+ Useful selection of tools
+ Built to last, great quality
+ Knives can be opened with one hand
– Difficult to clean
I just visited the official Leatherman website. Here’s what they have to say about the Wave multi-tool:
“The Leatherman Wave multi-tool is hands down our most popular model… Perfect for any job, adventure, or everyday task, the Wave multi-tool is an international best-seller.”
Slick marketing copy rarely impresses me, but this is one case where I believe the guys wearing the suits. The Wave is truly a fantastic piece of equipment.
I can also add that I was once a certified multi-tool nutcase. At the height of my craze, my collection contained more than 20 different multi-tools from several different manufacturers. Those days have passed.
As I’m writing this, I am looking at the only multi-tool left in my collection: the Leatherman Wave, the sole survivor of a ruthless purge led by a bloodthirsty despot – my wife. I’ll spare you the gory details. Suffice it to say that I was asked to get rid of my collection and a ton of other goodies in order to make room for another baby. It was a tough choice. In the end, the baby won.
Now, getting started Leatherman Wave Review below!
The Leatherman Wave includes the following tools and features:
- Straight edged knife
- Serrated knife
- Needlenose pliers, wire cutters, wire stripper
- Large screwdriver
- Large and small bit drivers
- Wood/metal file, diamond-coated file
- Bottle opener, can opener
- Ruler (19 cm and 8 inches)
- Included bits: Phillips and flat tip eyeglasses screwdriver, Phillips #1-2 and 3/16″ bit
- Stainless steel handles and body
- Outside-accessible blades for one-handed opening
- Locking blades and tools
- Leather or nylon sheath
- 25-year warranty
Why I Like Leatherman Wave
One of the big advantages that the Leatherman Wave has over some of the other multi-tools in its class is that the Wave’s knives can be opened with one hand.
There are so many situations in which you need to grasp something without letting go. It’s very easy to open the Wave’s holster, extract the tool, and open the knife – all with one hand. Your other hand is free to hold on to a piece of cord or a fishing pole, for example.
The one-hand knife-opening trick does have its risks. If you take your Wave on a fishing trip, I recommend that you tie a length of paracord rope between the Wave’s lanyard loop and your belt.
You can find the lanyard loop hidden behind the saw. I am not a circus juggler and have been known to drop my tools and flashlights dangerously close to the water. Sixty centimetres of paracord has saved my tools from a watery death on many occasions.
Highlights and Problems
1. The ruler is useless
It’s difficult to measure anything larger than eight centimetres. The ruler is just 19 centimetres of etching on the inside handles, 10 centimetres on the left handle, 9 on the right.
Fortunately, the ruler does not do any harm to the rest of the tool. In other words, it doesn’t take the place of a more useful addition.
2. The knives
The rest of the tools are well constructed and useful, both around the house and outdoors. The knives are extremely sharp, lock solidly into place, and hold their edge for a long time.
3. The pliers & screwdrivers
The pliers are durable and compare with any regular pair of pliers that I’ve owned. The same can be said for the screwdrivers.
4. The scissors
The scissors are actually very impressive. I own a few Swiss Army knives that include scissors. The Wave’s scissors are by far superior. They are stronger, sharper, and offer serious cutting ability.
You won’t be cutting through rope with the Wave’s scissors (the knives do a much better job), but paper and even cardboard are shredded easily.
5. The saw
The saw can easily cut through smaller branches of up to 3 centimeters in diameter. At this point I would like to suggest a tip:
The best use for a multi-tool’s saw is to produce sawdust, not to cut down trees. You can use dry sawdust as kindling. It will usually catch a spark and provide you with a quick and easy way to start fires.
Caring for the Leatherman Wave
My brother, who has owned his Wave for just as long as I have, never, ever cleans it. I have to admit that his Wave continues to work well. Last summer, he noticed a touch of rust on one of the knife blades. A few brushes with some steel wool removed the rust immediately.
Personally, I clean and sharpen my Wave a lot. The Wave is difficult to clean thoroughly. I’m not sure if this is a disadvantage or simply a fact of life. I suppose that all outdoor gear is going to get dirty if used properly.
In any event, the Wave has lots of small slots that can be challenging to clean out and dry. I generally place the dirty multi-tool under a running water faucet for about two minutes. I then use a small screwdriver covered with a thin cloth to remove any sticky dirt.
Later on, my wife loses her hair dryer until the multi-tool is completely dry. Finally, I apply a small amount of oil. After at least four years of hard labour, the Wave looks great and performs perfectly. I am very impressed.
Here’s the bad news. The Wave sells for about $80 ~ $90 online and about $100 at brick and mortar shops. Is it worth it? I would say yes. The Leatherman Wave is definitely worth its expensive price tag, but I won’t deny that $90 is a lot of money for a multi-tool. [buy it here]
There are many other multi-tools available on the market, some more expensive, some less expensive. Believe me, I’ve owned and tried many of them. The Leatherman Wave offers the most useful and convenient set of tools.
The build quality is second to none and it’s backed up by a 25 year warranty. If, like me, your wife is limiting you to one multi-tool only, I recommend the Leatherman Wave. A bouquet of flowers and chocolates are optional, but they help soften the blow.
And….thanks for stopping by at my Leatherman Wave Review!