Leatherman Charge TTI Review Facts
The multi-tool market really has some very nice options to choose from, but not many can compete with the Charge TTI. Leatherman has perfectly utilized its 30 years of experience in designing multi-tools to produce something of this caliber. Undoubtedly, it’s down to the variety of tools it offers, their perfect organization and compact function. The titanium housing makes it exquisite to hold and it just feels like a premium product. Certainly, you can find larger multi-tools that may even be easier to use than the Charge TTI but they are definitely harder to cart around. The Gerber Dime is a good example. It is still highly portable and ergonomically superior. However, Leatherman has managed to put more tools in the Charge TTI, which has to be appreciated.
When closed, the Charge TTI is around 4 inches long with a blade length of approximately 2.9 inches. It is surprisingly slim at 0.8 inches but still feels a bit heavy in the hand, weighing in at around 8.89 ounces, but its weight is irrelevant when you know it’s due to the addition of handy tool
locks. They increase the safety of the Charge TTI, keeping the blades in place making sure there are no cut fingers. Seeing how sharp they are, it's a real plus feature.
It is impossible to argue against the build quality, especially the titanium used for the handles. Compared to other multi-tools, it is a solid construction, even so, the Torx screw does it no favors. Some folks think they can disassemble it, which they can’t. Fortunately, there are small pins in these Torx bits making them compatible with most drivers.
Nevertheless, the finish is quite impressive, and it is a good thing to have a multi-tool
with rounded edges even if some users might find it a disadvantage for their grip. However, you will find a specific texture on the titanium handles that does improve the grip to a certain extent. Another thing is that it works perfectly for right-handed people although we had concerns that lefties might struggle with the deployment sequence initially.
The knife is made from S30V stainless steel that is corrosion resistant and extremely hard. It maintains its edge much longer than knives made from a lower quality steel
. Its sharpness is impressive and invites caution when folding and unfolding it.
Something that you should know about the S30Vsteel is that though the blade takes long to get dull, it eventually does and that's when you realize how difficult it is to put an edge back on the blade. That may be something you need to consider when buying the TTI.
Some users complain that the clip point knife is difficult to open and it is in no way suitable for single-handed use. Sure, there is a tight grittiness when opening the knife of a new Leatherman, unlike on the Wave, which opens smoothly from the start. But, it disappears after a few uses and if it is bothersome, some owners say a quick splash of WD40 sorts it out and there’s no harm in giving it a shot.
On one side of your Charge TTI, you will find a very nice pair of scissors. The scissors on the TTI are small, but they are sharp and precise. Still, it would be wrong to suggest the scissors are the main reason people switch to the TTI. We think it would be good to have the option to tighten the pivot on the scissors. Experience has taught us that they will loosen over time, and when it happens on the TTI, you can’t do much to correct it. Moreover, if yours become loose over time, you will notice that the scissors go past being fully closed, which can be quite frustrating. The company should think of making some design improvements
The bit driver on the Charge TTI is a nice feature. You can use it with a variety of double-sided bits Leatherman sells separately. It is extremely easy to replace them and there is a spring clip to keep them in place. Another issue with the bit driver is that it is not going to help you much when the screw is sunken. That is mainly because of the shoulder of the flat bit holder
. You won't face issues when driving screws that sit flush with a surface.
The bit holder also secures a double-ended, completely removable, screwdriver, one end of which is Phillips while the other one is a flat head. It is a great combo for easy eyewear related repair work. Just keep in mind some larger tools, like larger Torx bits, hexes bigger than 3.5mm and Phillips heads may require thinning to work. You will be just fine handling some light-duty work
with these tools, but don't expect much when dealing with high-torque jobs.
If you're looking for the strongest pliers on a multi-tool, the Charge TTI may well be a good choice. Some people are of the view that the pliers on the TTI could have been stronger
, but we believe with a capacity to withstand 133% squeeze force, they are already better than most. There will be no issues handling the occasional bolt-turning task. The jaws of the pliers open wide, making it easy to grab the larger bolts. Thanks to the presence of round handles, you can easily apply enough pressure to do the task.
One of many features that make the Charge TTI an amazing tool
to have is the pair of saws. The wood saw may be a short 3-1/2 inches blade, but it comes with an impressive cutting capability. In fact, it can compete with a full-size tool in its tenacity and sharpness. Why is it better than the saws you find on other multi-tools? We think that's because it is made from 420HC steel.
Then, you will find the metal saw that works just fine for small tasks. What makes it special though is that one of its sides is a standard file that cuts both ways, smoothing metal and polishing burrs. The other side of the metal saw is a diamond-embedded file with titanium side plates.
Another thing that separates it from others is that you can get it out with a pulling motion instead of a pushing motion that is more common in other multi-tools. You may find it relatively easy to use the pushing motion to get it to work, but it also puts you at an increased risk of cutting your own hand as well. Moreover, there is a "liner lock" style tab to keep these tools in place.
One of the upsides of owning a Charge TTI is that it comes equipped with a good locking system. We really like the frame lock that keeps the saws
, blades, and files in place. Similarly, for internal tools, you will find a lock back lock that works exceptionally well. The only concern is that the location of the lock may not be perfect, as you can disengage it accidentally by sliding the lock forward.
Like other Leatherman tools, the Charge TTI comes equipped with a bottle opener. It does its job. We think it would have been better positioned in the place of the dedicated straighter driver to create space for a standard ¼ inch driver. Nevertheless, it is a nice feature to have.
Ease of Use
It is easy to use the tool and its features. There are two blades on the outside, one straight and one serrated, and it is easy to open them both with your right thumb. There is a webbing cutter on the serrated blade and it is extremely easy to access and use whenever you want. The knife is straightforward to use too, but as we have said, it may be a little too tight initially.
In terms of portability, the Charge TTI performs quite well. Yes, its weight may be an issue for some, but the good thing is that it is equipped with a variety of carrying options. For instance, you can use its nylon belt sheath to carry the tool. The sheath is quite sturdy and features a Velcro closure. If you have accessory bits, you can easily store them in an elastic pouch available in the back of the sheath. You can use other carry accessories as well because the sides of the belt pouch have several slots. Moreover, the Charge TTI comes equipped with a completely removable pocket clip as well as a lanyard loop. While you can use other options, you will find the pocket clipping to be the most convenient option when puttering around the garage or house.
The Charge TTI is an extremely versatile tool, so you can use it for your everyday use, backcountry trips, automotive storage, and even handy-person weekends. It is expensive, but it is well worth the money if you like to use your multi-tool frequently. It may feel a bit heavy in the hand but the number of features it has makes it a good choice for everyone, including trekkers and hikers. The presence of precision tools means you can use the Charge TTI to tinker with your gadgets, like cell phones and more.
Comparison to Other Brands
The Charge TTI has so many good things going for it, but the price is certainly on the higher side, which is why many people opt for the Leatherman Wave, which looks quite like the TTI and has similar features. Of course, the TTI has premium materials, but the Wave costs half as much. Many people opt for the Charge TTI because of its high quality pliers, but you can also consider going for Multitasker, Victorinox, SOG, or Gerber to get good quality pliers. If you're looking for a well-rounded multi-tool though, it is hard to beat the Charge TTI.
The Charge TTI offers good value for money. It may be more expensive than the likes of the Leatherman Wave and the Charge, but you get more tools and a much more impressive build quality. The use of S30V steel for the knife is another reason why the high price of the TTI is completely justified. Another good thing is that Leatherman backs all its products with a great warranty service. If you break anything accidentally, you can send it to them and they will replace it.
The Bottom Line
The fact of the matter is that Leatherman Charge TTI is one of the very best multi-tool you can find today. This full-service folding toolbox is capable of serving you well in a variety of ways. The combination of titanium and high quality stainless steel means the tool will last a lifetime. Thanks to the materials used, it does not require any upkeep and you can easily take it apart using the security Torx bolts for proper cleaning. With an increased gripping power, the pliers are simply outstanding and so is the wire cutter. It may be a bit heavy, but you have more than enough options to carry it around with ease. Overall, it serves you well and offers a good value for money!