all things multi-tool
Tim Leatherman created the world’s first pliers-based multi-tool in 1983. Before then, existing multi-tools like scout-type knives or Swiss Army knives were very limited in function. In fact, it was a trip across Europe that inspired Tim to create the original Pocket survival Tool. Tim realized that he needed more than what was available at the time.
Since 1983, Leatherman has been innovating multi-tools for decades (40 years and counting). But almost all of our multi-tools start with a pair of pliers and include various sizes of screwdrivers, openers, and other implements. And almost all of them include at least one blade. We designed some multi-tools with specialized features for specific industries. Think First Responders and construction workers. Others multi-tools were created for specific activities. The Signal®, for example, is the perfect outdoor essential. And the MUT® is ideal for maintaining military gear.
We also offer simple multi-tools which we think of as a pocket-knife plus. The focus of these tools center on the blade, but have at least one other feature to make them more practical and useful. And in the case of the FREE® Series, they use an innovative magnetic architecture to make them move smoothly and open easily.
Not sure which one to pick? Or if you should have both? Read on to see the pros and cons of both types.
- Full-sized multi-tools come with a wide variety of blades, including straight edges, serrated, and dedicated saws. Plus, most of them are outside accessible which means you can open and lock the knife with your thumb, similar to a standard pocketknife, to make quick cuts easy.
- They include other crucial tools like pliers, bit drivers, and files.
- Carry them however you want with pocket clips, sheaths, or lanyards.
- There are a wide variety of styles, features, and price points.
- Full-sized multitools can be a bit heavy for some people to carry around every day.
- If it is your only cutting tool, a multi-tool might not be comfortable to hold in the hand for long periods of time for knife work.
- Fewer steel and material options.
- Some multi-tools have blades that are only accessible by opening the tool.