Leatherman vs. Swiss Army Knife – Which is Best? The Debate Ends Here!

The two most popular multi tools on the market are the Leatherman and the Swiss army knife.

For as long as they’ve both existed, there’s been a debate as to which one is better.

The answer is not always so simple.

When it comes to the Leatherman vs Swiss army knife debate, there are a lot of things that need to be taken into account.

The Main Differences Between the Leatherman and the Swiss Army Knife

The biggest difference between these two tools is the casing.

The Victorinox Swiss Army knife uses a steel case in the shape of a rectangle with rounded edges.

The outsides are coated with special durable plastic scales, and all of the tools fold right out from both sides of the case.

The Leatherman is different.

The entire tool is built around a set of pliers. It unfolds to reveal the end of the pliers, and all of the tools are set on the inside of the handles.

You need to pull them out individually, and the whole tool needs to be opened in order to access the attachments within the handles.

The Pros and Cons of Leatherman Tools

To kick off the Leatherman vs Swiss army knife debate, it’s best to outline the pros and cons of each tool individually.

You should base your decision on which tool has greater pros than cons based on your lifestyle and the way you intend to use the tool.

The Leatherman has a lot of design features that make it so unique, and you might find that you appreciate most of them.


  • The casing becomes a full sized set of pliers that can be used as wire snips towards the base. If you use pliers a lot, you’ll appreciate having a set that you can use for everyday carry.
  • The Leatherman doesn’t have any plastic components. You don’t ever have to worry about plastic cracking, scratching up, or needing to be replaced. The all metal construction is designed to be durable.
  • The Leatherman is designed with the working person in mind. If you’re a contractor, a plumber, or an electrician, this tool was created specifically to make your life easier.


  • If you need to access any of the tools on a Leatherman, you’ll need to open the whole thing. This is inconvenient when it comes to one-hand access.
  • If you have your hands full, you’ll need to put something down and unfold the tool into pliers in order to be able to access all of the components.

The Pros and Cons of Swiss Army Knives

There are so many different kinds of Swiss army knives – particularly those manufactured by Victorinox.

The pros and cons can vary from model to model, but there are a few things that they all have in common.

They’re all designed to make your life easier, and the model you choose will have a large impact on whether or not the tool itself is right for you.


  • In essence, Swiss army knives are completely customizable. Victorinox makes so many different models that anyone can find a knife that’s suited to their hobbies or their lifestyle. There are knives for hunters, fishermen, campers, hikers, and even people who repair computers. Every knife is a completely unique experience.
  • Victorinox knives come in countless different colors and patterns. You get to choose what the casing of your knife looks like. Whether you want a pink one, a blue one, or a camo one, you’ll be able to get it from this brand.
  • In addition to specialty attachments, all Victorinox Swiss army knives come with the addition of basics tools that are intended to be used in your everyday life. Every knife comes with a toothpick and tweezers built right into the case. Many of them feature things like bottle openers, which always prove to be useful.


  • Exterior scales of a Swiss army knife are plastic. Though they’re very durable, you may need to replace the scales if you damage your knife’s casing.
  • Some of the larger models of Victorinox Swiss army knives, such as the SwissChamp models, tend to be quite heavy because of the amount of attachments they include. The largest ones may not actually fit in your pocket.

Picking Which Tool is Better For You

Leatherman tools and Swiss army knives were clearly designed for very different people.

Before you make your decision, you need to be able to determine which person you are.

Mechanics, construction workers, and other kinds of manual labor workers will always swear by their Leatherman tools, mostly because the attachments are designed specifically to help them do their jobs.

Swiss army knives are a little different. Swiss army knives are designed for many people. Each model is tailored to a specific set of uses, although there are some general use models.

Swiss army knives are best for hobbyists.

If you’re looking for a plain everyday carry tool, you’re going to prefer the Swiss army knife. Models like the SD for beginners or the Climber for intermediate users who are looking to carry a few basic tools around with them are ideal for EDC.

If you’re looking for something to make a specific task easier, such as camping, fishing, or hunting, you’ll also prefer a Swiss army knife for this purpose.

You can always pick a model suited to your hobby, which makes things easier. You’re only getting the attachments that you need.

If you’re looking for a multi tool that functions mostly like a typical toolbox, here’s where the Leatherman wins out.

These are designed to feature the most basic common use tools for building and fixing things.

They’re a little simpler than a Swiss army knife and you don’t get as many levels of customization, but you may not need it if you’re looking for an everyday carry tool you can use at work.

At the end of the day – the choice is yours. There’s no reason why you can’t have both.