August 12, 2013


"In its first iteration, the Leatherman multi-tool was a Double-Oh-Seven-worthy gadget idea, born out of a traveler's frustration and initially snubbed by major tool companies.

These days, Leatherman is a synonym for any dozen-in-one dream tool you can fit in a pocket. The idea came to Tim Leatherman back in the 1970s, when the recent mechanical engineering grad and his wife Chau decided touring Europe in a questionable Fiat would be a good use of a year. Leatherman found himself regularly eyeballing the guts of the car, wishing for one tool he didn't have in his Swiss Army Knife: pliers.

Back in Oregon, he spent the next several years developing a design for the tool he had craved, patiently supported by Chau.
After partnering with a friend with a machine shop, he pitched the first Leatherman multi-tool to knife and tool companies to resounding disinterest... until Cabela's unexpectedly ordered 200 for their mail-order catalog. They featured it on their back cover and ordered 500 more before the first order was filled. With that, the Leatherman snowball was off and rolling. A Visit to Leatherman Core77

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 12, 2013 2:14 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I started wearing a cheap knock-off version of a Leatherman tool about two years ago. I use it almost every day. Now I wonder how I ever got along without a pocket tool of some sort.

Posted by: John Farrier at August 12, 2013 2:55 PM

I cant think of a more fortuitous matching of a surname and a product. I mean, would they have sold in the Cabela's catalog as a 'Pusse', 'Duche', or 'Obama' multi-tool?

I think not.

Posted by: Dan at August 12, 2013 3:49 PM

I love my Leatherman Wave. Leatherman is a leftist, but I could care less. He makes a good tool and can do as he likes with his money.

Not long after I bought my Wave, I was using it to pull a cotter pin out of the tie rod on my tractor. I'd inserted the tip of one side of the pliers into the loop and when I pulled the tip snapped off. I was mad. I wrote an email to Leatherman's service department explaining that an ancient set of Japanese needlenose had succeeded where the high-dollar Wave failed.

I didn't know they had a 25-year guarantee. I soon received a brand-new Wave with a brand-new sheath. Good customer service.

Posted by: mushroom at August 12, 2013 5:36 PM

I own several Leatherman tools, I'm probably at the point of being a collector since I'm a sucker for their unique, solid construction. (with pocket folders, my preference is Syderco).

I got my wife the Leatherman folding garden tool, its literally the only garden tool I've bought lately that lasts more than one season. It's been left outside overnight in the rain more than once, still in great condition. Love them.

Posted by: John the River at August 13, 2013 8:58 AM