Q: I am looking for a quality multitool made in America. I have $100 to spend on it. I want to be able to open it with one hand.
— Sam, Bismarck, North Dakota
A: With those requirements, my first choice would be the Leatherman Wave+ ($100, scoutshop.org). At 4 inches long, it’s sleek, compact and packed with 18 tools — including two steel blades that are nearly 3 inches. They’re both easily accessible using just your thumb. It’s a little tough to open with one hand, though. Once it’s open, you can get to the screwdrivers, scissors and pliers.
Another top pick is the SOG PowerAccess ($65, sogknives.com). I found the 4-inch multitool easy to flip open with one hand. All of its 18 tools — other than the pliers — can be accessed while the tool is closed. A nice plus with this one is a pocket clip.
If you want to save some cash, consider the 17-tool Gerber Truss ($50, gerbergear.com). You will need two hands to open it, but once open, its spring loaded pliers are comfortable to use. The other tools, including two 2-inch blades, scissors and a saw, are available on the multitool’s exterior.
You really can’t go wrong with any of these; sometimes, it comes down to personal preference. I loved the Leatherman’s bigger blades, but SOG’s tools were the easiest to access, and I liked Gerber’s locking mechanism the best.
When it comes to American-made, all of these companies are headquartered in the U.S., where they make many, if not all, of their products.