As anyone who has ever served in the military or enjoys outdoor activities will tell you, the Leatherman multi-tool should be a mandatory piece of kit. Grunts can use the pliers to extract misfires. Fishermen can remove hooks. You can cut barbed wire, crimp metal, shave tinder — you get the idea. I’ve personally carried a Leatherman FUSE since before my first deployment to Iraq in 2007 and am still surprised at how often I pull it out.
While everyone is familiar with the basics, I decided to dive into some other uses for your favorite type of specialized Leatherman.
A shooter’s best friend
The MUT – Tactical Multi-Tool isn’t something you see on the belt of most civilians, but to a military or law enforcement member who hates cleaning their weapon (like, all of them) this bad boy can save a lot of heartaches.
In addition to the usual gizmos you’d expect (pliers, knife, saw, etc.) the MUT has a purpose-built bronze carbon scraper, disassembly punch, bolt override tool, and a cleaning rod and brush adaptor. Put a small bottle of CLP and a few brushes in the pouch with your MUT and never use that Vietnam-era green cleaning bag again.
The ruler is by far the most underused tool on any Leatherman. Believe it or not, most Leatherman users never seem to realize that the handy gadgets all have a ruler etched into the side. When opened and laid flat, you can get at least an 8” measurement. Doesn’t seem like much until you’re in a hardware store looking at a section of piping without a label and trying to figure out the width. Plus, it saves you from being that guy walking around with a measuring tape (and probably a cell phone holster) on his belt. Don’t be that guy.
While some of you savages cut meat and meat-based products with a standard knife, true experts know that a serrated blade is the best way to go. Unfortunately, most people under 25 don’t have a decent carving knife anywhere in their home. Family coming to visit for Thanksgiving unannounced? No worries: when it’s time to dice that Turkey, just whip out the Leatherman’s 420HC Serrated blade and go to work. Holiday saved!
Speed up the post-Christmas assembly line
If you’re a parent, then you know this pain. Christmas is over. The living room is a post-apocalyptic hurricane of shredded wrapping paper, bows, ignored gift cards, and lots and lots of toys. Most boxes are stamped with those three dreaded words: “SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.”
While your spawn get to spend the rest of the holiday running around playing with all their new awesome stuff, you get to spend the rest of yours cutting, screwing, assembling, and cursing while you look for that tiny part you just dropped into the maelstrom of Christmas trash strewn about the floor. Save yourself some pain and have a box of various battery sizes and a Leatherman on standby for when the holiday dust settles. Trust me on this one.
While a lot of their multi-tools have carabiner clips to hang them from belts, most people don’t realize you can also place lightweight objects in the plier’s teeth and hang the tool from a support or cord. When camping my favorite hack at night is to clip my SKELETOOL to the central pole, then wrap my solar light string around and through the teeth so they stretch across the length of the tent, giving me plenty of visibility without getting hit in the face. I guess I could also use another carabiner, but I never seem to bring enough.
Blow stuff up (or stop it)
This one isn’t for everybody, but if you’ve ever worked in explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), engineering demolition, or just like to play with C-4 (I won’t judge), then you’ve probably owned a Leatherman 300 EOD. The EOD isn’t for everyone, but if you love things that go boom then it’s absolutely essential. Fuse cutters, blasting cap crimper, and C4 punch, along with all your other favorites in one pouch make this a one-of-a-kind tool.
If there’s someone special in your life who handles explosives regularly (hopefully in a legal, completely above-board setting), stick this in their stocking and watch their eyes light up on Christmas morning like a perfectly placed breaching charge.
Leatherman tools are typically associated with rugged activities, but they’ve also created a tool specific to solo backpacking and hiking excursions. Spending days in the woods without hearing a car or other human noise may be paradise, but it also carries some inherent risk. When everything you’ll need for survival must be carried on your back, then weight and tool optimization become a big deal. The SIGNAL incorporates all the standard sexiness you’d expect from a multi-tool, with some extras designed specifically for the outdoor adventurer, like a firestarter, hammer, and emergency whistle. Don’t venture into the wilderness again without one of these strapped to your belt.
When I hung up my uniform and transitioned to the civilian world, I quickly learned that grooming is almost as important as when I was in the military. The only difference is now I can grow a sweet-looking beard and have a haircut involving more than a size 1 trimmer cut by a disinterested barber moving through my scalp like an industrial lawnmower. The STYLE CS is a pocket-sized grooming tool with tweezers, a nail file, and razor-sharp scissors, for when you find yourself about to walk into a presentation and don’t want to look like you haven’t seen a mirror in days. You can thank me after your next promotion.
Whether you’re a turkey hunter or trap enthusiast, if you’ve ever owned a shotgun then you know they’re nothing like rifles and pistols. Some genius at Leatherman realized this and created the PUMP. With a built-in gut hook, choke tube wrench, hex, and box wrenches, as well as a scope adjuster, this is a must-have addition to any shooter’s bag.
You read that right: for small wood-working projects, a clamp (or several) are absolutely necessary for precise cuts, gluing, and carving. Having one in your pocket would be ridiculous unless it was the Leatherman CRUNCH. Unlike every other multi-tool on the market, it can clamp and lock onto a 1” pipe and has a hex-bit adapter built right in. What more do you need?
If you haven’t picked up on this by now, there’s a Leatherman for everyone. Whether you’re an EOD tech, executive, carpenter, gun enthusiast, or outdoor nut, do yourself and your loved ones a solid this Christmas and grab one for the perfect stocking-stuffer before they run out. To help you out, use promo code ELVES and get free shipping on any order over $35.
This article is sponsored by Leatherman.