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Old January 9, 2008, 04:01 PM   #1
shaggy
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opinions - Leathermans/multi-tools

Looking for opinions on Leathermans or other brands of multi-tools - what brand & model do you have, or what do you like? Any reason to look at anything other than those made of steel (aluminum? titanium?)
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Old January 9, 2008, 04:49 PM   #2
DWARREN123
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Gerber, good one handed opener.
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Old January 9, 2008, 05:58 PM   #3
AK103K
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I've got an old Leatherman "Super Tool". Its probably dated compared to some of the newer ones, but its held up well to hard, pretty much daily use.
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Old January 9, 2008, 07:12 PM   #4
hogbody74
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Multi-tools

Leatherman contributes to gun control, but they make a decent tool. You might look at SOG, Gerber makes one just for defuseing bombs, I just do not like the plastic locks on some of their tools. Kind of comes down to how much you plan to use it an what for.
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Old January 9, 2008, 07:14 PM   #5
teeroux
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ive owned several and leatherman is the best IMO but if they really do contribute to the anti-s this one will be the last i own.
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Old January 9, 2008, 09:31 PM   #6
Kreyzhorse
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I own a Gerber that was my faithful hunting partner. It is a little beat up, the flathead screw driver was twisted when I torqued a screw a little too much, the file blade was covered in orange paint dust and the saw blade snapped in half while cutting a small branch this hunting season. After the blade broke, I contacted Gerber, they told me it has a lifetime warranty and I sent it back to them. They replaced the screw driver, the file and the saw blade for no cost and even included a new sheath. Gerber stands by their products and returned my Gerber to me within two weeks. I will be a Gerber customer for life due to their products and outstanding customer service.

With that said, when my Gerber was out of commision, a buddy bought a Leatherman Surge for me to finish the hunting season with. In my opinion, the Leatherman is a much stronger tool. The blades are thicker, the tool is thicker and the steel used seems higher quailty. I'm very pleased with my Leatherman so far and it has replaced my Gerber as my hunting multi tool. The Leatherman has a 25 yr warranty.

My Gerber hasn't been retired however as it is now the multi tool that I carry in the truck for emergencies. I like the Gerber too much to retire it so I figured it would still get good use in my truck.

I'm not sure that you can wrong with either brand. The Gerber is lighter in weight, cheaper price point and has outstanding customer service that stands by their lifetime warranty. The Leatherman is expensive, it is HEAVY and has a 25 yr warranty.
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Old January 9, 2008, 10:57 PM   #7
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I have a leatherman wave & use it for everything. The place i work has some corrosive chemicals & the tool gets exposed to them regularly. Hose off with a good industrial "blast" cleaner, & re-oil all the pivots & it's good to go.
I like the way round the handles are set up, and the rounded edges, as several multi-tools will rip into you when applying force and this one doesn't.

I snapped a screwdriver blade (using it as a prybar Duh!) when I sent it to leatherman explaining what had happened & asked for a price to fix the 5 year old tool it was repaired & upgraded for nothing.

Tim Leatherman may be anti-gun, but his product & service are first rate.
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Old January 10, 2008, 12:28 AM   #8
hoghunting
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I have and recommend the Schrade as its handles are more comfortable than the Leatherman and the lifetime warranty is hard to beat. I've used it for the last 7 years and it's still going strong.
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Old January 10, 2008, 12:51 AM   #9
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I've got two "leatherman-type" tools. One is the original Leatherman, before they had different models, and the other is a Taiwanese knock-off. The genuine Leatherman is far superior. Carried it every day to work for 12 years, and it still sits close by for little jobs around the house. I had never heard that they were contributing to the anti-gunners, but if that's true, I wouldn't buy another one.
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Old January 10, 2008, 12:57 AM   #10
tplumeri
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Used both the gerber and leatherman while deployed,
my personl favorite is the gerber, but most of my troops asked to borrow "the leatherman".
Dont like the pointy nose leatherman at all. snapped way too many off in the field.I'd stay away from that one.
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Old January 10, 2008, 01:09 AM   #11
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Years ago I worked at a tool distributor as a counterman and we sold SOG products. I had one of their original Tool Clip multi tools which had a serious pair of pliers but no locking blades. It corroded horribly after mild exposure to sea spray despite all my cleaning efforts.

I now have three different makes/models; a Leatherman Blast, a Gerber 600 and a CRKT Zilla.

I use the Leatherman daily on the job and it resides on my belt next to my flashlight. It's a very solid tool with all locking blades and a very comfortable ergonomic handle with cushioned finger grooves. The cutting blade takes an edge easily and holds it well. The scissors fold cleverly and deploy easily. There's also a mini screwdriver that reverses from a jewelers slotted to phillips, great for my eyeglasses. It's an excellent work horse. It was a Groomsman's gift at a friend's wedding.

The Gerber 600 is a beautiful tool. They are the anodized black oxide finish, blunt nosed plier model. All blades are locking. It was designed, apparently, for military use. I won it at a car show and have never used it. I'm actually saving it for my cousin's boy who is supposedly joining The Corps. If he doesn't, I may well sell it or send it to a Brigade Quartermaster Knives for The Troops program.

The CRKT Zilla I just got as a stocking stuffer this past Christmas and have been keeping it in my range bag. It's very cool. Spring loaded pliers on one end, a flip open knife at the other. The body holds a couple screwdriver bits, too.

I'm sorry to her about Leatherman as an anti! I didn't know. Sad.
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Old January 10, 2008, 01:25 AM   #12
tplumeri
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Quote:
I'm sorry to her about Leatherman as an anti! I didn't know. Sad.
Yeah, me too!
is this verified of just trash talk.
I personally know alot of active duty troops who would be sorry to hear this and might consider change in carry if this is true.
tom
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Old January 10, 2008, 03:47 AM   #13
chris in va
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I had a Leatherman Wave for a while. Maybe I'm hard on tools, but a couple implements snapped off.

Then I discovered the Victorinox SwissTool. Holy cow this thing is built like a tank. Polished stainless, nearly indestructable. Heavy too. Not as easy to use various things on it, but I know darn well it will last a very long time.
http://www.victorinox.ch/index.cfm?page=192&lang=E
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Old January 10, 2008, 04:21 AM   #14
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I had a larger SOG for a while, loved it. I lost it somewhere, which really make me mad, it was about $70 and it was a great tool. Tons of gripping/cutting force with the pliers, the blades locked back, fantastic tool. I'll probably buy another to replace it shortly, I miss it badly.
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Old January 10, 2008, 12:45 PM   #15
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I prefer the Gerber. When the pliers are unfolded I like the smooth side of the handles to be out.
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Old January 10, 2008, 01:11 PM   #16
TexasSeaRay
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Quote:
Years ago I worked at a tool distributor as a counterman and we sold SOG products. I had one of their original Tool Clip multi tools which had a serious pair of pliers but no locking blades. It corroded horribly after mild exposure to sea spray despite all my cleaning efforts.
Hate to hear that.

I was issued a SOG multi-tool back in the 80's and it went through hell. After I got out of LE, I used to keep it with me on the boat--no problems. Now it stays in my flight bag, but still sees decent use.

It's as fit for duty today as it was almost twenty years ago.

Jeff
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Old January 10, 2008, 01:19 PM   #17
kamerer
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+1 for Leatherman. I have had a few, which are all in place and still working. The last "generation" one I bought was the "Wave" which I used 6 days a week strapped to my belt outdoors in northern VT winters. It never started to rust, always worked well, even at -30F. I found it to be superior to other makers.

I don't know about any anti-gun agenda of theirs - would be best to post the information about that with links so people can see and judge, so I wouldn't avoid it on a rumor.

A nice thing of Leatherman is that it was US made and not Chinese made like the Gerber products I have encountered. This is worth a fair amount to me, personally. I do know that the original Oregon inventor and company has been acquired and I do not know the current manufacturing arrangements.
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Old January 10, 2008, 01:34 PM   #18
rantingredneck
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I have several Gerbers, several off brands, and a Leatherman Fuse. The Leatherman goes on my belt every day. Also have a Leatherman Micra that goes in the pocket. Nothing wrong with the Gerbers mind you, but they are much larger than the Fuse and that means a lot to me. I carry enough crap around.
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Old January 10, 2008, 06:54 PM   #19
AK103K
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Quote:
When the pliers are unfolded I like the smooth side of the handles to be out.
That is a downside to the Leatherman's. They do tend to dig into your hand when your putting any kind of pressure on them. Unlocking a locked blade or tool can also be a little hairy if your not careful.
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Old January 10, 2008, 07:05 PM   #20
SIGSHR
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I have the Gerber, the SOG Paratool and the Leatherman. Usually carry the
Leatherman, a little more compact than the others, bought the leather sheath
for the SOG, didn't wear well. The Leatherman's screwdriver blades fit gun
screws better than the others, though I keep a screwdriver set in my range
boxes. Gerber makes a set of additional scewdriver blades and a holster to carry them in. Got the leather sheath for one of my Gerbers from a paramedic, he traded for my nylon one. Said they prefer nylon, if it gets contaminated by blood or bodily fluids, all they have to do is drop it in boiling
water to decontaminate it.
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Old January 11, 2008, 12:07 AM   #21
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I've owned several of the following brands - Leatherman, Gerber, SOG. I keep donating to the the airlines. My favorite is the SOG. I've bought more of the Leathermans simply because I always seem to find the $20 deal on the "original" and I think that is the most bang for the buck. I have broken off blades on the Leatherman but not on the others. The Leatherman is the easiest to sharpen but I feel it gets dull the quickest. The Leatherman tools fold from the outside of the handle and can get painful if you are using a lot of pressure on the pliers. My SOG and Gerber have the tools folding from the inside so the pliers feel better. Gerber is the hardest to sharpen. I have spare blades for the SOG and can switch out the tools (it has my preferred setup). I don't have the higher end versions of any of these brands and among what I do own I would rank SOG, Gerber, Leatherman but I am not unhappy with any of them and will continue to buy base on the best deal I find.
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Old January 11, 2008, 11:21 AM   #22
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Of the full size tools the Leathermans and SOGs are American made. Some of the Gerbers are now Asian and all the CRKT tools and knives are Asian (they only have an office in the Portland area.

I have been to Leatherman, Gerber, SOG, Benchmade, Kershaw and CRKT. I am farmiliar with Imerpial Schrade who handed their workforce their walking papers in July 2004 and left plenty of suppliers with unpaid bills.

SOG makes nice tools although I do not own one at present. They are well made though and I would have no problem using one. Located just noth of Seattle

CRKT is Asian and I have no problem paying the money for a well made US tool. In addition you NEVER know what you are going to get when the steel comes from Asia... There address in in the Portland area, like many other cutlery people but no manufacturing is there.

Gerber Multi Tools are both American and Asian made. Check the packages. I have had a 600 which I bought for my dad and then inherited for years. It is a nice, if rather plain, multi tool most noticeable for its one handed opening pliers. They make some nice stuff and are the main quality competitor for...

Leatherman. LTG is the powerhouse of the multitools. They are very well made and the design innovations have moved forward rapidly thanks to pressure from Gerber. The two are 20 minutes from each other and people do go from one to the other. LTG is big on bringing work in house and has moved fineblanking in house as welll as numerous other operations. Some of the smaller tools are made in China but all the full sizes I know of are American assembled. I have a Crunch (locking pliers) and Black Ti Charge that I love for the one handed opening blades on the outside of the handles. It is my normal carry tool now. If in the area Leatherman has a store on premises that sells at MSRP but sometimes has specials. My black Ti Charge was $70 since the black was being discontinued. Often they will have seconds like the squirts that had a slight color variation on the panels so you can get a good deal there but don't count on finding a cataloged tool at a discount. Tim Leatherman is a granola eater who supported Kerry and signed a stupid letter to that effect which resulted in a huge backlash against his company. He then flubbed the response... I don't know so much about anti gun groups but he donated to Kerry. Given the are of the nation he is in and the amount of tree huggers that seems to be the norm.

Kershaw is owned by Kai Cutlery and also in the Portland area. They make nice stuff but like Japanese automotive want nothing to do with you if you are also not Japanese. Doesn't matter they have a plant in the US, they are Japanese through and through. As a result I do not have a Kershaw multi tool. They do not appeal to me anyway with regards to design but I would wager they are well made.

Benchmade is also in the same area. No multitools but if they did it would be a solid performer. Anything in the Blue box or better is US made. Great shop and I wish I sold them parts but they make many of their own.

I have looked at the Swiss Tools and been to Switzerland several times. The tools are well made and sturdy. They are rather plain though and I am not impressed by the features. They strike me as a desperation attempt to recapture much of the Swiss Army Knife market which fell in love with the multi tools. They seem very bulky for the job they are to do and far too overpriced compared to even high end Gerber and Leathermans made in the USA.
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Old January 11, 2008, 11:22 AM   #23
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I also love the new sheaths for Leathermans and the feature on the Charge which lets you use a pocket clip. That is nice for when you are in a suit and a belt sheath is not appropriate.
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Old January 11, 2008, 06:18 PM   #24
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This thread got me to thinking that I’ve never had a decent multitool. So I went looking around the web last night and there is a bewildering array of tools available. Got confused and went to bed.

Today, I ordered the Leatherman 74208003K Juice CS4. I wanted something not too large, but with a fair number of tools. I thought it made sense to get one with pliers and scissors.

Oh… and the corkscrew will definitely come in handy… I like my vino and always bring some good stuff when I camp.
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Old January 13, 2008, 11:32 AM   #25
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Quote:
This thread got me to thinking that I’ve never had a decent multitool. So I went looking around the web last night and there is a bewildering array of tools available...
Grymster, thats exactly what happened to me, but the answers here sure helped cut down my search (thanks guys!) I had a cheap multi-tool in the backpack I carry everyday but lost it and decided it was time to grow up and get something that didn't look like it came out of a box of Captain Crunch or Cracker Jack. Since it'll generally be carried in a backpack, size and weight aren't too much of a concern for me so I've got it narrowed down to the Leatherman Surge and Core.
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