Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool

8.8
8.8 score
[Editors rating (8.8) + Users rating (9.4)] / 2 = (GearWeAre.com) score (8.8)/10

desc top

desc bottom
0
Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
User's rating: based on 3 user ratings
1 star
0%
2 star
0%
3 star
0%
4 star
33%
5 star
66%
Add your Rating
Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool Review Facts

Created by Tim Leatherman, Leatherman is a brand name you can trust when it comes to finding highly efficient and affordable multi-tools. The introduction of the Wave+ has made it possible for people to buy something highly durable and sophisticated at an extremely reasonable price. Many people have compared the Wave+ with Charge TTI. Considered the industry leader by many, the Leatherman Charge TTI certainly has the finest materials with a good function list. However, Leatherman Wave+ is a reasonably good choice too. In fact, it beats some of the top multi-tools on price and value for money. The Wave+ is the updated version of the original Wave, but with replaceable cutters. If you like the way Wave works and have some inclination towards the cutters, the Wave+ is surely going to be a good bet. In any case, carrying the Wave+ is a much better idea than carrying a box of tools wherever you go.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Comes equipped with as many as 17 tools that can be used with on hand without an issue
  • Has four tools on the outside that you can use without having to open the multi-tool and that really makes it much more convenient to use on the go
  • Extremely functional tool with a variety of pliers, replaceable wire stripper, wire cutters, spring-action scissors, and a combination of plain and serrated knives
  • Only 4 inches long with a weight of 8.5oz and that makes it one highly portable multi-tool that is easy to carry and convenient to use
  • Comes with a 25-year warranty, showing that the company backs the material and build quality of the Wave+
  • Affordable multi-tool available at half the price of some other top-of-the-line tools
Cons
  • The saw is good but not the finest you will find around, and it feels quite flimsy too
  • Bottle opener is not that efficient because of its steep angle and it takes a little getting used to how it works

Design

For design and build quality, there will be few complaints about the Wave+. Made from high-quality polished steel, the Wave+ comes with four tools easily accessible from the outside, whereas the hinges sit tight without being binding. Titanium used in the Charge TTI rather than steel in the Wave + might be the choice for some, because of how it feels in the hand, but it’s a small detail that comes down to personal preference.

Portability

With its feature set, it would not be wrong to suggest that the Wave is a compact multi-tool and in the list of top performers, in terms of weight, size, and quality. When closed, the tool is only 4 inches long, which means you can easily carry it in your pockets. The overall weight is around 8.5oz, which is quite similar to other top-of-the-line multi-tools available in the market.
The impressive thing about the Wave+ is that it comes with rather smooth outer contours, which is why the tool is extremely easy on your pockets. The sheath it comes equipped with is reliable and slick. Actually, you will find a snap-closure nylon sheath, which is quite nice and efficient. However, you may want to invest in a nice leather pouch if you need something more durable.

Something that is going to affect its portability is the absence of any pocket clip, and there is no lanyard loop for people who want to carry the Wave+ that way. If portability is your main concern, you may be better off putting your money on the Charge TTI, which gives you the security of a pocket clip. In terms of portability, certain keychain tools, such as the Gerber Dime and the Leatherman Squirt PS4 score quite high because of their small size.

Comparison to Original Model

Many people are still in favor of the original Wave, which really has so many things going for it, but the Wave+ is even better, especially with the replaceable wire cutters and other super-efficient tools. The needlenose pliers on the Wave+ are especially attractive to those who like to handle some mechanical work along with camping and outdoor fun.

The interior part of the pliers will give you enough strength to tighten the bolts with ease – it may come in handy when you do not have a wrench nearby. The pliers are quite efficient, but the only downside is that they are not spring loaded like some other models, such as the Wingman.
The price of the Wave+ has gone up a little, but the tools you get in the updated version are well worth the price.

Scissors

The razor-sharp scissors are quite impressive. The good thing is that the Wave+ comes equipped with spring-action scissors, which means you feel less strain when using them. It is worth mentioning that the scissors are not accessible from the outside, like some other models, which is a disappointment, but considering the quality of the scissors, it will not be a deal-breaker by any means.

Knife

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and the straight blade 420HC Clip Point knife on the Wave+ is testament to this leave it alone policy. There is nothing bad about the knife feature. Even with the tool closed, it remains ready for quick access and use. The liner lock feature makes it secure and safe when in use. It was great before and it still is.

You will also find a serrated knife that delivers a nice punch. The only issue to consider is that it is usually quite difficult to sharpen the serrated blades. The upside is that they tend to stay sharper a lot longer as compared to the straight-edged blades. Well, you get both types of blades on your Leatherman Wave+, so you're all set to cut whatever you like.

Saw

The saw is a very nice feature that just adds to the popularity of the Wave+. Maybe some folk won’t consider it as essential but when it is as effective as it is, it really is a bonus for anyone out in the woods. The fact that it locks too, just adds another level of efficiency and whether sawing through wood or even metal, it cannot fail to impress.

It is important to mention though that it is not a 'hardcore' saw and is actually quite thin. That actually means that you should use it on small things and not take it as your main saw.

File, Blade, and Bottle Opener

Two of the easy to get tools stored on the outside of the Wave+ multi-tool are the serrated blade and the file. There’s no need to bother opening out the whole tool, which is nice. While you may not be that interested in using the file that often, it performs reasonably well because you get a diamond coated file with the Wave+. A feature that we really liked was the presence of a bladed wire stripper. You will find it on the can opener feature – it is actually in the form of a V-cutter. You can certainly use the knife to cut wires, but that may be a bit hard on the knife. A much better option would be to utilize the bladed wire stripper for the task.

The bottle opener itself is not that impressive, as many other brands have done a much better job in this regard. The angle is a bit too steep that means you will have to practice to learn to use the bottle opener perfectly.

Bit Driver

The bit driver you find on the Wave+ is quite interesting and effective too. It wouldn't be wrong to compare it to a standard ¼'' driver; it is only a bit narrower. One thing about the bits is that you can use them in a standard ¼'' driver. Unfortunately, you cannot use the ¼'' bits of a standard driver in your Leatherman, mainly because the Wave+ is designed to be so much more compact.

Screwdriver

Along with a bit driver, there is a fixed flat-head screwdriver. Many people like this addition, but we believe it could have been left out and instead a full-sized ¼'' driver for improved functionality would be more useful.

Speaking of screwdrivers, many people are also of the view that including the flathead screwdriver is not a good idea, especially when you already have a bit driver with a good sized flat head bit included in the tool.

Ergonomics

The Wave+ is the culmination of years of experience Leatherman have in producing fine quality ergonomically designed tools. It is extremely polished. With a minimal pinch, rounded pliers handles and a set of easy to get to tools on the outside, the Wave+ is very reliable and easy to use. The knife blades are designed perfectly for single-handed use. Yes, there may be some compromise in grip quality but it is forgivable.

Best Applications

Considering its low weight, the Wave+ certainly serves great as an "everyday carry" tool. You can keep it with you all the time, and it is possible to tuck it in the belt sheath and use it whenever you want. Thanks to its sturdy construction and nice feature set, it will hold up amazingly well to daily use. With so many features, the Wave+ is a must have for the hunters, hikers, campers, and do-it-yourselfers. You may discover some new ways to use it when you carry it with you all the time.

Price

The Wave+ offers a great value for money, with all of those amazing tools, especially the wire cutters/pliers. Of course, the Charge TTI is still the leader because of its "no holds barred" approach, but it just cannot the price of the updated Leatherman Wave+. In terms of value, Leatherman Wingman is another nice option, but it has fewer tools than you find in the Wave+.

Comparison to Other Brands

The Wave+ has a strong fan following, but there certainly is some solid competition for this multi-tool. Leatherman Charge TTI is the industry standard and is certainly a high-end multi-tool that is extremely practical and quite easy to use. The eyeglass feature sets it apart from the pack, but the Wave+ is a better choice when you want something lightweight, easy-to-use, and of course, affordable.

The Charge TTI can be a bit too bulky for many users, and that can be a deal-breaker for man. The addition of replacement cutters is something that makes the Wave+ a more favorable choice, but the more expensive Charge TTI and Charge+ now also support the same.

The coveted ¼''driver is an impressive feature in the Wave+, and though the same is available in the Baladeo Locker and Leatherman Crunch, they make many compromises in other areas. Also, note that you are not going to get any scissors with the Locker and the Crunch. The blade is of good quality, but most of it is unguarded by the handle, which is when you find some people favoring the Leatherman Crunch.

The Bottom Line

The Wave+ is the updated version of Leatherman's best selling product, the Wave. It is popular because it lets you take advantage of the premium features available in Leatherman Charge TTI, which is the top-of-the-line multi-tool but double the price of the Wave+. The materials are not that flashy on the Wave+ and there is no pocket clip, but the low price and reasonably good tools go a long way in making the Wave+ a great choice.

Overall, the Wave+ is lightweight and hardly noticeable on your belt. It has razor sharp knife blade as well as replacement wire cutting blades, precision screwdriver, bit holders, scissors, and the list goes on. Considering its price, there is nothing much to dislike about this multi-tool. The Wave+ is a quintessential multitool, and you should certainly get one if you do not already own it, as it is affordable and can handle much more than you might imagine.