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SOMETHING WONDERFUL: Made of America — Leatherman

Leatherman: I have this tool times two. You probably do too. I don’t use it often but when I do I’m glad it’s in the glove compartment.

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  • John The River July 23, 2018, 7:38 PM

    Four days after it arrived that video of “Burger I ate off the ground” is still vexing me. I was able to stop it on Firefox but Brave is still vulnerable. I open this site and the sound of her miserable voice starts again.
    Please! Please! Please! Delete that damn video.

  • John the River July 23, 2018, 8:02 PM

    On a positive note. I’ve probably owned eight or ten Leatherman tools over many decades. The first ‘pocket tool’ I bought was a cheap copy of the Leatherman (though I didn’t know it), useful but seriously flawed. Later that year I came across a genuine Leatherman and never looked back.

    Some of them I’ve lost, some I’ve broken. But I’ve always been a sucker for a new Leatherman. Most recently I bought one with a corkscrew, befitting my retired gentleman status.

  • Casey Klahn July 23, 2018, 8:06 PM

    Leatherman: iconic tool. I have the Victorinox equivalent, which is the Cadillac version.

    With respects for his self-eviscerating use of his Leatherman, this spec ops soldier reminds me that soldiery, in general, and spec ops boys, in particular, suck at technical mountaineering. Sorry, but it’s true. Death by avalanche is highly over rated (which means it super sucks).

  • ghostsniper July 23, 2018, 8:39 PM

    New Woodpile!

    I must confess, the toolbox in your pocket idea captured my attention when I first heard about it, for about 30 seconds. Do I really need a pliers in my pocket 24/7, and cheezy ones at that? Or a socket set? Or a can opener? Or any of the other nonsensical drivel on those overpriced underqualified glittery unicorn turds?

    No. My Gerber Quickdraw, and I use it multiple times almost every day, is on my belt and all other proper tools are in their proper places ready to go to work instantly. My Blazer has a robust bin with all the essentials necessary for minor incidental repairs and winter time survival.

    The first tool is inside your head and the next 2 are on the end of your arms, all the rest are in their places where they should be.

    FWIW, many years ago I saw the Xerox dood strip the shit out of a $95 threaded part on my copy machine using a shitty all-in-one dood-dad.

  • David Webb July 23, 2018, 10:04 PM

    The ulu is a distinctive knife of the northmost-dwelling Native Americans. It’s a terrific chopper, scraper, and skinner. The crescent-shaped blade is 3 to 4 inches, and the handle rides directly above the cutting edge. Once you get used to it, you wouldn’t trade it for all the blubber in Alakanuk. A lot of the commercially made ulus are souvenirs and aren’t really working knives. If you want a genuine working ulu, get it from Knives of Alaska .

  • steve walsh July 24, 2018, 5:17 AM

    Weekends are my time for household projects, puttering around, and fixing stuff. When I dress I put my Leatherman on my belt, right side because I am right-handed. Mine has a nifty, now worn, leather case with a slit for sliding a belt through. It has all the tools I need for the various and sundry things that need attention, and in a beautifully compact form. It doesn’t have a hammer, though I’ve hammered things with it.

  • Sam L. July 24, 2018, 9:07 AM

    I first bought a S.O.G. version, then a Gerber, and now I have 5 full-size Leathermans
    a couple of Minis, and 3 Micras. I think that’s more than plenty.

  • azlibertarian July 24, 2018, 4:40 PM

    I figure the statute of limitations is up on this story, so while I’ve told it verbally a number of times, for the first time ever, I’ll commit it to pixels…..

    Back in the day, I was an Air Force C-130 pilot stationed at Clark AB in the Philippines. I was assigned this trip which had the purpose of supporting two very small units on Yap Island…a Coast Guard unit who ran a LORAN station (which is an old-school navigational aid), and a Navy SeaBee unit which was building roads, bridges, whatever for the Yapese. They each had about a dozen guys each (maybe). Every two weeks, we’d fly out to Guam, spend the night, and then the next day we’d fly to Yap to bring these guys any supplies, mail, or food that they needed.

    Two things about being in the Air Force on a crewed airplane….
    • There are “O’s” and there are “E’s”, where O’s=Officers and E’s=Enlisted. We each respect each other’s roles, but at the end of the day, there is a difference between the two groups.
    • And within each group, and each crewmember’s role, there are the guys who are good at their jobs and those who aren’t.

    The thing you have to understand about E’s on trips which pay per-diem, is that you probably couldn’t pile up enough dynamite to blow them off the trip if you tried. For an enlisted guy, a trip with per-diem was like gold. His wife knew how much he earned because that paycheck was deposited into their account twice a month. The per-diem claim was made at the end of the trip, and it was paid in cash.

  • azlibertarian July 24, 2018, 4:45 PM

    **dammit** Pushed the “Submit” button before I’d finished my story.

    Story continues below….

  • azlibertarian July 24, 2018, 5:05 PM

    So that per-diem was an E’s beer money. Momma didn’t need to know about how much he’d earned on that trip, so there were very few things in life that would keep him from going.

    And my flight engineer on the trip in question was one of the weaker guys in the squadron. I’d flown with him before, and knew to watch him on his best day, but on this trip, he wasn’t having a good trip. He had a raging cold, and was coughing and hacking the whole time.

    So while the runway at Yap was nice, it really had no services. No tower, no nothing. We’d just show up, eyeball the runway and land. We always treated it like a remote field, and to do that, while we were on short final (maybe 3 miles out from landing), the flight engineer would look up at his panel, check the aircraft’s battery voltage, and start the APU (Auxillary Power Unit, which is essentially a small jet engine which powers a generator). We’d land, park, and then shut down the engines, using the APU to provide electric and hydraulic power for the plane while we were parked. Once we were done with all that, we’d shut down the APU and leave the airplane dark.

    I’d been there before, but no-one else on the crew had been to Yap before, and given that we had a couple of hours to see things, we went to see the sights. Yap is an interesting place. They have what they call “stone money”….
    ….which are these stone wheels carved from rocks that the Yapese found on some distant island. The “value” of the money supposedly is derived from how many people died while bringing them back.

    Like you can find on a number of South Pacific islands, Yap also has these old rusting Japanese gun emplacements and other war debris still there from WWII. As I said, it was interesting.

    Anyway, after we had seen all of that, we got back to the airplane for our trip back to Guam. I was met by a retired Army guy and his wife who had been on Yap missioning the Yapese and wanted a ride back in the direction of the U.S. As I was chatting with the two of them, my copilot and the flight engineer climbed up into the plane to get us ready to go.

    About two seconds later, my copilot came flying out of the cockpit. The cardinal sin for a flight engineer was to walk away from a plane with the battery meter trying to read battery voltage, and that is exactly what this weak flight engineer did. You see, it took battery voltage to read battery voltage, and with no other power on the plane, all you did was deplete your battery (the equivalent of walking away from your car with the lights on).

    The battery to the plane was (effectively) dead. I couldn’t start the APU to start the airplane’s engines. I couldn’t start the APU to power the HF radio to call someone to send us a new battery.

    I was stuck.

    More follows…..

  • azlibertarian July 24, 2018, 5:25 PM

    I’m not at all proud of this, but I immediately lost my cool and started stomping around cursing like a sailor. The Army missionary and his wife just sort of disappeared. I wondered “How the eff was I going to get this airplane out of Yap?”

    And that was when my copilot saved the day.

    You see, the way we unloaded our cargo was that the Seabees brought out a fork lift and a dump truck. We pushed the pallets out of the plane and onto the fork lift, and he loaded them into the dump truck for the trip to wherever it was that the Seabees lived. And the guy driving the dump truck was told to wait until we left before he went back to their “camp” (or whatever they called it).

    My copilot looked at this 19 year old kid (whose service in the Navy [at least at that moment] consisted of driving a dump truck on Yap Island) and asked “That’s a diesel dump truck, right?”

    Seabee: Yep.

    Copilot: You’ve got two 12 volt batteries on that thing, right?

    Seabee: Yep.

    Copilot: Do you have jumper cables?

    Seabee: Ummmh, yeah.

    And that was when my copilot reached into his flight suit pocket and pulled out the first Leatherman I’d ever seen. I’d seen them advertised in magazines, but up until then, I’d never laid eyes on one.

    An aircraft battery is connected to a plane by this aircraft-specific mount. We used that Leatherman to take that whole mount apart to get it down to two cables, and then we jump-started the APU to a C-130 from a dump-truck’s battery.

    In the Air Force, for me to have done this legally would have required me to have been under fire, and then wake up the 4-star back in Illinois. I knew that was never going to happen….some colonel in the chain of command was going to refuse to wake up the next guy higher than him, so I did it anyway. The (peacetime) AF would have preferred that that airplane would be stuck on Yap Island for those 2 weeks until the next mission came through there.

    There endeth the story. If anyone tracks me down over it, I deny it all.

  • azlibertarian July 24, 2018, 6:03 PM

    And speaking of C130s, this is pretty cool.

  • ghostsniper July 24, 2018, 7:35 PM

    I’d like to see the wallet that holds those stone coins.

    And then there’s this:
    Ghostrider gunship scrapped after inverted flight scare

  • Snakepit Kansas July 25, 2018, 5:07 AM

    azlibertarian, GOOD READ!!!!

    My uncle and I bought my cousin a Leatherman and a Cold Steel Tanto just prior to his second tour in Afghanistan. He carried both of them in the field until the Blackhawk he was riding in, crashed.

    As wicked awesome as the Leatherman is, a boy can no longer take anything like that to school without getting a three day vacation. I carried a small Bokker pocket knife my Dad gave me through most of my public school days. Local SWAT would get called on your ass if someone tried that today.

  • jon spencer July 25, 2018, 9:52 AM

    Tim Leatherman, a left wing, anti-gun supporter.

  • Vanderleun July 25, 2018, 1:16 PM

    Nobody’s perfect, but some tools are. Irrespective of their creator.

  • Rob July 26, 2018, 6:21 PM

    I’ve had a Leatherman since ’88, have one on my belt right now & I use maybe 5 times a week. Some days it’s used way more than that! I wouldn’t be with out it.

    That story of using the Leatherman to jump start the herk on Yap was great!