MF's guide to multi-tools

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‘A common criticism of multitools is that blade steel is not of a good enough quality,’ says James Gregory of multitool supplier Heinnie Haynes. ‘There is nothing worse than blunt blades when you're isolated in the wilderness so keep an eye out for tools made from highly durable 420HC steel, which retains a sharp edge for longer than most other metals.'
‘Some tools come equipped with state-of-the-art features designed for military personnel but their functions can be adapted for everyday use. When it comes to climbing or similar disciplines, look out for one-handed opening tools you can put into immediate action.'
‘Size isn’t everything. When you’re constantly on the go it’s important to select a slim line, compact piece of kit that can fit easily into a pack or pocket.’
‘We don’t all have loads of cash to spend on the latest kit but there are several hard-working tools available from around £35, such as the CRKT i.D. Works Zilla below.’

Top tools:

1) CRKT i.D. Works Zilla Tool

This comfortable, ergonomically designed 210g tool from The Columbia River I.D. Works is stripped down in terms of features but given its low price, still packs a practical punch. It killer features are spring-loaded pliers and a three-inch, part-serrated blade. Wire strippers, cutters and aimportant bottle opener add to the overall package. It’s easy to use but perhaps lacking a few fundamental features for the hardened adventurer.
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2) Leatherman Supertool 300

With 19 components, including the strongest pliers Leatherman have ever produced, this robust option is hard to top. It features cut outs in the handle for easy access to the open-out tools, even when wearing gloves, and clever locking mechanisms. The wire cutters are removable, allowing for instant repair or sharpening and the tool also has two brutally tough 420HC steel knives. It's perhaps a tad on the heavy side at 272g but if you’re wielding one of these handy pieces of kit, we’re sure you’re tough enough.
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3) Gerber Compact Sport Multi-Plier 400

The one-handed opening pliers on this Gerber tool are great when the other hand's busy with rope or some such thing and its Fiskars scissors are so powerful they can cut through seat belts. At 193g it is lightweight yet made of durable stainless steel and with 11 tools, including wire cutters, screwdrivers and a serrated knife, it’s a handy implement for everything from basic DIY to Indiana Jones-style adventures.
Available from

Once you've got yourself a tool, you'll want to grab yourself a tent. Before you do, read our tent review.

Sam Rider

Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix. Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.