Leatherman Multi-Tools – A Buyer’s Guide

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Leatherman Multitool

Leatherman tools have increased in popularity considerably since their creation in the mid-1980s. They have grown and grown to the point where they have completely taken over the multi-tool market. It is no wonder they have achieved this in such a short time, with their versatile and reliable tools.

However, the process to select and purchase your own Leatherman Multi-tool can be a bit of a difficult one. With so many available on the market, and all having different tools that are included, it can be rather overwhelming trying to choose a tool that is right for you.

This is where we come in – having researched all of the Leatherman Multi-tools available on the market, our aim is to help you find the best Leatherman Multi-tool for you.

Best Pick – Leatherman Surge 830159 Multi-Tool 

Leatherman Surge 830159 Multi-Tool w/Premium Nylon Sheath
  • READY FOR ANYTHING: The Surge is one of our largest multitools and a real powerhouse. Built with our largest pliers and longest multitool blades, it's perfect for tough jobs and the hands that do them.
  • FIT MORE FUNCTIONALITY: The Surge is equipped with 21 tools, including knives, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, an electrical crimper, a wire stripper, scissors, bottle and can openers, files, a saw with blade exchanger, an awl, and a ruler.
  • LET'S BE PRACTICAL: Sometimes you only have one hand to spare. The Surge only requires one hand to open and use all the tools, even the ones that aren't accessible from the outside. And with all-locking features, you can use it with confidence.
  • ALWAYS ON HAND: With its heavy-duty yet portable size and lanyard ring, your Surge is always within reach and ready to work.

Only Got 5 Minutes?

There is no question that a Leatherman Multi-tool will make your life easier in many ways. However, first, you have to get through the process of actually purchasing a Leatherman Multi-tool! There are so many available on the market it can be confusing knowing where to get started! This section of the article aims to remove all of that stress – so you can just get on with purchasing your Leatherman Multi-tool.

Why buy a Leatherman Multi-tool?

Leatherman is well known for their popularity in the multi-tool market! In fact, the two names tend to go hand in hand. But, why are they the best multi-tools to buy on the market?

More than anything, it really is down to the high quality that is provided with the brand. The tools can be trusted and relied upon to last for a long time and be up to the task, regardless of what is asked of them. Not just this, but their versatility in the number of jobs that they can complete means that purchasing a Leatherman Multi-tool can actually save you from having to purchase other tools at a later date! The variety of different Leatherman Multi-tools that are available on the market at any one time, also means that you are almost guaranteed to find a tool that is exactly right for you. It is rare to feel dissatisfied with the number of features that come with each tool.

Not only this, but the general “workability” of Leatherman Multi-tools really is just second to none. The tools have all been crafted with genuine work in mind and aim to make that as easy as possible for the user. So no spending 10 minutes trying to get access to one of the tools, or another 10 minutes trying to lock it in place so you can actually use it!

Best Budget – Leatherman LT200 Sidekick Multi Tool

Leatherman LT200 Sidekick Multi Tool, Standard
  • Stainless steel body
  • Removable pocket clip
  • Leather Sleeve
  • 25 year guarantee

Different Types of Leatherman Multi-tools

There are so many Leatherman Multi-tools available that it can be difficult to know which is right for you. With over 40 in production at any one time, it can be challenging to even know which category is right for you! Let alone exactly which tool! To help, Leatherman multi-tools are broken down into two main categories – collections (Wave, Charge, Juice and Surge) and size (Pocket Tools, Keychain Tools, Pocketsize Tools, Full-Size Tools and Heavy Duty Tools).

Collections

The four collections – Wave, Charge, Juice and Surge – have many similarities but enough differences for it to matter that you know the difference between them! The Surge collection is probably the most technical multi-tool offered by Leatherman, with around 21 tools, in a very complex design! Next, are the Wave and Charge collections, which are slightly smaller (but still have as many as 19 tools in some models). Finally comes the Juice collection – considerably smaller and more compact, these models also tend to come in different colours, with around 12 tools on each model.

There are other individual models of Leatherman Multi-tools that may be more suitable for you than these main collections, so consider choosing a stand-alone model if none of these collections is right for what you are looking for.

Size

  • Keychain tools – These tools are by far the smallest available on the market and are made to be hooked onto your keys (as the name suggests). They will also come with tools that fold away, meaning that they cannot cause damage during the time that they are attached to your keys.
  • Pocket size tools – The tools are slightly bigger than the keychain tools but are still designed so that they can fit in your pocket. They are smaller than the pocket tool models. Most of these models will also come with a pocket clip so that you can be sure to not lose your new tool any time soon!
  • Pocket tools – Some of the smaller tools on the market (although definitely not the smallest) and tend to have a keychain attached meaning that you can hook them onto your keys. However, not all of the tools will fold away on these models so it isn’t always best to actually keep them in your pocket!
  • Full-size tools – Full-size tools are considerably larger than their pocket-sized counterparts and therefore will allow you to complete a lot more jobs easily! Many will have fold-away tools but this will still make them too big for normal pockets – however, they could still fit in overalls or workwear.
  • Heavy-duty tools – These are the largest types of multi-tools that are created by Leatherman. They are designed specifically for professionals or anyone wanting a considerably more high-quality tool that is going to be up to any task asked of it! However, it is important to consider that these tools are considerably larger so you will need to think of another way to carry it around, such as a belt holder!

Things to Consider

We understand that choosing the right Leatherman Multi-tool for you can be a bit of a minefield, with so many available on the market! There are a number of things that are important to consider before making your purchase. We have gone into detail on these below to help make your purchase even easier!

  • Build quality – All Leatherman Multi-tools are built with a certain quality in mind. However, it is important to check the materials that your tool has been made with, to be sure that it is going to be durable and able to withstand the heavy use that it may receive!
  • Design – As mentioned above, there are four main designs of Leatherman Multi-tools and then many sub-groups underneath this depending on exactly what you are looking for. Choose a design that is going to be right for you, with the tools that you are most frequently going to use is the most easily accessible etc.
  • Weight and size – Weight and size are incredibly important when purchasing a Leatherman Multi-tool, as most people will want their tool to be portable (that is the main point of them after all!). Consider how you are planning on moving your tool (in your pocket, in a bag, in overalls etc) as this will affect the weight and size of the tool that you can consider purchasing. However, it is also important to think about your hand size! A particularly small tool may be beneficial in terms of portability, but is of no use if you can’t access the features on the multi-tool!
  • Portability – Following on from weight and size it is important to consider the actual portability of your Leatherman Multi-tool. Do you need one that can be clipped on your belt? Or on your keys? Or is a model that slips into your pocket easily more important to you?
  • Purpose and Suitability – The main thing that you need to consider is exactly what you are going to be using your Leatherman Multi-tool for and then the different model’s suitability to complete these jobs!
  • Price – The price range in Leatherman Multi-tools really does range quite dramatically. From as little as £35 to as much as £300 (sometimes more for limited edition models). It is important to consider exactly what you need your tool for – it can be very tempting to go for a tool with lots of exciting features, however, if you are only going to use 3 of them, you might as well save yourself some money and go for a cheaper model!

What tools are offered with Leatherman Multi-tools?

There are many different tools that come with Leatherman Multi-tools, so you need to think about what it is that you are going to use the most, and the other most important tools for you. You may get lucky and find a Multi-tool that has everything that you need, or you may have to compromise for one with just those most important tools (or buy two so that you have the best of both worlds!). We have listed some of the tools that come with Leatherman Multi-tools to help you consider what it is that you are going to be looking for. Obviously these tools themselves come in different variations and styles, so be sure to check in plenty of detail before making your purchase.

  • Knife
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Wirecutter
  • Wire stripper
  • Scissors
  • Package Opener
  • Bottle and can openers
  • File
  • Ruler
  • Bit driver
  • Carabiner
  • Electrical crimper
  • Saw
  • Awl

Specialist Purpose Multi-Tools

As we discussed above, there are many different Leatherman Multi-tools that are available on the market, so sometimes it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. We mentioned before about considering what you are going to be using your tool for. This also applies to if you are considering purchasing a specialist purpose multi-tool. These tools will have many of the “general” tools, such as blades and pliers, but then will have additional tools that are targeted at a particular job/person.

For example, the Leatherman Wave Multitool may be better suited to someone wanting to do electrical work, due to the wire cutters and tougher pliers that come as standard with this tool. Whereas, if you are someone wanting to go hiking or camping then the Leatherman Signal may be better suited to you, as this has can openers, bottle openers and other tools designed to make your camping experience easier!

Best of the Rest

LEATHERMAN Super Tool 300 Heritage 832547, Leather Sheath Multi, Stainless Steel
  • Limited Edition
  • Includes vintage leather sheath
  • 25 year Warranty
Leatherman Skeletool CX + Diamond engraving on BLADE, text & font/logo via e-mail
  • Choose an engraving option at the field "colour name" above. Please let us know, if you'd like the engraving on the HANDLE or the BLADE. On this tool:DIAMOND engraving only on the BLADE!
  • Please send the details of your engraving (text & font or logo) per Amazon message (-->more infos see fig. "instructions: engraving order") If you don't inform us about your preferred font, we'll use "Arial".
  • Due to the Amazon terms of delivery, we have to send the article without engraving after 2 days, if we don't receive your engraving information in that time. In that case, you'll be reimbursed your engraving expenses.
  • Professional CO2-Laser and Diamondengravings with newest technology. After we've received the engraving information the article will be engraved and dispatched WITHIN 24 HOURS! (ESTIMATED DELIVERY TIME: 2-5 WORKING DAYS)
  • Interested in ordering in larger quantities - just contact us!
Sale
Leatherman 832526 Wave Plus, Stainless Steal
  • Special tool with 18 tools for a wide variety of application profiles
  • Included bits "eyeglass screwdriver"
  • All 18 tools are quick and easy to expand and collapse to handle any task
  • Etui molle sheath
  • Multi tool made of 420HC stainless steel

Leatherman History

The history of the Leatherman brand really is quite a fantastic one! During the 1970s and 1980s, Tim Leatherman was travelling through Europe with his wife. As he was driving a rather unreliable, old Fiat he carried a pocket knife with him to help fix anything that went wrong with the car or needed repairs on his travels. He became frustrated with the fact that the pocket knife did not have pliers so invented a design that was basically a simpler version of the multi-tool that they still create today!

Ironically, no one wanted to purchase the idea for the multi-tool, so Tim Leatherman decided to continue with the creation and production of the tool himself – along with his brother-in-law for support. The company as we know it was founded in 1983, selling their first multi-tool – the Pocket Survival Tool. He sold 30,000 during the following year and the business continued to boom from there, to the well-known brand that we all know today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Leatherman Multi-tools come with a warranty?

All Leatherman Multi-tools comes with a whopping 25-year warranty – this is how sure they are that their tools are the best! This does not cover abuse or alteration (if you have tried to change the tool for any reason). Simply fill out a form and return your tool, providing it meets the condition of their warranty they will either repair it or send you a replacement tool or equal or GREATER value. You really cannot ask for any better than that!

Will my Leatherman Multi-tool need sharpening?

If you have knife attachments on your multi-tool then eventually – yes – they will need sharpening! A straight blade can simply be sharpened just like any knife, however, if you purchased a multi-tool with a serrated blade then make sure to purchase a special tool to sharpen this blade!

Last update on 2019-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Mike Jones 136 Articles
I started doing DIY around the house and it soon developed into a hobby. I look for tools and products that are genuinely useful and get the job done. I enjoy writing product reviews, researching my buyers guides and putting tools through their paces. In my downtime, I like to run and I am a bit of a Netflix documentary geek.

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