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The Decline of Leatherman Quality with Budget Offerings

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

  1. Sriracha

    Sriracha Loaded Pockets

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    A pair of small channel locks and and a SAK Explorer for the win!!!


    But seriously folks... I find dedicated tools work best. Except for the Alox awl. That is almost an Excalibur level magic tool! Long live the awl!!!
     
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  2. Ben Rubinstein

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    True but they do take up a lot more room in a bag or pocket.
     
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  3. Hangman
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Hangman Loaded Pockets

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    I sent 3 in at one time no issues. You can write on the form that you don't want the Kick replaced, they will fix it if they can, if they can't they will send it back to you.
     
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  4. Linejudgemick

    Linejudgemick Loaded Pockets

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    After having a Super Tool many years, my more recent Leatherman's - a Juice S2 and a Squirt PS4 are both rock solid and work well for my pocket tool purposes. The Squirt is on my keychain and goes everywhere I go and it is really handy at the office. The Juice is larger, but is still decent as a pocket tool. When I know I'm going to be "working", the Super Tool goes on my belt. I find all of them to be quality products. I've never tried the Sidekick, but I don't see the need for one, already having the others. If Leatherman is indeed making lower quality/cost tools just to fill a niche that's unfortunate. I'm guessing it's also consumer (box store customers) demand driven too.
     
  5. leigh_ratcliffe

    leigh_ratcliffe Loaded Pockets

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    If your in the market for TTi then buy one. I own two of them and they are ok, l just don't consider them a versatile as my SwissTool. As for one handed opening blades thats what my Benchmades are for.
     
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  6. Ben Rubinstein

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    Again can you explain why? What about them is less versatile?
     
  7. znapschatz

    znapschatz Loaded Pockets

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    What he said. Leatherman tools have a great deal of versatility, especially my Charge TTi, which is about as versatile a multi-tool as I'd ever need, with features not found on the Swisstool and Spirit, like OH blade opening, bit adapter and pocket clip. A line of accessories extends their versatility even further. Admittedly, I don't know the Swisstools as well, but can't imagine what would make them more, or even equally versatile.
    Please explain, I'm willing to listen.
     
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  8. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    Time for a little thread CPR...
    So, I recently purchased some stuff and have acquired a Leatherman REV as a promotional item in the normal way (see OP). I'm sure at some point I'm sure I will have something to say about the REV as a stand alone piece of gear; either in my personal thread or in a new one, but for our purposes here, I will simply say this.

    While this is undoubtedly a budget item, the plier head is perfect. It opens with ease, but has no play. The jaw is perfectly aligned. If you grab on handle, you can not induce noise by shacking it. For what it is, it is quite nice.

    This one exhibits none of the QC issues that the big orange box store ones have. This suggests to me that the quality of LM products has diminished in all cases and that, perhaps, HD is have some slipshod, wham, bam, thank you, mam Sidekicks produced as fast and cheap as possible for the holiday season.

    Anyway, here is proof of life of my new REV.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Komissar

    Komissar Empty Pockets

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    Just to jump in here, I recently bought a LM Style (the little keychain that's just 1/2 of a style ps or cs) and it came with two bent tools. Now I beleive they discontinued this model as I can only find it at one or two certain online retailers, but it's rediculous that a LM would come damaged from the factory.
     
  10. Domain

    Domain Loaded Pockets

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    My sidekick broke after a few years of use, and about a year of inactivity. The spring bar that holds the pliers open or closed broke off. I heard a rattle when I picked up the tool, and when I opened the pliers, the tab fell out onto the floor. This is my first time using the Leatherman warranty.

    [​IMG]

    Not sure why this happened.
     
  11. polonium9

    polonium9 EDC Junkie!!!

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    So, initially, when I commented in this thread, I only tried the wingman.

    But, after getting my Style CS back from warranty repair, and seeing the new ones, I am genuinely depressed by Leathermans. My Skeletool is amazing, but that's because "Pat. Pend" on it. When I saw the new one in a store the other day, it looked terrible.

    Only the ones with "Pat. Pend." on them are actually good quality.
    I should also mention that Tim Leatherman retired... This is probably why.

    Leathermans are like Hondas: Used to be reliable, not so much anymore. ;)
     
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  12. znapschatz

    znapschatz Loaded Pockets

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    Two questions:
    Except for a Style PS with a broken scissor spring, all my Leathermans bought new lately have been good quality, right and tight. Were the terrible ones you found made more recently, or has luck favored me? I did see an early Rebar with poor f&f (in a sporting goods display case, no less:( ,) but the one I got from an on line source in 2013 came just about perfect. Are you talking product since then?
    2. Hondas no longer reliable??? :frantic: Is that from personal experience or what?
     
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  13. polonium9

    polonium9 EDC Junkie!!!

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    I had an old Style CS from like 5 years ago I bought new from Target, and it was rock solid. Just an odd clicking sensation in the scissors. Sent it in recently and got back a new one... Feels much cheaper.
    My Skeletool is still going strong, and will for the rest of my life, I'm guessing.

    Hondas... I'm talking hondas after 1993. 1993 and before was under Mr. Hondas "rule" and they were kept to a standard that surpasses Audis and other cars in the price bracket and well above it. They were built like tanks and still drive to this day with very little issue.
    Nowadays, they are crap. They can't make a transmission to save themselves. Great engines, bad transmissions. They're riding on their old reputation, which is causing issues in the long run. My moms 04 Honda Pilot got a recall every year, sometimes twice a year, and there were more issues with the darn thing than others. (519 complaints on carcomplaints)

    I kinda like cars.
     
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  14. ManVsLawn

    ManVsLawn EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    polonium9 - Once you go Swiss, the leatherman will not be missed.;)

    SwissTool X FTW
     
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  15. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    LOL, MVL rhymed.
     
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  16. dplafoll

    dplafoll Loaded Pockets

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    Unrelated to LMs but interesting for the Honda discussion:
    Google "long term quality index" and go to the first result, and you'll see a thorough and empirical index of reliability for cars. For example, the Pilot is, compared to the average, more reliable in general and in powertrain and transmission specifically, and lasts about 20k miles more than the industry average before trade-in. The number of powertrain defects has been declining since the Pilot was introduced, and in 2004 was well below the industry average for powertrain issues.
    Honda as a brand overall has the highest trade-in quality index, which is the ratio of traded-in vehicles over 180k miles, with Acura .01 behind them. They're tied for 2nd with GMC (behind Toyota/Lexus tied at first) for overall Manufacturer Quality Index Rating.

    I should point out that, while anecdotal evidence feels very strong especially when it's our own personal experience, it's not always accurate. I wonder what the actual data on Leatherman's rate of returns would tell us about recent QC issues.
     
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  17. znapschatz

    znapschatz Loaded Pockets

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    That explains much. One of my dad's cousins was a big shot engineer at Ford Motor. When I asked him what is the best made car in the US market, fully expecting him to answer one of the Ford models, his surprising answer was, "Toyota. Even better, Honda." Well, I figured, considering the source, that was heavy duty. But that was in the 1980s. I never got one, but for public relations, not practical reasons. Several of my major clients did not look kindly upon foreign made cars, in fact some wouldn't even allow them in their parking lots. Personally, I have no prejudices against any car company, but I'd rather have kept the business, even if it meant I had to drive Ford or Chevy (actually I had pretty good luck with the ones I owned, including a quirky Ford Taurus.) These days, we own a Volvo (wife's choice,) and when circumstances come up if I must pay any of those guys a visit, I park it a block away rather than sully their asphalt with one of "them."
    Keep the customer happy, as they say ;) .
     
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  18. dplafoll

    dplafoll Loaded Pockets

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    That whole thing is, to me, so very asinine and/or ignorant of them. A LOT of "American" cars are made in MX or CA for cheaper labor, and a lot of "foreign" cars are made here in the US to avoid import duties and shipping costs. So if you want to support American workers, buy a car from ANY company as long as it's actually built here. And that's even before you consider which car is actually better or worse.
     
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  19. znapschatz

    znapschatz Loaded Pockets

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    I agree with your general point. Many of the cars made in the US and badged by the "Big Three" actually have less domestic content than some of the "foreign" makes, but the issue I described has more to do with union labor. Both unions and those who deal closely with them...Democratic Party politicians, vendors, consultants and of course, UAW members... have to be on board with that, so Hondas made in Marysville near Columbus by an American work force are on the boycott because it's a non-union shop. There are US plants owned by foreign companies that operate some unionized plants, like Toyota, but because which of their models are on or off that status is not always obvious, their products can be iffy for those who want to or must observe the issue. My personal attitude is pro union, but equally important is that considerable of my income is from union clientele, so I don't have to worry my pretty little head about what position to take.. IMHO, all cars are potential time bombs. I have had highly reputed ones give me repeated miseries, and the most reliable car I ever owned was a 1982 Ford Escort, the closest to a Yugo of any American made car we ever had. Go figure.
     
  20. earthman

    earthman EDC Junkie!!!

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