1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

The Decline of Leatherman Quality with Budget Offerings

Discussion in 'MultiTools and Other Pocket Tools' started by T.H.Cone, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. Millertime1974
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Millertime1974 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    1,451
    In more ways than we yet realize! Ayn Rand too!
     
    REDDEVIL, ManVsLawn, T.H.Cone and 3 others like this.
  2. jdindadell

    jdindadell Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2015
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    709
    Leatherman does have a 25 yr warranty, which I have used a few times with broken tools. I was always happy with their service and turn around time. Mail the loose ones in with comments about the issues and I am sure you will get good ones back.
     
    ManVsLawn, T.H.Cone and Brtsmpsn like this.
  3. masofnos

    masofnos EDC Junkie!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    14,050
    do they have a manufacturing date on the wingman? i've got 3, 2 are solid while 1 moves a bit, i've searched all over the tool but i can't find it.
     
    ManVsLawn, T.H.Cone and Brtsmpsn like this.
  4. Millertime1974
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Millertime1974 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    1,451
    As an Economist by education and a Purchasing manager by profession, there are many valid reasons for offering similar products at various price points. It allows maximum profit for the company by selling the product at varous price levels to attract more people at each price level. And, in theory, it maximizes "customer satisfaction" by allowing more customers to enjoy the product/service in total.

    However, the obvious issue is that companies often resort to less than scrupulous means to market "similar" products without clearly identifying differences. In this case LM may have sold these Wingmans and Sidekicks in different quality levels but without clearly informing the customers of the differences. Unfortunately, "perfect" consumer information is one of the things that companies try to prevent so they can ecen further maximize profits. In my opinion, it is that issue of "false or misleading advertising" that causes our anger.

    After all, if it says Leatherman or John Deere or Craftsman, we have certain expectations unless they tell us otherwise. If LM simply says "this is a Sidekick" at a lower price, we still expect thesame quality. If they said this is a "Sidekick LC" or some other designation that clearly identifies it as being different somehow, then we may still be willing to purchase it but would have different expectations.

    I deal with this all the time in my job and it is astonishing how little integrity there is in this regard. It truly is Caveat Emptor!
     
    Wishoot, ManVsLawn, T.H.Cone and 4 others like this.
  5. Brtsmpsn
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Brtsmpsn Oh, Canada!

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    12,184
    Likes Received:
    180,919

    We all want that. Would love to be able to buy their stuff from you.
     
  6. Millertime1974
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Millertime1974 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    1,451
    I do want to add in that I also bought some of the holiday special Sidekicks this past year for gifts, etc fully expecting these to be "entry-level" items into the larger LM multi-tools. I love my PS and CS and needed a larger multi tool for my GHb/BOB. I figured the holiday special would be a low cost way of trying the item out for me and my friends/family who I am trying to enable. :)

    I'll throw in that this type of "bait and switch" happens a lot with special offers at big box retailers and bulk warehouse stores. And not just consumer products! These stores have the power to demand their own version of the products. Caveat Emptor!!
     
  7. Ben Rubinstein

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Messages:
    3,502
    Likes Received:
    30,002
    Been on the point of buying a wingman but after this, not sure if I'm interested any more. Sorry LM.
     
    ManVsLawn, Brtsmpsn and T.H.Cone like this.
  8. keith1234
    • In Omnia Paratus

    keith1234 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    5,421
    Likes Received:
    18,946
    I think it is a problem with the retail market in general. I work in the garden center of a big box store and see products made by big manufacturers that are considered to be top of the line and then you have products they make under different names, those items under the other names tend to have more problems then the top of the line name. So I don't think it's just a Leatherman problem but more of a market wide problem.
     
    ManVsLawn, Brtsmpsn and T.H.Cone like this.
  9. GatorMedic

    GatorMedic Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    2,156
    Likes Received:
    8,141
    I have two Wingmans. Both bought at the orange box store--first one during holiday season and another one during summer following year. The one I bought in the summer has slight play. The one I bought during holiday season has noticeable play. Like I said the holiday one was the first one I bought and while I was initially circumspect with it's play, I quickly realized it still performed all the tasks I had well at an excellent cost. That led me to buy a second one when I ended up needing a second bag. Is the tolerance level the same quality as my two Waves? No. But in my opinion you absolutely cannot beat the ~$20 price tag. It's toolset fits exactly what I need 99.9% of the time, and I reach for the Wingman over the Wave almost every single time I need a multitool. At the crazy low price tag I simply want a tool that performs and this does. If it fails, well I have a pretty sweet 25 yr warranty backing it up... I for one am very happy Leatherman offers a budget item with a good urban use toolset, lightweight, and with a pocket clip. I am also happy they offer costlier options that are built more like a tank. Each product is tailored to fit a niche. Interesting observations about the difference between the same product being sold at various stores and different times of the year though
     
    T.H.Cone, ManVsLawn and Brtsmpsn like this.
  10. FenixArcher

    FenixArcher EDC Junkie!!!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,198
    Likes Received:
    3,001
    Being a big Leatherman fan, it is hard to say it, but I have to agree that their quality had declined.But it is the same in the firearms world and with (like you said) tools.Many firearms manufacturers now focus on quanity and not quality, the trait that made them who they are today. As far as tools, some of the stuff I see at hardware stores now compared to the stuff that has been sitting in my toolbox and used for years is depressing.
     
    T.H.Cone, ManVsLawn and Brtsmpsn like this.
  11. keith1234
    • In Omnia Paratus

    keith1234 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    5,421
    Likes Received:
    18,946

    I think some companies tend to forgo quality only to fall back on a reputation hoping the consumer will buy their product because of a previous record of good reputation.
     
  12. Cheeser
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Cheeser Hey Bub!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    11,885
    Likes Received:
    140,256
    We are already there, it's cheaper to buy a printer than to buy the refill inks, thats just insane
     
  13. keith1234
    • In Omnia Paratus

    keith1234 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    5,421
    Likes Received:
    18,946
    I paid like $29 for mine with the ink cartridge, a replacement cartridge is $26 for color and $16 for B&W.
     
  14. Invictus

    Invictus Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Messages:
    338
    Likes Received:
    2,626

    This is so disappointing to realize. I have been seeing it everywhere lately. Don't even get me started on how phones and laptops have become the throwaway items of the 21st century. I always took solace in the fact that at least this did not apply to some of my gear such as MT's, SAK's and higher end knives...:(
     
    Last edited by Invictus, Mar 19, 2015
  15. groovster

    groovster Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    1,789
    The Fry's here in Oregon used to carry a couple models of Leatherman tools. For quite a while they were selling the Wave for about $50. That was regular price, not a sale. Eventually I bought one and never had a problem. That was a four or five years ago. Got the black-oxide model for Xmas two years ago. It was purchased off flea bay, again no problem.

    I was in the Leatherman store a couple years ago and saw some Skeletools in the discount basket for $20-25, IIRC. They were the last of the discontinued basic model that had the plain edge, which was my preference anyway. After having it for a few months, I deformed the wire cutting edges on thick copper wire. I brought it to the Leatherman store where I got it and specified that I wanted it back with the plain edged blade, not the partially serrated blade. The guy in the store filled that part of the warranty form himself. What I got back was a brand new Skeletool--in a package--with the partially serrated blade. Why have a comment section on the form if it's just going to be ignored. I thought I should get the same product back if the employee in their own store assured my that would happen.

    When I went back to that store to complain to the same guy who filled out the form, he had the audacity to tell me, in a condescending way, that I filled it out wrong! I was too peeved to be rational. I showed him the form, shouted that it was his handwriting and stormed out of the store. I figured it wasn't worth it at that point.

    Anyway, I've never had a Sidekick nor a Wingman. I've been tempted when they've been on sale at Gnome Despot, but now I think I'll abstain. At least at the Leatherman store I can possibly see it in in my hand. If it's in a blister pack I can open it after purchase and do a warranty exchange on the spot if necessary. Though I doubt they sell any seconds or whatever in the factory store.
     
  16. powerring
    • In Omnia Paratus

    powerring Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,465
    Likes Received:
    3,145
    We've got at least 10 Wingmen around the house purchased at various times and various places, including the Christmas specials at HD and True Value. I've not seen an appreciable difference in fit and finish with any of them.

    Ironically, I've actually found less variability in the cheaper models than in the higher end LM tools. I've had to adjust all of my Waves and Charges out of the box. The Supertools, Styles, Skeletools, Micras, and Rebars have been consistently good.
     
    kdurt, T.H.Cone, Brtsmpsn and 3 others like this.
  17. keith1234
    • In Omnia Paratus

    keith1234 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    5,421
    Likes Received:
    18,946
    If anything I would expect a slightly lesser QC in the Sidekick and Wingman due to the price vs the higher end models, but not to the point of a completely useless tool.
     
  18. Epilektos

    Epilektos Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    209
    I've never purchased a big box LM product but after losing my wave to the TSA I recently bought a skeletool from that big river site and seems to me the quality is still top notch. But I wouldn't be surprised if during holiday season they contract a cheaper manufacturer to increase supply. It's a shame if they do though. It will o let hurt their reputation and customer base.


    Sent from my sak switchblade phone pack lighted sling fak
     
  19. Millertime1974
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Millertime1974 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    1,451
    I've only bought the holiday special Sidekick so my performance expectations are probably low compared to the "higer end" LN users. For the price point I'm satisfied. But, I understand the concern and agree that the quality of theholiday specials are undoubtedly different than the standard, full-fare versions.

    On a side note, has anyone figured out a good way to put some kind of rubberized gripping on these so they can be used easier with gloves, in rain, or in situations where you cant get a typical grip? I'm betting someone out there (FWB, Coney, or ModKitty maybe) have an idea after putting these tools through more rigorous paces
     
    Last edited by Millertime1974, Mar 20, 2015
    GatorMedic, T.H.Cone and Brtsmpsn like this.
  20. keith1234
    • In Omnia Paratus

    keith1234 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    5,421
    Likes Received:
    18,946
    I have the LM Wave and have had it for 10 years now, it has been used as a hammer several times and I use the cutter on the pliers to cut bale wire at work and on rare occasions steel bands. During the time I have owned this tool it has never needed repair service, though when I first got it I did bend the large screwdriver. At least I managed to bend it back without damage.