Best Overall Multi-Tool
Leatherman Charge TTI
Our Editors' Choice Award goes to the Leatherman Charge TTI
. This dense piece of versatile equipment has a magical mix of tools in a functional design and is made of impressive materials. The blades are the best in our test while the titanium frame reduces weight. The Charge, at just about half a pound, is about average in weight for a full-size tool. However, being equipped to carry in a belt sheath, on a lanyard, or clipped to a pocket, it appeals to virtually everyone. Finally, Leatherman's proprietary low-profile bit driver, and the included selection of bits, virtually doubles the overall number of functions as compared to the next closest competitor in our test. The Charge TTI is a top of the line product. The Charge TTI is Leatherman's flagship product that pulls no punches in executing the best possible entry. Check out two additions to the Charge line of multi-tools, the Charge AL
and the Charge ALX
Best Bang for the Buck
Hybrid blade is also short
How does Leatherman do it? It's as if Ferrari made a $18,000 commuter car. The Leatherman Wingman
brings the manufacturer's long pedigree, quality craftsmanship, and excellent selection of functions to a rock-bottom affordable tool. The Wingman includes functions virtually none of the other tools feature. The return spring in the pliers reduces hand strain and increases efficiency in extended use, the integrated pocket clip keeps the device handy for those that wish to carry it this way, and the package opener is quirky but invaluable. The lone blade is made of mid-grade steel and features a hybrid straight/serrated edge, which will require regular sharpening. The straight portion is easily reconditioned, but sharpening serrations requires special techniques and tools.
Top Pick for a Heavy-Duty Tool
SOG PowerAssist S66
Built for heavy and regular usage
Leveraged pliers and assisted opening blades
Our Top Pick Award generally goes to a product that is unique in the field. We select a product that will excel for a specific application. During our testing, two stand out this way. The SOG Power Assist S66
is the heaviest in our test, and the most useful to the hard-working, regular user. The geared, mechanically enhanced pliers have considerably more holding power than all the others in our test. The assisted-opening blades wait right at your fingertips. The full-size phillips screwdriver bit is made of durable and hard tool steel, made for regular and extended use. Many of the individual blades and tools on the PowerAssist tool can be individually replaced. SOG is best known in military circles for their knives and weapon tools. The PowerAssist brings military precision to a civilian tool. This knife is also available in the sleek Sog Powerassist Black Oxide
for those looking for a matte black finish to their knife.
Top Pick for a Versatile Keychain Tool
Leatherman Squirt PS4
At the other end of the spectrum, and also earning Top Pick honors, is the Leatherman Squirt PS4
. This is the tool for you if weight and space are at a premium. Sporting an elegant and useful combination of tools, the Squirt will sit out of the way on your keychain until you need it. The blade is razor-sharp, the pliers grab with a strength that belies their tiny stature, and the file dresses nails just as well as it removes the burrs from a fork that got caught in your garbage disposal. The Squirt is smaller than most modern car opening remote controls, and therefore can go virtually unnoticed in your pocket or purse.