Shopping for a multi-tool is like everything else in life: It gets easier with practice. The more multi-tools you buy, the more you know what you prefer in a handy gadget. But what if you’re a greenhorn in this area? We’ve got your back. Here’s our guide on how to buy the best multi-tool for your needs. If you’re interested in multi-tools, but need some direction on what to prioritize in your purchase, read on.
How will you wear it? There’s not much point in a multi-tool if it’s not portable. Otherwise, why not just bring a toolbox? Larger multi-tools often come complete with their own carrying case, which may be looped onto your belt for easy transport. Keychain sized multi-tools, on the other hand, will slip neatly into your pocket with your keys. To get the maximum use out of your multi-tool, choose one you’ll be able to incorporate into your everyday get up.
Will you use it for repairs? If so, a full-sized unfolding multi-tool is a good choice. You’ll doubtless find many uses for whipping out your multi-tool, from figuring out why the dishwasher’s broken to tightening up that loose door handle. Not exactly the handy type? A small keychain style multi-tool may suit you better. Of course, as multi-tool enthusiasts, we can’t help but recommend everyone have one of each—an unfolding larger multi-tool as well as a portable keychain version.
What accessories does it have? More isn’t necessarily better. Some multi-tools offer only a handful of functions, but their mechanics are strong enough to sustain decades of use. Most people find a strong blade, a pair of scissors, and a pair of pliers the most handy for everyday use. Screwdrivers, corkscrews, and other accessories are less frequently used, but handy nonetheless. Also, consider which attachments you’ll want while on the job. Your professional network can clue you into the most important accessories for your work.
Overall multi-tool quality is shown through solid construction, no wiggly or loose components, smooth opening/closing action, and high quality steel blades. Ultimately, the most important question to answer when choosing a multi-tool is How will I use it? With the answer to this question in mind, you can quickly prioritize the most important features in your new multi-tool.