Gerber Armbar Cork ($39)
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.
The James Brand Carter ($159)
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.
CRKT Parascale ($130)
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.
Spyderco ClipiTool Rescue ($89)
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.
Benchmade 533 Mini Bugout ($140)
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.
Coalatree Haswell ($159)
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.
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.