What is this little thing? A tiny multitool with big functionality

🕒 4 minutes

Let us define what is a multitool straight away not to confuse it with a Swiss army knife and other additional items. Even though it still includes a tiny knife, these tools are different.

The name multitool alone speaks for its extensive functionality. It is a set of every day, travel accessories or professional tools, gathered in one case. The main principle for model division of this item is the types of tools it includes according to the purpose of a specific multitool.

Multitool: photos, characteristics, and features

Visually, the product constitutes two hollow handles with tools hidden inside and out.


Due to their compact size, they are easy to take on a trip. Even the largest models are still pocket-sized multitools, as they easily fit in a jacket or bag. They are most commonly used for active recreation: they save the space in a tactical backpack and are very lightweight compared to the same but full-sized tools.

Some people state that due to the fact that multitools are small, they are not as comfortable and safe to work with and their construction affects the effectiveness of them. But this disadvantage is compensated by the universality of this product, and its ability to replace the entire highly specialized set of professional tools.

Multitool selection by type

There are models for general use (to perform everyday tasks) and specialized ones, created specially for a specific job or situation:

  1. The classic type is rightfully called a universal multitool, as it encompasses the most common tools like pilers, scissors, a mini-saw, a can-opener, and a corkscrew.
  2. Swiss multitools are enclosed in a case no larger than a bank card with a similar shape. The difference from the usual configuration is the location of the tools in the grooves of the plastic case. The set includes rulers, screwdrivers, a knife, tweezers, and scissors.
  3. Tourist multitools will provide you with a complete set of cutlery, as well as various openers (bottles, cans), a corkscrew, and other items needed for the trip. Often, they can be attached to a belt or backpack.
  4. A good multitool for a cyclist includes all the possible tools that may be needed when repairing a bicycle. We are talking about a variety of wrenches and screwdrivers in a wide range of sizes.
  5. The best military-style multitools in the world are produced by manufacturers with recognizable names: everything is subordinated to quality, regardless of the price. The basic equipment is a knife, nail files, pliers, as well as kits for disassembling and cleaning weapons.
  6. Multitools for an electrician have a distinctive feature: the handles have a dielectric cover, as the tool is designed for working with switchboards and wiring.

The complete list of options is much more extensive and covers more specific areas. Electric models, jump-starters as well as models for railroad workers and yachtsmen should be included in a special multitool category.

Is there a difference between multitools produced in China, the USA, or other countries?

The items from China and America represent the prevailing majority of products in this segment, although there are other countries:

  • America: Leatherman, Gerber;
  • Switzerland: Victorinox, Wenger;
  • America/Switzerland: Swiss Tech;
  • China: Ganzo, Ego tools;
  • Taiwan: Arhont.

China has long learned to make not only low-grade consumer goods, but also high-quality products. At the same time, the price will be significantly lower than that of an American or Swiss manufacturer.

How to choose the best multitool?

The instructions for finding the right option are simple:

  1. Decide on the purpose. If the goal is to make a good gift for a man who does not have any narrow speciality that requires a certain set of tools, choose the classic “every day” package.
  2. The size does not matter much. The majority of the offered models fit into a pocket. Men seldom carry full-sized bags, and the manufacturers know that. Compactness is the main distinctive feature of multitools.
  3. The manufacturer. If you want to impress someone not only with quality, but also with a well-known brand, it is best to select an American or Swiss multitool. The manufacturers from these countries are known by virtually all men.

Finally, all impact-cutting elements must be made of 420YC, 154 CM, S30V, or VG 10 steel (the most common designations).

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