Multi-Tools

Discussion in 'Knives, Gear, Guns And Other Tools' started by JAD, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. JAD

    JAD Member

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    I'm opening this thread with some good pictures of three multi-tools that I own. As pictured below from left to right are; Gerber Multi-Plier 600, Leatherman Surge, and Victorinox Swisstool Spirit X.

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    I am going to focus on the Leatherman Surge and Victorinox Spirit X because I think they are superior tools to the Gerber. Their designs, ease of tool access, fit, finish, features, blades, and even pliers seem to be better than the Gerber which I will briefly discuss at the end. In profile these two tools appear to be of similar size. NO WAY.

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    Look at the edge view. The Surge on the right is a much more substantial slab of moving parts. The Surge lists 21 tools, opening from the outside (and some tools inside) without opening the plier handles for access, and the Spirit X likewise opens the same way and list 26 tools.

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    Here a few selections from the tool box.

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    The Surge offers a thumb slot for one-handed opening and works well in one hand deployment. The Spirit X (the X designates a traditional SAK blade as shown versus an iteration of a wharncliffe or sheepsfoot style blade on the plain Spirit). Despite the additional size and accessibility of the Surge blade I find myself liking the traditional SAK blade on the Spirit X better. The Spirit requires two hand opening using a blade nick for withdrawal. As an additional note I generally am not relying on my multi-tool blade for cutting. I am almost always carrying a separate pocket knife. But if I was relying on the multi-tool blade give me the SAK anyway.

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    The most significant or unusual feature of the Spirit is this chisel type blade with wire stripping edges.

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    The most significant feature of the Surge is a slot for multiple driver bits and the use of an extension. These two items will cost you an additional $45 in total (40 bit set $25 and extension $20).

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    With all that I really like both of these tools. The Surge is a multi-faceted beast with the additional bit kit and extender. It also offers interchangeable blades where I have substituted even a hack saw blade, besides included file, and wood cutting blade. It has a lot of horsepower. But it is a BIG ASS package. The way mine is set up it comes in at almost 1 pound of weight!

    The Spirit has almost identical features less the bit kit and extender. But the more svelte package and profile comes in at a little over 8.5 ounces. It can give you a lot of multi-tool punch in design that weighs half as much. Pick your poison.

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    I can slim the Surge down and lose the bit kit using the leather sheath for it instead of my Maxpeedition. Then the size difference is much closer.

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    I guess it's all about options and I truly could live with either but I like having both. :)

    Final look at all three and some commentary on the Gerber.

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    I've owned Gerbers for decades. This latest iteration, the 600 with blunt nose pliers, was a replacement for a 20 year old tool that eventually fell apart. It was replaced for free because they couldn't repair it. So good on Gerber for their customer service and warranty. But the Gerbers just don't seem to have the features, fit, or finish of the latest Leatherman and the Victorinix. The blades and accessories can only be opened from the inside of the handles, no outward opening features from the closed position. That is all I have to say about that one. Street price around $80.

    Surge street price with bit kit, extender, and Maxpedition is around $155

    Victorinox Swisstool Spirit X street price with leather case is around $105

    No recommendations just some information for comparison purposes. Hope it offers you some help in the multi-tool market.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  2. nathan shepherd

    nathan shepherd Member

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    That's a nice review. The Victorinox does look Like a nice tool.
     
  3. JMJ

    JMJ Member

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    Awesome review! I've come to think the same about my gerber. I've got 2 or 3 leatherman tools, but no experience with the victorinox. I'll have to get one of them.
     
  4. JAD

    JAD Member

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    One thing I didn't add is that all three tools have lock mechanisms, when a tool gets deployed, so that they cannot accidentally close on you. Most people probably already know that anyway.

    This was not meant so much as a review other than offering information for someone thinking about buying one. I was actually hoping members would pile on this thread with pictures of what they use and like as well as offer additional advice.
     
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  5. Delkancott

    Delkancott Member

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    Love my Swisstool X. No as big of a fan of the spirit if you want a workhorse, but they are both quality tools.
     
  6. RocketmanDane

    RocketmanDane Member

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    I probably got my first multitool 15-20 years ago and it was a Gerber. I have had MANY different Leathermans throughout the years and have always found them to be Superior to the Gerber.. I still have my original Gerber and will use it occasionally BUT it has lost more then one tool over the years... using it properly to turn a screw for example I have had the tool snap.... With the Leathermans I have only ever had 1 tool snap and I was just being dumb...
     
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  7. R Stowe

    R Stowe Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the review. I own the Gerber 600 and the smaller version as well. I've been happy with the smaller one since it's significantly lighter and offers many of the same features. I've been curious about the SOG Paratool. Anyone a fan, or not, of that multi-tool?
     
  8. elgatoloco

    elgatoloco Member

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    Here's my setup, spirit X, not a fan of those "normal" spirits, they looks like two joined bananas for me haha.

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  9. JAD

    JAD Member

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    The Swisstool X would probably have been the better comparison to the Surge. But like my Mama used to say. "You play with whatcha' got". Them's what I got.
     
  10. olderguy

    olderguy Member

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    A Gerber given to me by co-workers and carried daily for many moons :
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  11. Delkancott

    Delkancott Member

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  12. Rook52

    Rook52 Member

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    Sprint X, had Gerber once and the pliers slipped I have never pinch my hand so hard in my life. They allow the handles to close all the way.
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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  13. The Warrior

    The Warrior Member

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    Reposting this from a few years back.

    Wife got a new black oxide Wave for my birthday. I like the molle sheath that came with it, but I wanted to carry it on me, so I got a new sheath for it. I'm not much of a blingy person, so I'll probably take a Sharpie to the yellow Leatherman logo.

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    Bit extender in one loop:

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    And a firesteel in the other. The lid holds the firesteel down nicely:

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    Wave, extender, firesteel, one of the two sets of bits, and a firesteel striker behind it:

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    I am aware that there's a pocket on front as well, behind the velcro, but the striker kind of sticks out a bit.

    Used SuzukiGS750EZ's idea of a pen clip, to add to the extender to keep it from falling out:

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    Got this idea from "T Co" at BCUSA. Added a ranger band in the front pocket:
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    Makes a nice set of extra hands to hold the pliers tight, like so:

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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
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  14. mwramos76

    mwramos76 Member

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    I have used the same multi tool since the late 90's. it's an old bucktool I believe. It's always in my pack which is always with me. I'll get some pics up.
     
  15. 91bravo

    91bravo Guest

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  16. mwramos76

    mwramos76 Member

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    This is the only multi tool I have ever owned. Haven't had a need for anything more. Been carrying this everyday for probably a little over 20 years.
     
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  17. Delkancott

    Delkancott Member

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  18. Delkancott

    Delkancott Member

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    Looking to pick up a new multitool. Anyone have experience with the Leatherman Signal??
     
  19. Bluelew

    Bluelew Member

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    yep me too
     
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  20. Delkancott

    Delkancott Member

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    Also, anyone have experience with the Swisstool Spirit XBS? Damn high price, but it's also almost 20% lighter.
     

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