For many EDCers, Leatherman needs no introduction. The multi-tool maker has been covering bases and getting things done with their impressive array of tools for decades. But while they have plenty of options in their catalog, some multi-tools are better for EDC than others. Given how useful their tools are, it’s a daunting task to pick the best one to carry, but we’re here to help. In this guide we take a look at the most popular Leatherman multi-tools used for EDC by our very own community as well as new gear that we think can fill in when traditional multi-tools aren’t an option. Whether you need a more compact, discreet tool or one for tackling heavy duty jobs, this guide will help narrow down your choices.
When Leatherman released the Tread to market, they changed the game with how you carried a multi-tool for EDC. It had all the tools you need, right on your wrist. That meant never worrying about having to weigh down your pockets with a heavier tool or how to carry one without resorting to a bulky holster or sheath. With the Tempo, you benefit from the Tread’s wearable tool links while also gaining the functionality and style of a 200M water-resistant Swiss movement watch. Adding a wearable tool to your kit doesn’t mean giving up wearing a watch now, either. If you want an all-in-one, multi-functional watch that looks good, frees up your pockets, and travels anywhere, the Tread Tempo’s a solid pick.
If you had to pick just one well-rounded multi-tool that can do it all for years and years to come like so many of our own readers have, you can’t go wrong with the Wave. It’s one of Leatherman’s best-selling models for a reason: it’s got 17 useful tools from pliers to drivers to cutters, packed into a compact tool measuring only 4” when completely closed. Its secret to success lies in its externally accessible locking blades that deploy single handedly without even needing to open up the tool. It’s a great balance of size and performance, ideal for everyday tasks where you don’t need much larger tools.
For a lighter weight option where the blade is the star of the show, check out the Skeletool CX. With its compact selection of 7 useful tools, a stylish aesthetic of black, silver, and carbon fiber, and even a handy carabiner end on its handle—the Skeletool CX on first glance is designed to fulfill the needs of any EDCer. You get your beefy essentials like a full-sized pair of combo pliers and a large 154CM knife, paired with a versatile bit driver for when you need additional functions. These get packed into a skeletonized frame that cuts weight down to just 5 ounces, making the Skeletool easy to carry whether clipped or slipped into a pocket.
Wingman: your best friend, your reliable partner, your go-to guy for all your needs. And since its debut in 2011, Leatherman’s iconic multitool has become just that. The Wingman packs 14 essentials to solve all your everyday problems. Front and center are Leatherman’s signature spring-action pliers, bolstered by two stainless steel handles on each side. You can access its scissors and 420HC blades one-handed from the inside, with smaller functions available to you when the Wingman is fully deployed. And with a built-in clip and 7 ounce weight, the Wingman is easy to carry so it always has your back. It’s one of the best Leatherman offerings as far as its functionality:size ratio, perfect for those of you striving for maximum EDC efficiency.
While the usefulness and performance of larger multi-tools shouldn’t be questioned, sometimes you just want to stay prepared without worrying about making room for a larger tool. Enter the Squirt PS4. At just 2.25” and 2 ounces, you can toss it on your keychain and still have access to a full suite of 9 EDC-focused functions. This includes a knife and scissors, various drivers, and of course, a miniature set of Leatherman’s signature pliers. The Squirt also comes in a variety of colors to match your EDC’s aesthetic perfectly.
The Micra is one of Leatherman’s smallest multi-tools, but still one of their most useful with its 10 functions. It’s able to save on size and weight by foregoing the usual bulky pliers; in their place instead are a pair of spring-loaded scissors which work well with the Micra’s length when deployed. Rounding out its functions are knives, drivers, and even tweezers, all folding into a compact, 2.5” frame that weighs only 1.8 ounces. It’s a versatile addition to any keychain, and with its large selection of colors, pairs well with any kit, too. If you prefer getting your cutting tasks done with scissors, this classic tool is one of the handiest things you can add to your keyring.