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I think I bought my Leatherman Wave in 1998 or 1999 shortly after that model first came out. Since then I’ve used it regularly for every conceivable thing: sawing branches, pulling splinters, tightening clutch cables, skinning small game, opening beers. If you have one, you know the list is endless.

Well, it’s been about 15 years, and this year, before we left for our summer sailing trip I noticed that one of the blades wasn’t locking anymore because the spring-steel locking tab had cracked. I remembered that Leatherman had an amazing warranty but I didn’t want to send the tool back because I knew I’d need it all summer which, of course, turned out to be true.

When we got back, I researched their warranty and found that, if anything goes wrong, they will repair or replace the tools within 25 years of purchase. I’d never heard of a warranty like that and happily sent mine in. About a week later a package came in the mail. Inside was a brand new Leatherman Wave. Fantastic!

In case your Leatherman has lasted longer than mine and you haven’t seen one in a while, here’s what the Wave—redesigned in 2004—looks like today.

Links:
Leatherman Wave, $60 at Amazon
Leatherman Warranty information

In my opinion, it’s worth every penny and more.

OK, here’s the in-depth tour. One handle houses the can opener (which is also notched to strip wires) and the reversible-bit screwdriver. Leatherman also offers a “bit kit” (about $14) with multiple bits designed to fit that socket. The kit stores in a pocket in the nylon sheath. A bit driver extender is also available.

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The other handle contains scissors, a tiny reversible screwdriver, and a large, flat-blade screwdriver. All of the tools on both sides now lock into place. You can see the lock release on the opposite handle in both the previous and next image. When fully open, the handles form a 7-1/2″ ruler.

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Here are the pliers with cutting jaws for regular and hard wire.

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The three blades and double-sided file are the same as before but now the blades won’t open unless the handles are fully closed.

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Here’s another feature I’d wished for on my old Leatherman, a low-profile lanyard ring. The whole thing is beautifully engineered.

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The company makes all kinds of pocket tools and knives now too. But here are a few of the multitools, and their features, in case you’re in the market. I’m really looking forward to using mine.

(Click for a large version.)

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