Best multi tools for camping UK: leatherman or a swiss army knife? Expert reviews of the Wave+ to Victorianox

Best leatherman and multi tools for camping and everyday tasksBest leatherman and multi tools for camping and everyday tasks
Best leatherman and multi tools for camping and everyday tasks | Best leatherman and multi tools for camping and everyday tasks

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Headed off camping, or odd jobs around the house? An excellent multi tool can help with a host of tasks - here are the best of the current bunch

When out in the wild, you never know when a situation calls for a tool that you wouldn’t pack by default.

Whether it’s opening packets of food, carrying out a repair, attending to a medical emergency or something altogether far less serious, a good multitool, if used properly, can in many situations be your best friend when out and about.

Carrying separate knives, pliers, screwdrivers and other handy tools with you when you go camping or on an adventure can be tedious and a hassle at best and at its worst a bit of a liability.

They need to be stored, carried and looked after properly, and for many of us we simply don’t have space to fit them all in when we go out into the wild.

This is where a multitool comes in - they tend to feature a number of different tools in one handy package, and offer a great deal of versatility to allow you to carry out a number of different tasks seamlessly.

Best leatherman and multi tools at a glance

What to look for in a multi tool

Useful they may be, but there are a few things to think about. Firstly, the size and weight of the tool needs to be small enough to carry around in your pocket or on your belt.

Secondly, think about what you need the tools for and make sure you pick the right combinations and amount of tools available.

Thirdly, think about ergonomics - there are some great multi tools out there that don’t quite measure up to standards as they can feature confusing layouts and tricky opening procedures. Do a little research, and you can be sure of a multitool for life.

Get kitted out for your hiking and backpacking adventures.

We have detailed guides to the best backpacking tents for your adventures here. Want to steady your stride? These are the best walking poles for hiking.

Keep it comfy with the best camping folding chairs, and sleep on the best air beds around, as listed here. And keep things illuminated with a great camping head torch.

Here are the best multitools we’ve tested on the market at the moment.

Victorianox Trailmaster

Featuring 12 functions, including a screwdriver, a can opener and even tweezers, the Trailmaster is an excellent options amongst Victorinox’s wide range of original Swiss Army knives.

Almost any of their trail knives and tools guarantee good performance and durability, with well built handles, good grips and a sturdy, confidence inspiring feel in the hand.

We liked this one for its size as well as its versatility - it can easily slip into the pocket and is lightweight enough to carry around with you.

Leatherman Bond

With the DNA of the original Leatherman, the bond is a great multi-use tool that is just as at home with everyday tasks as it is with arduous work out in the field.

We liked the rounded grips that make it comfortable and usable, particularly with the pliers extended, which are also helpfully pointed so you can get a good hold on smaller items.

At a shade over 160g, we also think they’re a great lightweight option and we’d have no hesitation adding them to the tool belt.

Leatherman Free T2

The Leatherman Free option is a great tool for the space conscious among us. It’s made from 420HC, which is a high-carbon stainless steel that is corrosion resistant and can be easily maintained.

Additionally, for such a small package, the range of tools on offer is impressive, and we especially liked the pry tool which is designed to gain leverage between two items.

Largely due to its size, we also liked the fact that every tool can easily be operated with one hand.

SOG Knives PowerAccess MultiTool

With SOG’s patented gear-driven compound leverage mechanism, the PowerAccess can greatly enhance the torque applied with the pliers and makes light work of small items like nuts and bolts.

We liked the fact that tools that open outwards are available quickly when the tool is closed up, and that little details like the hex screwdriver features a magnetic tip.

With SOG’s pedigree making hardy, sturdy and durable multitools, we’d recommend this for the more arduous of tasks.

Victorianox Hiker Swiss Army Knife

Arguably the Hiker Swiss Army Knife is amongst the best value on this list, providing the build-quality and usefulness of the Victorianox range with a lightweight and portable option for days spent on the trail.

Billed as the perfect companion for a weekend outdoors, for less than £25 you can’t go wrong, with 13 functions and the brand’s customary life assurance against defects in material and workmanship.

Leatherman Wave+

Although it’s one of the more premium options available, there’s little to dislike about Leatheman’s Wave+ tool, and for many that need their multitool for work, you may never have to buy another one.

There’s no surprise that it’s the best-selling multitool worldwide, and with a bewildering 18 different locking tools there’s something available to get you out of most situations.

We liked the addition of the replaceable wire cutters in this model, and as with all Leatherman tools, they come in an attractive carry case with good instructions on care.

In most situations, the Wave+ is a tool that will last you a lifetime.

Mountain Warehouse 12-in-1 Multitool

On the other end of the spectrum, and if the budget’s tight, the 12-in-1 tool from Mountain Warehouse will suit most people well in a pinch.

Its stainless-steel construction feels strong and durable, and its light enough to keep in your backpack ‘just in case.’

The design and build-quality feels a little flimsier than others on this list, but for the price we were impressed by the tool’s functions that feature perfectly operable saws, screwdrivers, knives and a plier system.

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