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#17510 - 07/06/03 03:01 PM Leatherman tools, info on reliability!
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
I recently gave my gal's nephew in Iraq a Leatherman Supertool, he loved it but it broke after a few weeks. This is the 5th Leatherman I have owned with each failing in some way. I came to a conclusion about gear used in the field a long time ago, still applicable...it may have a "Lifetime" warranty but if it fails in the field it may cost you your life!! I put the Leatherman tools in this category! I am sending the young US Army man in Iraq, a new Victorinox Swiss Tool, same as I now carry everywhere, far superior!!
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No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#17511 - 07/06/03 08:58 PM Re: Leatherman tools, info on reliability!
Anonymous
Unregistered


May I ask what you're doing to your Leatherman tools to cause them to fail? I've carried one variety or other since they first came out& the only failure I've ever had was a broken file that I was (mis)using as a pry bar. My current Supertool has been with me since '96 and has seen almost daily use. It only recieves a touch up on the Lansky as needed and an occassional shot of WD40. I just don't see a potential failure short of blatant abuse

Ed

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#17512 - 07/06/03 10:27 PM Re: Leatherman tools, info on reliability!
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
Well Ed, the blades bend easily, I am talking twisted screwdriver blades. The knife blades won't cut much without becoming dull. I had one that the plier jaw snapped off of, from placing it under a UH-1 seat connector and trying to push the normally hand tight fastner up. The steel is too soft on the tools and too brittle on the pliers. For the price, I expect more! Gerber and Victorinox tools are far superior in the overall quality department. I am not really abusive to equipment, just expect it to not fail! The one in Iraq broke a knife blade off using the blad to cut a plastic shipping band off of a case of MRE's. That is about it, not using it for a hammer or a prybar. Glad your tool is still in working order <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#17513 - 07/07/03 02:12 AM Re: Leatherman tools, info on reliability!
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Boy, I must have gotten a good one. I have had a Wave since it first came out and I havn't broken anything on it yet....and believe me, it gets a lot of (ab)use since I work part time commercial construction. I have a Swiss tool, but I find it much to big and bulky to carry around everywhere. Plus it doesn't have scissors, I can't open the blades one handed or quickly, and I can't open the pliers one handed. I have a Gerber scout, but I find the pliers don't get enough torque and they don't get large enough, and I still can't open the blades one handed or quickly. I love my Wave, it gives me everything in a convienent package that I can get working quickly. I wouldn't be without it. <img src="images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

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#17514 - 07/07/03 02:45 AM Re: Leatherman tools, info on reliability!
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
I have not tried a Wave, but they appear to be better made than the Supertool or the standard Leatherman. Glad it has not let you down. I know the Swiss Tool is heavier but I like the feel and the design. I can live with the weight, when I need it. I actually have a Swiss Army knife that I have taken on every military deployment and every backpack and climbing trip since I bought it in 1968. Not a thing broken on it and still serves me well. Guess I am a Victorinox fan from that experience. Cheers <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#17515 - 07/07/03 03:31 PM Re: Leatherman tools, info on reliability!
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have mixed feelings about all this....

I've had the PST for years, and it has the annoying quality that the plier jaws have more friction than the handle joints immediately behind them; this means that you must force the plier jaws open for each shift of grip, which gets old fast. Other than that, they've been pretty good. I also have a Leatherman "mini" that has done well so far, but has never seen a lot of use.

I have to say I've been a little disappointed in the Wave. The wirecutters dented early on what I thought was a soft plastic rod that turned out to have a very thin steel wire inside... ok, that can happen, it's not meant to cut steel, but a cheap pair of dykes cut it with no problem. The knife blade does seem sort of soft, and doesn't hold an edge for long. For some reason, the plier handles seem to be loosening up over time, with a lot of side-to-side play, while the blades are getting stiffer and harder to open.

At first, I didn't think the weight was going to bother me, but over time I wonder more and more how much weight could be saved if those big, solid, cast-stainless bolsters were made of something else (there are eight of them), or if the liners were titanium instead of steel, etc.

Not totally disappointed with it, but if there were something lighter, smaller, sturdier, better steel that still had quick access to the knife blades, I'd consider it even if it cost significanly more.

Anybody else notice that Russell Crowe used what looked like a Wave for sentry removal in "Proof of Life"? All I could think is, it sure wasn't the first tool that sprang to mind for that use...


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#17516 - 07/08/03 01:16 AM Re: Leatherman tools, info on reliability!
RayW Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 550
Loc: Orlando, FL
I have had my supertool since 97 and it is still going strong, and it gets daily use and abuse. The only thing i can't really comment on is the knife blades since i always reach for my spyderco when i need to cut something. Have used several other multitools and all have been well made but i still come back to the supertool.

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#17517 - 07/08/03 05:29 AM Re: Leatherman tools, info on reliability!
widget Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
I always believe that carrying anything that might fail, could endanger my life, knife, or whatever. I have not had good luck with simple tasks applied to Leatherman tools and would not ever again carry one on a serious trip. In fact the only two I have left are a micro and a mini and have not used them for much, nor will I. My old Swiss Army knife has yet to fail me or to become bent or overly dull. It is a Farmer model, which I see is available again, heavy knife blade, I do wish it locked open though. Cheers!
_________________________
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

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#17518 - 07/08/03 12:41 PM Proof of Life
adam Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/07/03
Posts: 256
Loc: Long Island, NY
I don't think Russell Crowe was using a wave, but I was watching it on TV so I couldn't pause a tape to get a good look at it. But it was strange using a multi-tool in that instance. A tactical folder would have made a lot more sense, but that's Hollywood for ya.

As for the Wave I'm a little disappointed in the reviews I'm hearing on this forum. I love my wave and use it all the time. I think it has some limitations but for every day use it seems great.


Edited by adam (07/08/03 12:44 PM)

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#17519 - 07/08/03 02:04 PM Re: Proof of Life
Anonymous
Unregistered


It may just be that the quality/temper/whatever of the Wave is not that consistent. Given the numbers that Leatherman must produce, I wouldn't be surprised to see things vary quite a bit over time, between production runs, subcontractors, who knows... so if you've got one and it's working out for you, great, though it's still potentially a problem for anyone considering buying one.

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