Multi-tools for Police – [Including Three Top Choices! ]

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This article is going to show you the best multi-tools for law enforcement.

Why?

Because most patrol cops love having a multi-tool in their duty belt or pocket. 

Why?

Because we never know what situation we may encounter and what tools we may need. Most patrol police officers use these tools countless times throughout their careers. 

Let’s dive right in!

What is a multi-tool?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “multi tool” below: 

“a compact, portable device that has blades and extensions for many tools (such as knives, screwdrivers, pliers, scissors, openers, and saw blades) which can be folded into the handle.”

Have you heard of a swiss army knife? A swiss army knife is an example of a multi-tool. The big difference between the swiss army knife and the multi-tool is that the swiss army knife only has one handle, whereas the multi tool usually has two. The multi-tool has pliers and therefore needs two handles.

Swiss army knife and multi-tool comparison
Same same but different? A swiss army knife and a multi-tool have some similarities but also some differences

What is a multi-tool used for?

It can be used to fix, break, open, screw, or even saw things. This tool definitely lives up to its name. 

The most distinguishable thing about multi-tools is that they possess the power to hold a lot of tools in such a tiny space.You have quick access to a variety of tools without the pain of carrying around a tool chest. 

Police Usage of Multi-tools

The work of a police officer can be unpredictable. You never know what challenges you may face.

Leatherman Kick with the tools hidden and folded out
My first multi-tool from I was a rookie. This model, the Leatherman kick, has been discontinuedhttps://amzn.to/3NbLVuU

Here are a few examples where I used my trusted multi-tool as a police officer: 

  • Unscrewed the screws of a padlock hinge where the lock owner had lost her key.
  • Removed porcupine quills from a dog’s snout with the pliers (Yes, really!)
  • Bent rusted nails using the plier.
  • Cut off zip-tie cuffs with the wire cutter.
  • Removed license plates from cars.
  • Tightened my personal holster.
  • Utilized the saw to remove shrubs at a crime scene. Please note that I did this after being instructed by the CSI. Don’t do anything invasive around a crime scene without being told by someone who knows exactly what they’re doing!
CSI giving dirty look to photographer
If you do not follow the CSI’s instructions on a crime scene, you might receive this dirty look

Aside from using it as a police officer on the job, a good multi-tool can be used for a variety of things.

Survival

“Survival” is a popular term these days. Before Bear Grylls, we called it “camping.” 

There are plenty of situations where you need skills and resources to survive. However, most people never experience these kinds of problems.

Whether camping or in a survival situation, a multi-tool is always handy!

If you want to get a survival multi-tool, make sure it contains the components below: 

  • Knife
  • Saw
  • Pliers
  • Can Opener

You can also consider getting a multi-tool with a flintstone.

Some multi-tools also contain a small ax. I prefer to bring a separate ax but to each its own. 

Multi-tool with axe with tools hidden and shown
I bought this for camping, but soon discovered that a separate axe (and sometimes a saw) works much better

Check out Amazon’s selection of survival multi-tools here!

Fishing

A multi-tool can also be an excellent choice for a fishing trip. In my experience, the essential tools for a fishing trip are the pliers and the wire cutter. The pliers are crucial for handling hooks that may be stuck. Lastly, the wire cutters can be used for cutting the fishing line in various situations.

If you’re planning on fishing in saltwater, make sure you purchase a corrosion-resistant multi-tool! 

Here’s Amazon’s collection of multi tools for fishing

Everyday Carry (EDC)

Police officers are known for being interested in EDC. I believe the reason for this is that we learn on the job just how important having the right tools at the right time is. Understanding that the versatility and convenience of tools and gadgets can make a big difference in situations you may face in everyday situations. 

EDC with clock, magazine, knife, flashlight, tourniquet, multi-tool, knife and wallet
Many have a multi-tool in their EDC

When picking out the correct EDC item, aesthetics is typically more critical than on the job. While reviewing this article, I picked multi-tools that are also great for EDC. Personally, I think the Leatherman Mut EOD is one of the best EDC multi-tools, even if it might be a bit on the larger side.

What tools do you need in your multi-tool?

You never know what tool you might need, but you can’t keep every imaginable tool on your person or car at all times.

I have made a short list of the tools I’ve needed d the most and the ones I believe are a must for police officers:

  • Pliers
  • Wirecutter (integrated into the pliers)
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Knife
  • Saw
  • Scissors
  • Awl

You may be wondering,what is an awl? It’s a tool that is not quite a knife, not quite a flathead screwdriver. It’s typically used to make holes in leather and other tough fabrics. However, in my experience, it is best used to pry things open. 

Imagine that you want to open the lid on a paint bucket. The awl would be the best choice; it’s sturdy and won’t break as quickly as the knife. However, if you do break it, it’s not a catastrophe. You still have the most valuable tools intact.

Some multi-tools have integrated flashlights. I would advise you to stay away from these since the flashlights will only take up extra space. You should already have a tactical flashlight on your duty belt.

If you don’t have a tactical flashlight, I recommend checking out our article about them!

Who makes the best multi-tool?

Well, that depends on the needs of the customer. 

Ask yourself these things: 

  •  What specific tools do you need? 
  • How much are you willing to pay?

Here are the most renowned brands within different price ranges!

Leatherman

The first multi-tool in the design we know today was made by Tim Leatherman in 1983. It was called the “pocket survival tool.” He is also the founder of “The Leatherman Company.”

As you can see, “The Leatherman” is the multi-tool pioneer. To this very day, they make very unique products. They have a wide variety of multi-tools to choose from and their prices vary as well. Depending on the style of the multi-tool you wish to purchase, they can be on the expensive side.  A Leatherman is also an excellent choice for your EDC. 

Check out Amazon’s Leatherman selection here.

SOG

Another recognized multi-tool brand is SOG. 

SOG Speciality Knives, INC. began making reproductions of the SOG Knife (Read the Wikipedia article here – it’s a fantastic story). 

SOG Speciality Knives Inc logo

SOG has grown to be a renowned brand, not just for knives but also for multi-tools. In addition to this, they made the SEAL 2000 knife that is used by The United States Navy SEALs. The SOG knife was manufactured during the years of 1995-2007. The knife no longer in production, but you can buy the SOG SEAL Pup survival knife here.

It’s clear that SOG has a rich history, and it has become a trendy everyday carry brand.

Even though SOG is a reputable knife and tool manufacturer, their multi-tools aren’t that expensive. You can check out Amazon’s collection of SOG multi tools here.

Gerber

This is a controversial brand. One of their models is the #1 selling multi-tool platforms to the US military; it is preferred by operative military personnel all over the country.

However, the quality of their knives and multi-tools in recent years have been debated. Some models are considered good, others…. not so much.

Here’s Amazon’s selection of Gerber multi tools.

The Best Multi-Tools for Police Officers

I have discussed and shown you the most famous multi-tools for a reason. These brands/tools are ones that police officers use the most. Since law enforcement gear is popular among the EDC crowd, the following multi-tools are excellent choices for LEOs and EDC enthusiasts alike.

Leatherman Mut EOD

The Leatherman Mut EOD consists of the most high-end choices for police officers

They are built to last and will operate for a very long time. Many replaceable parts ensure high performance for officers who are willing to maintain their gear. The practical carabiner lets you hang it almost wherever you desire.

Leatherman EOD Mut Folded

The multi-tool is specially made for military use and works great for law enforcement, especially SWAT members. It also has a classy matte look, which is perfect for EDC. 

Please note that it is somewhat larger than the average multi tool.

Quality costs, but this model will last a lifetime. Check the current price on Amazon!

SOG PowerPint Mini

SOG PowerPint Mini, the budget alternative

As I wrote earlier, SOG is a reputable manufacturer but isn’t as expensive as the quality might suggest. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the same quality as the Leatherman Mut EOD, but a good buy regardless.

SOG PowerPint Mini black

It is a bit smaller in size than the average multi-tool, but this makes for a nice fit in your pocket and weighs virtually nothing. 

With the SOG PowerPint Mini costing you roughly $50, it’s a good choice for people who don’t wish to spend a lot, are buying their very first multi-tool, or want an impressive yet easily hideable EDC piece. And you guessed it: here’s the Amazon link.

Gerber MP600

This is the most used multi-tool in The US military- which says a lot. It is both cheap and tough. 

The Multi Tool Encyclopedia calls it the AK-47 of the multi-tool world, meaning it is exceptionally versatile, withstanding all sorts of conditions and challenges.

Gerber MP600 black

This is not a high-end precision tool like the Leatherman Mut EOD. It’s  much more robust than virtually any other multi-tool, making it a trusted partner for the police officers that choose it. Buy it here!

Feedback

Now, we want to hear from you, the reader: 

Did we miss a product that you would like for us to review? 

Do you have any experiences with the multi-tools we discussed or with others? 

Do you have any recommendations?

Please leave a comment below!

We would be delighted if you shared this guide on your social media!

For more information about police gear, see our articles about important items you need as a police officer [14 + items] and patrol bag contents.

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