10 Multifunction Tools on the Market


Freestyle CX

Tim Leatherman claims that the Freestyle was "the world's first true tool/knife hybrid" [source: Leatherman]. The Freestyle CX is a tough-duty cousin to the original. It has a stainless steel body with a special coating on the curved grips to make it resistant to scratching and corrosion. It's a minimalist tool that you can put in your disaster kit or go-to bag and know that it'll still work when you need it. But at 3.45 inches (8.76 centimeters) and 4.5 ounces (127.57 grams), it's small and light enough to carry in your pocket for everyday emergencies.

Freestyle CX's five functions include needle nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutters and hard wire cutters. The outside accessible knife in upgraded stainless steel holds its edge longer than traditional stainless steel. Made in the USA, it comes with a 25-year warranty and sells for about $60 [source: Bass Pro Shops, Leatherman].

Not all Leatherman tools are pared down. The Surge on the next page is a full-sized powerhouse.