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Leatherman Surge Multi Tool – Is it really the Best? Reviews and Comparisons

Made of 100% stainless steel, the Leatherman surge is a juggernaut in itself – it has all the features and capabilities that anyone needs to perform their handiwork, as well as survive any type of apocalypse. The superb versatility is what does the trick.

When it comes to the multi tool department, there aren’t that many brands that can claim this kind of a long list of features that their pocket tools can perform.

When it comes to a multi-tool, it doesn’t matter at all what the tool make is, all that matters is what type of work can the tool perform. When an unexpected event occurs in your life, it’s best to be prepared and with the proper tool on your belt.

Advantages of a multi tool

Carrying a big toolbox everywhere you go is just exhausting and energy-wise just wasteful. Having something that is light, nearly invisible to others, can be carried easily and is very “handy” in the work that it can perform is very important. The sentimental value of the tool isn’t there when you first purchase it, but rather when you look back at the times when the multi-tool was your life-line when you were in a pinch.

Whether you’re the Mr. Fix-it in your family, or just someone that loves to tinker around with the everyday things, the Leatherman surge multi-tool can be the best handyman sidekick that you can get.

Here’s a full Leatherman surge review, where we’ll take a look at the specs that come with this tool as well as a comparison of the Leatherman surge vs. wave and against the super 300 tool.

Leatherman Surge review

Leatherman Surge Review

The Leatherman surge multi-tool is assembled in the USA with parts that are domestic and imported. It is a tool that is larger and more durable than any other standard pocket-sized tool. The first thing that you’ll immediately notice is that the tool is much larger than any other that you’ll find in the market. It is still capable of fitting inside of your pocket, but for convenience purposes, Leatherman created a personalized pouch, or sheath, that works well with this tool.

In addition to that, the multi-tool was designed and manufactured to withstand the toughest strains and work that needs its abilities. The blades that are attached to it as also more resilient and can last much longer than any other.

The list of features that come with the Leatherman, especially the Leatherman black surge edition, are more than enough to set it miles ahead of any other competitor. It’s a powerhouse built to fit the smallest pockets. The Leatherman Surge multi-tool comes with 21 different tools for you to choose from, which includes scissors, can opener, ruler, saw, wire stripper, bit driver, pliers, and a file blade just to name a few.

With this multi-tool, there’s never a time when you won’t be prepared. Some of the tools that it comes with don’t belong in the multi-tool category, giving you more than you ever needed. To top it all off, the Leatherman comes with rust-free metal, giving you years’ worth of work potential without having to purchase, or make any maintenance.

Leatherman Surge

Leatherman Surge vs. Leatherman Wave and other Competitors

With all of the many tools that are available with the Leatherman Surge multi-tool, you may argue that some of the features that you are getting with it are unnecessary and you don’t have to settle for it. There are other multi-tools that give you the minimum amount of tools that you need, albeit their high quality, but they don’t give you the full versatility that only comes with the Surge multi-tool.

When you look at the “matchup” of Leatherman Surge vs. Wave, they are both tools that provide pretty much everything you need. Yet the only difference between them is the weight.

If you’re looking for lightweight tools, then the wave is the best option. But when it comes to longevity, the Surge surpasses the wave by far. 

The Surge vs. super tool 300 (ST300)

Now, this is a very close call. The ST300 is one of the newer model Leatherman tools, which has been considered as the “Chuck Norris of multi-tools”.

It’s a great tool and has many more capabilities than the surge. Yet the one downside, which is noteworthy of mentioning, is the accessibility to most of the tools. The surge has all the tools readily available while the ST300 has most of them intertwined on the inside, giving you a harder time to get them out. The Surge, vs. the ST300 and the Wave comes out on top, making it the reigning champion.

It’s solid, old school, sturdy, just how we like them.

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Choosing the Best Multi Tool – What to Look For – Reviews

In coming up with the best multi tool, we looked at several multi tool reviews. These reviewers were testing some multi tools brands and styles which, we have to admit, we had never heard of until this point.

And, this fact underlined just how fast the multi tool market is growing and how competitive it has become.

History of the pocket knife

pocket knifeEver since the Swiss Army created their folding knife with extra tools included way back in 1890, the multi tool has been a part of every camping trip. Most boy and girl scouts have fond memories of being given their first Swiss army knife, and many still have them.

But, the Swiss army knife had some serious drawbacks to being used as a proper tool. The biggest problem of course was its size. It was just too small to get any to torque when using the screwdriver for instance.

A man named Tim Leatherman changed all that when, in 1983, he launched the Leatherman multi tool. This was actually the first occasion that most of us had ever heard the term “multi tool” and, it certainly fit the product that he unveiled.

The “Leatherman”, as it was called, was a vast improvement over the concept introduced by the still much-loved Swiss army knife.

Its major improvement was that it had a full-size, folding handle, into which all of the various tools fit. It was a revelation, and it soon spelled the end of the Swiss army knife’s dominance in the market. These days there are a number of companies who have jumped on the multi tool bandwagon, expanding on the improvements to the concept made by Tim Leatherman.

And so, we’d like to look at the various offerings available on the multi tool market and see if we can come with the top rated multi tool out there.

What we learned is that the Leatherman Company still dominates the market after over thirty years in business, and their multi tools occupy four of the five top rated spots in the multi tool category.

What we found in looking at multiple online reviews is that Leatherman TTI and the Leatherman Wave are the names that come up the most in the reviews of the best multi tools.

The SOG Power Assist – S66 review

The SOG Power Assist S66 is the only non-Leatherman product to make the top five in more than one multi tool review.

So let’s look at these models to see what makes these three stand out from all the other options on the market.

Leatherman TTI review

multi tool reviewsLet’s start with the Leatherman TTI. The TTI comes with 19 functions, plus it has a number of bits that fit a drive tool. All of the tools on the TTI are locking tools. The choices in screwdrivers that it offers number an incredible 16 different types.

Although, at just over half a pound in weight (8.88 oz.) and approximately the same length as the others, it begins to become obvious that the sheer number of useful tools that the TTI packs into its solidly-constructed frame, has made it one of the top choices users. The negatives concerning the TTI are the lack of a corkscrew and bottle opener, and the fact that it is significantly more expensive than the other models.

The SOG Power Assist S66 is also a top rated multi tool featuring 16 functions. It comes with much less screwdrivers than the TTI however, as it only provides 4. It does have both a bottle and a can opener. And curiously, it also provides crimping tools, one of which is suitable to crimp blasting caps, so this multi tool may be aimed a more towards the construction industry as a specialized type of multi tool.

The Power Assist is the largest and heaviest of the three at 7.5 inches in length, and weighing in at 9.25 oz. The power assist is also the cheapest of the top three in our ratings

The Leatherman Wave review

Leatherman Wave reviewsThe Leatherman Wave rounds out our top three multi tools, and seems to be a slightly lighter version of the TTI. Featuring 17 functions on the same length and a weight of 8.63 oz., this model comes with 4 screwdrivers, a can opener and various blades and saws.

The Wave is much less expensive than its older brother TTI.

All of these multi tools are incredibly well-engineered and solidly built. They will provide with years of use, and service.

So, take your pick and head out to the great outdoors.

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Gerber multi tool – Choosing the best

Gerber products come packed with variety of useful features. Gerber multi tools are one of the products of the Gerber is known for. These pieces are considered one of the best products out there and some of them even industry standards – solid and tough base, versatility and longevity are just some of the strengths Gerber is known for.

Different types of the Gerber multi tools are available in the current market. Some of the more popular models include:

  1. Gerber 22-41545 black diesel multi plier
  2. Gerber 07550 needle nose multi plier 600
  3. Gerber Blunt Nose
  4. Gerber 31-001047 Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Pack
  5. Gerber 30-000140 crucial
  6. and last but not least the Gerber 22-01470 Diesel multi plier

All these tools have some distinctive features and have proved helpful for different types of works. Though all the Gerber multi tool are considered good for their excellent versatility and durability, but some have many specific qualities such light weight, easy handling, one handler’s plier opening, and sharp and well functional blade. Moreover, most of the product comes with lifetime warranty.

And that alone, speaks volumes about why the Gerbers have been up there with the top rated multi tools, even a tool of choice for the US army.

Gerber multi tool

Gerber multi tools – why are they the industry leaders

To give you more details of the usages and utility of the Gerber multifunction tools here is a short and sweet review of the Gerber Suspension multi- tool.

Gerber suspension multi tool is relatively a large tool with a solid steel base and frame. Though the big size can be a negative point of this product, if you consider the other distinctive features you can easily ignore the size.

Some of the features of the Gerber Suspension multi tool are given below:

  1. The length of this tool is 6 inches.
  2. The closed length will come around 3.5 inches.
  3. Its weight is 9o z.
  4. It is made of stainless steel material that gives a solid base and also makes it long lasting.

Components of the Gerber suspension multi tool

Components of the suspension multi tool are needle-nose pliers, fine edge knife, wire cutter, scissors, serrated edge knife, small and medium flat blade screwdrivers, cross point screw drivers, can opener, lanyard and bottle opener.

In addition to that it has also an easy pen tab that can be used easily with a little practice. Moreover, the cleaning process of the device is also very easy; you just can make it completely apart for the cleaning purpose.

All the above features and components made this Gerber multi tool a unique choice among the users. It truly justifies its names and works exceptionally well for multiple purposes.

Gerber multi tools

Gerber 600

Gerber 600 is another product of the Gerber multi tools, it has the same qualities like the other product of the Gerber, but the specific quality of this product that allows it to stand out is its light weight.

It’s made of stainless steel and that makes its durable and also gives it a solid base. The other features of this product are given below.

Features of the Gerber 600:

  1. Blunt nose pliers
  2. Wire crimper
  3. Tungsten carbide insert-cutters (this part can be replaced)
  4. Fine edge knife
  5. Cross point screwdriver
  6. Serrated knife
  7. Small, large, medium and flat blade screw drivers
  8. Can opener
  9. Lanyard ring
  10. Bottle opener
  11. File


Components of the Gerber 600 are pliers that have strong grip, wire cutters (replaceable), knife that has a sharp blade which is also made of a stainless steel material, file that is used to remove sharp edges and the openers.

This multi tool is safe to use, especially the opening and the closing of specific tools, which is often a safety hazard with these things. And the other advantage of this tool is that the face of this tool remains inside that makes the gripping easy and also help to finish the difficult works with much comfort.

Gerber sheath for a multi tool

There are different types of the Gerber sheath for a multiple tool. These sheaths are available in different colors, designs, and sizes. You can also get it at an affordable price.

You will get wide options of Gerber multi tool in the current market. All the tools come with some different features and facilities and also in varied prices. And that makes pretty much any Gerber a solid choice for any handyman, electrician a soldier or simply a practical man who likes the fact that most of these can replace an entire toolbox.

Gerber (neck to neck with Leatherman and Victorinox) is one of the three industry leaders and, from our experience; we don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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What multi tool should I choose for my camping trip?

It’s been said that a craftsman is only as good as their tools. In the information age, it can be difficult to select tools due to the overwhelming amount of information available as well as the mixed experiences of different users. We want to make the best choices for our camping and outdoors experience but we’re unsure who to trust. To choose the best multi-tool, you should scan a few online reviews on reputable sites. Video footage on YouTube and users rating the tools on Amazon will give you the type of clarity you need without buying it, nothing beats a firsthand experience.

Amazon reviewers are also notoriously thorough and tough on their products so you’re getting the best value for the price. A little-known time saver is to go to established gear sites outside of the outdoors scene to get a better idea of how tools work by the kinds of people who build them. These are websites that have developed technologies and methods to test gear and come up with scores and ratings.

Leatherman Wave vs. Surge and others

The Leatherman Wave doesn’t win because it has every function known to man. It’s considered the best because it has everything a camper needs in a multi-tool. Well-roundness is what gets the Leatherman wave such high accolades. For bigger problems you would need more specialist tools but in a quick fix, the Leatherman Wave can take care of most small-mid scale situations you’d find camping. It also holds up against dirt, grime and daily use.

The light weight and pocket-friendly build are a boon to aspiring fixers and sportspeople. A low price without sacrificing usability as well as a good learning curve for the inexperienced make the Wave the tool you can give to anyone as a present with full confidence that they will use it for life.

Leatherman surge

The best Gerber multi tool

Gerber’s multi tools range from their renowned Shard series to their Multi-plier and often come with a lifetime guarantee even though they might be on the more specialist side of things. As long as you can keep your hands clean, all of Gerber’s Multi tool series will help you do everything from open bottles over your weekend grill to more serious tasks like setting up camp and repairing your gear.

Fans of the brand prefer Gerber to other brands like Leatherman and Victorinox thanks to their sleek color schemes and lifetime guarantees ensuring your tool will be good through the years.

Is Leatherman Surge the best?

The Leatherman Surge is the bigger brother of the Leatherman Wave. It has a lot of the same functionality but comes in a bulkier model which may not be for every Multi tool enthusiast. It’s extremely useful outside of the home, finding best results when repairing automobiles and outdoor sports products like kayaks. It can take a lot of damage and is not easily broken. Wear and tear is visible within a few weeks of constant use but does not degrade the quality of the tool itself.

Let’s take a step back – What to look for in a multi tool?

In a multi tool, what you want is versatility, durability and compactness. Think of a Swiss Army knife, the most famous of multi tools. It does everything you’d want it to do if you were stuck in the middle of nowhere with no way out or if you were on a long road trip and had to pull over to the side to repair something.

It would be easily handheld, not dependent on reading a manual beforehand and won’t break down if it gets a little rusty. You would also want a tool that can withstand high use and doesn’t break easily. An overlooked component of multi-tools is how useful each feature is to your projects and life. Many outdoor enthusiasts complain about only using a few special tools in the kit but that doesn’t mean that everything has no practical use.


Packing for your camping trip like a pro

Depending on where you’re going and the duration of your trip, you’ll be packing differently. Summer season means you’ll probably want swimming trunks, bathing suits, sunscreen and shorts. Winter/autumn seasons usually include more wool items such as coats, jackets, denim as well as hats to keep your body temperature regulated.

You’ll want to wear bulky items during the daylight hours to get more space for your suitcase. Packing gear by weather, travel and an emergency “smart pack” carrying supplies will get you further than haphazardly packing at the last minute. Planning out your meals in advance as well as knowing the prominent features of your terrain will make your trip preparation a breeze.

Kitchen gear, campsite gear, medical, clothes and bonus items being packed in advance is the best time investment you can make for your trip.

Be smart out there!

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Leatherman Wave – is it the best multi tool out there? (Full review)

For an outdoor adventure, the proper set of tools can either make or break the fun. One thing that any camper or hiker worth their hide must have at all times is a proper multi tool kit. It comes in handy in a range of situations from setting up the tent and cooking to fixing broken camping gear and collecting plant samples from the wild. One of the best multi tool set in the market is the Leatherman wave. No expense is spared in the design and manufacture of this tool ensuring optimum functionality for the user with minimal complications.

Technical features of Leatherman wave

It has a total of 17 different tools- The Leatherman wave is not called a multi-tool set for the fun of it. It has 17 tools including:

  1. Small bit screw driver
  2. Large bit screw driver
  3. Medium screwdriver
  4. Bottle opener
  5. Diamond coated file
  6. Wood and metal file
  7. Needle nose pliers
  8. Wire cutters
  9. Hard wire cutters
  10. Regular pliers
  11. Can opener
  12. Smooth Knife
  13. Serrated knife
  14. 19 cm ruler
  15. Scissors
  16. Saw
  17. Wire stripper

Leatherman WaveThis wide variety of tools puts it miles ahead of competing brands and allows the user to perform a number of actions using it making their camping or outdoor expedition a whole lot more fun.

The body and tools are stainless steel. The stainless steel gives the tool set an attractive shiny and professional look. In addition to the aesthetic appeal, stainless steel is an advantage in that it is durable and prevents corrosion and rust formation. The body and tools can be black oxide coated.

This is the design of choice when the users not only likes the functionality but also enjoys the compliments that unavoidably take place as the eye meets the shiny glare of the stainless steel.

They are popular in the military and among people camping and exploring areas with dangerous wild animals. The black color has its own appeal and gives a more professional look. The oxidization of the tools also ensures that there is no corrosion possible.

The Wave comes with a nylon MOLLE holster. The holster is safe and features an easy lock and unlock Velcro mechanism.

The nylon material is durable and is water proof protecting the set when not in use. Weight, dimensions and compact design- The Leatherman wave is 240 grams heavy and 10cm in length when closed. The longest tool is 7.4 cm long.

The tools can all be tucked into the body when not in use making it compact, easy and safe to carry around.

One hand operation – Leatherman wave can easily be operated using one hand. This is because of the ease of retrieval from and return of the tools into the body. This is a great feature and allows multitasking.

25 year warranty – The durability and resilience of this product is shown in the lengthy warranty provided by the manufacturers. The warranty covers replacement and repair of damaged parts or missing tools. Terms and condition are however applicable.

Good and “bad” sides of the Leatherman Wave

What I like:

  1. Leatherman wave is strong, resilient and durable.
  2. It has a compact design that makes it easy to carry around during outdoor expeditions.
  3. It is versatile and the many tools allow you to use for many different purposes.
  4. It requires very little maintenance and all one has to do is clean after use and sharpen blades every once I a while.
  5. The tools and body of the Leatherman wave are completely rust proof and corrosion resistant.
  6. Can be used on one hand allowing multitasking or use when the other hand is busy.

What I don’t like so much:

  1. The Leatherman wave is heavy compared to other multi-tools sets.
  2. It is expensive.


Comparison with other Leatherman products

The Leatherman brand boasts of a few other tools that are extremely useful for campers and people who love exploring the outdoors. These include the Leatherman Surge, Charge and Wingman products.

Leatherman wave black vs. Leatherman Surge

Leatherman Surge is a larger and stronger version of the Leatherman wave. The Surge has a total of 21 tools including the 17 in Wave. The four additional tools are two double ended bits, a lanyard attachment tool and a clip point knife. It weighs 1.1 pounds and is 4.7cm in length when tools are tucked in. It is available either in stainless steel or black oxide. It is heavier and more expensive than the Leatherman wave but is more resourceful due to the higher number of tools.

Leatherman Wave review

Leatherman wave vs. Leatherman Charge Tti

Leatherman Charge Tti is a multi-tool kit that is one of Leatherman’s oldest and finest designs. It is similar in size and weight to the Leatherman Wave. It has 19 tools plus two extra bits. Unlike Wave, the tools and the body is made of titanium. Its holster is leather material which is stronger than nylon. Leatherman charge Tti is however at a disadvantage in comparison to Wave due to the high price of purchase and regular maintenance required.

Leatherman wave vs. Leatherman Wingman

Leatherman Wingman is a 14 tool set. The tools are similar to those in the Leatherman wave with the exception of serrated knife, the saw and diamond coated file. It is lighter than the leather wave weighing only 190 grams. The wingman has a built-in pocket clip making easy for you to carry it around it also has a nylon holster for the same purpose. It is designed to fit the palm allowing you to comfortably hold it even when not in use unlike the more rigid design of the Leatherman wave. Despite the lightness and the fact that it is less expensive that wave, wingman has a more limited range of functions.

Conclusion about the Wave

Leatherman wave is without doubt a great product and a great choice for any outdoor enthusiast. It has its own shortcomings compared to other multi-tool sets but the pros far outweigh and compensate for the cons. Leatherman wave does deserve to be called one of the best of its kind.

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Choosing a multi tool that would be just right for your needs

If you’re going camping, you’re going to need the basic essentials to survive: food, water, and clothing.

What about tools?

Tools can be anything that will help your outdoor survival, based on the environment that you’ll be in. If you’re to take a whole toolbox full with knives, and other tools that you think you’ll use, then that’s just another inefficient luggage that will continuously wear you down.

The best craftsmen and other outdoorsmen, throughout history, have used specific tools that were versatile in their use and were easy to carry. Carrying a large knife or saw wouldn’t be the most efficient way to survive as you’d be expending most of your energy towards carrying the large object. The best survival multi tool is something that can be used and be re-used often for decades. It’s lightweight and can be carried in a small space (hint: like your pocket).

Victorinox – the industry pioneers and the modern standard

The Victorinox multi-tool series are some of the best examples to choose from that can give you all of the essentials that you need to survive in the outdoors, as well as act as your right-hand man during situations in which you need an important tool.

Let’s take a look at what you should look for when searching for the best multi tool for outdoor survival.

Victorinox multi tool

Different Types Available

While looking for an outdoor survival multi tool, you’ll find that all of them fall under three categories: keychain-linked, full-sized tools that are general-purposed, and tools that are geared for specific work.

Those that are in the category of keychain tools are designed to be lightweight, and easy to use, they deploy easily and are seamless on your keychain.

The downside of keychain tools – you’ll notice that that the amount of tools that you can use on them is significantly limited. This will go completely unnoticed while it’s attached to your keychain, until you reach a point where an important tool is needed, but the keychain tool doesn’t have it. Not do dilly-dally; this is most often the case with pliers.

When you’re outdoors, there are many variables and surprises that can arise, and as they say, it’s much better to be over than underprepared.

Heavy duty carry-on multi tools

The next category of tools falls under the general purposed, full-sized multi-tools.

Heavy duty carry-on multi toolsThese are more on the bulky side of the spectrum as they aren’t attached to the key-chain (due to their weight) and they are equipped with multiple tools that are for general use – many of them are just as good and sturdy as standalone tools.

These are great to carry inside a bag or carry-on as they can’t be placed inside your pockets. If the terrain that you’ll be heading towards will have extreme weather conditions and environment, then this is the best choice to use.

The last categories of multi-tools that are best for outdoor survival are specific towards market groups or types of people and their needs.

It’s a bit hard to explain, but essentially, some of the tools i.e. blades, screwdrivers, etc. are added to the tools that work with certain types of users.

If the user will be working in the cold weather at high altitudes in a specific region of the world, then the tools that are equipped onto the multi-tool will be geared towards the equipment that the user will have.

Some of the people that the multi-tools are geared towards feature electricians, gun-owners, pyrotechnics, etc. While there are some multi-tools that are great in that they have tools that are generally used, having some that are more handy and specific to the type of work is usually more fit.

The Leatherman series and SOG series of multi-tools are a few examples have the tools for specific groups of users. When using them, you’ll notice that most of them have some general tools attached to them, but their main use is clearly set for construction or some other type of manual-labor.

How to Choose the Best One

To narrow down on what is the best multi tool for you, you’ll need to answer for yourself what specific types of work you will need the tool for.

  • Will you be heading towards the wildlife and go camping, or are you looking for more dedicated tools.
  • Will you be working with auto equipment or other electric type of fields?

These questions are pretty general but they will help you get the right tool that you need, as well as save you from wasting your money in a multi-tool that won’t cater to your needs. A tool should be handy in your work. The last thing that it should be is something that is a hindrance to you.

Based on the three categories that are listed above, you can look at whether you’ll need a tool that you’ll carry in your pockets, or something sturdier that can be stored in a case or carry-on.

Remember that the tool will serve YOU from your day-to-day work, in your home, as well as any place that you go to. Take your time in searching for the right multi-tool but also take heed of what type of tools are best for you and your work.

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