How to choose a camping multi tool: 3 simple tips to help you

Today’s guest post is from Morry Banes, a specialist in multi tools.    Morry shares his knowledge and expertise on how to choose this must-have piece of equipment for camping.   We don’t head off to a camping site without a good multi-tool (Leatherman is our choice), but you can find out how to choose a camping tool that suits you below.


A good multi tool is the perfect sidekick for any smart camper.

Why would you carry a toolbox and take out individual pieces every time you need a small job done?  Play your cards right and you'll end up with a tool that can do 90% of the jobs on your camping trip and still be no bigger or heavier than just one tool from your toolbox.

But there's a catch.

How do you choose?
How do can you tell the difference between quality and junk in the confusing clutter of information that is out there?

That's what this article is all about - finding the best multi tool for you without paying for stuff you don't need- getting out essentials right and learning from the reviews and experiences of other users when choosing a multi tool.

There are 3 main things we'll talk about here so that we can get some clarity on what's important and what's a marketing trick. We'll talk about getting these 3 right!

how to choose a camping tool

1. Versatility

I'm all about getting back to the basics and not paying for things you'll not be using.

The Pareto principle, or the 80-20 rule as most of us know it, completely applies here. I have a vast multi tool collection, and I know for a fact that I do 80% of the jobs with 20% of the pieces.

 As a camper, 80 % of the jobs you need will be done with these few tools:

  • solid blades, one regular one serrated
  • well-built pliers and wire cutters
  • screwdrivers (two basic types, one regular and one Philips)
  • Bottle and can opener

Sure, I can't know your exact needs. If you have a  trailer or are into car camping, you may have a toolbox with you and/or a keychain multi tool might suffice.
On the other hand, if you are big on hiking this will call for a rigid heavy duty multi tool.

All I'm saying is that these are the basics to look at will get the job done 80% of the time, so don't for zillion-in-one tools and miss the essentials, like the quality of a multipurpose tool.

That brings me to the next tip……

2. Quality of a multi tool

Of course everybody is saying that their product is of "highest quality". That's why it might be confusing. We are bombarded with phrases that sound like they mean something when really they don't.

I've been passionate about multi tools for so long and if I was to describe my journey in a sentence it would be: "It kept getting more complicated until it got very simple."

Today, if you ask me to describe a multi tool that I would design for myself it would have 3 main features when it comes to quality:

1.      Titanium for the handles
2.      420 stainless steel for the tools
3.      154CM steel for the blades (420 is also good, but 154CM will hold edge longer)

And here are the reasons:
  • size to size 420 stainless steel is stronger than titanium
  • the handles will not break but might rust if they were steel, so that's why I would go with titanium for the handles
  • 154CM is high in carbon and will hold an edge better

how to choose a camping tool



3. Safety in a multi tool

This is not a big of a deal as it used to be because all of the best multi tools out there are designed to with safety in mind.
  • They can be deployed using one hand
  • Multiple tools can be opened and used at the same time
  • They feature a safety look Resume

Clarity of what's important when a camper decides to choose a multi tool - that was my set goal when I started this article.    If I did offer some of that clarity, it was time well spent.

Stay safe and make wise choices.

Author Bio:    Morry Banes is an ex multi tools factory worker. Today, he owns a small hardware store in Tigard, USA and runs where he shares his passion and writes reviews and compares the best multi tools on the market.