Travelling light and packing efficiently are key skills for caravanners – this we are very sure you all know very well. Which is why we at Practical Caravan wanted to put multi-tools to the test. There are always little jobs to do or fixes to make when on your caravan holidays, but carrying a full size toolbox is probably unnecessary and definitely very cumbersome, adding much weight to your tourer; which is where multi-tools come in. Could these be our money-saving, weight-saving saviours? We put the Am-Tech 12-in-1 Axe Head Multi-Function Tool to the test to see how it fared against some established, big name (and much bigger money) rivals.

In the Practical Caravan multi-tool group test, we subjected every one of these compact, hand held products to a range of challenges, representative of the everyday tasks one might expect a multi-tool to be able to do. We wanted to see how they coped when asked to trim wire, to sharpen pencils, to trim fingernails, tape and wrapping paper, to open bottles and tins, to drive screws into wood, to extract bent and twisted nails from pallets, and when asked to saw plastic, wood and metal.

Now, of course, we have to be honest with you. This product, the not too snappily named Am-Tech 12-in-1 Axe Head Multi-Function Tool, wasn’t originally due to be tested. However, when we found ourselves a tool short, we went down to our local Machine Mart and bought this purely for amusement value – but, once we’d used it a bit, we started to take it rather more seriously.

The Am-Tech 12-in-1 Axe Head Multi-Function Tool is made of stainless steel and has a black handle, and it feels fairly sturdy in your hand. It comes with a useful storage pouch, too. Also useful and definitely a worthy – if rather unusual – addition is the hammer.

So, what else does this folding multi-tool have? The Am-Tech 12-in-1 Axe Head Multi-Function Tool features a slotted screwdriver and a Phillips screwdriver, a knife and a file, a mini axe, a wire cutter, a saw, a can opener, a plier, a fish scaler, a hook remover and a hex wrench. When you include the hammer, we make that 13 tools, not 12, as in the product’s name. Well, you can’t say it’s not value for money.

However, as you can see, we only gave Am-Tech’s multi-tool two out of five when we tested it. Why? Well, it is a bit cumbersome to use, plus you need to sharpen the knife and axe before you use them. Also, some care is needed when operating the saw, because your palm ends up resting on the sharp part of the axe. But, having said all of that, it costs less than £10 and has 13 useful tools so, overall, it represents very good value for money.

In Practical Caravan’s multi-tool group test, the Am-Tech multi-tool was beaten by two much more pricey options. The Leatherman Wingman, which retails at £39.95, came out on top, while the £64.99 Gerber Steady scored a solid four out of five as did the Leatherman Wave, the £27.50 Cobb Multi Tool got three stars, likewise the Gerber Crucial, and the Victorinox SwissTool Spirit III was pricey at £116, but undoubtedly impressive.