GearTools & Tech

The Best Knives and Multitools of 2020

These cut through the competition

(Photo: Inga Hendrickson)
buyer’s guide

Gerber Armbar Cork ($39)

Knives
(Photo: Courtesy Gerber)

This eight-tool, 3.1-ounce device is a solid base-camp assistant, with scissors, a hammer, and a 2.5-inch blade for an array of chores. Bottle, can, and wine openers keep food and drink flowing, and the stonewashed finish adds class.

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The James Brand Carter ($159)

buyer’s guide
(Photo: Courtesy The James Brand)

This sleek ­everyday carry is as beautiful as it is functional. The de-sign is compact enough for small pockets and features a secure reversible clip. The 2.75-inch VG-10 blade is up to any task, and the ambidextrous slide lock makes it easy to access on the fly.

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CRKT Parascale ($130)

buyer’s guide
(Photo: Courtesy CRKT)

The Parascale is up to the toughest backcountry tasks. The lock was the easiest and safest we tested. The burly 3.1-inch blade tucks away with the press of a large button at the hinge, and steel bolts keep it securely in place. The handle is wrapped in paracord—a first for a folder.

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Spyderco ClipiTool Rescue ($89)

Knives
(Photo: Courtesy Spyderco)

With a flathead screwdriver, a knife, and a rope cutter, this tool is a smart addition to your first aid kit. The 3.6-inch serrated blade can saw through small branches, while the rope cutter is sharp on the inside for quickly removing cloth­ing or ­severing tangled lines. All three tools are single-hand accessible, thanks to Spyderco’s thumb-cutout design, and liner locks keep the two sharp ones in place.

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Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout ($140)

Knives
(Photo: Courtesy Benchmade)

The lightest tool in our test, this folding model is a backpacker’s dream. It fits in an Altoids tin and weighs just 1.5 ounces. The 2.8-inch drop-point blade is great for slicing and stows in the handle with a slide lock. A reversible tip-up clip and tether loop keep it where you need it.

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Coalatree Haswell ($159)

Knives
(Photo: Courtesy Coalatree)

The Haswell looks and feels like a func­tional heirloom. This second edition is just as skillfully crafted as the limited-run version released four years ago. The full-tang, high-­carbon steel blade is able to harvest vegetables and break down kindling with ease, and the walnut handle and beltable leather sheath look better with age.

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Editor’s Note: (5/20/20) In the print edition of the 2020 Summer Buyer’s Guide, Outside listed the price of CRKT Parascale as $150. We’ve updated this page to reflect the current price.

Filed To: KnivesToolsCampingDesign and TechTechnologyMulti-Tools
Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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