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best multi tool for hard use

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by benchmadefarmer, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. benchmadefarmer


    Jul 16, 2018
    hello everyone this is my first post as I am a new member. I wanted to see what everyones opinion would be on a good multi tool as I'm looking for a new one. I have a leatherman charge tti and really love all the features. when I bought it it was the only tool that fit the bill for me as having interchangeable bits is quite useful in a pinch on our farm machinery. I have had a few issues and have returned it for repair and keep breaking it its a matter of time before I snap the pliers in half. I am a hard user as I am constantly working on farm machinery and use it to ply beat and squeeze everything imaginable. I also don't like how the blades are positioned on the inside as I have slipped off of what I'm squeezing before and ended up with some pretty nasty blood blisters where the back of the blades pinched the inside of my fingers. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated !
  2. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I generally prefer the Victorinox multi-tool (pliers based). The SOG multi-tools are very strong also and I have one of their tools that I use for work stuff. Can't say I use them as hard as you do. I would tend to keep a small tool box in my vehicle to quick access if I were in your shoes and use regular tools.
  3. Dean51

    Dean51 Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 30, 2014
    I think you have to realize it's a multitool, and therefore a compromise. Any multi is going to suffer if abused the way you describe. The leatherman surge is a large solid tool but still has limits. Multitools are handy but have limits.
    I suggest a stash of dedicated tools.
    jeepin likes this.
  4. mnblade


    Feb 7, 2000
    Just carry a pair of heavy-duty pliers and a SAK.
    WinchesteRalox and Ramrodmb like this.
  5. A.L.


    Jun 27, 2007
    I would buy dedicated pliers (such as Knipex's) and make a leather belt sheath or have one made. It doesn't take that much more space or weight on your belt.

    As far as the blades in the handle go, I highly recommend Victorinox SwissTool spirit. The blades and tools are very well nested in the handle.
    mnblade and hugofeynman like this.
  6. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    Just like a pistol is what you use to fight your way back to your rifle, a multi-tool is what you use to fight your way back to your tool box. The Supertool 300 might be more to your liking, but I think that its more likely that you just dial back your expectations on how heavy you should go with the tool. The good news is that you will only need two Leatherman's, one for while the other is out for repair. While I don't advocate destroying tools just because you can, that warranty can be relied on.
    shinyedges and mnblade like this.
  7. Mora2013


    Dec 1, 2013
    I’m going to agree with dean. Sounds like you need a dedicated set of tools with duplicates. If you’re using the tools everyday in known locations, not only are dedicated tools more efficient for the job, your body will thank you for increased ergonomics.
    jeepin likes this.
  8. benchmadefarmer


    Jul 16, 2018
    I guess I should've told everyone I have a full fledged service truck and am a snap on tool junkie. sometimes in the field you simply can't make it to a dedicated tool and have to use what you have on hand. I bought a Gerber center drive today, it was a hard decision between it and the surge, so ill probably end up owning both of them.
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Maybe you need to consider modifying your habits a bit and carry some most used tools in a tool bag and use the multi-tool as a backup. A small pair of pliers is a very handy thing to have with you and generally better than most multi-tool pliers.

    Gerber multi-tools are just about the last on my buy list or just before some of the no-name multi-tools.
    jeepin and Steely_Gunz like this.
  10. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    As some have alluded to ... if you are breaking a Leatherman Ti or Leatherman Wave ... not sure a multi tool is the right tool for the job ...

    of all the multi tools I've used Leatherman are by far the strongest I've ever used.
  11. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    Totally get what you are saying with this. Carry the multi, use it, and just accept that while it will help sometimes, its not going to always be enough. Like anything else, sometimes the right tool is the one in your hand, and sometimes there is no substitute.
    benchmadefarmer likes this.
  12. hexenjager

    hexenjager Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2016
    Hey, @benchmadefarmer. I'm a rancher and I know what it's like to have some little snafu on the wrong side of the field from all the right tools. A quick and dirty fix with a multitool is often enough to save you a long walk back to get your field truck and, if you're out there alone, another walk to get all your stuff driven back to the right end of the field.

    Personally my choice for the job is the full size Swisstool. I carry a plus version so, while it doesn't have a built in bit driver, it has a separate bit driver that carries in the belt pouch and I find that better for my uses. There's also some things about the design of the Swisstool itself that I like better than anything else I've tried so far.

    It does sound like you may use yours very hard more often than I do. I just got done trying a charge tti for a few months and I didn't experience any failures. I also didn't have anything really outside of normal use come up for those months either, plus I also carry a pair of ceetee pliers on my belt as well.

    I hope you can find just the right tool for your needs.
  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Wishing you much luck and good service with your new tool.
  14. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    I'm a contractor, and I get it. Sometimes having a multi-tool in your pocket is all you have to work with. I have been very pleased with my LM Super Tools. I've got the 200, 300, and the Rebar. Short of sheering a driver tip, I haven't broken a LM yet.
  15. Frailer

    Frailer Gold Member Basic Member Gold Member

    Oct 25, 2009
    I keep a set of the smallest Knipex cobra pliers (model 87 01 125) in my bag, and they have proven themselves on more than one occasion to be capable of performing much bigger jobs than their small size would lead one to believe.

    Weighing a scant 3 oz, anyone who needed ready access to pliers could carry these in a pocket with ease.

    Since discovering this wonderful contraption I’ve eschewed all pliers-based multitools.
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I agree with you generally, but hanging a Knipex pliers on my key ring is a bit of a pain. It will be very hard to replace my LM Ps4 Squirt. But I like small pliers a lot. I am a big fan of the Sears RoboGrip pliers even though they rust too darn easily.
  17. Scott321


    Jul 20, 2016
    Personally, if I'm in going to a site where there is a probability of needing tools, I keep a small Canvas tool bag (about the size of a pop can; available at most hardware stores) in my work bag with a minimal set of real tools. What's nice, is that I can slide that soda pop sized bag into a water bottle pouch on my backpack or workbag, or even use a carabiner to secure it to some Molle. That being said, the Siwsstool Spirit is lighter and thinner than the Charge (no replaceable bit driver though), the pliers isn't as thin at the tip (considering the cutout near the tip for 22's or w/e) , and the curved handles plus blade placement means you don't have worry too much about pinching your hand like on the Charge or Wave when the pliers slip.
  18. bikerector

    bikerector Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 16, 2016
    Might I make the simple suggestion of a 2nd multi-tool? A backup. It sounds like your multi-tools might as well be viewed as a wear item/consumable. I'll admit that my leatherman wave is by far the strongest I've had but the skeletool was easily the most portable while still have decent pliers so it may work as a nice backup.

    Is it the banging that is breaking them or simply using the tools really hard? I know the pliers on some of my multi-tools have enough flex to feel like they're going to break if squeezed really hard or torqued too much. Depending on your answer, maybe a flat piece of metal (for smashing) or dedicated pliers would be useful. If you carry a knife, maybe get something with a handle that can be used to hammer.

    There are some pocket pry tools that sounds like it would be worth your investment too. I think many can fit onto a keychain and it would free up the multi to do something different while prying with the tool.

    Fanny packs are pretty convenient for very portable work bags for bare essentials.

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