Leatherman has been the dominant force in the multitool industry and never seems to stop innovating. Year after year they wow us with these shiny new creations, and we anticipate these releases. I do feel over the last serval years, we have seen a slowdown in new products and more of a rehash of what they already produce.
When the Curl was announced, I thought alright here we go, let's see what they've been working on. Instead of being wowed, I feel like Leatherman just took two models and put them together and called it a new creation. So, is it a new amazing tool? Or just a cash grab for the folks in Portland? Let's take a look.
Multitools have changed over the decades, constantly improving functionality and design. What doesn't change however is the sheaths and holsters we use to hold our beloved tools. We have the traditional leather and the old standby of ballistic nylon but no major multitool company offers anything other than those two options. There are some tools that have the option to add a pocket clip but not everyone likes the weight of a Surge hanging from their pocket. People looking for alternative sources for sheaths will likely see the plethora of folks offering kydex sheaths. Kydex is extremely popular with law enforcement and military because of durability the material offers as well as the attachment options like the molle system.
I've been having a lot of fun with my 3D Printer lately, trying out neat designs for EDC- for example this 3D printed sheath for the Leatherman Wave!
Some time ago I had written about the value of a modded tool, and the short version is that I had come up with an equation that I use to determine what a mod is worth to me. With so many modders out there these days, many of which charging an exorbitant fee for their services, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
This was meant as a loose guideline to help folks get into the ballpark of what something was worth, and, in short, it looks something like this:
Materials (=all materials - recoverable materials) + labor + Profit (%)= Value
As we get closer and closer to SHOT we are starting to get more and more info on what kinds of things we are likely to see from each of the big manufacturers. This year the folks at BladeHQ are giving us our first looks at what Leatherman is releasing, something the folks at Leatherman were't happy about when I announced their new tools before they did a few years ago during the Sidekick and Wingman debut.
Leatherman has made so many tools by now they are becoming too numerous to count, but each generation they create seems to get better than the previous, after all isn’t that what product manufacturers strive to do? They take something that the public already loves and has widely accepted and remake that item so it’s even better than its predecessors. When Leatherman came out with the Wave it hit the mulitool market by storm and soon became the “flagship” item that was the crowning achievement for Leatherman, heck even wal-mart had it listed on their shelves as “best sold mulitool”. I owned an original Wave and thought it was defiantly a forward thinking in multitool design, it was the first tool to have one handed opening blades. Having those on the outside as well as a saw and file makes the tools even with the bottom of the tool; giving the user more surface area to work with. Well in 2004 Leatherman introduced a new version of their Wave based off the design of their new flagship tool the Charge, the Wave may not be sporting a 154CM blade or Titanium handles but it’s still a contender in its own right.
Tim Leatherman constantly gets feedback from his customers about his products; and he listens, he is always looking to make his tools better and more user friendly for the public. This tool is 100% customer feedback driven, and a perfect example of how someone in the business should listen to their customers and further drive the creativity that flows into making ideas reality. Customers were most interested in tools that open via the tool being closed and blades that could open one handed, and to once and for all kill the painful hand hurting handles of Leathermans past.
The Wave is one of the nicer looking tools available