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Leatherman vs. Gerber vs. SOG vs. Victorinox: Which One Wins the Multi-Tools Brand Showdown?

Leatherman vs. Gerber vs. SOG vs. Victorinox: Which One Wins the Multi-Tools Brand Showdown?

    A multi-tool is a tool (often) enhanced with pliers, a knife, and a screwdriver. Varying per model one can find additions such as saws, files, bottle openers, wire cutters, can openers, rulers, and so on. With a multi-tool, you can keep a toolbox’s worth of tools in your pocket, desk drawer, or glove compartment. When it comes to EDC multi-tools, four of the most trusted brand names are Leatherman, Gerber, SOG and Victorinox. All of them strive to provide a comprehensive toolkit in a compact, carry-anywhere design. Each with their own characteristics and specialties. So which one wins the multi-tools brand showdown? Which brand is best for your needs? In this Leatherman vs. Gerber vs. SOG vs. Victorinox: showdown, I will get into the nitty-gritty details of which makes one better than the other to help you find the best multi-tool based on your needs and budget.


  •  Leatherman

History and Origin

Founded in 1983, Leatherman, based in Portland, Oregon, is a name synonymous with multi-tools worldwide. At the end of the seventies and the start of the eighties Tim Leatherman and his wife were travelling through Europe in an old Fiat. On the road he used a pocket knife to fix his car and anything that needed fixing in the hotel rooms they stayed at. But the pocket knife wasn’t very reliable and there were often times when he needed a pair of pliers to make a repair. He always had a pocket knife with him and kept wishing there were pliers attached. It all started with the idea, which he plotted down on a piece of paper that he carried in his shirt pocket. In the end, he makes some designs and rough prototypes out of cardboard.

The engineer in him started thinking about a design and not long after he introduced the first prototype of the multi-tool we know today. A salient detail is that Leatherman offered his idea to practically all knife and tool companies. All famous brands. No one wanted to have it. So he just decided to develop the tool with his brother in law and establish a company around it: Leatherman. By 1983, he had launched his line of Leatherman multitools, pocket-sized tools that include parts for performing an array of tasks. Today, Leatherman is one of the most well-known pocket multitool brands in the world. Their products range from compact keychain tools to full-sized, professional-grade tools.


The Leatherman Multi-Tool Collection Review

Leatherman multi-tools have become a household name and you can even go as far to say that Leatherman became a sort of generic name for the term multi-tool. The most popular multi-tools series from Leatherman are the Wave, the Charge,  the Free, the Signal and the Surge.

The Leatherman Wave now has an upgraded version, which is the Leatherman Wave Plus; it is bigger and better than before, with many advanced features. It has been upgraded with replaceable wire cutters, which is made with high-quality materials to make it durable. The Leatherman Wave+ has two stainless steel knives, one with a straight edge and the other serrated. The latter is good for cutting fibrous material such as rope. The 420HC steel employed has a high carbon content, so the edges won't stay sharp for long, but it's easy to sharpen 'em up again. There are 16 other tools, including a wood-and-metal file, a diamond-coated file, a saw, Phillips screwdriver bits, scissors, an 8-inch ruler, and a wire stripper, as well as a bottle and can opener.

The Leatherman Charge collection is very similar to the Leatherman Wave. It is enhanced with many of the same tools. The difference is that the Charge is a little more luxurious. Especially the Leatherman Charge TTi+ is a very premium multi-tool.

The Leatherman Free collection is a very innovative collection of multi-tools. Leatherman went back to the drawing board and came up with a couple very cool features. The Leatherman Free collection, for instance, uses a magnet to make sure tools stay open or closed.

The Leatherman Surge is a large and robust multi-tool, with many interchangeable parts. You can consider it to be the big brother of the Leatherman Wave. If you are looking for a multi-tool for professional use you will quickly end up with the Leatherman Surge. 

The Leatherman Signal is enhanced with a couple practical tools such as a firesteel, emergency whistle and sharpener to make sure you can handle any situation in nature. If you love the outdoors and always spend time outside in nature, the Leatherman Signal is the perfect tool for you.

The Prices of Leatherman Multi-Tools

Leatherman multi-tools range from moderately priced to high-end, depending on the specific model.  The Leatherman Wave+ is priced at $119.95.  The Charge+ TTi is more expensive, priced at $199.95. The Leatherman Free collection are range from $49.95 to $154.95.  The Leatherman Surge's price is $149.95. The Leatherman Signal costs $139.95.

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All Leatherman multi-tools come with a 25-year warranty. This might not seem as good as Gerber’s limited lifetime warranty, but Leatherman is a lot more flexible.They will either fix your multi-tool or replace it – no questions asked!  You are supposed to submit proof of purchase when you send in your tool.  However, they are very relaxed about this too.

  • Gerber 

History and Origin

Gerber Legendary Blades started in 1939 when Joe Gerber, owner of an advertising company in Portland Oregon, had a local knife maker, David Murphy make about 24 sets of carving knives for Christmas gifts for some of his clients.  Abercrombie and Fitch, which was a popular New York-based outfitter at the time, got ahold of a set of those blades and wanted more. They reached out to Joseph Gerber about making sets of knives for the store, and Gerber Legendary Blades, the company we now know as Gerber Gear (and colloquially shortened to just Gerber), was born. 

Gerber introduced its first hunting knife in 1947, its first fishing knife in the 60s and, by the 70s, the brand was focused primarily on making knives for the outdoors. In the ‘90s, Gerber started making multi-tools, not just for the general public, but for the military.  Gerber’s multi-tool collection includes one-hand opening multi-tools, traditional butterfly opening multi-tools, pocket multi-tools, and specialized tools for whatever the day requires.It was one of the first American companies to produce folding multitools. Their design with the grip popping straight out of the handle is preferred by many.


The Gerber Multi-Tool Collection Review

Gerber designs and manufactures a variety of multi-tools that are designed to tackle tasks from the everyday craftsman’s requirements, to the demands of the United States Military. 

The Gerber Center-Drive is the favorite multi-tool on the market right now. It has a unique pliers design, with jaws that slide upward out of the handle rather than being deployed by unfolding the handles like a typical multitool. Gerber has also gone all-in on the screwdriver feature (hence the name “Drive”) with a 3.2-inch center-axis driver and a set of magnetic flathead and phillips bits.If your multi-tool use includes a lot of driving screws, choose the Center Drive Plus. It is the best tool I know of for that purpose.

The Gerber Suspension has a unique butterfly design that gives it maximum portability and foldability despite its size. This multi-tool features a total of 12 different functions, making it ideal for a variety of applications. The best part of the suspension is how light it is and how high quality the tools inside are.

The Gerber Diesel is a beast of a tool in its own right and feels rock solid in the hand. This multi-tool is one of the toughest and most versatile multi-tools on the market. With larger, industrial-strength components, the Gerber Diesel has been built to tackle the most rugged of tasks.

Designed to attach to a keyring, the Gerber Gear Dime contains a great selection of useful tools, including scissors, pliers, a bottle opener, a knife, two screwdrivers, and a clamshell cutter (for safely slicing open retail packaging). The Gerber Dime virtually disappears on all but the most minimalist keychains and is smaller than your typical modern car key "fob." You won't turn large bolts or do extensive whittling with the Dime, but for light-duty house and travel tasks, it is just right.

The Prices of Gerber Multi-Tools

Gerber's pricing policy places their multi-tools in a similar bracket as SOG, with a few models even being more affordable. The Gerber Center-Drive costs $130. The Gerber Diesel is priced at $140. The Gerber Suspension is more affordable, priced at $55. The Gerber Gear Dime is the cheapest. only costs you $29.

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Gerber is proud to offer a limited lifetime warranty in North America, and a 25 year limited warranty outside of North America. Because it is a limited warranty, they won’t replace or fix damaged tools due to misuse or abuse. Plus, you’ll have to ship the tool along with proof of purchase to their shop in Oregon.Most people are pleased with the Gerber warranty services, though, and get their replacement or fixed tool back within about 2 weeks.

  • SOG

History and Origin

SOG's story begins in Vietnam, where members of a highly classified US special ops unit - known as MACV-SOG - carried a unique combat knife into the jungle on covert missions. Years later, in 1986, that knife inspired a young designer, named Spencer Frazer, to found SOG Specialty Knives. His mission: to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools - field-proven by US Special Forces, even honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice. Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. 

For more than 30 years, SOG has made multi-tools capable of carrying out any sized mission. A solution in your pocket, that’s what SOG’s line of award-winning multi tools are designed to provide. From tactical multi tools to everyday carry multi tools, these products provide solutions for the myriad of things that can happen while on deployment, at a backcountry campsite, or for small daily problems that crop up at the most inopportune times. Their tools are fully equipped with features like wire cutters, scissors, and even assisted opening knives while incorporating unrivaled technologies like Compound Leverage that delivers smooth one-handed opening and superior gripping power.


The SOG Multi-Tool Collection Review

 SOG makes some of the most unique multi-tools in the world that can be relied upon for many uses. Some popular multitools from SOG include:

The PowerLitre is a mini-multi tool with that delivers full-sized utility, including the first SOG multi-tool to include a corkscrew. The Litre comes equipped with a magnetic hex bit holder, and of course it features SOG's Compound Leverage that provides smooth open and close and increased gripping power, utilized both in the pliers and corkscrew. At only 5” long and a lightweight 4.6 ounces, the PowerLitre is a multi-tool that's great in your pocket, your pack, on the tool bench, or around the house.

Offering a set of tools comparable to the Wave but at a lower price point, the SOG Powerlock nevertheless feels a bit more specialized. It features a clean, smooth design with rounded edges and tool frame covers. The 18 tools to choose from include five for fasteners: three sizes of flat screwdrivers, one Phillips screw driver, and a 1/4-inch square drive to accept sockets. The 1/4-inch driver can be oriented 90 degrees from the tool body for more leverage, but the frame cover has to be popped off to use it this way.

The PowerAccess Deluxe has the most tools of any SOG product to date (21),  including two knife blades, can & bottle opener, wood saw, two flat screwdrivers, Phillips screwdriver and a 1/4" driver with hex bit kit. The PowerAccess Deluxe features SOG compound leverage for smooth open and close and increased gripping power.

The PowerPint is a mini multi-tool. It’s larger than a keychain tool but way smaller than a full-size tool. It looks like a half-scale model of a full-size SOG. The Pint comes equipped with 18 tools and a magnetic hex bit holder. And of-course it features SOG's Compound Leverage that provides smooth open and close and increased gripping power.

The Prices of SOG Multi-Tools

 SOG multi-tools tend to be moderately priced, making them a viable option for budget-conscious users who don’t want to compromise on quality. The PowerLitre is priced at $64.95. Both the SOG Powerlock and  the PowerAccess Deluxe cost $79.95. The PowerPint is cheaper, prices at $49.95.

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Like Gerber Gear, SOG proucts are covered by a Limited Lifetime Warranty. With that in mind, the SOG's multi-Tools well worth the investment. But pay attention, this warranty does not cover normal wear and tear, damage caused by misuse, lack of normal maintenance, or disassembly.

  •  Victorinox

History and Origin

In 1884, Karl Elsener opened his cutler’s workshop in Ibach-Schwyz. At this time Switzerland was still one of the poorer countries in Europe. In the early years Karl Elsener worked to combat poverty and unemployment in the Schwyz basin, creating jobs and helping stem the flow of emigration. In 1891 he supplied the soldier’s knife to the Swiss Army for the first time. He went on to develop the Swiss Officer’s and Sports Knife – now the iconic Swiss Army Knife – in 1897, creating the foundation for a flourishing company that would be able to hold its own on the world stage.

From then on, his spirit of solidarity, deep roots in the region and strong commitment to solid values shaped the Victorinox company philosophy. Today, Victorinox is a global company with five product categories: Swiss Army Knives,Household and Professional Knives, Watches,Travel Gear and Fragrances.The Swiss Army Knife is thecore product and has a pioneering role in the development of all product categories.


The Victorinox Multi-Tool Collection Review

Since 1897, the Swiss Army Knife has been a trusted tool of adventurers around the world. Whether you're exploring the city, the ocean, the mountains or even space, the Swiss Army Knife is the companion you can count on.

The Tinker Swiss Army Knife by Victorinox sports a bevy of useful tools making it a favorite pick for that weekend project. With both a small and large screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver this tool will make quick work of many projects.

The Victorinox Rambler is full of essential tools such as scissors, two screwdrivers and much more. And despite all the functionality packed between its scales, it still manages a slim profile that easily slips into your pocket. If you need something with a blade or just have a soft spot for the classics, the Rambler is a great option. It adds some great functionality to the iconic Victorinox keychain tool without much additional price or weight.

The Swiss Tool Spirit MXBS is the super-compact solution to all your DIY tasks. Ergonomically on point and exceptionally engineered, this is Swiss precision in the palm of your hand.This slim and sleek multi-tool has 24 lockable incorporated tools that can be accessed from the outside of the tool body with just one hand. This burnished steel multi-tool has just about any feature you are likely to need, including scissors, pliers, screwdrivers, bottle openers, blades, wire strippers, and cutters. It also has a few unusual features, including a seat-belt cutter, chisel, and crate opener.  It's quite a bit more expensive than most of our other choices, but if you are looking to splurge on a multi-tool designed with legendary Victorinox quality and function, the Spirit MXBS is a great choice.

The Prices of Victorinox Multi-Tools
The Victorinox multi-tools is expensive,  the Swiss Tool Spirit MXBS is priced at $190, but it deserved. You can use it for many years, and Victorinox offers a lifetime warranty.

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Victorinox stands for quality, innovation, functionality and iconic design. Thanks to their efficient quality assurance system, Victorinox are able to provide a lifetime warranty on all products they sell with a blade. It guarantees all knives and tools to be of first class stainless steel and also guarantees a life time against any defects in material and workmanship (save for electronic components 2 years). Damage caused by normal wear and tear, misuse or abuse are not covered by this guarantee.

Bottom Line

Your choice of multi-tool is largely influenced by your specific needs, budget, and personal preferences.

The Leatherman multi-tool 's build quality has a well-earned reputation. Their tools, often made from high-grade stainless steel, are built to last. Even the cheaper multi-tools will hold up well. Plus, Leatherman’s line-up is generally more diverse. It creates many different tools for specific tasks. Special tools for soldiers, survival-experts, cyclists, electricians, mechanics, and so on. As such you will be able to find a tool at Leatherman's for almost any task. The Leatherman Wave remains a timeless classic for everyone.

Gerber focuses on balancing between standard tools and some creative additions, like the package opener in their Center-Drive multi-tool. It has been an indispensable tool for technicians, handymen, and carpenters.In addition, Gerber multi-tools have been a favourite of the American army for years. It belongs to a soldier's standard equipment, which basically says enough about the reputation the Gerber tools have acquired in the United States. What's more, Gerber stands out with their patented one-handed opening design, which many users find exceptionally convenient. 

SOG multi-tools are known for their creative tool combinations and features. It’s Compound Leverage system can be a major selling point for many users. With its Compound Leverage system, SOG ensures easier, more efficient cutting and gripping. Some users may also appreciate the simplicity of SOG’s traditional butterfly opening. What's more,  SOG multi-tools tend to be moderately priced. Get the SOG if you’re on a budget. It’s the most affordable of these four tools by a significant margin, and it punches above its price range when it comes to durability.

The Victorinox SwissTool Swiss Army Knife collection features Victorinox's strongest multi-tools. These all metal tools are exceptionally powerful. The handles of the SwissTool are a joy to hold - made of finely polished, easy-care, rugged stainless steel. The pliers incorporated into each one of these tools sets it apart from the rest. Every SwissTool is made by Victorinox in Ibach, Switzerland, and lives up the the reputation of quality and versatility synonymous with the Victorinox name. For the ultimate multi-tool that you can take with you everywhere you go, look no further than the Swiss Tool. No other tool enables you to do so much for such a small package.

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2024-01-11 19:51181