mini multi tools comparison. SAK camper, nextool mini, gerber dime, and sierras multi tool

NexTool's mini is smaller than the SAK Camper and more useful in many ways

NexTool Mini Review: King of the Mini Multi-Tools?

Last updated on June 3rd, 2024 at 09:42 pm

If you didn’t already know, I’m a multi-tool customer. I love the product design of good multi-tools and have preferences on what to carry depending on what I’m doing. The reason I bought a NexTool mini was to replace a very cheap mini multi-tool I’ve been using while fishing. A requirement in a fishing multi-tool, for me, is a set of pliers to unhook a deep set hook. The old $5 tool did fine, but I wanted more. I purchased this one almost a year ago now and carry it in my very masculine fanny pack on a daily basis. It has become my EDC for fishing tasks but also has its limitations. Full transparency, I reach for my SAK Camper more often outside of fishing. However, I could see using the NexTool Mini if I didn’t also carry my SAK. In this NexTool Mini review, I’ll go deep and compare what I believe to be competitors.

The NexTool Mini Review TL;DR

  • It has a usable knife for a multi-tool of this size, and is really sharp out of box
  • A combination of scissors and pliers is rare. Moreso, both of these tools are full-sized for the mini
  • The price isn’t dirt-cheap, but far from expensive. It feels like a premium tool for the price
  • The internal spring pliers are robust, but the design bites your hand when using them hard
  • Every tool on this Mini gets used. I can’t say that about most of my multi-tools
  • This is my go-to fishing multi-tool

It’s a great mini multi-tool and better than most I’ve used in this mini category. The “full sized” pliers and scissors alone are worth using it as a fishing tool.

If this isn’t your speed, the Gerber Dime is a great choice as well, but not nearly as good as the NexTool Mini.

Our Picks by Use

Design and Build Quality

Compact and Lightweight

The Nextool Mini is obviously in the mini-class for multi-tools. It’s about thumb-length and most adults should be able to palm the closed tool in the hand entirely. It’s bigger than Gerber Dime, but due to it’s size advantage, is much more useful. I keep my Dime in my homebrewed mini first-aid kit and don’t see using it unless I have to.

gerber dime is a mini multool with scissors
The scissors on a Gerber Dime are smaller than the tool because of the in-handle design

In my opinion, it’s big for a keychain, but I’m not much of a keychain guy. It’s the same size as my key fob, so your mileage may vary.

The Nextool is more robust, all aluminum and stainless, and despite being a mini, is usable. It punches above its weight-class, for sure.

Some Good Design, Some Bad

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it looks cool, especially with the red scales. While most multi-tool designers decide to go with curved edges for hand comfort, the NexTool trades comfort for size. It is significantly thinner than my $5 Sierra mini multi-tool and feels smaller, while offering more tooling.

NexTool Mini vs Gerber Dime vs Sierras Mini Multi Tool
The design doesn’t sacrifice the size of scissors for pliers and vice versa. Usually, you get pliers and small scissors, or no pliers at all.

The more interesting part of the design is integration of “full sized” scissors alongside the pliers. Usually, scissors are sacrificed for pliers either as a main tool or as a secondary, but the NexTool Mini is designed to sacrifice neither. I’ve cut a lot of fishing line with these scissors and uncomfortably have also used them to trim my finger nails.

The keyring is a total miss. Being that the keyring is on a pivoting plate held down by a main screw, it rotates and gets stuck when using the scissors. Not a reason to not buy it, but notable.


This is probably the smallest a multi-tool can be with this toolset and still be useful.

1. Knife Blade

The pictures don’t do it justice, but this is a functional knife blade. The spine is thicker than the SAK Camper’s small knife, and has a scandi-grind making it feel robust.

Note: A Scandi Grind provides a thicker spine knife with an aggressive bevel and mini bevel. It’s better for carving tasks in bushcraft than a full flat grind, but gives up slicing power. An example of a scandi grind is the Finn Wolf pocket knife by Cold Steel.

nextool mini vs gerber dime
The NexTool Mini is larger than the Gerber Dime, but much more usable

Compared to the Gerber Dime, the blade is a beast. The Gerber’s blade is not really passable for something I’d use. It would be a tall order to cut an apple into slices safely with the Dime, but you could do it with the NexTool Mini. I’ve done so.

VictorInox Camper vs NexTool multi-tool
The NexTool Mini knife is slightly larger than the small knife on a VictorInox Camper

2. Scissors

These are the reason I bought this mini multi-tool. As a fishing tool, the two things I need are pliers to dehook fish and scissors to cut line. I love that the scissors are full-sized and the spring is integrated. They feel like robust scissors that you could use to clean a fish or snip the wings off of a quail.

nextool mini multi-tool scissors
The NexTool Mini has actual usable scissors

3. Pliers

The pliers are spring-assisted so no need for two-handed operation like my Skeletool. This is one of my main gripes, as the pliers are a main tool. They pinch. If you’re really using the pliers to grip something, they will pinch the palm if your hand. The hard edges of this design add to the pain.

4. Can Opener, No Bottle Opener

This one is pretty standard on most multi-tools, but it should be noted that the NexTool Mini does not have a dedicated bottle opener. However, it’s perfectly usable as one, thicker than what I’d see on a SAK Camper, and accessible. My first comment is that for a can opener, it’s not sharp. While it will open cans, my guess to the lack of sharpness is so that it can double as a bottle opener when desired.

nextool mini vs gerber dime size
The scissors are more accessible and usable on the NexTool Mini

5. Screwdriver

Again, pretty standard. This screwdriver tries to double as a flathead and Philips but master of neither. It will fit into a large flathead slot, or a small Philips screw, but I wouldn’t want to use it as an everyday tool for fear of stripping heads.

6. Nail File

It’s fine. I could see using it to sharpen a hook or filing your nails down.


Everyday Carry

I’ve had this tool for almost a year now and it rides in my fanny pack. I’m a sweatpants-wearing kinda guy these days, so a fanny pack fits my wardrobe. Still, I wouldn’t pack a full-sized tool in there, only because I don’t need one as part of my routine. However, this mini multi-tool does really well.

As a fannypacker, I also keep my SAK Camper in there. I reach for the Camper more often because of its larger blade, but will reach for this if I’ve misplaced my SAK. Opening boxes and bags of dog food are easy tasks.

TL;DR: This is a good EDC.

mini multi tools comparison. SAK camper, nextool mini, gerber dime, and sierras multi tool
NexTool’s mini is smaller than the SAK Camper and more useful in many ways


It’s robust and the tools inside are also overbuilt for their size. Nothing has failed as I’ve used it and the anodized scales have not worn at all. It looks and operates similar to the day I bought it.


Being a mini multi-tool, the size is highly convenient for everyday use. Every tool on the NexTool Mini gets used, which I can’t say about every multi-tool I have.

Worth the Money?

If you’re a fisherman, lightweight backpacker, camper, or generally don’t have the need to carry around a full-sized Leatherman Wave; absolutely. This is a good multi-tool at a price point that gets treated differently than a $5 multi-tool you can throw in the dishwasher.

I won’t lose this tool because its priced higher than a plastic toy, and I also really like it.

Is the NexTool Mini a Good Mini Multi-Tool?

The Nextool Mini is good. It didn’t replace the tools I reach for daily, but I carry it. It’s my go-to fishing tool and is a very close contender for my primary EDC. If I didn’t live in wine country, it may just replace my SAK Camper.


  • Great knife, scissors, and pliers
  • Durable design and components
  • High-quality fit and finish
  • High-quality feel in use
  • Every tool gets used
  • Fair Price, they could charge more


  • Hard edges
  • Pliers pinch hands
  • Keychain ring is designed poorly

Of my mini multi-tools, this one’s the best so far. I’m more than happy to try other ones out and stack it against this as my new gold standard. However, I wouldn’t put it in the category of scout knives, as there are tools I’d prefer for those tasks.

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