Almost nobody on a farm has just one task that they focus on, so why should your tools be one-dimensional as well? Enter the multitool. While many people generically refer to multitools as “Leathermans” because of how well the Leatherman brand has penetrated this market, there are actually several makers of multitools — and among them, you should be able to find the best farm multitool to suit many of your chores.
While I’ll admit that I also love having a traditional (and trusty) knife on my hip or in my pocket, I get a lot of benefits from my farm multitools, especially when I have to work around small machinery or tackle some fencing repairs. A good multitool is going to have a wealth of features and functionality, such as pliers, one more more knife blades, a saw, wire cutters, files, and screwdrivers.
When looking at multitools, things to consider are the number of features they have, so that you can complete your tasks properly, as well as the build quality and feel of the tool in your hand. If you have smaller hands, for example, some multitools may feel too big and unwieldy, especially if trying to use the needle-nose pliers on them. But the best farm multitool will be one that really works for your situation. Yes, the old adage goes that “the best tool is the one you have on you,” but with a little understanding of what you’re looking at and buying, you can really get the best tool the first time around: the one you have as well as the one that works for your needs.
If you’re in the market for a multitool and are trying to narrow down which are some of the best farm multitools around, this list should be where you get started. Here are my five favorites:
Leatherman Wave Plus
The Leatherman Wave is the OG in the multitool space, and really, if any list of multitools out there doesn’t include this one, it’s doing you a massive disservice. The Wave is Leatherman’s flagship tool lineup, and many of its features — like the exterior blades — are accessible with just one hand. The Wave got its “Plus” name after a redesign in 2004, which included adding a larger knife and locking blades, as well as stronger pliers. This is a workhorse of a tool, and it includes 18 tools in all, including replaceable wire cutters, wire stripper, saw, spring-action scissors, ruler, can and bottle openers, files, and screwdrivers.
Best Screwdriver Functionality
Gerber’s Center-Drive Plus
The Gerber’s Center-Drive Plus is the multitool I use most around my farm, because I love the heavier weight of it, which makes it feel and perform with a lot of durability, as well as how it contours to my hand. The center axis screwdriver is the standout feature of this multitool, as prior to the Center-Drive Plus, no multitool had ever offered a driver on the center axis with a standard bit. It provides a lot of torque — more than any other multitool, in fact. The multitool as a whole has 16 pieces, including spring-loaded scissors, a partially serrated 3.25-inch blade, and one-thumb opening sliding jaws, as well as a 12-piece standard bit set. The tools are tumble finished for a sleek, polished aesthetic.
Leatherman Skeletool CX
Compared to other multitools on the market, the Leatherman Skeletool is going to feel very minimalist — but that’s part of why it’s great for many folks and what really makes it stand out from some of its peers. The Skeletool has only needle-nose and regular pliers, wire cutters, a knife, carabiner clip/bottle opener, and a large bit driver (with one flat head and one Phillips head bit each). That’s it. But those are the essentials, and this multitool delivers well on them. The Skeletool is so lightweight that you can walk around all day and not realize you have it on your hip or in your pocket. While the functionality is really good with this tool, it’s not going to be as strong as the previously mentioned multitools. For example, to trim weight, the Skeletool has holes drilled into the handle at several spots, which doesn’t make it as durable as its heavier counterparts. This is more of a light-duty, everyday multitool rather than a tough-task one.
Most Fully Featured
Victorinox Spirit X Swiss
It’s not hard to see how the Victorinox Spirit X Swiss stands out, and it’s made by the same company that has become renown for the classic “Swiss Army Knife.” This multitool has more tools than any other on this list — 24 of them, in fact. Beyond the basics, the Spirit X Swiss includes a cable cover crossways cutter, cable cover longitudinal cutter, chisel seven mm, crate opener, hard wire cutter, metal saw, multipurpose hook, Phillips screwdriver, reamer, punch, scissors, scraper, and so much more. I like how ergonomic it feels, even with all of these features packed into it. It’s super versatile and relatively compact for everything it delivers on.
Best On A Budget
If you’re prone to losing your tools — yeah, we know you’re out there — this is probably where you want to look for your next multitool. Because losing the Gerber Suspension-NXT in the hay field or while feeding the cattle won’t lead to your financial downfall — this one is quite affordable. This multitool is fairly slim in design and doesn’t have as many tools as some others do — but the 15 tools it does have include many of the standard pliers and blades, a wire stripper, awl, large and small flathead drivers, and a cross driver. The spring-loaded pliers is among my favorite things about this, and it works great as an everyday carry for many people — or even for younger workers who are just getting used to having multitools on them at all times.