Rambo style survival knife or multitool?

Standard recommendation is a full tang, 4″ blade (or more).  I have several, including a nice KaBar, but I think a quality multitool is even more versatile.  Way back when, I carried an SAK, which served well in youthful escapades, but I changed to a Leatherman PSK when they came out, and I now have several L tools.  My current normal EDC is a Skeletool CX, but I  will also carry a fully accessorized Wave on occasion.

Having gadgets like saws, screwdrivers, and pliers can be really useful, even when the blade is a folder.  I have never experienced a problem.

It is best when preparing for specific situations, to choose the most suitable items, but for general use I am quite happy with a multitool.

Heresy, I know.  Please comment….



  • Comments (11)

    • 3

      For EDC, my only blade is a multitool. Takes up little space and has a bunch of tools that are useful in unexpected ways. Plus I can take it out without anyone thinking it’s a weapon.

      For a larger emergency bag, I think it’s worth making room for that 4” fixed blade as well, which is much better for any knife work. No need to choose between them – they both fit.

      For at home, with no weight limits, I use more specialized tools: pole saw, pressure washer, drill…

      They all have their place.

    • 3

      I have a leatherman wave+ as well as a victorinox Swiss Army Champ. I like the Swiss Army knife better because in the UK it is legal carry whereas the Leatherman wave+ has a locking blade and isn’t legal to carry here. I have several full tang bushcraft type knives but these must only be carried or used on private property in the UK.

      The Swiss Army knife has everything from a pen and a tiny ferrocium rod (it replaced the toothpick) to a magnifying glass and tweezers. It keeps a great edge and can be carried at all times which is what you need in an emergency. It obviously isn’t as robust as a fixed blade knife like a K-bar but it’s versatility is unbeatable.

      • 4

        “Leatherman wave+ has a locking blade and isn’t legal to carry here”

        It’s amazing to me that a “don’t cut your finger” safety feature makes a multitool illegal.

      • 3

        I agree with you but unfortunately our lawmakers don’t. It is the result of a lot of nonsensical laws being passed over the years for political reasons rather than the prevention of crime

      • 3

        I have added a ferro rod to my Swiss Army knife, too (and the ‘Fire Ant’ mini tinder on the corkscrew) – is yours a Fire Fly by Tortoise Gear? What a great idea they came up with; I bought them through their kick starter campaign, but now they are available on Amazon: 

      • 2

        That fire ant tinder on the corkscrew is the coolest thing I have seen all year! I need to go look through my knife collection to see if I have a Swiss Army knife, but now I want one! 

        Everyone! Watch the below video, your mind will be blown with how cool this tinder is!

    • 4

      In my analysis of the gear used among the Alone contestants, 71% of people chose a knife and 42% chose a multi-tool. But… another stat to look at is what percentage of actual winners chose a multi-tool vs knife. This may be the more important statistic because it shows which is the better tool more successful in aiding in surviving the longest. Among the winners, 75% of champions brought a multi-tool and 37% chose a knife.

      For EDC, a multi-tool is the superior option. It’s not often in a city environment that you need to use a 4″+ knife, but just yesterday I needed to get a replacement bolt from the hardware store and used the hex head bit in my multitool to remove a bolt and then changed to a phillips bit and checked if the bolt I was buying would work. 

      • 2

        Let us not forget Jordan, who ended up having to process an entire moose with his multi-tool 😂 😂 😂  As I remember, he bemoaned that at the time.

      • 3

        Luckily I’m unlikely to have to go through that.

      • 1

        Amen to that! haha

        Still, pretty cool to see that a multi-tool really is so versatile that it can do heavy and complicated tasks like that.

    • 3

      I recently got a big ole Swiss army knife handyman, and I adore it. I’ve had a Leatherman wave and a few others, and while the pliers are very nice, the handyman really does a lot of the work for smaller tinker tasks so nicely.

      Though I’m not a fan of how soft the metal of the blades is, but I’m sure that’s part of the reason that many bush crafters types carry a multitool knife, a small blade and a larger blade or axe.

      I do agree about the right tool for the job, a pliers based multitool makes more sense for being around cars, as that was the original intent, but the balance a SAK has across the tools helps it do many things.