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Best MT to replace your EDC folder?

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by Practicoolio, May 29, 2019.

  1. Practicoolio


    May 29, 2019
    Anyone recommend a multitool that functions really well as a knife?

    I'm looking for something ideally in the 2.25-4" blade length range, deploys easily one handed, locks open, carries conveniently in pocket. I've disliked sheaths, yet, if a good enough tool exists, I would consider a well designed sheath. Deployment is the issue: I'm asking about a blade deployment much closer to a Spyderco than an Opinel. Hell, I'd be interested in one with an Emerson type wave feature. I'd like a blade fairly centered in a package that is reasonably ergonomic as well.

    I'm also interested in a keychain MT with a good knife. I lost a Gerber Dime, that had two good blades at a sweet tradeoff for size and weight. However they did not deploy easily. If the BL:OAL/OAW ratios are practical, .75" or even some kind of snaggletooth like the Dime is interesting.

    Some features I prefer:
    Leatherman style vs SAK or case.
    A small pair of scissors.
    A few different screwdrivers.
    Decent tweezers.
    I think a needlenose Vise Grip is one of the handiest things I reach for when my full toolbox is next to me, so I imagine that would be my favorite option for the centerpiece of a MT.

    I've owned and handled great multitools but on most, the knife is imo an afterthought. I'm interested in a great EDC knife which has a couple well designed practical tools as well.
  2. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    after trying some different brands and models ... the only two multitools I carry anymore are the Leatherman Wave or the Leatherman Ti Charge ...

    I've broken Sogs and others just trying to cut wire ... the blades aren't center on the Leathermans ... but they are easy open and close ... just my personal opinion.
    znapschatz likes this.
  3. znapschatz


    Jan 24, 2005
    I'll have to second this opinion. After years (decades!) of working with one or another another multi-tool, I've settled on a Ti Charge, closest to ideal of the current market. It doesn't check all the boxes, but comes close enough for me. It comes with a decent clip, but I'm having good luck with one of their current sheaths.
  4. Dfunk1210


    Apr 7, 2015
    Well if the knife is a priority, you should be looking at a Leatherman Skeletool. It is a Leatherman built around its knife. Probably one of the best knives on a Leatherman. It wont fill your need for scissors but it is compatible with Leatherman bits. And it has a pocket clip.

    Alternatively, if you need more tools than the skeletool offers, the Signal is a similar build. Keep in mind though that the Signal, like most leathermans are sheath carry tools as they are pretty heavy.

    As far as sheaths go, their new nylon snap sheaths are the best sheaths they’ve made.
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  5. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Absolutely none of them.
    Now Victorinox will sell you a very nice capable know that has some useful tools packed in, but that hardly counts as a multitool.
    It's probably not what you're looking for since its a knife first and foremost.
  6. Practicoolio


    May 29, 2019
    Erm... I own a Champ and I own a classic. I do not consider any SAK to be better than 3/10 as a knife - compared to the field, what's currently available.
    Poor edge retention, poor deployment, heavy, pricey. The shortcomings of the champ, in a scenario similar to my edc, are said to be what prompted an engineering student to found the Leatherman company.

    So if no current MT fits the bill... Does no one else desire such a knife or is it deemed impossible with current tech?
  7. Practicoolio


    May 29, 2019
    Thanks to all who are mentioning Leathermans. I will have to take a hard look at it, the reviews of the Skeletool sound very good.
  8. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I'm a traditionals guy, and in this realm any Victorinox model 3 layers or less is every bit as much of a knife as everything else.
    They cut above their weight, slice extremely well.

    I say it has to be a knife first to fit the bill of one and with that you have a knife with tools and not a " multitool ", a " multitool " is a pair of pliers first and in my opinion will never be as optimal to use than anything that's a knife first.

    That's what you get with everything on a multitool, but it's not like it's very practical to carry a regular version of a multitools implements besides a knife.
    A knife is pretty much the one function that's so easily practical to carry that there's pretty much no reason your knife should be what's on your multitool.
  9. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Spyderco Clipitool?


    Plus a SAK classic on the keychain?


    Those have no pliers though.

    You could also go with a SAK Deluxe Tinker but no file.


    Or a SAK workchamp. But these SAKs have no locking blade.

  10. Practicoolio


    May 29, 2019
    I like traditionals too, compared only to traditionals I'd rate victorinox much higher; I still have a problem with their steel.

    [QUOTE="Hickory n steel, post: 19035792, member: 446406"A knife is pretty much the one function that's so easily practical to carry that there's pretty much no reason your knife should be what's on your multitool.[/QUOTE]
    There's a pretty well publicized internet pundit named Sculimbrene who said something about his favorite MT being so good that sometimes he didn't carry a knife.

    He was my inspiration for this post.
  11. Practicoolio


    May 29, 2019
    Thanks Lapedog.
    I'll add the Spydie to the list of toys to get my hands around. I want to see how it feels in hand, the hump looks like it might be awkward.

    And your thoughts about the SAKs are where I'm leaning. If I can find a multitool with a handy utility knife, I might carry it with another knife.
  12. Pomsbz


    Jul 31, 2015
    I have a LM Charge AL which answers all your requirements pretty much.
  13. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    I would able to get along well with a Charge or Wave. The Skeletool has been a real pleasure to use and carry for over a decade. I don't edc a Surge because it's so doggone heavy. Great HD tool though if you want a tool with external blades.

    Im seriously considering a Signal. I may modify the blade, though. I have no need for it, but I like my MUT and would like a bit lighter set up.

    However, i usually carry a Rebar and a folder. If i dont have a folder on me, i can deal with the slow opening of the Rebar to get to the blade. I find good pliers and a few prying/driving tools more important suring my day to day than a knife blade. Honestly, I can't remember the last time i felt the need for small scissors. I know they are very important to many, but they are wasted space for my edc.
    paulhilborn likes this.
  14. Practicoolio


    May 29, 2019
    Good post thanks for opinions on those MTs
    Honestly my reason for prioritizing scissors:
    I break fingernails fairly often, it's great to quickly trim a hangnail and this is a decent part of why I like a file as well. Also, under certain conditions the skin right next to my fingernails tends to get peeled back to the quick and it is good to snip it off immediately so it doesnt get ripped up worse. Occasionally I have busted up my toenails and needed to do similar on my feet.
    Gerber Dime, Victorinox Champ or Classic all had a good iteration of both scissors and file. Not the manliest of reasons but there ya have it I need a manicure and pedicure kit. I'd like to roundtrip the Pacific Crest Trail in a continuous hike someday and adventures like that shape my edc.
    Steely_Gunz likes this.
  15. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Hey those are valid enough reasons to carry scissors:) My hands are generally so beat the hell that nothing short of a bench grinder will fix them:D
  16. Daedric Panther

    Daedric Panther Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2019
    To replace a primary EDC knife, I’d go either a Leatherman wave or Skeletool CX. Both have one hand opening, locking blades. The Skeletool CX model has the upgraded 154cm blade

    As for a keychain tool, the Leatherman squirt has really grown on me. I carry my keys on a carabiner at the 9 O’clock position on a belt loop, and I found the best carry system for a small multi tool is to have the tool on that carabiner, but not directly attached to my keys. When I need to start my pickup, I take the keys off the carabiner, but the carabiner itself along with the tool stay on the belt loop. That way when I go to use the tool, my keys aren’t constantly getting in the way.

    Sorry if that got off topic, just something I thought was kinda neat.
  17. Scott321


    Jul 20, 2016
    Hate to say it, but I gave up on carrying a MT with a great knife. IMO, even the "afterthought" knives on most MT's will do 99% of what people that purchase MT's really need a knife for. The main reason I keep a seperate MT and knife combo is because one handed opening and closing even a cheapie dedicated knife saves me about 2 seconds when I want to use a knife blade.

    That being said, of the MT's that I have (including many SAK's, LM, and a SOG) the few that I sometimes use without a separate dedicated knife are: 1. LM Crater, 2. Vic OHT, 3. LM Skeletool w/ zip tie mod. The LM Crater sees about 10 times the carry as the Vic, and the LM Skeletool has seen about 2 days of pocket carry over the last 5 years. Generally I keep a LM Juice and a primary EDC knife on me. The most spartan I've been in the last 10 years was a LM Squirt (w/ mini pliers and scissors) on the keyring plus some small primary knife in the back pocket.

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