Packing and carrying a collection of tools in your flight bag every time you fly is impractical and inconvenient. So a multitool, with its all-in-one design, is invaluable for pilots to handle all those everyday and essential tasks.
Here are the ones I recommend.
Table of Contents
- 1 4 of the Best Multitools for Pilots
- 2 Important Things to Consider If You’re a Pilot Buying a Multitool
4 of the Best Multitools for Pilots
Top Pick: Leatherman Skeletool CX Multitool
Ultra-light, compact, and with all the functionality a pilot needs.New: $89.95
The Leatherman Skeletool CX is an ultra-light, compact multitool with a closed length of 4 inches, and open length of 6 inches.
Pilots will appreciate its one-hand operable features that include needlenose pliers, regular pliers, hard-wire cutters, wire cutters, a carabiner/bottle opener, large bit driver, and 2.6″ knife blade.
Other features that you will appreciate include handle bit storage for easy access in the middle of a job, a locking blade for safety, a pocket clip, and outside-accessible features so the multitool can be used in its folded or closed position.
Weighing just 5 ounces, I found the Leatherman Skeletool CX to be the lightest yet most functional multitool available to pilots.
Most Functional: Leatherman Wingman Multitool
With 14 tools, the Leatherman WIngman is the most functional multitool available..New: $69.95
If you want the ultimate all-in-one multitool, look no further than the Leatherman Wingman Multitool.
Weighing 7 ounces, I found it a little bit heavier than the Skeletool, but it comes packed with 14 tools.
This includes spring-action needlenose pliers, spring-action regular pliers, spring-action wire cutters, wire strippers, combo knife blade, spring-action scissors, package opener, ruler, can opener, bottle opener, wood/metal file, Phillips screwdriver, medium screwdriver, and small screwdriver.
Similar in design to the Skeletool, this Wingman multitool features a 2.6″ blade, closed length of 3.8″, open length of 6″, as well as a locking blade, a pocket clip, outside-accessible and one-hand operable features.
Also Great: Flight Outfitters Multi-Tool
The Flight Outfitters is designed specifically for pilots.Check Amazon for Pricing
Designed specifically for pilots, the Flight Outfitters Multi-Tool has just the essentials at an excellent price point.
This includes a locking knife with a combination serrated and plain edge, Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener with flat head screwdriver, needle nose pliers with wire cutter, and can opener. All tools are made from durable stainless steel.
Additionally, due to its design, I found one-hand operation to be easy.
Best TSA-Compliant: Leatherman Style PS Keychain Multitool
Due to the lack of a blade, the Leatherman PS is unlikely to get confiscated.Check Amazon for Pricing
If you need a TSA-compliant multitool, the Leatherman Style PS is your best bet.
To remain TSA-compliant, the multitool doesn’t come with a blade, but it does come with spring-action needle nose pliers, spring-action regular pliers, spring-action wire cutters, spring-action scissors, flat/Phillips screwdriver, tweezers, nail file, and a carabiner/bottle opener.
Weighing just 1.58 ounces, and with a closed length of 2.9″ and an open length of 4.5″, the Leatherman Style PS fits in your pocket, is very easy to carry, has a key ring hole for quick access, as well as outside-accessible features.
Important Things to Consider If You’re a Pilot Buying a Multitool
- TSA Compliant
While TSA agents have discretion in what they will and won’t allow pass through security, it’s usually the knife of a multitool that will guarantee confiscation.
This can limit your options when shopping for the best multitool for pilots. Thankfully, though, you can often turn any multitool into a TSA compliant device by detaching the blade, giving you more options to choose from.
Some multitools come equipped with as many as 14 tools, while others can only handle a few tasks.
So consider if you just need a barebones multitool for only the essential tasks, or need one that is able to cut through wire, tighten or loosen stubborn screws, and can be relied on for all tasks out on the ramp?
You might have noticed that three of our top four picks come from Leatherman. This is because it is a name that is almost synonymous with multitools. Leatherman offers an unmatched 25-year warranty, and the company’s multitools have been relied on by people from all walks of life, pilot or not, for decades.
I also recommend the Flight Outfitters multitool because it is a company that specializes in pilot gear and equipment.
I wouldn’t recommend tempting fate with other brands because Leatherman and Flight Outfitters get the job done at a competitive price.
Helen Krasner holds a PPL(A), with 15 years experience flying fixed-wing aircraft; a PPL(H), with 13 years experience flying helicopters; and a CPL(H), Helicopter Instructor Rating, with 12 years working as a helicopter instructor.
Helen is an accomplished aviation writer with 12 years of experience, having authored several books and published numerous articles while also serving as the Editor of the BWPA (British Women Pilots Association) newsletter, with her excellent work having been recognized with her nomination of the “Aviation Journalist of the Year” award.
Helen has won the “Dawn to Dusk” International Flying Competition, along with the best all-female competitors, three times with her copilot.