There are plenty of other multitools, and brands like Leatherman and Victorinox have mockups that make it hard to figure out exactly what to buy. Here are some others that I like.
Leatherman Skull Tool CX ($90): This one is slightly smaller than the Wave Plus, but it’s still a standard-sized multitool. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of our preferred offering, you can use a smaller gadget that still has basic, most-used tools like knives, corkscrews, can openers, drill drivers, and pliers.
Victorinox Swiss Tools ($169): Yes, I did double-think when I first saw the price tag. At 10 ounces, it’s also on the heavy side. But it’s beautifully made and I love the boxy straight edge handles. Sometimes it’s nice to have a tool that doesn’t try to look modern. very beautiful.
Leatherman Free P4 ($150): I’m taking a wait-and-see approach to this issue. Like most of Leatherman’s product line, the Free P4 is a quality, well-made tool, but is it worth the $40 extra compared to our top pick, Leatherman’s own $110 Wave Plus?The biggest difference is that the Free P4 has 21 tools, uses magnets to open and lock the tool, and a new mechanism to unlock and close the mini-tool without having to put your finger on the blade. The magnets don’t use as much force to initially open the tool as others. Thurman less, but once you start using the opening mechanic is Very Smooth and easy.
Vickers Handyman ($56): The Handyman is no bigger than a standard-sized multitool, but its weight comes from its height rather than its width, so it feels bulkier in the hand. It’s not unmanageable, but a four-layer Swiss Army Knife like the Deluxe Tinker offers a more portable option. For less money, though, you can get a decent range of tools, including a corkscrew, wood saw, and file.
Smallrig Universal Multitool for Videographers ($30): If you find yourself carrying around a lot of camera gear, like our product reviewer Eric Ravenscraft, you may want a multi-tool that can adjust and maintain your camera without the need for knives and pliers. The Smallrig consists of nine tools, including a variety of sized hex keys commonly used with cameras, a Phillips screwdriver, and a pair of flat-blade screwdrivers. Eric likes to use the wider flat head for tightening and removing tripod heads, which he says are often scraped and chewed on by smaller screwdrivers.
Leatherman Mikla ($57): Instead of pliers, the Micra opens into a pair of scissors. It feels like it’s made from cheaper materials, and the tool blade is thinner than the Victorinox Mini Champ, which is similar in size, purpose, and price. The spring-loaded mechanism is difficult to open and close without poking itself. But it has character and I love this little thing. It’s a great alternative to the Mini Champ, especially if you want a small multitool that revolves around scissors.
Leatherman Wingman ($70): Wingman feels great to use. No crazy textured surfaces and no plastic anywhere. The smooth scales give an old-fashioned feel, in a nice “remembering the time” way, similar to the Victorinox Swiss tool. It has 14 tools on its handle, all of which open and close like butter. The entire package is only 4 inches long when folded and weighs 7 ounces. At this price, it’s a great deal.
Leatherman Raptor Response ($80): Rather than taking the form of pliers, these medical scissors have blunt tips so medical staff can’t accidentally stab patients when trying to cut through clothing. The Raptor response is very niche. If you have to ask, then no, you don’t need it. But for an EMT or wilderness doctor on a backcountry trip, it’s a clever packing solution that includes an oxygen tank wrench and a ring cutter (for cutting narrow jewelry).