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10 Multifunction Tools on the Market


5
Surge

Bypassing all of the implements on his crowded duty belt, Deputy First Class Peter Sabella of Forsyth County, Georgia, reached into his trouser pocket and extracted a well-used Leatherman multifunction tool.

"I probably use this more than anything else I carry," said Sabella, who also teaches classes in disaster preparedness. "It has hundreds of uses, for anything and everything. A tool like this gives you a lot of flexibility and capability."

The Surge is a newer, more inclusive version of the Leatherman tool Deputy Sabella has carried for many years. Cinch your belt up a little tighter if you strap on this bad boy. Its hefty, 12-ounce (340 gram) weight will put some drag on your pants. Closed, it measures 4.5 inches (11.43 centimeters). In addition to 18 tools plus two double-sided bits, it features a stainless steel body, all locking blades and tools, and a blade exchanger so you can choose which four blades are accessible from the outside.

Here's the complete line-up of implements:

  • Clip-point knife
  • Serrated knife
  • Scissors
  • Saw
  • Needle nose and regular pliers
  • Three types of wire cutters
  • Wood/metal file and diamond coated file
  • Wire stripper
  • Electrical crimper
  • 5/16 inch (7.9 millimeter) screwdriver and two sizes of bit drivers
  • 9-inch (22-centimeter) ruler
  • Awl with thread loop
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener

Like other Leatherman tools, it's made in the USA and comes with a 25 year warranty. The stainless steel Surge will cost you around $90 [source: Bass Pro Shops, Leatherman]. A black oxide version is also available for a premium.

If you're looking for good quality on a modest budget, consider the Gerber multi-tools on the next two pages.


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