Leatherman Leap Multitool Review
November 13, 2015
The Leatherman Leap is a unique multitool. It’s aimed at children and consequently made “safe”. According to Leatherman “the Leap includes safety locks that keep fingers from the path of the tools, a two-hand opening knife blade for safer deployment, and a secure grip designed to train users to properly and safely operate tools. The Leap also comes with a user-installed knife blade that can be added by a parent when the user is ready for more responsibility.” Let’s pretend for a moment though that I’m a responsible young man who’s earned his right to use a knife and compare this multitool to its fully featured brethren.
I’ve always liked the idea of a multitool in the woods but never brought a fully fledged one with me because they always weigh SO much. It seems like they average 8/9/10 oz. at a minimum and include things like corkscrews, an awl, can opener and other things like that. When was the last time you hauled canned food to the top of a mountain? What about that bottle of wine? Even if you are foolish enough to do that (really you should just re-package the canned or bottled food into far more portable containers) you can always find canned food with pull tops or wine bottles that have screw caps. You are carrying completely unnecessary weight. That’s why the Leap caught my eye. Because it’s aimed at children it can’t very well include a corkscrew. What resulted is a paired down multitool that has all the key items without any of the extra junk that weighs a mere 4.9 oz.
The Leatherman Leap has the tools that matter; Pliers, Wire Cutters, Knife, Saw, Spring-action Scissors, Tweezers, Phillips Screwdriver, Medium Screwdriver and Small Screwdriver. The pliers are an obvious necessity. They let you repair so many pieces of gear you would otherwise be unable to deal with – primarily metal items like tent poles that need to be bent or molded into shape if broken. Wire cutters are great again for metal work. A knife is a basic necessity in the outdoors. Saw’s are high on my list of priorities because with one, even a small one like the 2 incher included, you can process wood far quicker in an emergency situation. Good scissors are key in my opinion for successfully trimming any kind of tape with a degree of accuracy (ankle/blister tape or tenacious tape). Tweezers are unnecessary until they are necessary and then nothing will help clean small particulates out of a wound like tweezers. Finally, the screwdrivers. They are the least required component in my opinion but they do come in handy from time to time to retighten some random structural piece of your backpack frame.
Of course having the necessary utility is great but your multitool needs to be durable if it’s going to get you through disaster. This was a concern of mine because the Leap is aimed at kids but Leatherman didn’t disappoint. The major components are made from heat treated 420HC stainless steel. The other big thing about this multitool that I appreciate are the locking blades. To many multitools don’t have locking blades and that is a mistake – you don’t want to accidentally lose a finger 50 miles from a trailhead.
The Leatherman Leap is the perfect multitool. I’ve always carried a small multitool such as the Gerber Dime or the Leatherman Squirt, because I wanted the utility but didn’t want to carry the weight, and been unhappy with the lack of tools available to me. The Leap has everything I want in the lightest form I’ve seen for a fully featured, full size multitool.