A multi-tool is one of the best pieces of survival gear one can bring when going on an outdoor adventure. Two of the most popular multi-tools are the Swiss army knife and the folding plier based multi-tool. We will explore which tool is best suited for a wilderness survival situation and which will offer you the best bang for your buck.
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Features:
- Large and small blade
- Can opener
- Bottle opener
- Wire stripper
- Various screwdriver bits
- Wood Saw
- Metal saw and file
- Reamer with sewing eye
- Wood chisel
The first Swiss Army Knife was introduced over 125 years ago! These legendary tools have survived over a century for good reason; functionality, quality and durability coupled with an elegant design have made Victorinox a well known name in the survival community.
The swiss army knife always seems to deliver, it has so many uses and always manages to provide more than what is expected.
Leatherman Style Multi-Tool Features:
- Spring loaded pliers
- Bottle opener
- Large blade
- Serrated blade
- Metal file
- Metal saw
- Wood saw
- Multiple screwdrivers
- Strong crate opener
- Can opener
- Hard wire cutter
- Lanyard hole
- Lock release
- Optional tool kit attachments
- Wire crimper, scraper, stripper & bender
- Built in firesteel
Plier multi-tools are the evolution of the multi-tool concept. They offer an unbelievable amount of gadgets crammed into a small, light and durable frame. The main pliers are usually spring loaded and can handle very tough jobs.
If stuck in the wilderness plier based multi-tools have unlimited uses and will prove there worth time and time again.
Swiss Army Vs. Multi-Tool Comparison:
So which multi-tool would get more use in the field and which is most dependable? Well, both the Swiss Army knife and the plier multi-tool have pros and cons.
The main downside to the Swiss Army knife is that only the mechanic models are equipped with pliers. Out in the wilderness you will probably run into a situation where you need pliers. Taking an aluminum cooking pot off the fire, bending a fishing hook and pulling a small rope to tighten a knot are just a few examples. Having pliers built into your multi-tool is a very handy feature. The blade on a Swiss Army knife is usually too small to complete certain jobs where a mid size blade is necessary.
Plier based multi-tools are considerably heavier than the Swiss army knife, in the field lighter gear definitely has its advantages. Plier multi-tools also lack tweezers, these can come in very handy should you ever get a splinter or stumble through a thorn bush. Unfortunately many plier multi-tools lack the durability of a Swiss army knife. Many survival enthusiasts have reported that their plier multi-tool failed them and fell apart in the field.
Conclusion: So Which Tool is Best:
The plier multi-tool definitely has key advantages over the Swiss Army knife. You will usually get a larger cutting blade, extra tools which cannot be found on the Swiss Army knife and you will also get plenty of fresh creative styles to choose from. However it is only worth buying a plier multi-tool that is lightweight and constructed from the highest quality metals. It wouldn’t be wise to spend $15 on a cheap model and take the risk of bringing an inferior, shoddy tool into the wilderness. If you buy the plier multi-tool get a high quality model that will stay in good shape for years to come.
The Swiss Army knife has a rock solid reputation and is a great option. This tool is definitely a good purchase if you don’t mind the lack of pliers and a few other accessories you will miss out on. The main selling points for the Swiss Army knife are definitely reliability, durability and weight.
So in conclusion both the pros and cons of both tools have been brought to light. Now that you understand that both of these tools have their high and low points it should be much easier to make a decision. If you happen to want a plier multi-tool made by Victorinox you are in luck! The same company that makes the Swiss Army knife now makes plier multi-tools as well!
You may also be interested in: SOG Powerlock Multi-tool Review