Best Tools From Leatherman
The best tools from Leatherman are truly a cut above the rest in regards to practicality, durability, and longevity. They are like a Swiss Army knife but on steroids, as they offer a variety of tools in one. They are an excellent tool to have as part of your tool arsenal, as they are great for portability and if you need to complete a quick fix on the go. By taking the time to choose the right one for you, with the correct set of tools for your needs, you’ll soon learn just how useful they can be.
The idea of combining multiple tools into one easy to handle package is nothing new. There is evidence of such things back in the time of the Roman Emperors. So there's no wonder why our modern day equivalent, such as the Leatherman Multi-tool is so popular. If you’re in the market for finding the best tools from Leatherman we have done the research to bring you the top ten tools on the market and explained why they are the best of the best. These tools will not let you down and are a great investment if you want to be prepared for anything.
- LEATHERMAN CHARGE TTI
- LEATHERMAN TREAD BRACELET
- LEATHERMAN SIDEKICK
- LEATHERMAN REBAR
- LEATHERMAN CHARGE ALX
- LEATHERMAN SURGE
- LEATHERMAN OHT
- LEATHERMAN SUPER TOOL 300
- LEATHERMAN FREESTYLE
- LEATHERMAN SKELETOOL CX
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. LEATHERMAN CHARGE TTI
- Tools you’ll use every day
- Lightweight, compact size for easy carry
- Durable construction with stainless steel and titanium parts
- One-handed operable
- May not have absolutely everything you’ll need in every situation.
Combining some of the most requested tools from their customers, Leatherman has created one of the most versatile and easy to use multi-tools on the market today. Need to fix something in a snap? Chances are you’ll be using the Leatherman Charge TTI.Read more
Ease of Use
Overall this tool is one of the easiest to operate, and can be opened and operated with one hand, which is a welcomed change from previous Leatherman tools. The tools lock into place during use, adding a level of safety that is unseen in other multi-tools. And finally, the number of tools that are accessible from the outside edge makes it a very easy tool to use indeed.
This tool from Leatherman includes many of the tools that you use everyday. Things such as needle nose pliers, hard-wire cutters, wire cutter, crimper, a wire stripper, a knife, a serrated knife, a saw, spring action scissors, a cutting hook, ruler, can opener, bottle opener, both a wood/metal and diamond coated files, a large bit driver, a small bit driver, and a medium screwdriver all can easily play a part in your daily life.
Even with all the different tools and potential areas for breakage, this multi-tool is built to last with solid workmanship.
Overall this particular tool from Leatherman lives up to the 25 year warranty offered by the company with little trouble. The materials used in the making of this tool include 420 high carbon steel, and a titanium comfort-sculpted handle to start. This is one tool that has a good chance of withstanding anything you throw at it.
Size and Weight
When closed, the tool is only four inches long, making it an easy fit for a back pocket or on a belt. The weight is just under 9 ounces, so it’s fairly lightweight as well.
If you’re looking for a Leatherman tool that has the essential tools in a lightweight and easy to carry package, the Charge TTI is the way to go.
2. LEATHERMAN TREAD BRACELET
- Can wear it and take it anywhere
- TSA Approved
- Easily customizable
- May be uncomfortable for some wearers
- Some of the tools are harder to use.
Love the idea of multi-tool, but hate the fact that you can rarely bring them onto a plane, and having a bulky weight in your pocket? The Leatherman Tread Bracelet may just be what you’re looking for. Combining a unique fashion sense with a TSA approved multi-tool, this is one bracelet you’ll love to wear.Read more
Ease of Use
The innovative design of this particular multi-tool makes it not only relatively easy to use, but also easy to customize. Simply slip a link off or back on again to make the bracelet into something truly your own. There are some tools, due to their nature, such as the ¼ inch socket drive that are a bit harder to use in some situations, but those examples are few and far between.
There are a total of twenty-nine tools that you can mix and match in this Tread Bracelet from Leatherman. These include a #1 and #2 Phillips screwdriver, a 1/4” box wrench, a 3/16” screwdriver, a 6mm hex drive, a ¼ inch hex drive, an oxygen tank wrench, a 3/16 inch hex drive, a 8 mm box wrench, a 3 mm hex drive, a carbide glass breaker, a pick/sim card tool, cutting hook, a ¼ inch socket drive, a bottle opener, and a #2 square drive.
Each link in this bracelet is made from durable stainless steel material, although the connecting links do leave a bit to be desired in the strength department. Overall though, the sturdiness of the bracelet is well suited for normal everyday use.
Overall the design of this bracelet is innovative a fairly straight forward at the same time While it is not as sturdy as some of the other tools from Leatherman on this list, it is still well made.
Size and Weight
Measuring 10.1 by 6.5 by 4.5 inches this bracelet might be a bit bulky for some tastes, but it should fit most wrists without too much trouble. Also, the weight is less than 0.5 ounces, making it one of the lightest tools on the market.
With its innovative design, and easily customizable layout, this is one of the best tools from Leatherman that you’ll find anywhere. However, the bracelet might be a bit large for some wrists, and some of the links and tools can be harder to use.
3. LEATHERMAN SIDEKICK
- Affordable price
- One handed operation
- Practical tools
- Relatively compact
- May not have every tool you need.
This Leatherman tool is a great choice for everyday use both in the outdoors and the office or home setting. It provides many of the functions of the more robust models at a fraction of the weight and price. If you’re looking for your first multi-tool, this is a great choice.Read more
Ease of Use
Not only does this tool offer implements on the outside for easier access, but it is also easily operated with a single hand. Add to that the wealth of very practical tools, and the relatively fluid motion when opening it, this tool is truly a breeze to use.
There are fourteen different tools that inhabit this multi-tool from Leatherman. They are some of the most practical, including spring action needle nose pliers, spring action regular pliers, spring action wire cutters, a wire stripper, both a knife and serrated knife, a saw, ruler, can opener, bottle opener, a wood/metal file, a Phillips screwdriver, and both a small and medium screw driver.
Overall the construction of this tool is pretty sound, with no real indications of weakened materials or individual tools.
Despite its lower price, the basic design and the 420 high carbon stainless steel that is used make for a very sturdy and reliable tool. In addition, the rounded handles and easy to open knife blades mean that this tool might just replace your favorite pocket knife before too long.
Size and Weight
When closed, this tool measures just under four inches in length, and weighs about seven ounces. It’s fairly small for a Leatherman Tool, and can easily fit in just about any pocket, purse, or backpack.
If you’re thinking about buying your first multi-tool, the Leatherman Sidekick is a great all-around choice. While not as innovative or comprehensive as some tools available, it is a great place to start.
4. LEATHERMAN REBAR
- Useful tools
- Fairly compact
- Well made and sturdy
- All tools are internal
- Individual tools may be weaker than others
Designed for those that want the essential tools at their fingertips, the Leatherman Rebar tool is a great choice based on the idea that form and function can work in harmony.Read more
Ease of Use
This particular multi-tool offers one handed operation, and accessible tools on the outside, which is quite handy in certain situations. In addition, the tools lock into place. However, there have been reports of some overall stiffness when opening the multi-tool, and in pulling out some of the included implements. Overall though, with time the stiffness does lessen.
This tool features seventeen of the most often used tools. These include needle nose pliers, regular pliers, replaceable wire cutters, replaceable hard wire cutters, electrical crimper, a wire stripper, a 420 high carbon stainless steel knife, a 420 high carbon serrated edge knife, a saw, an awl with thread loop, a can opener and bottle opener, a wood/metal file, a Phillips screwdriver, a ruler, and both a large and small screwdriver.
This tool has a fairly straightforward design, and can easily survive a drop or two and normal everyday wear and tear. While there have been reports about individual tools breaking with strenuous use, overall this tools is tough enough to get the job done.
Overall this is a fairly well-designed tool, although the absence of tools on the outside is a bit of a design flaw in our opinion. Overall though, the material used and the craftsmanship is fairly good.
Size and Weight
This is one tool that when fully closed can fit into your pocket. Measuring approximately 1.5 x 4 x 1 inches in size, it is easily one of the most compact Leatherman tools available
While the durability in some of the tools leaves a little bit to be desired, and the lack of outside tools is a bit of a let down, this tool provides a great deal of practicality and strength where you need it most.
5. LEATHERMAN CHARGE ALX
- Fairly lightweight
- Easy to use
- Perfect for work around the house
- Not entirely suited for outdoor adventures
- Blades dull remarkably fast.
The Leatherman Charge AL Multi-Tool is a wonderful general tool for use around the house or at the campsite. While its usefulness wanes as you go further into the wilderness, it is still viable option for the weekend warrior.Read more
Ease of Use
Overall this tool is fairly easy to use, and the ability to operate it with one hand is a true benefit in a lot of situations. Add to that the locking feature for all the tools, and the fact that they can be accessed from the outside make this a great tool all around.
There are seventeen features included in this multi-tool. They are the needle nose pliers, regular pliers, hard and regular wire cutters, a wire stripper, a wood/metal file, a bottle and a can opener, spring action scissors, a diamond coated file, a large bit driver, a medium screwdriver, a saw, and a serrated blade.
While the overall multi-tool could withstand a good deal of abuse, there have been reports of the serrated blade and the spring action scissors starting out strong and sharp but very quickly losing their ability to cut properly.
In general, this multi-tool is well put together, and the materials used, including the 420 high carbon steel make for a great tool that can withstand a lot of what the world can throw at it.
Size and Weight
The Leatherman Charge AL measures about 4 inches when closed, and weighs 8.3 ounces.
While this tool is perfect for everyday use, it doesn’t quite measure up when considering the rigors of outdoor use. If you’re buying a Leatherman tool for use on your next hiking adventure, you may want to consider other options.
6. LEATHERMAN SURGE
- Lots of great tools
- Fairly Durable
- May be too heavy or big for some
- Pronounced stiffness even after prolonged use
The Surge Multi-Tool is one of those devices from Leatherman that seems to have the answers to all the right questions when it comes to practicality and usefulness.Read more
Ease of Use
In general, the locking features, ability to access the tools from either the inside or outside, and the one-handed operation means that this is a tool that even the most inexperienced person can use. The one drawback we found is that the springs and tools were surprisingly stiff and hard to open, even after multiple uses.
If you need it, chances are this multi-tool will have it. It features a total of 21 different tools including needle nose and regular pliers, hard and regular wire cutters, an electrical crimper, a wire striper, a knife, a saw, spring action scissors, an awl with a thread loop, an eight inch ruler, a can opener, a bottle opener, a file, a diamond coated file, a blade exchanger, a large bit driver, and both a large and small screwdriver.
Overall, the Surge Multi-Tool is one of the toughest on this list. It is designed to survive and thrive in the worst environments. So normal everyday use, even in the outdoors shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
While the Surge is certainly quite durable, the overall quality of the manufacturing does leave a bit to be desired. The springs felt a bit weaker than normal, and the folding mechanisms felt stiff even after lubrication and use.
Size and Weight
When closed, this multi-tool measures about 4.5 inches, and weighs about 12.5 ounces.
This is one of the largest, and heaviest tools from Leatherman on the market today. Filled to the brim with great tools, it’s a great choice, provided it’s overall stiffness and weakness in the springs is taken into account.
7. LEATHERMAN OHT
- Very easy to use
- Practical choice of tools
- Locking features promote safety
May be a bit bulky for some users
Individual tools are not as durable as we would like
If you’re looking for a workhouse of a multi-tool that is designed to help you do your job safely and effectively, this entry on our list may just be the ticket.Read more
Ease of Use
When it comes to usability, this multi-tool is one of the best on this list, if not the market. It features a combination of true one-handed operation, tools accessible from the outside, secure locking mechanisms for all the tools involved, and handles with easy to grip imprints so your hands don’t slide around during delicate tasks.
While this multi-tool doesn’t include everything besides the kitchen sink, it comes fairly close. It includes a spring-action needle nose pliers and regular pliers, both spring action hard wire and wire cutters, a knife, a serrated knife, a saw, a strap cutter, a #8-32 cleaning rod/brush adapter, can opener, bottle opener, oxygen tank wrench, a Phillips screwdriver, a large screwdriver, a medium screwdriver, and a small screw driver.
While the overall multi-tool is fairly strong and will certainly last for many years to come, quite a few of the individual tools may have to be replaced a time or two. For example, the pliers have been shown to be relatively weak, and the wire cutters, which are replaceable don’t withstand the test of rigorous work as well as we would hope.
Overall this tool is well planned out, and the most often used tools are easily accessible. In addition, the use of 420 high carbon steel makes for a stronger and more lightweight option compared to some other multi-tools available on the market.
Size and Weight
When closed, this multi-tool measures approximately 4.5 inches and weighs just under 10 ounces. While not the lightest or smallest of the choices presented here, it can still be kept in a number of different places, including a back pocket or a belt holder.
Filled with useful tools that are a breeze to operate, the Leatherman OHT Multi-Tool falls a little short when it comes to the strength and durability of the individual tools. However, if you need something that should survive regular use without a problem at a fairly reasonable price, this is not a bad option.
8. LEATHERMAN SUPER TOOL 300
- Practical tools
- Locking feature on everything
- Very durable
- A bit on the bulky side
- Individual tools may be hard to access.
This beast of a multi-tool serves you best when you need to have the right tool at the right time-- which is pretty much all the time, right?Read more
Ease of Use
While it is filled with very useful tools, the overall design and orientation of the tools make them a little bit harder to use than other examples on this list. The locking mechanism on some of the tools seems a little faulty. In addition, the tools found on the inside, such as the screw drivers and can opener come out in a clump, which makes choosing one a bit problematic at times.
The tools featured in this Leatherman tool make it a great companion for those people who find themselves is a wide array of situations. Included tools are the needle nose and standard pliers, replaceable wire cutters, replaceable hard wire cutters, stranded wire cutters, electrical crimper, wire stripper, both a straight edge and serrated blades, a saw, an awl with a thread loop, a can opener, a bottle opener, a wood/metal file, and three sizes of screwdrivers.
When it comes to durability, this is a hard multi-tool to match. Not only does it have some serious heft to it, but it is also fairly well put together. It truly is a beast of a tool.
Besides the few design quirks mentioned above, the Super Tool 300 is a very well put together and thought out multi-tool. In addition to the 420 high carbon steel used, the addition of locking features, a secure lanyard ring, and overall size and features make it a great choice
Size and Weight
Despite the number of tools contained in this particular multi-tool, it is deceptively small. It measures 4.5 inches in length when closed, and weighs just under 10 ounces.
If you are looking for a great workhorse that has the durability to go the distance and the tools to help you when you get there, the Super Tool 300 is a great choice.
9. LEATHERMAN FREESTYLE
- Reasonable price
- Small compact size make it easy to store
- One handed operation and outside accessible tools
- Limited Tools mean limited uses
Love the idea of multi-tool, but not a huge fan of something bulky and hard to manage? Then the Leatherman Freestyle Multi-Tool may just what you need.Read more
Ease of Use
Overall this multi-tool is very easy to use, with only a little stiffness here and there during the first uses. The tools can be drawn out with a single hand, and quite a few of them are on the outside, making using them quite simple indeed.
The Freestyle Multi-Tool is built for efficiency, and includes only the tools that Leatherman has found to be the most used. These include needle nose pliers, regular pliers, hard-wire cutters, wire cutters, and a combination serrated edge and straight edge knife.
Overall the durability of this particular tool is acceptable, but certainly, nothing to write home about. While normal use shouldn’t be a problem, we wouldn’t suggest dropping it off the side of a small cliff anytime soon.
This Leatherman tool features their standard 420 high carbon steel, and is laid out with great efficiency, with the tools being accessible from both inside and outside the multi-tool.
Size and Weight
This is one of the smallest and most compact Leatherman tools on this list. It measures 1.25 by 3.45 by 0.75 inches and weighs a remarkable 4.5 ounces.
If you’re looking for an efficient and practical multi-tool that should serve your everyday needs quite well, this is a fantastic choice.
10. LEATHERMAN SKELETOOL CX
- Very light weight
- Essential tools
- Carbon fiber may become brittle in very cold weather.
If you’re looking for a light, and easy to handle multi-tool that gives you just what you need and nothing else, the Leatherman Skeletool CX Multi-tool is something that you should consider.Read more
Ease of Use
With only seven tools, and the ability to access them freely from both the inside and outside, this multi-tool is one of the easiest to handle. It fits easily on the belt or in the purse as well. The one problem we found was that it is sometimes hard to open.
Only seven tools are included in this entry into our list. Needle nose pliers, regular pliers, hard and regular wire cutters, a knife, a carbiner/bottle opener, and a large bit driver are all you get.
In general, the durability of the multi-tool is fine for general use, but the carbon fiber handle, which is perfect for most things doesn’t stand up very well to extreme temperatures.
This multi-tool is all about going back to the basics, and the overall commitment to quality is no exception. In this tool, Leatherman combined the innovative use of carbon fiber with light and strong steel to make sure that the tool was lightweight and only contained what was needed.
Size and Weight
Based on the composition of the handle and the essential tools, this multi-tool weighs about 5 ounces and measures about 4 inches in length when closed.
Housing only the true essentials and feature a carbon fiber handle, the Skeletool CX Multi-Tool is a great choice for those braving the urban jungle.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
In truth, if a tool is difficult to use, it won’t be used. Therefore it’s important to look at the factors that dictate how easy it is to use in a given situation. Are the implements in the multi-tools easy to deploy? How hard is it to get to the tool that you need? Is the handle comfortable in the hands? These are all questions that we asked when looking for the ten best tools from Leatherman.
Not surprisingly, the tools on this list had a number of design features, such as having a one-handed operation or the tools being accessible from the outside that increased the ease of use dramatically. While there were still some exceptions for individual tools, for the most part, each one of these multi-tools can be opened and used without too much of a hassle.
Every situation demands different things, and having the right tool for the job is extremely important. That’s what makes multi-tools so popular in a way. It’s nice to have a collection of tools in your hand to use at a moment’s notice. However, sometimes having too many tools, or even the wrong tools can be more of a hindrance than anything else.
Thankfully, these tools from Leatherman have some of the most used and practical tools in their arsenal. Items that the avid outdoors enthusiast or even someone working around their home would use. Things such as the hex wrenches included in the Trend Bracelet, or the needle nose pliers that are pretty much standard in the rest of the list.
These tools from Leatherman are designed to be carried on the person and to be handled by the individual. So it’s important to consider their overall size and weight when thinking about making a purchase. The last thing you want is to have a multi-tool that is useless because of its size.
Of course, these multi-tools need to be sturdy. The people using them will certainly be putting them through quite a bit. While not every entry on this list is cut out for the most rugged of adventures, for the average user, these tools fit the bill quite well. Not only are the implements made from high-quality stainless steel, but they have protective handles and an overall design that is made to withstand a great deal of abuse.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Remember to keep in mind the variety of tools that you want to be part of your Leatherman, and narrow down the tools from there. Once you have a Leatherman tool in your arsenal, you will know you have a tool you can always rely on. Also as it is an all-in-one product you can easily have all the tools needed on hand at all times.
Other Factors to Consider
It’s important to consider your overall lifestyle when thinking about what type of Leatherman tool to buy. There are quite a few options available, and not all of them will be the best fit for your needs. It’s best to ask yourself – how will I most likely use this tool? If you see the need to be able to open an oxygen tank, then the Trend Bracelet or the OHT Multi-tool may be good options for you. If however, you really only see using the Leatherman as a set of pliers, or for stripping a few wires, The Sidekick or the Freestyle Models will be more than enough.
This may sound like a silly thing to consider, but it really is an important factor. Where are you planning on carrying your new Leatherman tool? If it’s in your back pocket, you may want to consider something that is a little slimmer, such as the Skeletool CX, or the Freestyle Multi-tool. Both of which can easily fit into the back pocket of your jeans, or even in the pocket of your coat.
If you’re comfortable having something attached to your belt or in a bag or purse, a more robust choice like the Surge or the Super Tool 300 would be easy to keep on hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
The stainless steel used in these tools is a very specific type of metal that contains specific additives to make it stronger and more resistant to rust. Specifically, 420 High Carbon steel is a version of 420 steel that has a higher percentage of carbon added to it, which in turn provides more strength to the metal by distorting the metallic lattice just a bit, making it harder to break.
The 420 steel that the carbon is added to already had at least 12% chromium added to it. The chromium provides a measure of protection against rust and deterioration, making the steel a stainless steel.
So combining 420 stainless steel with the right amount of carbon allows the Leatherman company to create a tool that is not only resistant to corrosion, but also very durable. With proper care and maintenance, the knives of your Leatherman tool should remain sharp, and the tools should remain usable for the foreseeable future.
While it may seem that your new Leatherman tool will never rust because of the material used to make it, without proper care, it will. Stainless steel isn’t rust proof or corrosion proof. It is merely rust and corrosion resistant.
In order to maintain your Leatherman tool correctly, it is important to clean, dry, oil the parts and implements on a regular basis. Also, it’s important to sharpen any blades as needed.
How you clean your tool also depends on how it became dirty. If your tool is regularly used in a salty environment, such as a marine one, it’s important to rinse it thoroughly with fresh water, dry it, and make sure that all the joints and moving parts are lubricated with an oil such as WD-40. If there is debris or sticky substances, be sure to wash it gently with a mild soap and water. And of course, rinse it thoroughly and dry it before re-oiling it.
First, don’t try to fix it yourself. Chances are you might do more harm than good, and you could very well void the warranty by doing unnecessary work. The best course of action is to contact the Leatherman company and in good detail describe what the problem is. They can be contacted by phone, email, regular mail, and in some case Internet chat. Once they have been made aware of the problem, they’ll either instruct you to send it in for repair and maintenance, or they may instruct you in how to fix the problem yourself. It really all depends on the situation.
The bottom line is that the best thing for you to do in this case is to contact your local Leatherman representative and discuss the options available to you.
Not surprisingly, the Leatherman Company is named after the company’s founder Mr. Tim Leatherman. Mr. Leatherman developed the first modern multi-tool in the early 1980s, and he hasn’t looked back since.
When looking at investing in a Leatherman tool, do not think the more expensive the Leatherman tool the more durable or better quality it will be as that just is not the case. The best thing to do when looking for a durable Leatherman tool to last you years to come is to look at the material and also the reviews to see how the tool has held up for other consumers that have put them to the test. Do not solely be swayed by price as you may end up with an expensive Leatherman tool that will not hold up, make an educated purchase and do the research before buying.