When it comes to multi-tools there are dozens, hundreds of available choices. The best part is, they can all be very useful for a variety of reasons and in a variety of situations. However, for survival, prepping and or simply having, is there one that can work as the go-to, all around best approach?
Rome had pocket multi-tools, however, modern times the trend really started with the Victorinox and Wenger tools as far back as 1884 and 1893. However the folding pliers included version was introduced by Tim Leatherman in 1983, the Leatherman Company called it a PST, Pocket Survival Tool.
Since this time, they have come up with dozens of iterations, amazing tools all of them. However, they are not generally inexpensive. In fact, most of the better Leatherman’s run $70 plus dollars, at least for the good ones.
The Leatherman Wingman is an amazing tool, small enough and light enough to keep in a go bag without being too much. After all, ounces are lbs. An alternative to the Wingman is the Gerber Suspension. Head to head there is not much difference. Here are the specifics.
Leatherman Wingman – Handle: stainless steel
Blade: 420 stainless steel
Blade Length: 2.6-inch
Closed Length 3.8-inch
Screwdrivers: small screwdriver, medium screwdriver, Philips screwdriver
Pliers: yes, needle nose
Wire Cutter: yes
Bottle Opener: yes
Can Opener: yes
Other Tools: wire stripper, ruler
Weight: 7 oz
Recommended Use: being prepared for anything
[Click here to check current price and availability at Amazon.com]
Gerber Suspension – Handle and tools are stainless steel
Small flathead screwdriver
Large flathead screwdriver
Serrated knife blade
Fine edge knife blade
Needle nose and standard pliers
Closed length 4 inches
Weight: 9 oz
[Click here to check availability and current price at Amazon.com]
Recommended use, preparedness
The Leatherman version is $40 and worth every penny, the Gerber version is $27 and also worth every penny. Dollar for dollar, I have and will continue to put the Suspension to the test and come out even or ahead. The grind that the screwdrivers have allows for easier work on firearms and larger items as well. Both are amazing tools, however, which one do you prefer?
In all fairness I have bags that have the Leatherman and bags with the Gerber version, this being said, I am really not a friend of Gerber, after all, most of their knives are made out of country these days. However, here is the thing, recent years have shown that China has learned that by outproducing us with QUALITY and quantity they can, in fact, bankrupt us as a nation.
So they do, if I was a fan of our government (which I am not) I may be apart of the crowd that refuses to buy anything not made in the United States, however, since I want the best equipment I can get for the least expense (I am not rich, taxed to death by the very government so many still support), I buy Chinese at times.
I love my country, I love the land I live on, but let’s face it, folks, our government, is way, way out of control. Anyhow, so what’s the best one?
I will leave that up too you, I have tested and used both and love them both. They work well when needed and I have never once regretted purchasing either. Here is my recommendation for the fiscally strapped as I am. Haunt your local pawn shops, you will find them, Leatherman / Gerber multitools, and Victorinox folders as well, and you can talk them down to a much less expensive approach.
I go in with $100 bucks and will line up a selection I know is worth more, but will lay that $100 bill on the counter or five $20 bills, this is more effective…and than start dealing. KNOW what you are going after, and what the prices generally are.
Then remember they offer less than a quarter of what these tools are worth, almost always they are well used, handle them, make sure they function, dirty is fine, after all, you can clean them up. I almost always walk out with around $300 retail for $100 cash. It’s called horse trading and it works!
Free the mind and the body will follow…