Shown here is an Amazon Basics 10-in-1 multi-tool, priced at $13.88, and they also have “8-in-1”, “11-in-1”, and “15-in-1″ styles.
This Amazon Basics multi-tool is said to measure 4.1″ x 0.9″ x 1.5”, meaning it’s a full-size tool that’s supposed to be comparable to the most popular models by Leatherman, Gerber, and others.
The product page has marketing banners for Amazon Basics, describing the line as having highly rated products at low prices.
- needle nose pliers
- standard pliers
- wire cutter
- slotted screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- can opener
- bottle opener
The Amazon Basics multi-tool is said to be made of durable stainless steel with an aluminum frame.
It might make me sound like a tool snob or EDC snob, but I’d never touch a multi-tool like this. What’s the knife blade length? What’s it made out of? Does it lock into position when open? How?
The Gerber Suspension and newer Suspension NXT are both just under $30, and represent a good balance between affordability and usability. I still have my Suspension, my first “real” multi-tool. I kept it at my lab desk and it still came in handy long after I upgraded my daily carry to a Leatherman.
I haven’t seen the Amazon Basics tool in person, but I know its type and am inclined to think the Gerbers are worth twice the price. But, that’s just me.
Cheaper multi-tools can be frustrating to open, difficult to use, and highly compromised when it comes to strength, quality, or functionality. Tools like this aren’t anything like other hand tools where you can spend less and still get a perfectly usable hammer, screwdriver, or pliers.
This multi-tool, and others in the sub-$20 price range, still seem to be highly popular. What am I missing? All of the entry-priced multi-tools I’ve ever tried have been of abysmal quality. Is that not true for this one?
At least it’s not advertised like others in Amazon’s bestseller’s list, where many of those tools are simply “multi-tool camping accessories stocking stuffer for men dad gifts, cool gadgets for him husband grandpa birthday valentines outdoor, hunting hiking emergency escape car, fathers day survival tool.”
A lot of those tools tend to have two types of user reviews. “I bought this for my [husband, brother, father, other person]” and “it broke on the first use.”
So – am I being snobby here? Does any multi-tool user see merit in a tool like this? Have you tried this one or Amazon Basics’ other models?
And if you’re not a multi-tool user, I’d still direct you to the Gerber Suspension models as being the least expensive entry point. That’s a good entry-level tool for one-time users or those who will eventually upgrade to other brands or pricier models.
There are also plenty of keychain-sized tools to choose from. Smaller tools aren’t as functional, but I’d still rather a good mini multi-tool than a cheapest-construction-possible full-size model.