Leatherman Multi-tools – A Buyer’s Guide

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Leatherman Multitool Buyers Guide

Since their creation in the 1980s, Leatherman tools have taken over the multi-tool market – growing in popularity at an unbelievable rate. It is no wonder they have achieved this in such a short time, with their versatile and reliable tools. Everyone knows they are pretty much unrivalled for quality of the product.

If you are reading this article then you are probably aware of the vast number of Leatherman Multi-tools that are available on the market! They really do have a multi-tool for everything! As amazing as this is, it can make the process of purchasing a Leatherman Multi-tool really quite a difficult one! This is why our article is important to help you – we have researched all of the Leatherman Multi-tools available on the market, to help you find the best Leatherman Multi-tool.

History of the Leatherman Company

The history of the Leatherman brand is too interesting not to mention! During the 1970s and 1980s, Tim Leatherman was travelling through Europe with his wife. He was driving an unreliable, old Fiat and staying in places that often needed repairs to make them habitable. Because of this, he carried a pocket knife with him to help fix anything that went wrong. After becoming frustrated with the fact that the pocket knife did not have pliers as well, he designed a tool that is essentially a simpler version of the multi-tool that they still create today!

What makes the story even better is that no one wanted to purchase the idea for the multi-tool! But, Tim Leatherman was so passionate about his invention that he decided to continue with the creation and production of the tool himself – along with his brother-in-law. The company 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 grow and develop from there, to the well-known brand that we all know today.

Only Got 5 Minutes?

Leatherman Multi-tools are made to make your life easier in every which way! However, the process of actually purchasing a Leatherman Multi-tool isn’t always as straightforward! There are so many available on the market it can be confusing to know where to start! This section of the article aims to help you with that, providing you with all the most important information to make an informed purchase.

Why is a Leatherman Multi-tool right for me?

If you think “multi-tool” chances are you will also think “Leatherman” due to their massive popularity in the multi-tool market! But, why are they the best multi-tools to buy?

The most important thing is the high quality that is provided with the Leatherman 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. Equally, their versatility and 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!

Another factor to mention is the sheer variety of different Leatherman Multi-tools that are available on the market at any one time, which means that you are almost guaranteed to find a tool that is exactly right for you!

Not only this, but the general “workability” of Leatherman Multi-tools really is just second to none. The tools have all been Forget having to spend 10 minutes opening your tool and finding the feature that you want before you can even get to work!

Types of Leatherman Multi-tools

We understand that it can often be difficult to know which Leatherman Multi-tool is right for you, due to the large number that is available on the market. 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!

Leatherman multi-tools are broken down into groups to make this process easier – collections (Wave, Charge, Juice and Surge) and size (Pocket Tools, Keychain Tools, Pocketsize Tools, Full-Size Tools and Heavy Duty Tools).


There are four main collections – Wave, Charge, Juice and Surge – but then also Leatherman has introduced individual models along the way that might be more suitable for what you are looking for. The Surge collection is often considered the most technical multi-tool offered by Leatherman, with around 21 tools, in a very detailed design! Then come the Wave and Charge collections, which are slightly smaller (but still have up to 19 tools in some models). Last, but definitely not least, comes the Juice collection – these tend to be smaller and more compact. Juice models also tend to come in different colours, with around 12 tools on each.


  • Keychain tools – By far the smallest available on the market, these tools are made to be hooked onto your keys. As these tools are designed to be kept on your keys they come with tools that fold away as small as possible, to avoid any damage to any other things you are carrying in your pocket with you.
  • Pocket size tools – Leatherman Pocketsize tools are slightly bigger than the keychain tools but are still able to fit in your pocket. They are smaller than the pocket tool models. Most pocket-size tools also come with a pocket clip so that you can be sure to not lose your new tool any time soon!
  • Pocket tools – Bigger than keychain tools and pocket-size tools but still larger than the full-size tools – these Leatherman Multi-tools tend to have a keychain attached meaning that you can hook them onto your keys (like the keychain models only bigger). 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 the other models and therefore will allow you to complete a lot more jobs easily! Many will have fold-away tools but will still be too big for normal pockets – however, they could still fit in overalls or workwear. Consider what you need your tool for and where you are going to keep it, as the last thing anyone wants is a tool too big for their pocket that then gets lost!
  • Heavy-duty tools – These are the largest types of multi-tools that are created by Leatherman. They are designed for professionals but that doesn’t mean that they can’t also be used by anyone wanting a more high-quality tool that is going to be up to any task asked of it! Remember 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!

What Do I Need to Consider?

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

  • Price – The price range in Leatherman Multi-tools really does differ quite considerably. From as little as £35 to over £300 (sometimes more for limited edition models). Consider exactly what you need your tool for – it can be very tempting to go for a tool with lots of fancy 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!
  • Quality of Build – All Leatherman Multi-tools are built with quality, 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! Look for models made with high-quality steel as these will be lightweight but hard-wearing.
  • Design – There are four main designs of Leatherman Multi-tools (see above for more details) 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.
  • Weight and size – These are very 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 where your tool will be travelling – your pocket? A toolbag? Overalls? This will affect the weight and size of the tool that you can consider purchasing. It is also important to think about your hand size (believe it or not)! 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 – Weight and size lead nicely only portability…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?
  • Suitability and Purpose – Ask yourself what you are going to be using your Leatherman Multi-tool for? Then you can consider the different models and find one that is up to the task!

Tools on tools – What Will I Find On A Leatherman Multi-tool?

Remember to think about what it is that you are going to use the most, and the other most important tools for you. Hopefully, you will 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 (otherwise what a perfect excuse to buy two!). 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 setting your heart on a particular tool!

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

Specialist Multi-Tools

As you now know, there are many different Leatherman Multi-tools that are available on the market. 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 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, if you love camping and hiking 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! Equally, 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sharpen my Leatherman Multi-tool?

If you have knife attachments on your multi-tool then they will need sharpening every once in a while! 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!

Does Leatherman Multi-tools come with a warranty?

All Leatherman Multi-tools come with a massive 25-year warranty – a sure sign that they are confident their tools are going to last! This does not cover abuse or alteration (if you have tried to change the tool for any reason). If there is anything wrong with your tool it is as easy as filling out a form and returning your tool. Then, providing it meets the condition of their warranty they will either repair it or send you a replacement tool or equal or greater value. What more could you want from a warranty?

About Chris Sharples 68 Articles
I love a good gadget! Whether it's something that makes my home smart, saves me time or just looks great. I blog about gadgets and technology in and around the home. Follow me on my journey to avoid the pitfalls and find the best.

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