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Gear Reviews

The 4 Best Knives and Tools of 2021

For backcountry chores, these four knives and multitools will have you covered for slicing, dicing, paring, chopping, repairing ... you get the idea.

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Lightest Knife: SOG Ultra XR

SOG Ultra XR

The Ultra XR is one of the slimmest and most compact knives we’ve ever used. SOG upgraded the original version with a higher-quality stainless steel that prolongs the 2.8-inch blade’s edge without sharpening and resists chipping and corrosion. During six months of use, which included cutting kindling, food prep, and box opening, the Ultra XR never dulled and proved adept at detailed work. Buy Now / Read the Full Review

Best Value Multitool: Gerber Suspension-NXT

Gerber Suspension-NXT

Buying a full-featured multitool typically means shelling out about $100. Not the Suspension-NXT: At $37, this is the most affordable one we’ve used that also has a robust toolset and a secure locking mechanism. Our tester carried the Suspension-NXT for a week on the Appalachian Trail and says it never failed him, even when he pushed it beyond normal use. Buy Now / Read the Full Review

Bargain Fixed Blade: Morakniv Eldris LightDuty (S)

Morakniv Eldris LightDuty S

Our tester had doubts when he unboxed this diminutive knife, but by the end of the testing cycle he was singing its praises. The Eldris LightDuty’s 2.3-inch blade is constructed of Swedish stainless steel and proved ideal for carving tinder from hardwood in Virginia’s Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area. Buy Now / Read the Full Review

Most Compact Multitool: Leatherman FREE K4/K4X

Leatherman FREE K4 K4X

Most multitools are bulky enough that they end up in your pack rather than your pocket, and are thus harder to deploy when needed. But the FREE K4 is the length of a Snickers bar and slim, so it can stash neatly in the front pocket of your hiking pants (the attached clip helps as well). Buy Now / Read the Full Review

Read More: Gear 360 Reviews the Leatherman FREE T4

Leatherman T4

The Leatherman FREE T4 bridges the gap between ultralight backpacking knives and heavy around-the-house multitools. It packs an average hiker’s everyday carry needs into a compact and lightweight seven-tool package that looks and feels much like a traditional Swiss Army knife. Buy Now / Read the Full Review