Posted by in Gear Categories: Camping and Gear tests.

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Which multitool has the best knife? Which has the best pliers? We tested them all to find the right one for you.

Test conditions

We assessed the multitools on the following:

  1. Number of tools: You don’t need the most tools. All you need is more tools than your neighbour. We checked how many utensils each multitool has and noted any stand-out features.
  2. Size: Sorry, gentlemen, size does matter. We measured and weighed each multitool. Because the only thing that should weigh you down when camping is the crushing realisation that you forgot the loo paper.

Formalities aside, we started the real test and rated the tools against each other (from 1 ‒ 10) in the following disciplines:

  1. Slicing: Each knife was used to slice open hard plastic packaging (blister packs) known to give consumers ‘wrap rage’.
  2. Opening: Each tool’s can opener was tested by using it to open a tin of tuna.
  3. Wire cutting: The combination pliers were used to cut a two-millimetre-thick piece of galvanised-steel binding wire.

 

1. Best value buy: On the Mark Plenty Harvest Multitool

R230, outdoorwarehouse.co.za

On the Mark Plenty Harvest Multitool.

On the Mark Plenty Harvest Multitool.

Number of tools: 10 (including a roller, file and reamer to bore out holes, but no scissors)
Weight: 200g
Size: 110mm x 40mm
Slicing: 6/10
Opening: 7/10
Wire cutting: 9/10

Verdict: It performed well across the board in our tests. It’s sturdy, simple and gets the basics right. The price is also perfect on the pocket for a relatively sophisticated tool, and it’s not too bulky.

 

2. Torkcraft Anglers Tool

R195, torkcraft.com 

Torkcraft Anglers Tool

Torkcraft Anglers Tool.

Number of tools: 13 (including a crimper, hook removed, fish descaled, a jig-eye cleaner and a saw)
Weight: 230g
Size: 110mm x 48mm
Slicing: 3/10
Opening: No can opener
Wire cutting: 4/10

Verdict: It’s a great tool for fishermen but the spring-loaded pliers did not uncompress well and the knife was not very sharp.

 

3. Gerber Flik Multi-plier

R1590, gerbergear.co.za

Gerber Flik Multi-plier.

Gerber Flik Multi-plier.

Number of tools: 10 (including a saw)
Weight: 248g
Size: 110mm x 40mm
Slicing: 7/10
Opening: 6/10
Wire cutting: 7/10

Verdict: Like the Leatherman OHT this multitool uses a sliding mechanic, instead of the butterfly design to open the pliers. It works. The release catches slide easily and locks keep tools safely in place. The can opener was sharp, but too small to hike under the can comfortably. It’s hardy, durable and will stand some abuse (the lifetime warranty reinforces this notion). 

 

4. True Utility Clip Tool

R175, outdoorwarehouse.co.za

True Utility Clip Tool

True Utility Clip Tool

Number of tools: 7 (including a file, but no scissors)
Weight: Under 100g
Size: 84mm x 30mm
Slicing: 2/10
Opening: No can opener
Wire cutting: 3/10

Verdict: The knife is OK, but it takes time to slice through harder goods. The tools lock nicely into place, but I pinched my hand in the wire-cutting test. If you’re after something very compact that you can clip onto a backpack, this is the one to buy but it’s not cut out for big jobs.

 

5. The Original Victorinox Swiss Army Knife

R240, outdoorwarehouse.co.za

Original Victorinox Swiss Army Knife.

Original Victorinox Swiss Army Knife.

Number of tools: 9 (including a corkscrew, tweezers, but no scissors)
Weight: 34g
Size: 83mm x 27mm
Slicing: 5/10
Opening: 4/10
Wire cutting: None

Verdict: It’s small, slim and unobtrusive. The blade doesn’t lock and the can opener wasn’t very sharp but It’s a good option to keep in your self-catering kit.

Also read:  Our self-catering survival kit 

 

6. Bear Grylls Ultimate Multitool

R1450, liteoptec.co.za

Bear Grylls Ultimate Multitool.

Bear Grylls Ultimate Multitool.

Number of tools: 12 (including a lanyard ring, saw and serrated knife)
Weight: 249g
Size: 100mm x 50mm
Slicing: 8/10
Opening: 9/10
Wire cutting: 6/10

Verdict: It’s a really solid multitool with a great locking system. The sharp blade, ergonomic grip and mildew-resistant nylon storage sheath make it a good-value buy.

 

7. Tekut Multitool

R376, liteoptec.co.za

Tekut Multitool.

Tekut Multitool.

Number of tools: 10 (including an LED light)
Weight: 200g
Size: 105mm x 40mm
Slicing: 10/10
Opening: No can opener
Wire cutting: 5/10

Verdict: I really liked using this sturdy tool ‒ the knife worked exceptionally well and was the most comfortable to handle. The fold-out carabiner and LED lights are clever additions, and it looks very slick too. It took some force to cut the wire, but otherwise it’s nearly perfect.

 

8. Leatherman OHT

R1599, capeunionmart.co.za

Leatherman OHT.

Leatherman OHT.

Number of tools: 16 (including an oxygen tank wrench, brush adaptor and strap cutter, but no scissors)
Weight: 280g
Size: 115mm x 40mm
Slicing: 9/10
Opening: 10/10
Wire cutting: 10/10

Verdict: A sliding mechanism allows the pliers to be opened with one hand. Each tool locks safely in place and is easily identifiable via visual imprints on the handle. It stood up to its reputation as a great brand and the 25-year warranty justifies the price.

 

9. Enlan Carabiner Multitool

R170, outdoorwarehouse.co.za

Enlan Carabiner Multitool

Enlan Carabiner Multitool.

Number of tools: 7 (including a serrated knife)
Weight: 100g
Size: 80mm x 30mm
Slicing: 1/10
Opening: No can opener
Wire cutting: 2/10

Verdict: It’s very compact. I like the carabiner on this multitool, but the knife didn’t lock and it’s badly designed – the pliers had to be open to use the knife, which I found uncomfortable.

 

10. Cape Union Mart Cottus Multitool

R350, capeunionmart.co.za

Cape Union Mart Cottus Multitool.

Cape Union Mart Cottus Multitool.

Number of tools: 10 (including a box cutter)
Weight: 300g
Size: 105mm x 40mm
Slicing: 4/10
Opening: 8/10
Wire cutting: 8/10

Verdict: This is a good quality buy for a tight budget. The saw work well, but the knife was very disappointing. Some of the smaller tools were difficult to pull out.