Back in 1975, the aptly named Tim Leatherman had just returned from an ill-fated summer abroad. His trip had been beset by malfunctioning rental cars, janky hotel plumbing and other mechanical failures that sound charming in a story, but are real pains in the ass when you’re trying to get somewhere. Like any plucky traveler, Leatherman had done his best to fix each issue with a trusty pocketknife, with only mixed success to reward his efforts.
The ensuing years saw him experimenting repeatedly to create a tool that would marry the multi-purpose functionality of a pocketknife with the essential function of a pair of pliers. The Leatherman Pocket Survival Tool debuted in 1984 and was an instant success.
Newer iterations of the PST followed in the 90s, and folding knives were introduced to the Leatherman lineup in the 2000s. This summer, after more than 35 years of customer feedback and insight, the company is embarking on its most extensive product launch to date.
Leatherman’s brand new lineup, the Leatherman Free series, features a first-of-its-kind architecture built around integrated magnets. This key component makes the tools easier for users to open, handle, and close, eliminating the need for nail nicks. In addition, the tools’ internal locking system utilizes an all-new elastomer that reduces wear and tear. In short, the new Free series tools are durable than any Leatherman products to date.
All the new products are the result of a five-year development process that pairs never-before-used technology with premium materials. The result promises an entirely new experience for multipurpose tool users. And coming from Leatherman, that’s a promise we’re willing to take to the bank.
Leading off the launch is the Leatherman P-Series, a pliers-based multitool that contains Leatherman’s iconic pliers-based design with enhanced Free technology. Made of lightweight 420 steel, the P-Series is designed so that all its included implements are easily accessible from the outside. Combined with the magnetic technology, a one-handed open of the tool is a cinch—no more prying the tool open with a fingernail. We especially appreciate the satisfying “click” that confirms your tool of choice is ready for use. The P-Series comes inand iterations, featuring 16 and 19 tools respectively.
Other launches in the Free collection include T-Series, made up of theand — both pocket tools designed for everyday carry functionality — and the K-Series consisting of the and
All are made in the company’s Portland, Oregon shop and are backed with the standard Leatherman 25-year guarantee.
Looking for more multitools? Check out all our favorites here.
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