Leatherman vs. Swiss Army Knife – Which One Is Better?

It’s an age old debate – Leatherman vs Swiss army knife. Both are excellent multifunctional tools. They’re more than just knives – they’re an assortment of things you need to use in your everyday life.

They’re useful for both men and women as everyday pocket tools. Even teenagers and cub scouts will benefit from carrying one around.

If you’re unsure which one to buy, it’s time to start weighing the benefits of both.

The Difference between a Leatherman and a Swiss Army Knife

Swiss pocket knife

Most of the difference between a Swiss army knife and a Leatherman comes in the way that they’re arranged. A Leatherman opens up to reveal its sole tool to be a small pair of pliers, with all of the attachments falling within the handles of those pliers.

A Swiss army knife is oval shaped and flat, and all of the attachments rest inside of steel compartments. The outside is covered in plastic scales for a smooth grip, and there is no sole tool. It’s a collective of many tools, and the base of the knife serves more as a storage housing.


The Leatherman is a very unique tool. You aren’t going to find anything else quite like it. It’s a brilliant invention, and no one else has been able to come close to duplicating the signature design.

Leatherman is a brand, and their technology is patented. You won’t find the same pros anywhere else, but it’s impossible to avoid the cons.


  • One of the biggest pros of the Leatherman is undoubtedly the pliers. The entire tool is designed around these pliers. Pliers are a tool that a lot of people wind up needing a lot more than they think they will, and being able to carry them with you is a huge bonus.
  • No plastic components. This means none of the exterior will crack or break. There’s nothing to replace with age, and the casing won’t show scratches or cracks as much as the exterior of a scale covered Swiss army knife.
  • Since the Leatherman is larger, it features pocket clips and D-ring attachments to make it easier to carry around with you.
  • The knife blades on a Leatherman are slightly larger than the blades on most Swiss army knives.


  • Maintenance on a Leatherman can be difficult. It’s all steel, and everything is bolted onto exposed hinges. These may need to be tightened from time to time, and because of the way they open, you may need to lubricate it to make it easier to use.
  • The Leatherman folds a lot. It’s not very good as a quick use tool as it needs to be opened and locked in several directions before you can get to the attachments.

Swiss Army Knife

Swiss Army Pocket Knife

Swiss army knives come in a wide variety of styles. There isn’t a sole model. Victorinox, one of the top brands of Swiss army knives, offers dozens of different configurations. Some of them have as many as a thousand functions, and are loaded with attachments.

A Swiss army knife is more about the possibilities and a custom selection. Pros and cons vary from model to model, but a lot of them are the same across the board.


  • Some Swiss Army Knives, such as the Victorinox Swiss Champ, feature more than what a Leatherman features in terms of attachments. These also have pliers and a full array of screwdrivers, as well as knives, hooks, bottle openers, can openers, and corkscrews.
  • When you buy a Swiss army knife, you only have to buy what you need. There are affordable entry level models that offer as few as five necessary attachments. If you need or want more, you can upgrade models until you find one that offers every attachment you think you’ll use in your everyday life.
  • Swiss army knives come in a wide variety of scale colors. If you need more than one knife, it’s easy to color code them and remember which knife is for which purpose. It’s also great for households with multiple knife owners to prevent people from getting their knives mixed up.
  • Some Swiss army knives come with dedicated purposes. Do you need a knife specifically for hunting, camping, or fishing? What about working on electrical wiring or fixing small appliances? You can select a model that offers the most customization.


  • The more attachments you have, the heavier the knife will be.
  • Luxurious models of Swiss army knives can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars.

Who Benefits from a Leatherman?

A lot of people will benefit from a Leatherman, but the tool certainly has a specialized audience. Tinkerers of all sorts love the functions of a Leatherman, particularly the pliers and the screwdrivers.

A lot of the time, a Leatherman is likely to be used by an electrician, or someone who rides either a motorcycle or a regular bike.

Who Benefits from a Swiss Army Knife?

Everyone benefits from a Swiss army knife. A model exists for every person on the planet. It’s good for self-defense, as well as accomplishing so many everyday tasks.

Opening bottles and cans, tightening up loose screws, cutting open a package you’ve received, and snipping loose clothing strings are all easy with a Swiss army knife. They’re great for everyday carry and feature a whole host of attachments that are designed to make your life easier.

Which One Wins?

In the battle of Leatherman vs Swiss army knife, the Swiss army knife is a clear winner. The Leatherman is a great tool, but it isn’t as versatile or functional as a Swiss army knife.

A Swiss army knife can do virtually everything a Leatherman can do and more. A Leatherman is wonderful for the working person, but a Swiss army knife extends the boundaries. It can even become a survival tool in a pinch.

If all you’re concerned with is building and tinkering, a Leatherman is all you need. If you want the most for your money and the ability to do anything, it’s an easy choice to deem the Swiss army knife as the clear frontrunner.