Leatherman Wave Review

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Leatherman Wave (2004 edition)
 

I have to admit it, I love this tool! If there is only one tool you could have when fishing or camping this is the one I would recommend.

Specifications:
Length: 4 in. / 10 cm closed - 6.3 in / 16 cm open
Weight: 8.5 ounces / 241 grams
Materials: 100% stainless steel (Optimum grade hardness for each tool/blade)
Included Screw Bits:
Phillips and flat tip eyeglass screwdriver
Phillips #1-2 and screwdriver 3/16"

Included Tools:
Needlenose Pliers
Regular Pliers
Wire Cutters
Hard-Wire Cutters
Clip-Point Knife
Serrated Knife
Saw
Scissors
Wood/Metal File
Diamond-Coated File
Large Bit Driver
Small Bit Driver
Large Screwdriver
Ruler (8 inch/19 cm)
Bottle/Can Opener
Wire Stripper
Lanyard Attachment
Two Double-Ended Bits

Whenever I fished in the past I always had with me pliers or forceps and a knife. Between these two tools I figured I could do most anything I needed to. Well I can tell you, I really found out what I missed out on when I bought the Wave.

At about $70 US it is not cheap so don't lose it! I did and was forced to buy another one. The tool comes with a nice leather pouch that goes on your belt and if you use this (I didn't, but I DO now) there should be no reason to misplace it. The pouch seems to be built of decent quality and should last a good long time before wearing out.

On to the tool itself. The first thing you may notice is that the blades will only open when the tool is closed. This is great for opening the knife one handedly when your other hand is busy. The knives themselves are stainless steel and are quite sharp. However they DO chip if abused. I used mine once to pry up something and was rewarded with chipping the tip of the knife. Like all knives, these aren't razor sharp forever, so you will need a knife sharpener for it's straight blade and serrated blade.

When opening the tool you will notice how comfortable it feels in your hand. This is due to the rounded edges. The engraved ruler is also strategically placed to add grip to the handles. When using the pliers I feel like I can really abuse it without bending the whole tool. I bring it to work every day and whenever I need a quick set of pliers I can pull this out and depend on it to do anything that a good brand of pliers can do.

The wire cutters are Okay but not the best quality part of the tool. I used mine to regularly cut thick gauge steel wire and ended up chipping a little bit of the wire cutters. After this I couldn't cut really thin gauge wire easily.

The scissors are probably the best quality scissors I have ever seen in a multi-tool. They are very sharp and not as flimsy as others I have seen. The can opener doubles well as a bottle opener and both work very well under real world conditions. I especially like the narrow profile driver bits as they allow for more room for other tools. And each bit is 2 sided. It comes with a phillips that you can flip around and use as a flat head screwdriver. Now the drawback of these bits is you have to buy them online as I have not been able to find them in any stores. For 70 dollars they should have been able to add these in the kit. The manufacturer did for some reason feel it was necessary to add a fixed large flathead screwdriver. I find this as a wasted spot. If you want the larger flathead you can simply buy the bits.

Real World Tests:

Durability:
This tool is extremely durable. I have dropped it from 5+ feet on cement and it showed no visible damage. I dropped it once on its screwdriver bit and I assumed it would have broken or 'dented' the bit. But the bit was completely intact. In one year of owning this tool it shows no signs of rust or corrosion and I do not oil it.

Usefulness:
While fishing the one handed approach to opening the blade proved extremely useful. When tying knots I can easily cut the end-line with the knife while holding on to the lure and line with my left hand. If you use your thumb to press the blade lock you can simply put the knife away with your index finger. All still using one hand!

Cooking beans during a shore lunch was a breeze with this tool at my side. The can easily opened with the added can opener and the pliers could be used to move the can around on the fire.

The tool comes with a saw blade but I have never run into any circumstances where I needed this function.

The tool comes with a small eyeglass size screwdriver which can be useful if the screws on your polarized glasses come loose.

Closing Statement:
The Leatherman Wave is an extremely versatile, high quality tool that will last years and is backed by a 25 year limited warranty. But at 70 dollars it is a bit on the pricy side. If you are in the market for a new multi-tool I recommend saving the extra money and buying this.


 



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