Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gear Review: Leatherman Wave

Hi all, as I said before I would be reviewing pieces of gear on here. Well, it's time once again for another review. Today's featured item is my trusty Leatherman Wave. I have been a fan of multi-tools since my first Boy Scout Swiss Army knife. As the years have gone by, my tastes for equipment have grown more sophisticated. The first Multi-tool I purchased was a Gerber Multi-plier. I used it for a few years and found it most useful on my bicycle for emergency flat fixes but otherwise found it lacking it range of applications (this was probably my failing and not the tool). A year or two after getting married, my father-in-law was kind enough to give me my first Leatherman. It was one of the original pocket survival tool designs. I found I was able to apply this tool to a wider range of applications yet still found limitations. I loved the needle nose pliers on it but when using them, I always would hurt my hand from the rather sharp edge of the grip. Sadly, that tool was stolen during my tenure in the Navy. I replaced it with a couple of different Victronox Swiss army knives (which I might go into at another time) but eventually found the Leatherman Wave.
Leatherman Wave, Gen1
It had all of the features that I loved from my original Leatherman; needle-nose pliers, an assortment of screwdrivers, a file and a great can opener. This new design though...hallelujah...they had finally realized that not everyone had the completely calloused hands of a lumberjack. They had redesigned the handle so that when the pliers were deployed, you had a rounded grip surface to squeeze on. They also had redone the blades adding a serrated blade and a saw. All four of these blades had been placed on the outside and a locking mechanism was added for safety. Now I could access the knife without having to open my pliers. This thing was awesome.

At the time I bought this knife it was part of a combo pack at Sam's Club that included a flashlight with a combination case that held both light and tool in one holder. I thought that was a fantastic idea at the time because I was doing field service work and regularly used both tool and flashlights. The drawback to the package was the flashlight...it has a end-cap activation button that seemed like a great thing. At the time I was using a Mini-Mag light and had to screw the flashlight top to activate it, now I could just hit this button and be ready to go. Well, the button got hit alright on the first work trip I took it on...by the seat in my car. After driving 6 hrs to get to my job site, I found my flashlight was dead. Since I couldn't use the light, I swapped my Leatherman into my old Gerber tool pouch and carried my mini-mag in it's pouch as well.  

So, at this point you are all wondering what does this have to do with your Leatherman? Well, the folks out at Leatherman are some fantastic people that I had the privilege of working with them for a week on one of their machines. While I was there, the lady I was working with noticed I was using a Leaterman but carrying it in a Gerber pouch (the competition). She looked at me and asked about it. I told her my story and she said "This just won't do. I'll be right back." She returned a few moments later apologizing saying they were all out of the ballistic nylon pouches at the time and only had this as she handed me a leather belt pouch for my knife. I was floored but thanked her profusely. I have carried my Wave in that pouch on my belt almost daily ever since.

I know there are a lot of brands out there but for the money I have found Leatherman to be the best. I will still check out other multi-tools and knives but when given my choice, Leatherman is always where I turn to first.

1 comment:

  1. Hi WH, Great write up, I love my Leatherman Wave MultiTool its so reliable. The only negative thing I can think of is that they no longer make the pouch from leather like they used to but overall, great value item.