Best Multi Tool for Hiking

Last Updated February 1, 2024

As an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves hiking, camping, RVing, and other adventures, I’m always on the lookout for gear that can enhance my experiences in the wilderness. One such essential piece of gear is a reliable multi-tool. After scouring the web and combining it with my personal experiences, I’ve compiled insights on the best multi-tools for hiking this year. Here’s my take on some of the top contenders:

Best Multi Tool for Hiking

Victorinox Hiker Multi Tool: The Ideal Companion for Hikers

Victorinox Hiker Multi Tool

Buy from Amazon

As an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast, I’ve found the Victorinox Hiker Multi Tool to be a dependable companion on my adventures. Its blend of practicality and durability makes it a top choice for anyone looking for a reliable multi-tool for hiking.

Handle and Ergonomics: The Hiker’s handle design, characterized by its iconic red plastic scales, is both lightweight and balanced. It measures around 3.5 inches in length and provides a comfortable grip, essential when exerting force during tasks like cutting or sawing. The rounded edges of the handle sit nicely in the palm, reducing fatigue during prolonged use. Its ergonomic design ensures a secure grip even in wet or slippery conditions, though extreme wetness can pose a challenge​​.

Tool Set and Versatility: The Hiker is equipped with a variety of tools tailored for outdoor activities:

  • Large Blade: Ideal for most cutting tasks, from slicing ropes to preparing food.
  • Wood Saw: Robust and effective for cutting branches and small logs, indispensable for firewood or clearing paths.
  • Screwdrivers: Includes a small screwdriver that also works for Phillips screws, handy for quick repairs.
  • Can Opener with Small Screwdriver: Great for meal preparations on camping trips.
  • Corkscrew: Perfect for enjoying a bottle of wine around the campfire.

Additionally, the Hiker includes reamer, tweezers, and toothpick, which are surprisingly useful for detailed work or personal care in the outdoors. The key ring feature allows for easy attachment to gear, ensuring the tool is always within reach​​.

Durability and Quality: The Hiker’s stainless steel construction, particularly the blades, is testament to its quality. It’s resistant to corrosion and wear, maintaining sharpness and functionality even after repeated use. The tool is designed to withstand harsh conditions, making it ideal for diverse outdoor environments. Its components, from blades to smaller tools, remain functional and intact, underscoring its durability​​.

Personal Experience: In my experience, the Victorinox Hiker Multi Tool has proven to be versatile and reliable. Whether setting up camp, preparing food, or making quick repairs, it’s become a staple in my gear. Its array of tools covers most basic needs one might encounter in the wilderness, making it a trustworthy companion for any outdoor enthusiast. The Hiker exemplifies Swiss engineering at its best, offering a range of functionalities essential for outdoor adventures​​​​​​.

The Victorinox Hiker Multi Tool is a must-have for hikers, campers, or anyone who enjoys being prepared for any situation. Its robustness, quality craftsmanship, and thoughtful design make it a valuable addition to your outdoor equipment.

Leatherman Signal Multi Tool: The Ultimate Outdoor Companion

Leatherman Signal

Buy from Amazon

As someone deeply passionate about hiking and outdoor activities, I’ve found the Leatherman Signal Multi Tool to be an indispensable addition to my gear. Its thoughtful design and array of features make it perfect for a wide range of outdoor scenarios.

Design and Durability: The Leatherman Signal is not just any multi-tool; it’s a survival tool tailor-made for outdoor adventures. It features a diamond-like carbon coating to prevent corrosion and abrasion, ensuring durability in the toughest conditions. The cerakote protective ceramic coating further strengthens it and provides resistance to wear. Its compact, folding body style with a one-handed design is incredibly convenient, allowing me to access and use the tools easily and safely. Plus, the integrated carabiner and removable pocket clip make it effortless to carry and quickly access when needed​​.

Versatile Toolset: The Signal boasts 19 different tools, providing a solution for almost any situation I encounter in the wild:

  • Pliers and Wire Cutters: Both needle-nose and regular pliers are built for precision and all-purpose use, respectively. The premium replaceable wire cutters are great for dealing with regular and hard-gauge wires.
  • 420HC Combo Knife: This knife’s serrated and straight-edged sides make it versatile for various cutting tasks.
  • Saw and Hammer: The saw is designed for efficiency with a pull motion, and the hammer comes in handy for tasks like pounding tent stakes.
  • Awl with Thread Loop: Useful for puncturing materials without damage and sewing when necessary.
  • Can and Bottle Openers: Essential for meal preparations and enjoying a beverage.
  • Bit Driver and Wrenches: These features enhance the tool’s functionality, making it easy to adjust bolts and nuts.

One unique aspect is the inclusion of a ferrocerium rod for starting fires and a safety whistle for emergencies, which are crucial for survival situations​​​​.

Personal Experience: Having carried the Leatherman Signal for various outdoor activities, I’ve found its functionality to be exceptional. The quick access knife is frequently used for tasks ranging from opening boxes to preparing food. The tool’s build is solid, and it withstands the rigors of activities like hiking and camping. The precision in deploying the tools, especially the pliers, speaks volumes about Leatherman’s attention to detail. For me, the Signal stands out as a favorite among the Leatherman tools I’ve owned, perfectly aligning with my outdoor lifestyle.

The Leatherman Signal is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Its robust construction, combined with a suite of practical tools, prepares me for anything from natural disasters to unexpected overnight stays in the wilderness. While it may not have spring-loaded pliers, which would make it even more perfect, it’s still the closest to Leatherman perfection in my book. For anyone engaged in outdoor activities like hiking, camping, fishing, or just wanting to be prepared for the unexpected, the Leatherman Signal is an excellent choice.

Leatherman Arc Multi Tool: A Comprehensive Review for Hikers

Leatherman Arc Multi-Tool

Buy from Leatherman

As someone who enjoys hiking and other outdoor activities, I’ve had the opportunity to use the Leatherman Arc Multi Tool extensively. This tool has proven to be an invaluable addition to my outdoor gear, and here’s my detailed take on it:

Design and Features: The Leatherman Arc immediately impresses with its design. It deviates from the traditional Leatherman finishes by combining stainless steel and black oxide into a striking, high-contrast package. It’s built off the P4 FREE platform, offering one-handed, fidget-friendly operation, which I find extremely convenient. The star of the show is its 2.8-inch MagnaCut steel, modified drop-point blade, renowned for its corrosion resistance, edge retention, and toughness. The blade is not only aesthetically pleasing with its black finish but also functional with its thumb stud, a significant upgrade from traditional nail nicks. The Arc also includes a 20-tool swappable driver, featuring a variety of implements like a mini-bit driver, multi-edge file, saw, spring-action scissors, medium flat-head screwdriver, awl, bottle and can opener, pry, and an assortment of crimpers, cutters, and wire stripper​​.

Ease of Use: The Arc’s one-hand operability is a major advantage, especially when multitasking or in situations requiring immediate attention. The magnetic locking mechanism, part of Leatherman’s FREE® technology, ensures that the tools deploy effortlessly and lock securely in place during use. This combination of ease of use and secure locking makes the Arc not just a tool but a reliable companion in various outdoor scenarios. The ergonomics of the tool are also noteworthy. It’s balanced and comfortable in hand, which minimizes fatigue during prolonged use or when exerting more force​​.

Durability: The Arc is made from high-grade stainless steel, with 420HC and 440C varieties, ensuring robustness and quality. It features DLC (Diamond-Like Coating) for added corrosion and wear resistance. This coating not only enhances the tool’s look but also its durability, which is essential for outdoor use. Its weather-resistant qualities make it suitable for a variety of environmental conditions, and the tool’s design allows for easy cleaning and maintenance​​.

Practicality: Despite its comprehensive toolset, the Arc is surprisingly compact and fits comfortably in my pocket. It’s a versatile tool, covering a vast range of functions and replacing several individual tools I would otherwise need to carry. The removable pocket clip and the included nylon sheath add to its portability and convenience​​.

Price and Value: The Leatherman Arc is priced at around $230, which may seem steep at first glance. However, considering its advanced materials, durability, and extensive range of tools, the price reflects its value as a long-term investment for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s not just a purchase but an investment in a versatile, durable, and reliable tool that offers significant long-term value​​​​.

The Leatherman Arc stands out as an exceptional multi-tool for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its blend of advanced design, ease of use, durability, and practicality makes it an essential piece of gear for anyone serious about their outdoor activities. The price, while significant, is justified by the quality and range of functionalities it offers, making the Arc a worthwhile investment for the long run.

Leatherman Skeletool Multi Tool: A Hiker’s Companion

Leatherman Skeletool

Buy from Amazon

As a hiking enthusiast who’s always on the lookout for the perfect balance between functionality and portability in multi-tools, I’ve found the Leatherman Skeletool to be a remarkable option. Here’s my in-depth take on the Skeletool, based on personal experiences and comprehensive reviews.

Design and Practicality: The Skeletool stands out with its sleek and lightweight design, making it perfect for everyday carry and hiking. Its smooth angles and long curves are not just about good looks; they contribute to its functionality. The cutout steel handles are not only aesthetically pleasing but also help reduce weight, making it one of the lightest multi-tools on the market. Despite its compact size, the Skeletool doesn’t compromise on the quality of tools it offers​​​​.

Toolset: The Skeletool features a limited but highly effective assortment of tools. It includes:

  • Pliers and Wire Cutters: The four-purpose pliers are versatile, and the wire cutters are quite capable, though they’re not spring-loaded.
  • Knife Blade: The Skeletool boasts one of the best knife blades I’ve encountered in multi-tools. It’s sharp and features both a serrated and normal cutting surface, which locks into place for safety.
  • Large Bit Driver: The bit driver is well-designed, space-saving, and holds bits securely. The tool comes with two double-ended bits, providing a total of four bit ends, which are useful for a variety of tasks.
  • Bottle Opener and Carabiner: The bottle opener is efficiently designed, and the carabiner, although small, is a handy addition for attaching the tool to a backpack or belt loop.

User Experience: The Skeletool fits comfortably in the hand and is a pleasure to use. It’s slightly curved and thin, falling right into your palm. The tool is remarkably light yet feels solid and robust. Despite its minimal toolset, each tool included is of high quality and performs exceptionally well. The blade is accessible from the outside of the tool, allowing for one-handed operation once broken in. However, it’s worth noting that the tool can feel a bit stiff initially and requires a break-in period.

Suitability for Hiking: For casual hikes or trips not too far from civilization, the Skeletool is an excellent choice. It’s light enough to carry without noticing but still packs the most commonly needed tools. However, for more remote hiking or camping, where a wider array of tools might be required, its limited toolset could be a drawback. It’s perfect for those who prioritize weight savings over having tools that are only occasionally needed.

Durability: The Skeletool is made from quality materials, including a 420HC stainless steel blade, and is backed by Leatherman’s standard 25-year warranty, ensuring reliability and longevity.

The Leatherman Skeletool is a fantastic tool for anyone who values having a basic set of tools on hand without the bulk and weight of a full-sized multi-tool. Its design, quality of tools, and lightweight make it a great choice for everyday carry and for those who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking. However, for those in need of a more comprehensive toolset, other options might be more suitable. Overall, the Skeletool strikes an excellent balance between functionality, portability, and aesthetics, making it a valuable addition to any hiker’s gear​​​​.

Victorinox Swiss Card Lite Multi Tool: A Hiker’s Essential

Victorinox SwissCard Lite

Buy from Amazon

As an avid hiker who appreciates the utility of a good multi-tool without the bulk, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the Victorinox Swiss Card Lite. This innovative tool combines the convenience of a credit card-sized gadget with the functionality of a traditional Swiss Army knife, making it an ideal companion for both everyday use and outdoor activities like hiking.

Design and Features: The Swiss Card Lite’s design is a marvel of efficiency. It’s compact, fitting easily into a wallet, and offers a surprising array of tools. This multi-tool includes a letter opener that doubles as a small emergency blade, efficient scissors, a pressurized ballpoint pen, a stainless steel pin (which I’ve also used as a SIM card ejector), a ruler in centimeters and inches, a magnifying glass, a combination screwdriver, an LED light, tweezers, a toothpick, and a nail file. Each tool is detachable, enhancing ease of use and handling compared to fixed-tool multi-tools​​​​.

Practicality for Hiking: While on the trail, the Swiss Card Lite has proven invaluable. The LED light and magnifying glass are handy for map reading and navigation, particularly in low-light conditions. The tweezers and scissors come in useful for first aid situations, such as removing splinters or cutting medical tape. Its lightweight and slim profile mean it’s there when I need it, without weighing down my pack.

Everyday Use: In daily life, the Swiss Card Lite is just as impressive. The blade, while not as sharp as a dedicated knife, is useful for opening packages or cutting tags off new gear. The pen is a godsend for those moments when I need to quickly jot down notes or fill out forms. Its compact design means I can carry it in my wallet, ensuring it’s always at hand for those unexpected moments when a tool is needed.

Durability and Quality: The build quality of the Swiss Card Lite is what you’d expect from Victorinox – robust and reliable. The stainless steel tools resist corrosion and wear, while the ABS/cellidor body strikes a balance between lightweight design and durability. This robust construction suggests that the Swiss Card Lite is a tool that will accompany me on many adventures for years to come.

Value for Money: Priced around $40, the Swiss Card Lite is an investment in quality and versatility. Considering Victorinox’s reputation for high-quality tools and the Swiss Card Lite’s array of functions, the price is justified for those who value compactness and practicality in their tools.

Other users have echoed my appreciation for the Swiss Card Lite, particularly noting its convenience for everyday tasks and its utility as a part of their everyday carry. The tweezers and scissors have been highlighted for their usefulness, and while some users have noted the LED light is not a substitute for a dedicated flashlight, it’s sufficient for quick tasks. The general consensus is that the Swiss Card Lite is an excellent tool for those who prioritize versatility and portability​​.

My experience with the Victorinox Swiss Card Lite has been overwhelmingly positive. Its blend of functionality, compact design, and durability makes it an excellent tool for both everyday use and outdoor adventures. For anyone who values the convenience of having a practical toolkit on hand without the bulk, the Swiss Card Lite is a must-have.

SOG MacV Tool Multi Tool: A Hiker’s Compact Ally

SOG MacV Tool

Buy from Amazon

As a seasoned hiker, camper, and outdoor enthusiast, I’ve come to appreciate the value of having a versatile, lightweight tool on hand. The SOG MacV Tool has been a game-changer in my outdoor adventures, offering a unique combination of functionality and portability.

Design and Versatility: The SOG MacV Tool’s design is both practical and innovative. It boasts a selection of 12 tools, each serving a specific and useful purpose. Among these are a bottle opener, cord cutter, carbide sharpener, wrenches, hex bit driver, and screwdrivers. Its compact size and intuitive layout mean I spend less time fiddling with the tool and more time using it effectively, even when wearing gloves.

Practical Features for Hiking: The features of the MacV Tool that stand out for hiking include:

  • Bottle Opener: After a long hike, there’s nothing like easily opening a chilled beverage with this well-designed and robust opener.
  • Cord Cutter: Ideal for cutting through paracord when setting up camp or opening packages, its sharpness and ease of use are impressive.
  • Carbide Sharpener: A unique feature for hikers who carry knives or other sharp tools, it’s invaluable for quick, on-the-go maintenance.
  • Wrenches and Hex Bit Driver: While they may not replace a full set of tools, these features are capable of handling basic tightening and loosening tasks, which is convenient during outdoor excursions.

My Personal Experience: In my use, the cord cutter has been exceptionally handy, efficiently slicing through paracord and tough packaging. The screwdrivers, both large and small flatheads, have been my go-to for tightening loose screws on gear. The bottle opener enhances outdoor relaxation moments, turning a simple action into a smooth experience. The knife sharpener keeps my blades ready, and the wrenches and hex bit driver add a level of convenience for bike adjustments and minor repairs.

Travel-Friendly: One of the MacV Tool’s standout features is its travel-friendliness. Being TSA-friendly, I can take it on flights without issues, ensuring I have a reliable tool on all my adventures.

Room for Improvement: While the SOG MacV Tool is a fantastic tool, there’s room for improvement. The precision of the wrenches could be better for more exact tasks. The design of the Philips head screwdriver could be enhanced for a more secure fit with larger screws. The pry bar’s effectiveness is limited due to the tool’s compact size, and the durability of the carbide sharpener could be improved for long-term use.

Comparison with Other Keychain Multi-Tools: Compared to other keychain multi-tools like the Leatherman Micra, Gerber Dime, and Leatherman Style series, the SOG MacV stands out for its distinctive design and lightweight profile. While the Leatherman and Gerber tools offer a wide range of functionalities, the SOG MacV excels in portability and is an excellent choice for those who prioritize ease of carrying without the need for a blade or pliers.

Overall, my experience with the SOG MacV Tool has been overwhelmingly positive. It proves to be a versatile, reliable, and indispensable tool for various scenarios, particularly during outdoor activities. Its design, compactness, and useful tool array make it a top choice for anyone looking for an efficient multi-tool for everyday tasks and outdoor adventures. Despite areas for improvement, the MacV Tool remains a top contender in the multi-tool market for its unique design and practicality​​​​​​.

Leatherman Wave Plus: The All-Rounder

The Leatherman Wave+ Multi Tool

Buy from Amazon

The Leatherman Wave Plus is crafted from high-quality stainless steel, giving it a robust and durable build. This construction quality ensures that the tool can withstand heavy-duty jobs, a vital feature for any outdoor tool. The stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, making it ideal for outdoor environments where it might be exposed to moisture or harsh conditions​​​​.

Size and Portability: One of the key factors that make the Wave Plus ideal for hiking is its compact size. At just 4 inches long when closed and weighing around 8.5 ounces, it’s perfectly sized for carrying in a pocket, attaching to a backpack, or storing in an RV without taking up much space. While it’s a bit bulky, it’s not to the point of being a dealbreaker​​.

Tools and Functionality: The Wave Plus houses 18 tools, including needlenose and regular pliers, wire cutters, a variety of screwdrivers, scissors, an 8-inch ruler, and two knives – one serrated and one straight blade. The inclusion of both a serrated knife and a straight blade is particularly useful for hikers, as it provides versatility for different cutting tasks you might encounter on the trail, like cutting rope or preparing food. The saw, with its open-tooth design, is efficient for cutting branches or small logs for campfires. The fact that you can access and use these tools with one hand is a significant advantage when you’re multitasking or in a situation where one hand is occupied​​​​​​.

Customization and Warranty: Leatherman offers the option to customize the design and color of your Wave Plus. This feature might not directly impact its functionality, but it does allow for a personal touch, which I find appealing. Moreover, the Wave Plus comes with a 25-year warranty, ensuring long-term reliability and peace of mind​​.

Practical Experience: I’ve found the Leatherman Wave Plus to be a trusty companion on my hiking trips. The variety of tools has been incredibly useful for unexpected repairs and daily tasks. The scissors are notably efficient and the file and knives maintain their edge well. The replaceable wire cutter is a standout feature, especially considering its durability. However, it’s worth noting that the tool can feel a bit heavy in the pocket during long hikes, and it takes some time to break in initially. But overall, for its price, functionality, and quality, it’s a tool I wouldn’t want to be without on my outdoor adventures​​​​​​.

The Leatherman Wave Plus is a multi-tool that excels in both versatility and durability. Whether it’s for hiking, camping, or general outdoor use, it’s a tool that confidently meets a wide range of needs. Its combination of size, build quality, and the array of tools it includes makes it an essential item in my outdoor gear.

Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman: The Compact Choice

Victorinox Huntsman Multi Tool

Buy from Amazon

As an ardent hiker and outdoor aficionado, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with various multi-tools, and the Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman stands out as a compact and versatile companion for my adventures. This multi-tool is not just a gadget; it’s a reliable partner for longer treks and hikes, thanks to its array of practical tools.

Construction and Design: The Huntsman is a classic Swiss Army knife, known for its robust build and high-quality stainless steel components. It’s a perfect blend of functionality and aesthetics, available in classic colors like red and sapphire. The polished Cellidor handle material adds to its durability and sleek design, making it a stylish and practical choice.

Array of Tools: What truly makes the Huntsman indispensable is its comprehensive set of tools, designed to cater to a variety of outdoor needs:

  • Large and Small Blades: The two blades, one large and one small, are perfect for a range of tasks, from slicing through ropes to preparing meals. Their sharpness and durability are remarkable, handling tough materials with ease.
  • Screwdrivers: It includes both Philips and flathead screwdrivers (large and small), proving useful for tightening gear or performing quick repairs.
  • Can and Bottle Openers: Essential for any outdoor excursion, these tools are handy for meal prep and enjoying a well-deserved drink after a long hike.
  • Reamer and Wire Stripper: Though used less frequently, these tools are lifesavers in specific situations, like making holes in leather or canvas and handling electrical repairs.
  • Scissors: One of the most used tools, the scissors are surprisingly robust for their size, great for cutting fishing lines or medical bandages.
  • Multi-purpose Hook: This tool’s utility extends beyond carrying parcels; it’s useful for lifting hot items off a fire or pulling threads through fabric.
  • Wood Saw: Effective for sawing through small branches, this compact saw is surprisingly powerful for its size and is perfect for light sawing tasks.

Practicality for Hiking and Everyday Use: The Huntsman shines in its practicality for outdoor activities. Its compact size (91mm/3.5″ and weighing 3.5 oz.) makes it incredibly portable, easily fitting in a pocket or attaching to a backpack. The range of tools covers almost every basic need you might have on the trail, from preparing food to making quick fixes on gear.

Durability and Dependability: One of the most impressive aspects of the Huntsman is its durability. Despite regular use in various environments, the tools have maintained their functionality, showing little wear or corrosion. This longevity is a testament to Victorinox’s commitment to quality.

The Victorinox Swiss Army Huntsman is more than just a multi-tool; it’s a reliable companion for any outdoor enthusiast. Whether hiking, camping, or simply needing a dependable tool for everyday tasks, the Huntsman delivers versatility, efficiency, and durability. Its balanced mix of functionality, compactness, and ease of use makes it an essential item in my outdoor gear.

My experience with the Huntsman has been overwhelmingly positive, and I highly recommend it to fellow hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s a piece of gear that I’ve come to rely on, and I believe it’s a must-have for anyone who loves the outdoors.

Gerber Dime Multi-tool: Budget-Friendly and TSA Approved

Gerber Dime Travel Keychain Multi Tools

Buy from Amazon

As a hiking enthusiast who also values practicality and affordability, I’ve found the Gerber Dime Multi-tool to be an exceptional companion on my outdoor adventures. Let me share my personal experience and insights about this compact and budget-friendly tool.

Compact and Lightweight Design: The Gerber Dime is a keychain-sized tool, extremely lightweight and compact. It’s only 2.8 inches when closed and weighs a mere 2.2 ounces. This makes it incredibly easy to carry, whether attached to my keychain, tucked in my pocket, or thrown in my backpack. Its small footprint doesn’t compromise on its utility, which is a big plus for me during hikes where every ounce counts​​​​.

Versatile Tool Selection: Despite its size, the Dime packs in a variety of useful tools. The needle nose pliers and wire cutter, although small, are handy for minor adjustments to gear. The fine-edge blade, while not the sharpest out of the box, is easy to sharpen and useful for small tasks like cutting string or opening packages. The scissors are small but effective for light cutting tasks. Additionally, the bottle opener and package opener are practical additions that I’ve found quite useful in various scenarios, especially when needing to open packed meals or drinks​​​​.

TSA Compliance and Travel Friendliness: One notable variant of the Gerber Dime is the Travel version, which is TSA compliant. This version replaces the knife blade with a blunt tip file, making it suitable for carry-on during flights. As someone who travels frequently, this feature adds an extra layer of versatility, allowing me to take the Dime on hikes in different regions without worrying about airport security​​.

Durability and Price Point: While the Gerber Dime feels a bit flimsy due to its thin metal construction, it’s important to remember that it’s a value-oriented tool. Its price point is significantly lower than many full-sized multi-tools, making it an excellent option for those who need a basic toolset without a hefty investment. The black oxide finish might show wear over time, but for its price, I find it to be a reasonable trade-off for the convenience and functionality it offers​​.

Ideal for Light-Duty Tasks and Everyday Carry: The Gerber Dime is perfect for light-duty tasks and everyday carry. Its array of tools, while not suitable for heavy applications, are sufficient for the small adjustments and quick fixes that are often needed on hikes or daily activities. It might not replace a full-sized multi-tool for more demanding tasks, but as a tool that’s always with you, its convenience is unmatched​​.

The Gerber Dime Multi-tool is a practical, budget-friendly option for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who need a compact tool for light tasks. Its TSA-compliant version further enhances its appeal for travelers. While it may not be the sturdiest tool out there, its portability, range of tools, and affordability make it a valuable addition to my hiking gear.

Gerber MP600 Multi Tool: A Rugged Companion for Outdoor Adventures

Gerber MP600

Buy from Amazon

As someone who frequently embarks on outdoor adventures, I’ve found the Gerber MP600 Multi Tool to be a reliable and practical choice. My experiences with this tool have been largely positive, highlighting its versatility and durability.

Design and Build Quality: The Gerber MP600 stands out for its solid construction. Unlike cheaper multi-tools, this model feels rugged and well-made, without any wobbly parts. One of the highlights is the one-handed plier deployment, which is quite unique and efficient compared to the traditional butterfly opening. The locking system is excellent, ensuring that the tools stay in place when in use.

Unique Features

  • Wire Cutters: The MP600 comes with the option of basic steel wire cutters or replaceable tungsten carbide blades. These blades are designed for cutting through tough wires and are more durable than traditional steel, although some users have reported issues with their brittleness.
  • Knife Blades: There are various options for knife blades, including straight, serrated, and combo blades. The blades are sharp and easy to maintain.
  • Screwdrivers: The base model includes one Phillips and three flathead screwdrivers of various sizes. They are functional for most common tasks, although they may not suit very small electronic screws.

Practical Tools for Hiking: While hiking, I’ve found the can and bottle openers to be quite handy. The file, though not the primary tool I use, has proven useful on several occasions. The lanyard ring is a small addition, but it’s useful for securing the tool, especially in environments where dropping it could be problematic.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: The one-handed opening pliers, durability, and variety of available variants make the MP600 a strong choice. It’s also made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Cons: The black oxide coating tends to wear off and can transfer to your hands. The lack of scissors on most models is a noticeable omission, and there are no outside accessible tools, which can be inconvenient.

Overall Experience: From my experience, the Gerber MP600 is a robust tool suitable for a variety of outdoor and everyday tasks. Its rugged design, combined with a set of essential tools, makes it a reliable companion for hiking, camping, and even daily use. While it may not have the largest number of tools compared to some competitors, its functionality and build quality are commendable.

The Gerber MP600 Multi Tool is well-suited for those who appreciate a sturdy, no-nonsense tool with essential functionalities. Its rugged design and practical toolset make it a valuable addition to any outdoor gear. While it has some areas for improvement, such as the brittleness of the wire cutters and the lack of scissors, its overall performance and reliability make it a worthy consideration for outdoor enthusiasts​​​​.

What to Look for when Buying a Hiking Multi Tool

Creating a buyer’s guide for the best multi-tool for hikers involves considering several key factors and features that enhance the tool’s utility and convenience in outdoor settings. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you choose the right multi-tool for your hiking adventures:

Key Factors to Consider

Weight and Size: For hikers, every ounce matters. A lightweight and compact multi-tool is essential for easy carry without adding significant weight to your pack. Look for a tool that offers a balance between functionality and portability.

Durability: Choose a multi-tool made from high-quality materials like stainless steel, which ensures longevity and resistance to corrosion and wear. The ruggedness of the tool is crucial for withstanding outdoor elements.

Ease of Use: Consider how easily you can access and use the tools, especially with one hand. Features like one-handed opening and intuitive layouts are beneficial. Also, tools that lock in place when in use provide safety and efficiency.

Versatility: A good hiking multi-tool should include a variety of functions to handle different tasks on the trail. However, avoid overburdening yourself with unnecessary gadgets.

Brand Reputation and Warranty: Opt for reputable brands known for quality multi-tools. A good warranty, like a lifetime guarantee, is a sign of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product.

Essential Tools for Hiking

  • Knife: A sharp, reliable blade is crucial for various tasks, from preparing food to cutting materials.
  • Pliers and Wire Cutters: Useful for repairs and handling hot items like a pot or pan.
  • Screwdrivers: Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers for gear adjustments.
  • Scissors: Handy for cutting bandages, tape, or clothing.
  • Saw: Useful for cutting small branches or making kindling.
  • Can and Bottle Openers: For opening food containers and beverages.
  • Tweezers: For removing splinters or handling small items.
  • Emergency Whistle and Fire Starter: Ideal for survival situations.
  • Compass: Some multi-tools include a small compass, which can be a useful backup to your main navigation tools.
  • File: For smoothing rough edges or maintaining equipment.

Optional Tools for Consideration

  • Carabiner Clip: For easy attachment to a backpack or belt loop.
  • Ruler: Useful for map reading and minor measurements.
  • Bit Driver: For more complex repairs, though not essential for all hikers.

Additional Considerations

  • Travel-Friendly: If you often fly to your hiking destinations, consider a TSA-friendly tool.
  • Customization: Some multi-tools offer customizable options, allowing you to choose the tools that best suit your needs.

The best multi-tool for hiking is one that aligns with your specific needs and preferences. Consider the type of hikes you usually embark on and the tasks you commonly face. Balance the need for versatility with the desire for a lightweight and compact tool. Quality, durability, and ease of use should be your top priorities to ensure that your multi-tool can reliably assist you on your outdoor adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions: Multi-Tools for Hiking

1. What makes a multi-tool ideal for hiking?

A multi-tool suited for hiking is lightweight, durable, and includes tools essential for outdoor activities. Key features should include a knife, pliers, wire cutters, screwdrivers, and perhaps a saw or scissors. It should be compact enough to carry easily without adding significant weight to your pack.

2. How important is the weight of a multi-tool for hiking?

Weight is a crucial factor for hiking equipment. A lighter multi-tool is preferable as it reduces the overall load, making it easier to carry on long hikes. However, this should not compromise the quality and functionality of the tool.

3. Should I choose a multi-tool with a lot of features or a simpler one for hiking?

Opt for a multi-tool that balances versatility with simplicity. While having many features can be beneficial, it often increases weight and complexity. Focus on the tools you are most likely to use while hiking.

4. Are there specific multi-tool brands that are best for hiking?

Brands like Leatherman, Victorinox, and Gerber are well-known for their quality and reliability in multi-tools suitable for hiking. These brands offer a range of products with various features to suit different hiking needs.

5. Can I take my multi-tool on a plane if I am flying to a hiking destination?

If you plan to fly, consider a TSA-compliant multi-tool. These tools typically exclude a blade or have a blade length within airline regulations. Always check the latest airline guidelines before traveling.

6. Is a waterproof or corrosion-resistant multi-tool necessary for hiking?

While not strictly necessary, a corrosion-resistant multi-tool is beneficial, especially if you hike in varied weather conditions. It ensures longevity and reliable performance of the tool.

7. How do I maintain my multi-tool to ensure it’s ready for hiking trips?

Regularly clean and lubricate the moving parts of your multi-tool. Keep the blades sharp and check for any loose components. After hiking, make sure to clean it to remove any dirt or grime.

8. What is the average price range for a good hiking multi-tool?

The price can vary widely based on brand, quality, and features. Generally, a good hiking multi-tool can range from $30 to over $100. Investing in a higher-quality tool can be more cost-effective in the long run.

9. Can multi-tools for hiking double as survival tools?

Yes, many multi-tools designed for hiking have features that can be useful in survival situations, like fire starters, whistles, and basic first aid tools like tweezers and scissors.

10. How do I choose between a knife-focused or plier-focused multi-tool for hiking?

Consider the activities you most frequently engage in while hiking. If you do a lot of trail maintenance or food preparation, a knife-focused tool might be more useful. For gear repair or fishing, a plier-focused tool could be more beneficial.


In conclusion, selecting the right multi-tool for hiking depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether it’s for general use, budget constraints, or specific activities like cycling or fishing, there’s a multi-tool out there that’s perfect for your outdoor adventures. Remember, the best tool is the one that suits your personal needs and enhances your outdoor experience.

Leave a Comment