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Leatherman vs. Knife - Dilemma?

Discussion in 'MultiTools and Other Pocket Tools' started by DCBman, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    I'm sure this is probably like the 9mm vs. .45 debate, but there's a twist.

    I have a Leatherman Wave that I like to carry. It's a pretty functional tool overall with a good balance between bulk, weight and function. Historically, I've always put a clip on them so they can be pocket carried easily. The problem is, the clips always break (I've broken three now).

    I always carry some kind of an edge, religiously, day and night. The blade on the Wave is 'okay', but certainly no substitute for an actual dedicated knife blade like my Civivi Elementum or one of my Benchmade Mini-grips.

    So, the question is...should I go in search of some kind of an exotic clip for my Wave, or just relegate my Wave to belt carry (occasionally) and have my knife as my primary carry?

    Thoughts and opinions appreciated.

    Also, if you know of a Leatherman pocket clip which won't break, puh-leez let me know! I've given up on the Leatherman brand ones, and now I'm looking at a titanium one by Donk!.
     
  2. Sentinel-14

    Sentinel-14 Loaded Pockets

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    Generally, I've found that multi-tools just don't pocket-carry all that well. They're bulky and heavy, and clips are generally flimsy and prone to failure as you've experienced. Multi-tools are best carried in a pouch/sheath/holster on the belt, or in pack/purse/bag of some kind. I leave my multi-tool in my pack and get it when I need it, but I always pocket-carry a knife.

    That said, there might be a solution if you're willing to try. I've heard from guys who like to pocket carry a gun that they use a magnetic clip to pocket carry a spare magazine. It's called NeoMag, and might be sized right to hold on to your muiltitool. Something to look into, maybe.
     
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  3. ox71

    ox71 Loaded Pockets

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    I'm tempted to buy a pocket clip made for the bond/curl and drill and tap the appropriate handle on my wave just to see if pocket carry is worth it.

    They (the Wave)seem to be built too heavy for normal pants pockets but I use 5.11 ABR Pro's for work and they have reinforced spots on the pockets for longevity.
    Or I may just buy the Curl and try that out.

    Recently I bought the Sog powerlitre and tried to pocket carry it but the corkscrew digs into the leg a bit much, it now resides in a small leatherman nylon sheath.

    The ideal thickness of anything in my pockets for comfort is no more than a four layer sak like the fieldmaster.

    .
     
  4. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    The Wave isn't too bad to pocket carry really, once it's in your pocket. The biggest problem I've had is the prongs that attache the clip break off. Once this happens the clip is useless. I had one break from dropping the tool, and the other one just broke (because I guess it was unhappy and didn't like me). I'm going to see if these Donk titanium clips work better.
     
  5. StuntZombie

    StuntZombie Loaded Pockets

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    I can't speak tot he Wave, but the Free P2 isn't too bad to pocket carry with the clip. I do prefer using the sheath, just because I kind of like keeping my pockets mostly empty now.

    I've snagged the clip on my Free T4 several times and haven't snapped it yet. It's worked fine for me on that model.
     
  6. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I carry a MT in a Skinth holster along with 2 lights and some bits when I am working which is most of the time if I have pants on.
    It is a Gerber Centerdrive and I use the Driver the most.

    I carry a Knife all the time if wearing pants along with my EDC light and keys and unless I use these and forget to put them back where they go they are truly always with me.

    I am not sure that I have ever used the knife in my MT really and not sure that I ever will?

    My Zebra SC64W is always clipped to my right hand pocket and my Spydie Manix LW is always clipped to the right hand tool pocket of the Carhartts that I always wear.

    It has taken me a long time to settle on a knife that is big and bad enough to use for work and light enough to always carry for sure.
    The lights have always been Zebra at least since the SC52 came out.

    If its not broken I will not fix it!
     
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  7. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    THANK YOU!!

    <3 Thumbs Up>

    Very rare in today's world!
     
  8. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    I think the dilemma is real, though each persons specific situation and priorities will ultimately lead to differing preferences.

    Personally, in my mostly-office job, I don't need a multi-tool all too often. As such I've currently landed on a solution where I mostly just carry a knife in pocket, and keep my other tool-like EDC items in my backpack. It's not ideal, but for someone who needs the non-knife implements as infrequently as myself, I generally find this to provide the best benefit-to-inconvenience ratio.

    In addition to my pocket knife, I always have a small prybar inside my wallet. It doesn't provide much value as far as tools go, but I don't notice it's there and it prevents me from the temptation of using my knife for non-knife tasks.

    On some occasions I've carried smaller SAK type multi-tools in order to offset the threshold where I need to get tools from my backpack or any other tool stash near by. And it kind of works, but none of the SAKs have my ideal selection of implements, so I either have to go bigger than I prefer or leave out one or two of my preferred tools. I will eventually try to mod my way around this, but for the time being I have to rely on off the shelf solutions.

    I haven't given up on pliers-based MT's either, but I've yet to find a solution that is discrete and comfortable enough to convince me.
    My next attempt will be the SOG Powerpint paired with a home made leather sheath. It's not easily obtainable around here, so I haven't tried it yet, but it seems to strike a nice balance between size, weight and usefulness. And the tool selection is pretty much spot on for my needs.



    When my pockets fail me, my backpack is never too far away
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. demPho

    demPho Loaded Pockets

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    Oddly enough, the only leatherman I’ve owned with a clip has been the Free P2 but it has completely changed my perspective on MTs. The extent of my MT usage used to be deep in a bag and only came out in the off chance I needed pliers and didn’t have pliers.

    I’ve carried the the P2 as my primary blade and tool for almost exactly 2 years now, every day without fail. I’ve been completely satisfied with the tool itself but also surprised by how much I use it. As a residential contractor, it saves me many trips to the truck. I’ve beat it up, snagged it, dropped it and all the various blunders and it’s not skipped a beat. The clip design and attachment seems very strong and resilient. Yes, the knife is a bit underwhelming but it does everything I don’t need a razor knife for.

    I have no insight into clip options for the wave, since my wave is on bag duty. But the free series is fantastic for a pocket MT.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  10. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    @aicolainen - Yeah, I don't use the knife on my MT too much either, but I do keep it sharp, and I do use it periodically, but usually only if I have my MT out for something else. Otherwise, I just use my regular EDC knife (a Civivi Elementum which I really, really, like).

    I'm going to have to check those SAK MT's out. I've seen them, but never really looked at one up close. I agree with you though about SAK's in general, they generally don't have the features I need so I don't carry one. (Do have a couple Alox's though just because I like them).

    @demPho - I've never really looked at the Free (P2 and P4) models of LM too carefully. I think they're relatively new aren't they? I did glance at them the other day when I was looking for something else. They kind of look like a lighter duty Wave with a different form factor.
     
  11. demPho

    demPho Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah I think they are under 3 years old. I wouldn’t consider them light duty by any means. It’s got good heft and has withstood quite some abuse on my end. The form factor is great, the deep carry clip makes it feel reasonable in the pocket and I think the one hand magnet mechanism is a winner.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  12. Bad Company

    Bad Company Loaded Pockets

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    Leatherman is all that you will need
     
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  13. tbzbbt

    tbzbbt Loaded Pockets

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    I saw a recent YouTube in which the guy was comparing the integrated solution of a multi tool a Wave vs separate tools such as mini-cobra, micro bit driver etc. It was interesting enough but the key point for me is that multitools are heavy and awkward to carry; separate tools offer separability (obviously) so you only carry what is appropriate on any given day; but also the weight can be spread between pockets, pouches or packs.

    I don’t know why your multi tool clips are breaking, and if you don’t want to consider a belt pouch or custom clip, then maybe rethink whether a multi tool is the best solution....?

    tbzbbt

     
  14. tbzbbt

    tbzbbt Loaded Pockets

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    PS-

    For what it’s worth, I carry a Skeletool in my cargo shorts each day, and a Pingu or Dragonfly in my 2-banger 5.11 Edc bag. My environment is most urban and application is ad-hoc.
     
  15. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    @tbzbbt - You make some valid points worthy of consideration. I've had several people tell me similar things recently. A couple responses to you, and updates to my OP.

    The reason the clips have busted on my Wave tools has been from accidentally dropping the tool (well, that was at least 2 of the 3 times). I don't recall what happened on the 3rd occasion but it was pretty 'unexciting', and shouldn't have resulted in breakage. All 3 times what broke was one side of the clips which attach the clip to the tool, rendering the clip immediately useless. I use the Wave pretty frequently around the ranch and I certainly don't mean to lose my grip on it and drop it, but 'stuff' happens.

    In the OP I mentioned another brand clip (called "Donk!"). It was a titanium clip. Well, I received that clip and it totally did not fit at all, and the reason was poor design (not because it was the wrong part). So, back to Square #1 on that subject.

    To your point about carrying the tool in a pouch vs. in my pocket...that's pretty much what I have resorted to doing now. I don't particularly care for the pouch because it sticks off my belt, so it's not as low profile as in my pocket. It's not the end of the world, but my preference would be pocket carry if possible.

    Regarding separate, dedicated tools; you make several very valid points. To that end, I am actively considering switching up to do exactly as you suggest. Recently there has been much talk about these Knipex pliers being ultra-handy. So, that's one of the avenues I am evaluating. Almost bought one the other day just to try it out, in lieu of a multi-tool like the LM. I think my biggest issue would be some of the 'other' features on the LM which I use very frequently, specifically like the scissors and screw drivers (in addition to the pliers feature). To add these tools also to dedicated carry starts adding bulk, and the next thing I know I might as well carry a tool belt...which isn't very practical. Consequently, I'm kind of on the fence about this decision. So I guess it kind of boils down to size and portability. I don't mind carrying a small tool pouch if I'm going to go out and mend fences or the like, but carrying a tool pouch with me everywhere I go doesn't really work for me.

    I have a little scabbard for 2 pairs of EMT scissors which is kind of handy. I could possibly use this and remove one set of scissors and replace it with a small pair of pliers. I'd still need to add a screwdriver though. It might be a workable option, so I'm 'eyeballing' it as a possibility. I am a former EMT, so this would involve buying another scissor set so I don't have to 'pirate' my shears out of my EMT bag. Scissors are by far one of the handiest tools you can have on your person (second to possibly only a knife, but I carry a separate EDC knife anyway and don't depend on the knife on my LM). The dedicated tool route is definitely a potentially viable option though; it does have some 'pros' which cannot be overlooked.

    Questions - questions (and more questions), hence my ongoing dilemma.
     
  16. tbzbbt

    tbzbbt Loaded Pockets

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    I have Knipex Cobras as well as the grip wrenches, from the mini, through 125, 180 and 250mm sizes. They are excellent quality and utility. The Cobras are superior to conventional multitools pliers for holding, and the grip wrench offer adjustable parallel jaws with wide range. All the models I have feature a rubberised handle, some the single red coating , others with the more padded version. I don’t have the super mini ones without handle coating that are suggested as part of a multi tool alternative.

    I have just bought a pair of CK electrician’s scissors. Compact with excellent performance. For comparison I got some Engineers (brand) scissors. The CKs were better IMO, both stronger and sharper with better grips.

    Belt mounts don’t do it for me either so I carry stuff lose in pockets or clipped to bag; or in Maxped pouches with lots of other stuff.

    it’s a constant battle - even with multitools - to avoid the scope creep of what I carry. Even with a Surge you have spare blades, bit kits, bit extenders, spare wire cutter inserts...

    tbzbbt

     
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  17. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    P.S. I chose the LM Wave multi-tool after some careful consideration of all of the other brands and models out there. The Wave (to me) was the right balance of weight vs. functionality. It was the right size folded, and it had the compliment of tools I use the most, and no tools I didn't want. The Surge was too large and the Wingman was too light duty. The Charge TTi wasn't out yet, and it's pretty pricey. Most of the other brands lacked some major feature (like scissors) or had some design issue I didn't like (like how they folded up, or which tools were accessible without having to open the tool). Even with the newer models out now I still prefer the Wave (now Wave +). A significant step forward for LM and the Wave is the replaceable cutter jaws.
     
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  18. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    As far as pounches are concerned, I have avoided the "Skinth" thing ever since they first came out. So many people rave about them, but to me they are way, WAY, overpriced. The Skinth holders are, in my opinion, a prime example of something being designed specifically for the "EDC trendy craze" Kind of lik"e a lumberjack shirt, and logging boots on some dude who's never touched an axe or a chainsaw before. Seemed like you weren't a "Cool EDC'er" unless you had one, and you had to eat your lunch alone on the playground.
     
  19. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Well I would say that you are not correct regarding the Skinth at all. I understand the thinking that they are overpriced but they are made one at a time by one guy pretty much to order and there are a decent number of options and ways that he can and will customize one for you and honestly they are a lot nicer than I even imagined before getting my own to understand about.

    It is almost impossible to understand the real world sizing though and figure out ahead of getting one just what and how will really fit in a Skinth but in my experience all holsters are the same there and regardless of how many others think one might be perfect for a specific tool or not this is a pretty subjective detail as well and just tricky to know before trying for yourself.

    I started off because of this with way to large and expensive a Skinth and though it is really well made and to me well worth the cost it is just way too honking huge to carry on my belt too so I rarely do.
    Then I tried a much smaller version and a few random examples that I found used again for cheap and started to understand how they really fit things and I have one on my belt every work day since then and will be pretty let down if/when I lose or kill one as it is just a part of what I carry all the time.

    I alsi use and have used RiPoffs Brand Holsters for a much longer time and if you can find one that will hold your stuff they are terrific too I think and really well made to last. I like the pocket clip especially which is the same one Eric uses on the Skinth.
    Again though it really comes down to finding a good fit which dictates whether I carry one or not.
     
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  20. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    A little off topic, but slightly related..
    I understand the OP needs a decent sized MT for his tasks, I'm more of a light duty user, so while we share the same dilemma I'm probably looking at smaller and lighter options.

    I said above that I'm looking at the SOG Powerpint, and that's still true. I didn't get a LM Juice before they got disco'd, and this is the most promising option I've seen in that weight/size class since the Juice. On face value, I even think it looks like a better fit for me, but the fact it's made in China is holding back my expectations.

    I also said I will modify a small Victorinox Cybertool to give it a OHO knife and make it even smaller. That's also still the plan, but both the time frame and the end result is unpredictable, so it will be a nice option if it works out, but planning my other tools / acquisitions as if this one isn't in the plans at all.

    Beyond this, there seems to be some interesting developments in the MT space.
    - Victorinox has released OHO versions of the Swiss Tool and Swiss tool Spirit. AND they have released pocket clips for both models.
    - SOG showed off the SOG Flash MT at Shot. A very compact and lightweight plier based MT w/ what appears to be a decent blade, decent ergonomics and a 4mm bit driver https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1024121594
    - The GOAT tool. An open source, user customisable MT. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/goat-modular-multi-tool#/
    - The Medford ASK knife. SAK inspired customisableMT with high end materials. Pricey, but interesting. https://www.askknife.com/shop1/
     
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