The No. 1 Tool of Tradecraft

Barbara HauckDear Reader,

Among family and friends, my father is known as MacGyver. That man can build, fix or rig anything to do anything.

Once, he built my brother and me a contraption we dubbed the “ski-cycle” — a combination of skis and a bicycle — that we got a lot of mileage out of one winter.

One item he always carries with him is a multitool. He’s also got one in his car, nightstand and desk at work.

Working with Jason Hanson, I am privy to a lot of great advice. When I saw that he was giving a rundown of his top 10 multitool recommendations, I mentally checked at least one item off my holiday shopping list.

Looks like Dad is getting a multitool upgrade this year!


Barbara Hauck

Barbara Hauck

My Top 10 Multitool Recommendations

Jason HansonThe holidays will be here before we know it, and choosing gifts for your loved ones isn’t always easy.

Instead of waiting until the last minute and buying a kitschy gift that isn’t practical or useful, you might want to get a jump on your shopping and think about picking up a multitool.

I got my first multitool when I was in the Boy Scouts. The moment I received it, I remember looking at it in awe, thinking it was an amazing instrument.

When I worked for the CIA, a multitool was always part of my gear.

And today, I still keep a multitool in all of my bug-out bags — and one in my car — because you never know when you’ll need one of these handy gadgets.

Here are 10 multitools to consider dropping in a family member’s stocking this year:

1) Leatherman Wave: This popular model has 17 different tools packed into one compact device. It contains wire cutters, pliers and multiple knife blades — just to name a few. Every tool on the Wave can be locked into place, so you don’t have to worry about the tool folding up on your fingers when in use. The Wave sells for around $90 on Amazon.

2) Leatherman OHT: This multitool is similar to the Wave, but the OHT has a few different, more specialized tools — such as a cleaning rod adapter and an oxygen tank wrench. It’s usually marketed as a multitool for soldiers because of the slightly unique set of accessories. The OHT sells for around $80.

3) SOG PowerAssist: The SOG is commonly referred to as a tactical multitool. SOG is better known for making knives, but their multitool is impressive. It combines 16 different tools and is designed using their compound leverage mechanism, which gives you twice the power of a regular multitool. The SOG PowerAssist sells for around $65.

4) Leatherman Charge TTi: The Charge TTi is a top-of-the-line multitool. It includes 19 different tools and is made of titanium, which is an exceptionally strong and durable material. The Charge weighs only a half of pound and is the flagship product of Leatherman, a company that makes multiple quality tools (as you can see, there are several on this list). However, you will pay a premium for a product of this caliber — it sells for around $170.

5) Victorinox SwissTool Spirit: Victorinox is the company that first brought us the original Swiss army knife. This model has a whopping 27 tools, including screwdrivers in multiple sizes, needle-nose pliers, a wire stripper and a chisel. It’s made of stainless steel and comes with a lifetime warranty. The SwissTool sells for around $100 on Amazon.

6) Gerber Diesel: Gerber is a maker of multiple knives and tools, but the Diesel is one of the best in its price range. This tool contains multiple screwdrivers and two different sized pliers. As with any multitool worth its salt, the Gerber locks each tool into place for safety. The Diesel sells for around $45 on Amazon.

7) Hoffman Richter HR-100: The HR-100 features 13 different tools, which would cover most of your basic tool needs. It’s made from type 440 stainless steel and includes a lifetime guarantee. It’s a good inexpensive option, selling for only $40.

8) Gerber Legend: The Legend has 12 tools, including four screwdrivers, and all of the tools come with a locking mechanism. The Legend is made with stainless steel and an aluminum handle, so it’s lightweight. It’s also very compact — only 4.5 inches long when folded. It sells for around $75 on Amazon.

9) JClaw Tek Fire Talon: The Fire Talon is another good inexpensive option when it comes to multitools. A great tool for hiking — it’s lightweight and has an LED light on each end, so you can see what you’re doing in the dark. The Fire Talon sells for around $30.

10) Leatherman Squirt: This is one of the more basic multitools in Leatherman lineup. The Squirt contains nine tools and is only 2.5 inches long, so it can be carried on a key chain or attached to a bag. Clearly, the Leatherman name is known for quality and the Squirt is a great small multitool. The Squirt sells for around $30.

Do you have a favorite brand of multitool? Send your review to

Happy shopping! And as always…

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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