designed to grab things like a hot pot that’s cooking on the fire to pulling out a snagged fish hook. Then you have the cutting hook which is great for cutting packages open as well as cordage and fishing line.

But, our favorite tool in this particular model has to be the can opener which is very valuable when you’re car camping for example. This TTi titanium model comes highly recommended for camping.

Pros
  • Backed by a 25-year warranty
  • Comes with 19 useful tools
  • Constructed from rugged stainless steel
  • One-hand opening tool system
  • Replaceable wire cutters
Cons
  • It’s heavy

4. Victorinox Swiss Army Swisstool Spirit X

The Victorinox SwissTool SpiritX is the best camping multi tool knife for backpackers due to its compact size and ease of use. It offers 26 unique functions with features that include a metal saw, wood saw, a multipurpose hook, and even nose pliers.

The only complaint we have with regards to this multi tool is the fact that it doesn’t have a ruler, which often comes in handy when backpacking.

Otherwise, we’re quite impressed by the manufacturer’s ability to pack all of these different tools in a small and compact design. This is one of the most lightweight multi tools on this list and it even comes with a flexible nylon belt pouch for portability and easy travel.

Not only does the unique black finish on the burnished steel give it a posh look, but it also makes it corrosion-proof.

Pros
  • The tools are well-aligned
  • The knife, saw and scissors remain sharp for longer
  • It’s lightweight and easy to use
  • Easy to travel with
  • Comes with 22 functions
  • Made in Switzerland
Cons
  • The knife doesn’t lock

5. SOG Multitool with Pliers

The SOG Multitool is an intelligently designed model with a lot of functional tools that you’ll be glad to have on hand when you’re camping. It’s part of the Baton series and offers a slimmer and longer handle for ease of use.

You can attach it to a belt or slip it into your pocket. This multi-tool comes with all the necessities that you can think of including a tiny driver, a bottle opener, can opener, spring-loaded scissors, small and medium screwdrivers, as well as a plain edge knife. This is in addition to pliers that you can easily access by pulling it apart.

It’s worth noting that these are all lockable tools with foldable ends which means you’ll have full use of the handle which makes for added comfort and even torque.

Pros
  • Comes in four different styles
  • Offers a unique multi-purpose mechanism
  • Only weighs 6 ounces
  • Includes 13 essential survival tools
Cons
  • The quality could be better

6. Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool

The Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool is designed for a multitude of functions. It’s like a Swiss Army Knife, but better because this one is large enough to handle the demands of outdoor camping, including all the repairs that you might need to do.

On the face of it, this multi-tool looks like a regular Swiss Army Knife, albeit bigger and it’s encased in classic red ABS material for better durability. It comes with 31 different tools including flathead screwdrivers and tweezers as well as a compass, metal saw, and a 2.5-inch locking blade.

These are very useful for different camping applications, particularly the locking blade which can be used to whittle timber and to prepare dinner. Despite its multi-use tools, this multi-tool only weighs 5.6 ounces which is pretty lightweight for a tool that offers so much value.

Pros
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Trusted brand
  • Offers 31 different functions
  • Only weighs a lightweight 5.6 ounces
  • Durable construction
Cons
  • The tools are difficult to pull out
  • It’s pricey

7. Stanley 84-519K 12-in-1 Multi Tool

The Stanley 84-519K 12-in-1 Multi Tool is versatile as it’s useful. It’s on the more affordable scale so you wouldn’t expect much from it, but we were pleasantly surprised by what it has to offer.

The main attraction with this multi-tool is the pliers. But it also contains other useful features such as a screwdriver, jaw pliers, a saw, bottle opener, wire cutter, and knife. All of these are useful camping tools whose value cannot be overstated.

It’s worth noting that the Stanley 84-516K not only comes with 12 distinct tools but is also well-constructed from rugged stainless steel with a nylon holster that makes for easy handling.

Pros
  • Offers impressive performance
  • Made from rugged stainless steel
  • Well-priced
  • Offers an array of superb tools
  • Quality nylon holster
Cons
  • You need to activate the pliers before you can use any of the tools
  • The screwdrivers are useless

8. LEATHERMAN Signal Camping Multitool

The Leatherman company is one of the foremost manufacturers of multi-tools on the market, especially the pocket-sized variety.

They’ve been at it for decades making the best multi-tools around, including customized models for specialized applications.

This particular model is known as the Signal model and is designed mainly for camping. It comes with needle-nose pliers, a screwdriver, saw, and knife. It also comes with other outdoor survival tools that will come in handy for a lot of outdoor applications.

This multi-tool even comes with a carabiner for easy storage and hanging. It has a ferrocerium so you can easily start fires when necessary, and an emergency whistle as well.

Pros
  • Features a classic design
  • Ideal for camping applications
  • Easy to use
  • Tools lock in place for added safety
  • Made in the US
  • 25-year warranty
Cons
  • It’s not as durable as expected
  • Uncomfortable handle, especially when using the plier

How to Pick the Best Camping Multi Tool

Once you’ve figured out what your unique camping style is, this makes it easier to find a quality multi tool for camping according to your needs.

However, the easiest way to zero in on the ultimate choice is to consider variables such as the number of features, durability, weight, and price.

Functionalities

Part of what gives each tool its uniqueness is the number of functions that it offers. You want a versatile, multi-purpose multi-tool that will help you pitch your tent for Burning Man for example and comes with all the features needed to help you survive and thrive in the wild.

However, this also depends on what you’ll be doing while camping. For instance, anglers and hunters will require a multi-tool with strong scissors and a sturdy blade whereas a mountain biker will require mechanical tools.

If you’re an ultralight backpacker, then you might look out for a multi-tool that comes with small eating utensils.

Legality

The legality of a multi-tool is predicated on whether or not it contains blades. If your tool doesn’t contain a knife, then you have nothing to worry about.

But, since you’ll likely look for the most effective multi-tool for different purposes, then it’ll probably feature a blade or two.

Do your research on different multi-tool and try to find one that meets your needs without violating your state’s regulations.

Material

A multi-tool is one of the most utilized gear accessories.

That’s why it’s important to make sure that yours is made from heavy-duty, quality materials that can withstand the elements no matter what the weather is like.

The materials that it’s made for will largely determine the quality of the multi-tool. Stainless steel comes highly recommended for its ability to thrive in all types of different weather conditions, plus it’s long-lasting.

Size

Size is another important feature that you must consider. Keep in mind that you’ll be using this tool around camp so it shouldn’t be difficult to carry around. A heavy-duty tool with a bulky design can be a headache.

For best results, look for a compact multi-tool that you can easily transport here and there with little to no effort.

It’s even better if your multi-tool can fit into your pocket because then you can use it for a number of applications while canoeing, fishing and/ or hiking.

Weight

It doesn’t matter what your preferred outdoor activity is, it’s important to ensure that your multi-tool is lightweight, compact, and easy to travel with.

Some of these tools can weigh up to several pounds and the last thing you want (or need) is something that’ll weigh you down.

If all you’re looking for is a bottle and can opener, then you don’t have anything to worry about. But, high-quality multi-tools that offer a wide array of functions are often made from durable materials, which can weigh a lot. This is a small price to pay for features like a sturdy screwdriver tip or a strong saw blade.

Durability

Durable multi-tools are usually the ones that weigh more. But, if you want to use your multi-tool on the daily, then it should be formidable enough to handle the elements as well as the demands of camping life.

Make sure it’s made from rugged, long-lasting materials, and this goes for the D-ring link and carrying case that the multi-tool might come with.

The good news is that most of the options in our review list of the best camping multi tools are serious workhorses that are made from a combination of materials, from heavy-duty stainless steel to more lightweight and compact models. There’s something for everyone.

Usability

Ease of use should also be on your list of critical criteria when looking for a multi-tool.

You want a tool that makes it easy for you to access and use each individual component. Make sure that the tools that the blade comes with are easy to sharpen and keep that way.

A multi-tool should also feel comfortable to handle because you’ll probably use it for several hours during your trip like when setting up hammock straps. You want a seamless model that works efficiently and smoothly.

Price

There’s no denying that a multi-tool can retail for very cheap prices and you can easily find them at the checkout aisle of your local store or even online. However, this isn’t the price you should expect to pay for the best camping multi tool.

In fact, quality models typically cost upwards of $100 and can go up to $150! However, at this price range, you can expect to get a highly functional and well-made multi tool that comes with a versatile array of tools.

Keep in mind how often you plan to utilize your multi-tool, as a frequent camper will require a durable multi-tool that can last for a lifetime.

Otherwise, you can just as easily opt for an affordable multi tool to handle most of the outdoor work required, and there are plenty of well-known brands that offer decent multi-tools at this price range.

Types of Multi Tools

There are different types of multi-tools available on the market for different uses. Make sure the one you buy suits your own needs and purposes.

One-Piece Multitool

The one-piece multi-tool has a simple yet effective design with no moving parts. This is what sets it apart from other multi-tools on the market, and it’s so easy to use.

But, they’re not exactly suitable for more demanding tasks. But they will definitely come in handy for anyone who is looking for a discreet and easy to carry multi tool.

Pocket Multitool

As the name implies, a pocket multi-tool should be small enough to fit into your pocket.

This is the more traditional multi-tool size and it typically features all of the essential tools needed for camp life. Although compact the pocket multi-tool is often rugged and long-lasting.

Folding Multitool

The folded multi-tool has to be one of the most popular types we’ve seen yet. It has a distinct foldable design and a large size, which makes it possible to pack in as many different features as possible.

That’s why you’ll find that it comes with all types of tools including wire cutters, pliers, and knives. But, it’s not the most discreet tool.

Keychain Multitool

The keychain multi-tool is just as small and lightweight. In fact, it’s so small that it can be used as a keychain.

Its compact size means that it probably won’t fit a lot of tools and you might have to sacrifice some features. However, they often come with the bare essential tools that are needed for outdoor life.

Specialty Multitool

The specialty multi-tool is typically one that’s made for a specific climate or application. Most of them have simple features and are designed to be compact and easy to travel with.

Wallet Multitool

The wallet multi-tool might not be the most popular option but it has its uses. It can be used in place of a wallet when camping and it usually has enough compartments to keep your cash and cards.

However, it comes with unique functions and features as well such as a screwdriver, bottle opener and sometimes even a mini camping knife.

Final Thoughts

A multi-tool is one of the most indispensable tools that one should bring while outdoors. Most multi-tools are equipped with all the tools and implements needed to accomplish tasks related to camp life, whether you plan on fishing, hiking, climbing or canoeing while you’re in the wild.

The Leatherman Surge Multitool ticks all the boxes of what a multi-tool should contain. It comes with a wide array of features and is made from rugged materials.

Not only is it backed by a generous 25-year warranty, but this multi-tool is easy to use and it’s built to last. That’s why, in our opinion, it’s the best camping multi tool on the market.

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