The Leatherman Project

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While I have owned the Leatherman Wave (right) for about 15 years, I have never really EDC’d a multitool.

I have been sending follow-up/nice to meet you at Blade emails all morning, and I need a break from that particular endeavor. This weekend I finally puled the fence-pole out of my butt and formally became a member of KnifeRights.org. Purely procrastinatory-inertia on my part. However when one only needs to use their provided pen and form and hand over your plastic, it becomes much easier to become motivated to join what is obviously a worthy cause.

In exchange for my $100 annual membership (basic rate is $32) I also received 9 entries in the KnifeRights Ultimate Steel Giveaway drawing, as well as a Leatherman Rebar with the KnifeRights logo and slogan laser-engraved upon it. Much better than an NPR tote-bag.

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And I didn’t even need to listen to their pledge drive…

I have never really carried a multitool much, choosing instead to toss my 15 year old Leatherman Wave in a fishing bag, truck console, or toolbox when I think it might be useful. The only time I have really ever worn it on my belt is when setting up for an event (trade show, fundraiser, etc) where I am both likely to need a tool for something and unlikely to have anything else close at hand. I also had an old Gerber one that I used to keep in my firefighting gear, though I cannot ever recall ever using it on a fire or medical scene.

Now that I have a second Leatherman, I thought a side-by-side testing regimen would be a fun diversion from my other writing. I came up with the idea for what I am going to call the Leatherman Project while driving home from Atlanta. Starting today, I am going to EDC a Leatherman for 30 days, first the Wave, then the Rebar for 15 days apiece. I will try and use them for every tool task I encounter where it might stand a chance of being applicable.

I am going to carry the Wave first because of the scissors.  I think if I use them first and then no longer have them, the difference will be more noticeable since they are not contained on the Rebar. An ongoing reminder if you will.

I will talk more about the differences between the Wave and Rebar at the halfway point in the project and at the endnwhen I more intimately familiar with both tools. For now, let me know if there is anything you would specifically like to see me do while testing.

comments

  1. John G says:

    Based on my experiences with a knock-off freebie Leatherman, you’ll have to let us know which one pinches you less, and is less dangerous in it’s blade deployment.

    1. The liner lock on the 15 year old wave seems stronger than the one on the new Rebar. It hasn’t caused me any problems, though as I said it has seen pretty limited use over the years. It has been used to repair the occasional fishing reel streamside. Which is why it remains around my gear.

      As I carried it today, I used it exactly once. I used the blade to cut open a bag of flour, but obviously I could have used any EDC or grabbed a knife from the block on the counter.

  2. cmeat says:

    leather man squirt, everyday. found one in the grass while reading meters. broke it prying on a transformer primary handle years later. found another in manhattan while restoring power after katrina.
    in between I broke a bear gryllis replacement the first time i used it. pot metal garbage.
    so a good test is whether it will crimp shut the top unused german speed lace hook on a pair of redwing boots. so you don’t trip on the laces…

  3. jlottmc says:

    I use a multi-tool everyday. I work facilities maintenance, and find that Leatherman tools are the Cadillac of multi-tools. I have figured out how to adapt the Blast, Rebar, Super Tool 300 and the Juice series to 1/4 inch hexbits for even more versatility. I use an adapter from a cheap multi-tool over the phillips screwdriver. I like doing this for several reasons, first being that 1/4 bits are cheap and available, second they are more diverse than the kits you can get from Leatherman. I’ve had Gerber multi-tools break when I tried to use the pliers to pull a tab on a recliner, and will not buy another multi-tool unless it says Leatherman on it. You may find them to be indispensable when you start to use one. Enjoy.

  4. sagebrushracer says:

    My EDC includes a leatherman wingman, one of their very cheapest offerings. I almost never use the knife, but use everything else nearly daily. Being able to open the scissors/knife without cranking open the tool is a plus. I like it, its one of those things you can whip out to cut open a package without giving someone the vapors.

    Once, at a security check point, the officer did ask me to surrender the spyderco knife while they did a random vehicle check. I did and mentioned I had a leatherman tool on my belt, he said “don’t bother”, then checked the trunk, glove box, give my spyderco back and sent me on my way.

  5. Dan l says:

    The wingman is my fav leatherman due to its tools to weight ratio. The sog multiple is on part with the leatherman quality imo. Now I Edc the gerber dime travel, it weighs 2 ounces and gives me a file (can sharpen tools in a pinch) small pliers, some screwdriver bits and most importantly the beer bottle opener. I find the scissors useless on almost all multitool models, I prefer tools without the scissors, cause the knife will work much better typically. For urban Edc a gerber dime and a skyline weigh less than a smart phone and give me the capability to fix things without having to goto a tool chest….

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The Leatherman Project

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