There are a few players in the multitool market, but only one is synonymous with the product. It's hard to deny the juggernaut that is Leatherman. They just celebrated their 40th anniversary and they have no intention of slowing down. Just before this anniversary, new information emerged about a tool Leatherman was developing. Dubbed the Arc, it had a lot of features we grew to love on the FREE series. What really excited people was the fact that it solved a lot of issues people had with the FREE series and said to have a Magnacut blade.
These rumors and speculations fueled heated discussions, and anticipation of a product that some thought was a pipedream. I can't think of a single tool since I've become a fan that has created this much hype and anticipation. If this tool became a reality, it would fix the shortcomings of the toolset on the FREE series. Also, it would solidify Leatherman as the innovator that it is, a testament to its leadership in the industry. As their anniversary came around, they announced a limited-edition tool, which for all purposes was an Arc with a different coat of paint.
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.
In an ever changing world companies like Leatherman are forced to innovate and diversify in order to stay competitive. Leatherman CEO Ben Rivera took the company in a new direction back in 2015 and released the Leatherman Tread multitool. The Tread was a tool born out of necessity for Ben on a trip to a theme park and his current tool was not allowed in the park. The Tread has gotten a lot of press in the last couple years; some positive and some negative. One fact that remains is that it's still a hot seller for the historic tool company.
Most folks think of multitools as plier based tools that have an assortment of functions. In fact the company Leatherman has become synonymous with the word multitool; similar to how Kleenex is being used to define tissues. Leatherman had a big inspiration back in 2015 and released a multitool which was very different than the standard modeling. Current CEO Ben Rivera had a run in with the security at Disneyland and told him he couldn't bring in his Wave multitool. This got the gears turning and this helped develop a new type of multitool; wearable.
Multitools comes in a vast variety of shapes and sizes and certainly have had a lot of changes to them since the first Leatherman was issued. In spite of all those changes the general look and functionality hasn't deviated much. Tools are usually clumped into two categories; Swiss Army style or plier based which is what most people associate with.