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Growing Disappointment With Leatherman (and Love of Swisstool)

Discussion in 'MultiTools and Other Pocket Tools' started by emrah, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. 62Tele

    62Tele Loaded Pockets

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    Hey Syph - I noticed the slight misalignment thing in mine too and was going to pretty much do the same thing to straighten it out. I figure it's simply a little twisting that happens when they set the rivets around the head. My only question was if you noticed any play introduced in the pivots after you torqued it back into alignment?
     
    MrOG likes this.
  2. jrandom

    jrandom Loaded Pockets

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    Like them all BUT I have noticed a in Leatherman's "smaller" tools, the Juice line (assembly issues) and the pocket series (tool steel). I have two "new" Juice, a CS4 received as a replacement and a XE6, neither have date stamps, both have zero spring return on the blades/file/outside tools, like the pins where pressed too tight. I also have a couple newer pocket tools and a PS4 and an ES4 well they just feel look cheap compared to the older gen. The older gen P4/S4 pocket tools had nice polished steel tools like Vic, they worked nicely. I absolutely love my 2nd gen Surge, MUT, Charge TI, Skeletools (original straight blade replaced thanks to @cowsmilk :) ), my old Juice's (KF4/Pro), Sideclip, PST, and mini. All of those tools I listed, mine of course, work beautifully, the way they should, open/close nicely, they work comfortably. I really love their tools, I do, I feel they are falling prey to larger less caring manufacturing in some of their tool lines, much like the fate of Gerber. *sad*

    That said, because of @Sakplumber I came across Swisstools. I know have four of those, 2 full size and 2 Spirits, of which I have scattered about in various useful locations. These are really nicely made tools. What I like most is the attention to the fact that all of the tools close with the trademark Vic snap, meaning things aren't pressed together too tight. The implements breathe easily. I don't have any alignment issue people mention. Well just a tad on my Spirit X, nothing detrimental though.
     
    SAKplumber, emrah and cowsmilk like this.
  3. comis

    comis Loaded Pockets

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    In terms of ease of use for blade, the OHO on my Charge TTi/Wave beats my Swisstool anyday.

    But for myself, unless it is emergency situation or blade is needed all the time(which it isn't), I really do like the ease of access to tools on my Spirit X and Swisstool. And as many have mentioned, the feedback of tools smoothly snap back to places on Swisstools are far better than LM tools press together.

    Only if Spirit X has a OHO version, that will be the be-all-end-all tool for me.

    I also agree with Syph that Swisstool is more rust proof than LM products, even I kept them all in dry places and do maintain them from time to time.
     
    emrah likes this.
  4. Syph007

    Syph007 Loaded Pockets

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    It seems ok. If its any looser I think im ok with that vs the offset handles. Its my worker abuse tool so I havent been gentle with it at all.
     
  5. 62Tele

    62Tele Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks - guess if things got loose I could always give the pins a little "nudge" with a ball peen. Looks to me like these get a very slight twist when they press all those layers together. No surprise. Looks like my vise and Knipex plier wrench have a little joint project.
     
  6. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have had the original Swiss Tool since they came out and always really liked it more than any Leatherman that I have tried so far.

    I got my first Spirit Yesterday and it is exactly more of what I prefer from Victorinox!

    In another thread where I express my confusion about the Juice tool I also recently got a lot of you replied that it is a tool not a jewel basically as though to apologize for the others without comparing them directly.

    I also recently tried the Leatherman OHT and returned it after just a few days too. It would not really deploy easily or quickly and I wanted it to replace my older Gerber for that. The blades are also so short for some reason that I just found the tool not worth carrying as it is a huge tool with tiny odd sized blades?

    All I can say is the Swiss Tools are both Tool and Jewel and so it sure can be done and we can have it all!
    Now if they only made a tool with but one OHT blade I would be thrilled.
     
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  7. Syph007

    Syph007 Loaded Pockets

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    That's funny. I bought a LM OHT and returned it too. I found it too big and bulky for what it offered.
     
    MrOG likes this.
  8. crankyfart

    crankyfart Loaded Pockets

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    i've been considering to get the Squirt PS4 but after reading reviews about it at amazon, I decided to give it a miss.

    i've always heard great reviews about leatherman in the past but, as mentioned earlier in this thread, it seems their quality is going downhill.
     
  9. baja820

    baja820 Loaded Pockets

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    My squirt is built amazingly well. Its just too small for any real work. The smallest id carry for edc is the juice.
     
  10. emrah

    emrah Loaded Pockets

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    I'll defend the PS4 Squirt as well. For 99% if my non-work edc needs, the Squirt is what I carry. No problems.
     
  11. Buckshot77

    Buckshot77 Loaded Pockets

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    I'm about to send in my second leatherman.
    first one was a sheared off lock on a surge!!
    they sent me a whole new tool..ok cool
    now I'm about to send in a crunch because it twists and pops off the little bent in bits the arms are supposed to rest against which ground down one side so much it takes no pressure at all to get it to twist and pop off with a loud crunch
    guess thats where the name crunch comes from!
    the ones I've had no issues are the fuse and my boys wingman,i'm real hard on the fuse its the one i carry everyday
    i'm kinda getting frustrated myself
    i'll fill in the paper tonight and probably send it off tomorrow for another$20 i think it was
    the last one was out for a month!
    never tried any other MT but i'm not liking the send it in every 5 to 10 years cause its broke warranty
    how do you break anything on the surge its a tank!! but it broke
    when they replaced it they gave me a new tool but stuck my old eyeglass bit,saw blade,and driver bit...cheap buggers
    well i'll see how this one goes,but that swisstool is starting to look good to me now too
    i guess i should take a pic or two before it goes,not sure if i have a pic of the surge before warranty,i'll check on that too
    here's the crunched piece on the crunch.pointing at it here,but it doesn't show well,just a pic for placement
    [​IMG]
    shows up here as a dark spot
    [​IMG]
    its going in for sure it twists bad
     
  12. crankyfart

    crankyfart Loaded Pockets

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    alright then I guess I will give it a try. a black one coming my way in 3-5 days time from amazon now.
     
    xbanker likes this.
  13. cityofthesouth

    cityofthesouth Loaded Pockets

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    I want a Spirit just because I think MTs are useful and the Spirit looks solid, but I've had my Wave 10+ years now I suppose and just haven't wanted anything else + the price difference between a Spirit and a Wave. Out of curiosity I gave a SOG Powerlock S60 to my brother to see what they were like. The pliers are spectacular but the rest of the tool doesn't compare to my Wave. The scissors don't cut anything, some of the tools only lock when you fiddle around with them and he is always re-tightening the pivots. Don't have anything else for comparison though.
     
  14. jabe1

    jabe1 Loaded Pockets

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    I've been a Leatherman nut since the first super tool. Lately though, the finish on the tools seems lacking.

    When I compare a newer tool such as a side kick, to my old Surge, the side kick seems like a Cracker Jack prize.

    I see threads like these touting the superiority of the Vic tools and I start thinking about switching up. Which Vic tool gives the best value for the dollar? (Not trying to hijack this thread)
     
  15. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    Leatherman list (bolded items have seen very heavy use):
    • PST (the original): I overtorqued the small screwdriver and had to file it square again. Otherwise, no problems.
    • Super Tool: Never any problems
    • Wave (pre-2004): Never any problems
    • Wave (post-2004): Never any problems
    • ST300: Never any problems
    • Surge (pre-2014): Never any problems
    • Surge (2014): Still pretty new and not much used, but never any problems
    • Freestyle: Kept in a survival kit and not much used, but never any problems
    • MUT: Arrived with broken plastic bit keeper and bit-holder was WAY WAY too tight -- replaced under warranty with Black Oxide version (an upgrade I am glad to have). Replacement has never had any problems.
    • Sidekick: Only LM I've owned that I didn't like much. Put with my bicycle EDC for on-the-road repairs (rather than a more well-liked multi so I don't have to swear eternal vengeance upon the line of anyone who steals it). Last summer I had three "saves" of members of my bike group with this tool. Never any problems. I bought one for one of my daughters and another daughter demanded the same one for her birthday, so we have three of them in the house that are used regularly.
    • Squirt P4: Blue anodizing has a lot of "character" but never any other problems. This one went on my keychain the two times I sent in the PS4 for replacement.
    • Squirt PS4: A friend busted off the file while using it as a screwdriver. The replacement came a week after I sent it to Leatherman; later the scissors spring fell off. The replacement came a week after I sent it to Leatherman and no problems with it since.
    • Style PS: Never any problems
    • Blast: Don't care for the plastic handle inserts, but never any problems
    • Core: Kept in a survival kit and not much used, but never any problems
    Overall, my experiences have been very positive. The only one that was really substandard was my original MUT. The spring really shouldn't have broken off on my second PS4, but it wasn't a critical failure and it was on a fairly inexpensive tool, so I wasn't terribly upset.

    Some of my multis are retired and not used any more -- the PST, original Super Tool, P4, and a Vic Swisstool all fall into this category -- but none are shelf queens. The retired tools worked hard and would work again today if I took them out. I mention this because I'm thinking about buying the 30th anniversary ST300 as a never-to-be-used shelf queen.
     
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  16. ramjet

    ramjet Loaded Pockets

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    Lets see, used Kick...In the organizer for the GHB. Bought it used and it's kinda loose. Busted one of the flat heads, filed it down. Put a clip on it and it still sees occasional use. Orginal ST....In the bug out bag. All tools are good but the pliers get locked up and the wire cutters are the culprit. The Wingman....Best 22 bucks at Homey depot. Kinda cheap, but a great knock around tool. If it breaks, oh well. I have the TSA ps4 on the keys...Use it for small jobs constantly. But it does look cheap. The cadillac...My spirit x. When it needs to get done, thats the one to go to.
     
  17. Buckshot77

    Buckshot77 Loaded Pockets

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    Warranty received my crunch today..
    There is wear on the lever on the same side as the tab that ground down,so I'll see what they decide to do.
    They could call the lever good and replace just the one body side,replace the lever and the body,or simply send me another tool.
    Can't see a new tool this time but who knows,the last warranty service they could have just replaced one body side and they sent a whole new surge minus the bits so I was happy about all but the amount of time it took.
    I sent this one away on the 7th at noon and they received it today the 9th at 10am their time.
    Shipping cost is stupid here though,$26
    Wait and see now,how long they let it sit,what they decide to do,and how happy I am with leatherman..
    I edc a fuse,one of their cheaper tools and have never been easy on it,no problems with it.
    Also really happy with the wingman I bought my boy,I weasel that thing from him and it's solid,super solid for the $32
     
  18. DeepBlue

    DeepBlue Loaded Pockets

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    I've had a Spirit for a couple of weeks now and have a bunch of very good Leatherman tools (Surge, Crunch, Skeletool CX and a couple of Juices and small ones). Leathermans have all been good but Spirit really is just that bit classier.

    I like the toolset on the Spirit over the Wave (which was the other contender).No one handed opening but I really like the tools all being available on the outside.

    The Spirit also work out as cheaper here in the UK than the Wave which seems to be against what I hear being the case in the US.
     
  19. sungame

    sungame Loaded Pockets

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    I've never owned a Leatherman bigger than a Micra or a Style CS, but I have plenty of friends and family who swear by them.

    On the other hand, I've owned and used a full size Swiss Tool since 1998 or 1999 (yep, the same one). It is a rather well made tool, but it has some quirks and flaws:

    First of all, it is huge. That is not a flaw as such, it just means it is not right for me.

    Second, I would very much like a one hand opening blade. It didn't bother me when I got it, because no multitools had them at the time.

    Third, the tools are all outside opening. That might be a good idea in theory, but not so great when you are gripping down on that fistful of sharp edges trying to cut something really tough.

    Fourth, it has no bit driver. Again, that did not bother me when I got it, since no other tool I knew at the time had one either.

    Fifth, there is a little bit of lateral play in the pliers, and quite a bit of up/down play in the blade lock. The former isn't enough to bother me, but the latter sure does. It is enough to make me doubt whether the lock is really all that secure. I only noticed it for the first time a couple of months ago, so it could be a result of wear and tear.

    All in all, I really think Leatherman has the upper hand when it comes to design and toolset. When it comes to build, fit and finish and quality control, I really couldn't say which company is best, but I hardly think Victorinox is any better than Leatherman.
     
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  20. comis

    comis Loaded Pockets

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    It depends on what size of the tool you want, if you want a large size tool(Supertool size), go with the original Swisstool. But if you want a regular size, then go with a Swisstool Spirit.(It's a little smaller than Wave/Charge size, but much larger than juice).

    It's hard to say which version offers the best bang for the buck, and it comes down to personal preference on which type of blade/finish you like. The polished finish is nice and helpful for locating your tool if you drop it(especially in the dark or forgotten somewhere); the black oxide finish does offer extra grip, and it is currently used by few different countries for their military, so their durability/performance/cost are well tested.

    If you go to Multitool forum, I think it will not be an overstatement to say the most popular choice for 'best MT' right now is still the Swisstool Spirit.