What’s The Best Multi-Tool to Buy For EDC

BEST Multitool knife

When it comes to multi-tools there are dozens, hundreds of available choices. The best part is, they can all be very useful for a variety of reasons and in a variety of situations. However, for survival, prepping and or simply having, is there one that can work as the go-to, all around best approach?

Rome had pocket multi-tools, however, modern times the trend really started with the Victorinox and Wenger tools as far back as 1884 and 1893. However the folding pliers included version was introduced by Tim Leatherman in 1983, the Leatherman Company called it a PST, Pocket Survival Tool.

Since this time, they have come up with dozens of iterations, amazing tools all of them. However, they are not generally inexpensive. In fact, most of the better Leatherman’s run $70 plus dollars, at least for the good ones.

The Leatherman Wingman is an amazing tool, small enough and light enough to keep in a go bag without being too much. After all, ounces are lbs. An alternative to the Wingman is the Gerber Suspension. Head to head there is not much difference. Here are the specifics.

Leatherman Wingman – Handle: stainless steel

Blade: 420 stainless steel
Blade Edge
Blade Finish
Blade Length: 2.6-inch
Open Length:
Closed Length 3.8-inch
Screwdrivers: small screwdriver, medium screwdriver, Philips screwdriver
Pliers: yes, needle nose
File: yes
Scissors: no
Wire Cutter: yes
Wood Saw
Bottle Opener: yes
Can Opener: yes
Other Tools: wire stripper, ruler
Weight: 7 oz
Recommended Use: being prepared for anything
[Click here to check current price and availability at Amazon.com]

Gerber Suspension – Handle and tools are stainless steel

Bottle opener
Can opener
Small flathead screwdriver
Large flathead screwdriver
Phillips screwdriver
Serrated knife blade
Fine edge knife blade
Saw blade
Wire cutter
Needle nose and standard pliers
Closed length 4 inches
Weight: 9 oz
[Click here to check availability and current price at Amazon.com]

Recommended use, preparedness

The Leatherman version is $40 and worth every penny, the Gerber version is $27 and also worth every penny. Dollar for dollar, I have and will continue to put the Suspension to the test and come out even or ahead. The grind that the screwdrivers have allows for easier work on firearms and larger items as well. Both are amazing tools, however, which one do you prefer?

In all fairness I have bags that have the Leatherman and bags with the Gerber version, this being said, I am really not a friend of Gerber, after all, most of their knives are made out of country these days. However, here is the thing, recent years have shown that China has learned that by outproducing us with QUALITY and quantity they can, in fact, bankrupt us as a nation.

So they do, if I was a fan of our government (which I am not) I may be apart of the crowd that refuses to buy anything not made in the United States, however, since I want the best equipment I can get for the least expense (I am not rich, taxed to death by the very government so many still support), I buy Chinese at times.

I love my country, I love the land I live on, but let’s face it, folks, our government, is way, way out of control. Anyhow, so what’s the best one?

I will leave that up too you, I have tested and used both and love them both. They work well when needed and I have never once regretted purchasing either. Here is my recommendation for the fiscally strapped as I am. Haunt your local pawn shops, you will find them, Leatherman / Gerber multitools, and Victorinox folders as well, and you can talk them down to a much less expensive approach.

I go in with $100 bucks and will line up a selection I know is worth more, but will lay that $100 bill on the counter or five $20 bills, this is more effective…and than start dealing. KNOW what you are going after, and what the prices generally are.

Then remember they offer less than a quarter of what these tools are worth, almost always they are well used, handle them, make sure they function, dirty is fine, after all, you can clean them up. I almost always walk out with around $300 retail for $100 cash. It’s called horse trading and it works!

Free the mind and the body will follow…

Jesse Mathewson

Arizona since 86', lifetime prepper, camper - criminal justice advanced degrees, numerous certifications, 1+ million rounds (shooting for decades), prior contractor, instructor, current volunteer, disabled, honest, father of two husband of one - all budget and prepared. Jesse Mathewson reviews because regular people need someone in their corner as well!

7 Responses

  1. Mr. Gray says:

    Amazing: “I am really not a friend of Gerber, after all, most of their knives are made out of country these days.“ Just last month you posted a piece by Jesse Matthewson extolling Morakniv products.
    The truth is that there are superb American-made knives which equal or surpass foreign-made knives, including Leatherman over Gerber or Victorinox.
    I think it’s important to promote American-made products as much as possible, especially these days, when our trade deficit is so high. Who’s going to save America’s economy, if not American patriots buying American-made products?
    Sure, you can get a great foreign blade. Buy American anyway. Be stubborn about it. Be obnoxious about it. Be a goddam asshole about it.
    Promote and buy American.

    • John R. Bowie says:

      You’re absolutely correct about buying American. And for those of you in TN, please vote for Marsha Blackburn in spite of what that sparrow legged, non song writing little twit Tailor Swift has to say.

  2. Greg M. says:

    Another good review Jesse. I am partial to the Leatherman, mostly because that is what I purchased first and used quite often over the last 30 years or so. I have seen the Gerber in action and it is a good tool too, it just is my personal choice is what it boils down to. I have several Leatherman multi-tools, one of which I dropped on vehicle batteries hooked up in series to create 24 volts. It landed on the positive of one battery and the negative of the other battery and welded half my tools into the body of the tool. What a shame. I still have it stashed in the tool box.

  3. Andy says:

    The Leatherman Surge model should be one for you to consider it has replaceable cutting blades on the pliers and also replaceable and additional saw blade length
    Very practical more practical than almost any of the multi tools out there please study the options

  4. John R. Bowie says:

    I’ve used & own both brands, all the way back to the ’80’s. I prefer the Gerber brand & also prefer their knives, which I’ve owned & used since the early ’70’s. I don’t own any that are made in China, all of mine are USA made, and it will stay that way. I bought all recent (past 5 or 10 years) purchases off of Ebay, and have an ammo can (yes, literally) full of military grade Gerber knives & multitools. The reason Gerber went off shore was because they were forced to, just like the tennis shoe companies, all thanks to Barry Soweto and his ruinous administration. This info can all be documented. My first multi-tool was issued & my first two Gerber Commando knives were earned, the Mark One & Mark Two daggers, loosely patterned after the WWII Commando Knives carried by the British Commando & 1st Special Service Force (US / Canadian). Nowadays, Gerber pocket knives & fixed blade knives are issued to some units, really heavy & well made. Don’t slam our companies for going off shore, they were forced to! I heard Sen. John Kennedy, R/LA, state the other night: “You can’t fix stupid, but you can vote them out.

  5. suz says:

    My husband gave me a Gerber multi-tool for Christmas 5 years ago. It failed miserably with the second use. I have had an original Leatherman, bought back in 1983, I love it, and have used it frequently ever since. Wouldn’t ever buy anything Gerber ever again. I do not mind spending a little more if I only have to spend it once. I am willing to pay for quality made equipment, especially if my life, or those of my loved ones, depends on it. To do otherwise seems pretty stupid to me.

  6. Jesse Mathewson says:

    Gray, context