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#90723 - 04/08/07 10:53 PM Multi-tool knock offs?
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
Does anyone know of any decent-quality inexpensive multi-tools? I'm going to put one in my 72 hr bag, and can't justify dropping $40 or more for a Leatherman, SOG, or Gerber that'll hopefully never get used.


#90724 - 04/08/07 11:25 PM Re: Multi-tool knock offs? [Re: MDinana]
billym Offline

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Oakland, California
I would stay with the name brands. Buy the least expensive model but go with Leatherman, Vic, Gerber or SOG.
I have an original Leathermen Supertool and it is worth every penny. I don't EDC it or even use it much but it does come in handy.
A lot of the cheaper brands are of much lower quality. I saw one the other day that BCB sells; it was so dull I ran the edge of the blade across my palm. It was way too dull to even leave a scratch.

#90725 - 04/08/07 11:30 PM Re: Multi-tool knock offs? [Re: MDinana]

Re MDinana

You might wan't to have a look at the Columbia Sportswear Pocket Pliers - Multi Tool for $17.95

A recently got one in the UK about 7.99, even the ballistic nylon case is worth around half the price so it was a reasonable deal. Its not as good a Leatherman Core I have but it sort of ticks all the right boxes. Just what I think you are looking for. The Knife blade is apparently 440C steel - it does seem to also hold a reasonable edge like the Leatherman Core. It also states that the pliers are also 440C steel. The only downside is you have to be careful when folding the tools in and out of the handles. It certainly isn't as refined as the Leatherman but it appears to be quite a durable and tough little tool.

By the way the handles are not composite they are made from steel covered in a composite/nylon.


The reason I bought a second Multi-tool was that one of the tips of the needle nose pliers on the Leatherman Core snapped off whilst attempting to pry something. Wasn't best pleased. I was expecting the Leatherman Core to be a bit tougher considering that Leatherman claim the model to be their toughest. The steel in the Leatherman core seemed brittle and hard but not tough (in the truest material sense). The pliers are now not needle nose bust just ordinary pliers after snapping of the other tip (carefully with a Vice) and filling the ends down. Please don't think this is again a rant against an otherwise fine US made product. It is just what has happened.
So when I go prying things again I'll think I'll just use the 8 piece of Junk. It hasn't broken so far and if it does I won't be too bothered.

Edited by bentirran (04/09/07 02:12 AM)

#90728 - 04/09/07 12:45 AM Re: Multi-tool knock offs? [Re: ]
11BINF Offline

Registered: 10/05/03
Posts: 115
Loc: phx. az. u.s.a
i agree with some of the above posts...stick with a brand name and buy the very best you can.....kit failure in the field when you need it the most is not an option...even the most mundane items of kit from tent pegs to bandaids always buy the best.....vince g. 11b inf..

#90731 - 04/09/07 01:44 AM Re: Multi-tool knock offs? [Re: 11BINF]
DrmstrSpoodle Offline

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 138
Keep looking through all the big box stores until a brand name multi-tool is sold on clearance price. I once saw a $60 multitool, a Leatherman, I think, sell for half price plus tax at Target. I also once bought a Victorinox Camper/LED light combo for $6. The longer no one buys the multitool, the more the price gets slashed during the clearance. It would be in your best interest, IMHO, to bite the bullet and fork over a few extra bucks for a quality tool, even if it's not on sale. God forbid if you find yourself in a bad way and you find the knock-off multitool you just bought is worth nothing more than a paperweight...

#90732 - 04/09/07 01:56 AM Re: Multi-tool knock offs? [Re: MDinana]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Hit the used market- eBay has a lot of used ones, not all TSA tainted.

Edited by ironraven (04/09/07 01:57 AM)

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#90742 - 04/09/07 03:25 AM Re: Multi-tool knock offs? [Re: ironraven]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2992
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I see a lot of junk that mimics the name-brand multitools. They are a failure/injury waiting to happen. If you ask me, the general rule is "avoid them."

You'd be better off to pack some 5" Vise-Grips (with wire cutters) or 8" needle-nose pliers, along with a multi-bit screwdriver and a sturdy folding knife. That way, you can save money and have gear that won't fail in a tight spot.

#90749 - 04/09/07 05:00 AM Re: Multi-tool knock offs? [Re: MDinana]
alvacado Offline

Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 79
Loc: South Texas
While I agree that you need to purchase a reasonably "good" tool, I do not agree that ONLY the name brands are "good" tools. I spent several decades in manufacturing in the US, Europe, and the Far East and know for a fact that virtually all the "Brands" are manufactured on the same lines as dozens of other non-brands and the machines that make them have no choice but to make the IDENTICAL product every time. Very few brands own their own manufacturing facilities. I just replaced my EDC Leatherman Micra with a Tool the same size that has an excellent saw. This tool is at least as well made as the Micra and retailed for $4.95 in the Walmart fishing department.

Age and Treachery will overcome Youth and Enthusiasm

#90753 - 04/09/07 08:49 AM Re: Multi-tool knock offs? [Re: alvacado]
redflare Offline

Registered: 12/25/05
Posts: 647
Loc: SF Bay Area, CA
Coghlan's make resonably decent quality multi tools and swiss army type knives.

#90757 - 04/09/07 01:28 PM Re: Multi-tool knock offs? [Re: alvacado]
norad45 Offline

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 1506
I recently had the opposite experience. I tried to take the handle off my Becker with a Leatherman Squirt knockoff (Cabelas brand). The screwdriver twisted like a corkscrew before slipping off the screw head entirely. I got the real Squirt out and it came right off. I'd say go ahead and use a knockoff if you want but make sure you test it first to make sure it holds up, because obviously some are better than others.

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