It’s hard to overstate the value of a good multitool. Whether you’re venturing off the grid or making your way through another day at the office, you never know when you’ll need to make a quick repair, cut something, or turn a screw—just a few situations where a multitool really comes in handy. If you don’t have one in your arsenal, it’s time to remedy that situation.
There are many kinds of multitools on the market, ranging from pocket knives with a few accessories to more complex foldable examples, says Matt Schroer, Gearhead at the outdoor retailer Backcountry. To choose one, first consider the kinds of jobs you’ll likely need to tackle—cyclists might want a multitool with hex wrenches and other bike implements, for example. It’s also important to think about sizing: Do you want something small enough to fit in your pocket, or something bigger with more tools? No matter what your needs are, there are a few non-negotiables.
“Quality and durability are the first things I look for in a good multitool,” Shroer told Men’s Journal.
Aside from assessing the overall build quality, make sure that your multitool has at least a good knife and screwdriver.
“Since most multi-tools get pulled out of your pocket when something needs to be cut, a quality knife is crucial,” Schroer says. “After the knife, the next most frequent task I use my tools for is to tighten something, so both flathead and Philips screwdriver bits are essential.”
Finally, resist the temptation to opt for a multitool with lots of extraneous gadgets. You likely won’t use them, and they just add weight and bulk, says Schroer.
Ready to find the right one for you? Schroer provided his recs below (and we added one of our own). Whether you need to adjust the saddle on your bike or build a fire in the woods, these multitools can help you get the job done.
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