Have you ever been in the middle of nowhere and had something break or need to cut, bend, break, measure, or otherwise repair or alter something? In that case, have you ever found yourself without just the right tool for the job? If you hate having to put in screws with the point of your handy jackknife or trying to find an appropriately shaped rock every time you need to crimp something together, then here’s an answer for you: The Leatherman Tool. This issue we’re taking a look at two different models from Leatherman, the Wave, a pocket model made for a semi-urban setting, and the Core, the toughest, most heavy duty tool they make.
First we’ll look at what the two have in common. Both are made of all stainless steel, preventing rust problems in the field. They share a common form factor, folding to a tidy rectangular shape with no protruding edges or sharp corners. In addition, both are sold with a leather or plastic carrying case that fits on a bet. In addition, both have a common complement of tools consisting of:
- blade locks for every part
- needle nose pliers
- wire cutters
- standard and a serrated knives
- wood saw
- both flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers
- bottle/can opener
- wire stripper
These commonalities are shared between both of these tools as well as the majority of the full-sized Leatherman tool offerings. It’s in the added tools and the differences in construction that they really start to differ.
The “Wave” (MSRP $93.00)
The biggest standout feature of the Wave is the easy access mounting of the two knives. Both are mounted on the outside of the case, allowing the user to open either the straight edge or the serrated knife with one hand. In practice, the usefulness of the feature cannot be overstated. Another excellent feature is the interchangeable screwdriver bits and the inclusion of tiny glasses screwdrivers, both flathead and Phillips head. If you’ve ever had your glasses fall apart at the wrong time, you’ll understand why this is so great. If you haven’t had that particular experience, trust me when I say this is an absolutely great feature for a field tool. The Wave is clearly intended for lighter duty. The tools are all slightly smaller and less rugged in construction but are more compact in size and lighter weight than the Core. At 4 inches long and 8.5 ounces, it fits as easily in the pocket as a standard pocketknife.
As far as additions to the above list of tools, the Wave has a pair of scissors, a diamond-coated file backing up the metal file, and the interchangeable screwdriver bits I’ve already mentioned. The only attachment really missing from this compelling little multi-tool is an awl/punch, which would really come in handy in the field. This shows that, while good in the field, the focus of the Wave is clearly more urban.