Knives and Multitools
(Photographs by Shana Novak)

Mechanical Advantage

Upgrade your armory with the coolest knives and multitools out there

Knives and Multitools
Jeremy Spencer


Japanese steel holds an edge like no other. SHUN BY KAI’s Damascus-clad KAJI 7″ HOLLOW GROUND SANTOKU does the work of three chef’s knives, slicing, dicing, and mincing. Bonus: The lifetime warranty includes free professional sharpenings. $250;


With its weight-saving design, serrated blade, dual thumb studs, and index-finger hole—for secure grip and carabiner clipping—the 4.2-ounce GERBER REMIX has the most climbing-friendly features we’ve seen in one knife. $30;


The most versatile and full-featured multitool in the lineup, VICTORINOX’s classic SWISSTOOL RS is our go-to piece for plucking thorns from bike tires, slicing cheese, cracking beers, punching that extra belt hole, you name it. If you can’t do it with this thing, call a mechanic. $105;


CRKT’s two-ounce LI’L GUPPIE pocketknife/multitool may look “cute,” but with a one-inch blade, adjustable 10mm wrench, bottle opener, Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, and carabiner-like clip, it’s plenty useful. $30;


Eleven tools for 4.5 ounces? Deal. Ditch that brick in your jersey pocket for the carbon-fiber-and-titanium PEDRO’S CRITICAL MASS OR bike multitool. It weighs a third less than similar steel tools and features a spoke wrench, Torx head (for brake rotors), two screwdrivers, and seven hexes. $70;


Dehook that feisty pompano and trim that tangle with FISHPOND’s five-ounce, spring-loaded BARRACUDA PLIERS, which are made out of aerospace aluminum but sport tougher (replaceable) steel jaws and clipping edges. $140;


LEATHERMAN’s 4.5-ounce FREE STYLE CX (available in May) trims the design of the company’s award-winning Skeletool to the bare bones: pliers/snips, blade, pocket clip, period. Cutouts and carbon-fiber elements help keep the weight down. $72;


The FISKARS 8″ HATCHET is stubby, but that’s the point: It weighs just 14 ounces, stashes easily in or on a pack, and pulls double duty hammering tent stakes and whipping up kindling. Bonus: a hollow, nearly unbreakable fiberglass-composite handle. $31;


SPYDERCO has updated its wicked little CRICKET with a serrated edge. Its hooked blade grabs as it cuts, and at just three-sixteenths of an inch thick, it pockets easily. Careful when busting this thing out, though; it’s kinda scary. $85;

10. WORK

BENCHMADE’s beautiful, serrated 950 RIFT opens in a millisecond with just a thumb and a flick of the wrist. The premium (and pricey) industrial-grade steel body ain’t light, but pairing it with a featherweight composite handle keeps this badass utility blade under five ounces. $195;

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021 Lead Photo: Photographs by Shana Novak