It feels nice in the hand, all the main tools work well, and I like it. It’s a handy thing and is well made. However – the ‘signal’ aspect of the tool – the whistle and firelighter are a little silly. I can’t really imagine them being very useful, and anyone going somewhere serious with actual survival needs should be carrying full-size, regular survival kit, not these fiddly little things.
Retailing at around £125 in the UK, I’d be hard pressed to spend my own money on it, but it’s a very nice thing nonetheless.
- Practical functionality
- Great build quality overall
- A bit expensive
- Bonus features are less useful than we'd like
It's the Leatherman Signal.
The 'signal' part of the name tells you that it's for the proper hardy. Someone who might just need to survive, to attract rescuers, someone who's really going to get stuck into survival when out on a hill walking the dog. It comes with a firelighter for enabling you to survive on singed squirrel, a sharpening steel for honing the nicks out of the blade after you've skinned said squirrel, and a teeny tiny whistle for attracting the search and rescue teams just in case they can't hear or smell your botulism when they come looking for you.
Its size makes it happier in its pouch on a belt rather than in your pocket, but if you chose to wear it on your belt you're taking the risk of looking like one of them: one of those people who think they really might need a multitool any second now.
The standard tools are all good, useful things. The bottle opener works well, the knife is sharp and effective, though you wouldn't want to be whittling too many squirrel-spears with it - it's not very hefty and won't stand much abuse. The pliers are great for squirrel dentistry you may need to perform on the hill. I've pulled a nail out of a tire with it.
The pliers have within their jaws the usual wire cutters and crimp tool. Quite what it's supposed to crimp I'm not sure, but you could probably bodge an electrical spade connector together with it. There's also the standard wood saw which is pretty useful for hacking through big weeds - it was very effective on a thistle that was taller than I am, but again, I would expect to cut down many trees with it.