What’s the best multi-tool?
I get this question a lot in my courses. Multi-tools, like knives, are all about personal preference and the nature of the tasks you are undertaking. My primary blade has always been a Swedish Mora but there are times when the various gadgets on a multi-tool are helpful. The one I use the most is the Wenger brand Swiss Army Knife, the Evolution model in particular. This has a handy folding saw along with the usual features (screwdriver heads, awl, tweezers, etc…). Mine cost around $25 and is a streamlined model of the older, bulkier versions of Swiss Army Knives.
I also have a Leatherman Wave in my truck’s glovebox for any vehicle issues or minor work. I have found that the most important feature for my line of work is the folding saw that these multi-tools provide. The other features are not as critical (of course, that toothpick feature is nice after a dinner of wild game….). There are so many variations of multi-tools so look at the features you need the most- do you really need scissors or corkscrew in the wilds?
These tools compliment my 4” fixed-blade Mora Knife that is my main “working” blade when teaching and when I am on the trail. I would recommend going with a reputable brand when purchasing a multi-tool like Leatherman, Gerber, SOG, or Swiss Army as there are many cheap spinoffs and the last thing you want in the backcountry is a critical tool that fails you.
Also, keep in mind that a multi-tool is not a knife it- is a multi-tool! So, carry a quality fixed-blade in addition to a multi-tool. The fixed-blade will allow you to split firewood, whittle, and handle the heavy-duty chores associated with wilderness living. Carry at least two blades and remember the motto with critical life-saving gear: “Two is one and one is none.”
Enjoy the Wilds!
Ancient Pathways, LLC