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    5 Best Multi-Tools to Keep Handy for SHTF

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    5 Best Multi-Tools to Keep Handy for SHTF

    For preppers and survivalists, the multi-tool is a versatile companion that should never be overlooked. Designed with a multitude of useful functionalities, it can be a lifesaver when situations take a turn for the worst.

    This beginner-friendly article will explore the five best multi-tools to keep handy for any SHTF scenarios. Since each tool has distinct features and unique applications you'll want to choose one that is the best for your specific needs.  

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    What is a Multi-Tool?


    A multi-tool is a versatile, handheld device that ingeniously combines multiple tools into one compact design. It's like having a toolbox in your pocket. The concept of the multi-tool dates back to Roman times, with the first known example being a Roman folding tool that included a knife, spoon, and fork.

    Over the years, the multi-tool has evolved considerably. Modern iterations, such as the Swiss Army Knife, introduced in the late 19th century, have a myriad of tools like blades, scissors, screwdrivers, and even toothpicks, all neatly tucked into a pocket-sized gadget.

    The real revolution in multi-tool design came with the Leatherman “Pocket Survival Tool” in the 1980s. It offered an innovative and robust design that included pliers – a first for multi-tools.

    Today, multi-tools come in a spectrum of configurations, catering to a wide array of uses from everyday tasks to specialized activities like camping, fishing, or surviving in the wilderness.

    As to why you'd want one – the answer is simple. A multi-tool is an all-in-one solution that's ultra-portable and extremely practical.

    Whether you're opening a can, tightening a screw, or cutting through a cord, a multi-tool provides the utility you need to tackle a wide range of tasks efficiently. It's a must-have item for anyone who values preparedness, resourcefulness, and convenience.

    The Top 5 Multi-tools for SHTF

    Picking the right multi-tool is largely dependent on what you need it for. Here are 5 of the best examples that you should consider adding to your preparedness kit.

    1. Leatherman Wave+


    The Leatherman Wave+ is a commonly recognized name in the world of multi-tools. It's known for its sturdy design and a wide range of 18 tools. This compact piece can be a practical solution for various tasks, from minor repairs to outdoor survival needs.

    What it includes:

    • Needlenose and Regular Pliers: Perfect for holding small objects or for precision work.
    • Hard and Regular Wire Cutters: Useful for cutting through different types of wire.
    • Wire Stripper: Helpful when you need to strip the insulation from electrical wires.
    • 420HC Stainless Steel Knife and Saw: Both are very sharp and perfect for cutting and sawing tasks.
    • Spring-action Scissors: For precise cutting needs.
    • Ruler, Can Opener, Bottle Opener, Wood/Metal File: These tools are handy for a variety of everyday tasks.

    Pros and Cons:

    The Wave+ shines in its comprehensive tool selection and high-quality build, which makes it a good option for both everyday carry and more intense outdoor activities. However, its compact design can make some tools hard to reach, and it can be a bit heavy for some people's liking.

    2. Gerber Center-Drive Plus


    The Gerber Center-Drive Plus is a worthy contender in the multi-tool market, known for its innovative center-axis driver that opens to align like a real screwdriver, yielding maximum torque and rotation. It also comprises a full suite of 16 tools in a sleek design.

    What it includes:

    • Center-Axis Bit Driver: This innovative driver functions like a real screwdriver, providing superior torque.
    • Spring-loaded Pliers: Helpful for holding objects securely.
    • 420HC Stainless Steel Knife: A robust knife for various cutting tasks.
    • Serrated Blade, Saw, Bottle Opener, Can Opener, and Pry Bar: Versatile tools for diverse needs.
    • Awl, File, and Ruler: Useful for detailed jobs and measurements.
    • Scissors: For precise cutting needs.
    • Wire Cutters and Wire Stripper: Essential for electrical work.

    Pros and Cons:

    The Center-Drive Plus's standout feature is its innovative center-axis driver, which provides unmatched torque and rotation. It also has an array of tools to cover various needs. However, some users find the weight slightly heavy for everyday carry, and the price point might be a bit high for budget-conscious consumers.

    3. Leatherman Bond


    The Leatherman Bond is a tribute to the original Leatherman PST. While it lacks the bells and whistles of the Wave+ and Center-Drive Plus, it's known for its simplicity, affordability, and durability. Bond is an excellent option for those wanting a reliable, no-frills multi-tool.

    What it includes:

    • 420HC Knife: A high-carbon stainless steel knife that's easy to maintain.
    • Needlenose and Regular Pliers: For a variety of gripping and holding tasks.
    • Wire Cutters and Hard-wire Cutters: Useful for cutting electrical and hard wires.
    • Can and Bottle Openers: Ideal for camping and outdoor excursions.
    • Phillips Screwdriver, Medium Screwdriver, and Small Screwdriver: For all your screw-driving needs.
    • Ruler and File: Handy for DIY projects.
    • Awl: Useful for making holes or marking surfaces.

    Pros and Cons:

    The Leatherman Bond is appreciated for its simplicity and affordability, making it a good entry-level tool. It is relatively lightweight, which is ideal for everyday carry. The downside is it lacks some tools found in more expensive models, like scissors or a saw. Additionally, some users have noted that the tools can be slightly difficult to extract.

    4. DeWalt MT16


    The DeWalt MT16 is a budget-friendly multi-tool that still delivers on quality. With its 16 different tools, it's a practical option for those who need a reliable, versatile tool for everyday use without breaking the bank.

    What it includes

    • Spring-loaded Pliers: For efficient gripping and manipulation.
    • Wire Cutter: Handy for electrical projects and tasks.
    • Hand Saw: Ideal for woodworking and outdoor tasks.
    • Bottle Opener: An essential tool for camping and outdoor activities.
    • Phillips Screwdriver and Two Flathead Screwdrivers: Useful for diverse fix-it tasks.
    • Knife: A durable blade for various cutting needs.
    • Ruler and Level: Perfect for precise measurements and alignments.

    Pros and Cons:

    The DeWalt MT16 is celebrated for its durability and wide range of tools, making it an excellent choice for handy individuals. The spring-loaded pliers and reliable knife are particularly praised. This sturdiness comes with an increase in weight, however, which might not appeal to those looking for a lightweight tool for everyday carry.

    5. Leatherman Charge+ TTi


    The Leatherman Charge+ TTi is a high-end multi-tool that combines practicality with sophistication. As a top-tier tool, it boasts 19 versatile features, making it a comprehensive solution for professionals and DIY enthusiasts who require a robust and reliable tool.

    What it includes:

    • Needlenose and Regular Pliers: For precision and general use.
    • Cutting Hook: Ideal for safely cutting seatbelts and other materials.
    • S30V and 420HC Knives: High-quality, durable blades for various cutting needs.
    • Wire Stripper, Crimper, and Cutters: Essential for electrical tasks.
    • Saw and Scissors: For woodworking, crafting, and general use.
    • Can and Bottle Openers: Handy for camping and outdoor adventures.
    • Screwdrivers and Files: For woodworking, metalworking, and general repair tasks.

    Pros and Cons:

    The Leatherman Charge+ TTi is lauded for its top-quality materials and wide array of tools. Its titanium handles and S30V knife set it apart from other models, offering unmatched durability and cutting performance.

    This high-quality tool comes with a higher price tag, making it less accessible for those on a tight budget. It is also considered a bit heavy, which might not be ideal for those seeking a lightweight everyday carry.

    What to Look for in a Multi-tool

    Choosing the right multi-tool requires careful consideration of several factors which determine its efficiency, durability, and practicality. Here are the key factors you should consider when purchasing a multi-tool:

    • Quality of Materials: Look for multi-tools made of high-quality, durable materials that ensure longevity and reliable performance.
    • Size and Weight: Consider the compactness and weight of the tool. If you plan to carry it daily, a lightweight and compact tool is ideal.
    • Tool Variety: Evaluate the range of tools included. Ensure it contains the tools you most frequently need.
    • Price: The cost may reflect the quality of the multi- tool. Determine your budget and find a balance between cost and quality.

    When choosing a multi-tool, it's about finding a balance that suits your needs. Ultimately, the best multi-tool is the one that you find useful, reliable, and convenient to carry.


    To wrap things up, multi-tools like the Leatherman Charge+ TTi exhibit the importance of quality, functionality, and practicality. High-quality materials contribute to durability, while the variety of tools determines their versatility for various tasks. It's essential to pay attention to the size and weight if the tool is intended for everyday carry.

    While price is a significant factor, it's crucial to balance cost with quality and necessity. The best multi-tool is not necessarily the most expensive or the one with the most features, but the one that serves your particular needs most effectively and reliably. Make your selection based on your personal requirements, budget, and the situations you anticipate encountering.

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