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Is Leatherman quality going down?

Discussion in 'MultiTools and Other Pocket Tools' started by polak187, Mar 28, 2016.

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  1. znapschatz

    znapschatz Loaded Pockets

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    The gist of this seems to be that maybe a used Leathermen, close to its model introduction and in good condition, will tend to be better made than those of the same type made years later. So, a Leatherman's date stamping can be a guide to its quality.
    Well. You learn something new every day. :)
     
  2. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    Well buying an old or used model has its own ups and downs, but in case of my old leatherman micra i was certainly the case. Purchased one early 2000's somewhere (don't recall exactly) and was a great little tool i used quite heavily until someone else decided he needed it more. Went out to buy a new one in the store and it felt just less substantial and even a bit wobbly. I also noticed that the 'pat pending' was not on the handle so i returned it thinking it was a replica and ordered another one only to receive the exact same thing. Could not really put my finger on it but it just felt cheaper and like it would not last somehow. Don't know where that little tool ended up (probably in a tool box or drawer somewhere) but if i ever see one of the old ones in half decent state i think ill pick it up just to see if that feels right to me.

    Bought a squirt ps4 for the wife when it came out, felt solid as a rock.. almost makes me think of my old micra. I wonder if the ones being sold now are crappier too.
     
  3. znapschatz

    znapschatz Loaded Pockets

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    It's a nice little tool, but I find the Squirt PS4 to be a little frustrating. My wife has an S4, which has decent sized scissors plus the other implements. The PS4 provides pretty good pliers for the size, but in exchange for a dinky pair of scissors, gives up the S4 tiny screwdriver, tweezers and ruler, IMO not a good trade. Instead, I roll with a Squirt P4. What I do for pliers in that form factor is to forget the scissors, which are really too small for me anyway, keep the little driver and get an awl and rasp instead of the nail file. For scissors I pair it with a Super Tinker, so now everybody is happy. :dance:
     
  4. TRUE LIBERTY

    TRUE LIBERTY Loaded Pockets

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    Not really. The Surge is longer but the tools themselves if you put them side by side are same thickness. The Surge pliers are longer and open wider but are pretty much the same thickness also. The steel is just very soft on the Swisstool.
     
  5. troutnut

    troutnut Loaded Pockets

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    Fast, cheap or light. Pick TWO ONLY! What are you guys doing to BREAK a LM? It usually isn't the action that breaks the tool, it is what you have been doing to it prior that breaks it. Hardened steel is brittle but strong.Can't used it as a hammer. It will shatter when hit against a harder item. The torque you would have to put on pliers to break at that spot would be tremendous. The tool is designed to handle torque from one direction, but probably not from an action 90 degrees to the side. Soft steel would bend. That would be cheap. Harbor Freight quality. I'm actually amazed Lm can sell a Surge for $100+/-. The steel they use is the same as the bits for my vertical mill, and some of those are $50 a piece.
     
  6. znapschatz

    znapschatz Loaded Pockets

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    As I understand it, all multi-tool plier jaws are made of cast steel, not forged, not as strong, and if improperly done, with "bubbles" that cause fracture under stress. This is a common cause for failure under conditions that forged steel could withstand. Vic pliers seem to be more consistent in this regard, although fractures are not unknown. If forged steel were used, the tools would too expensive.
     
  7. Heavy_Hog

    Heavy_Hog Loaded Pockets

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    Read this thread with great interest.

    I go through phases where I carry a Leatherman on my belt and recently I have been carrying a Rebar. To be honest I can't even remember when or where i got this one...:confused:

    The point is that I have been carrying them on and of forever and something always breaks eventually. If it is just a flat head or even the knife I would usually just keep using it. Once the pliers broke I would disassemble them and keep what was still good for parts. I got a bunch of parts.

    I guess my point is that they have served me well but in my experience they all fail at some point.

    Some of the stories in this thread seem to indicate that there are whole batches of these now coming out with bad quality control at best. Makes me wonder if I want to order the knifeless Rebar like I was planning.
     
  8. znapschatz

    znapschatz Loaded Pockets

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    Honestly, I don't know. There are also a good number of owners who have reported no problems and good service out of Leathermen, myself included, but that could simply be luck of the draw. It's like the most reliable automobile I ever owned was a 1982 Ford Escort, known in its day as a one fix after another kind of car, but I knew better than to recommend the make to others. Mine, apparently, was put together on a Wednesday when everything went right at the plant, or maybe it was in a state of grace. Who knows? Were I you, I would go for the knifeless Rebar and let fate have its way.
     
  9. Heavy_Hog

    Heavy_Hog Loaded Pockets

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    You might be right.

    I think I will pull the trigger on that Rebar.
     
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  10. wetduck

    wetduck Loaded Pockets

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    I wish Channellock would get into the MultiTool market.
     
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  11. Vartz04

    Vartz04 Loaded Pockets

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    Or knipex
     
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  12. j2coe

    j2coe Empty Pockets

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    not sure it is the quality going down so much a a compromise in the heat treat that hasnt been worked out. as the head is milled thinner to acomodate the replaceable cutters they might have made it a bit harder to compensate. now some are too brittle depending on their place in the furnace and quench depending on the heat treat method
     
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