Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Leatherman's Products

Original Leatherman tool was the first multi-tool other than a Swiss Army Knife (SAK) that I ever bought. What a joy to have this with me every day. Yes, it was used every day. At the time, and because I also carried a SAK, I seldom used the blade. However, the pliers (including the wire cutter) and the screw drivers were very handy. I also used the can opener because I thought it was sturdier than the can opener on the SAK. That was, unfortunately, untrue as I found out one day while I was trying to open a tray pack meal on the back of a HumVee. The thing snapped off without any lateral pressure. The heavy (?) metal of the T-pack was just too much for it.

The Leatherman Mini-Tool was my second Leatherman purchase was a direct result of my satisfaction with the first tool and a need/desire to have a smaller tool. It was pretty good but having to unfold it to use the pliers and not having the leverage (not quite despite it being advertised as full sized pliers) of the larger tool caused me to put it away.

The Leatherman Wave was my 4th multi-tool. It was a gift from an outgoing commander who felt that I'd been an asset during his command tour (and rightly so!). Best darn gift I've ever received in the military. Many thanks to then Captain Patterson. I really liked the Wave because like the Gerber multi-tool I'd been issued it had rounded handles that didn't test one's ability to withstand torture while using the pliers and unlike the Gerber, couldn't/wouldn't pinch the palm if the plier jaws slipped off the work or when the wire cutters snipped through the work. Quite nice to use and it came in a wonderful leather pouch. Class act all the way. I have to wonder how the market changed so that this tool has been discontinued.

The Leatherman Juice is a series of slightly different tools in size and configuration targeted at more upscale recreational users. They are also treated to anodized aluminum scales in various colors to generate interest in the display cabinet... I've got a KF-4 in my pocket as I write this and am very pleased. If there is any gadget it doesn't have that I think it should that would be scissors. Not to worry, Leatherman makes a juice with scissors and I have one but it hasn't been so important to me that I've bothered to break it out of the vacuum pack! Of course the KF4 or Solar is the one Juice that's been discontinued! I like it because it is about the perfect pocket size tool, the screwdrivers all work, the pliers work as they should, and the knife blades are good enough to replace the SAK.

I bought a Squirt for my daughter this past Christmas. She's an enthusiastic user and says it has proven to be very handy while still being unobstrusive on her key chain!

Tim Leatherman did have a bit of a problem with many in the sporting world when he decided to support John Kerry for President. I e-mailed him about his stand and how it might affect his sales. We started a regular little correspondence for a while and he was always polite but firm in his beliefs. I don't think we'll be well served by boycotting him and based on his buyer demographic, we're not likely to affect his sales all that dramatically. For certain, he makes about the best multi-tool out there. Frankly, I take a bit of pleasure in using his tools to do the good work and support my ideas and the right thought.

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