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I don't get what is special with a magnet? The tools I use most still take two hands to open. Very disappointed in this $140.00 version of leathermans cheaper models. I have a question why a flat phillips? It is useless! I suggest you gives these knives to someone who uses them daily in all types of tasks. Overpriced same ol' tool.
The Free series has the potential to be good, but it's not there yet. For now, if you have the Wave, the P4 is a probably a downgrade. If you don't have the Wave, you might want that instead. I have the P4, Wave, and Signal. The Signal is good but pretty specific for outdoor activities, so I'll just compare the Wave and P4 below.
Pros for Wave: - Cheaper - Overall more compact - Slightly longer main knife, serrated knife, and saw - Substantially longer file and ruler (7" ruler on Wave, only 1" on P4!) - Diamond coating on one side of file - Easier to open main and serrated blades - Interchangeable bit driver and small screwdriver - Less "wiggle" in handles when pliers open - Handles for pliers smooth and more comfortable to use
Pros for P4: - Pliers and non-blade tools easier to open one-handed - Better scissors - Slightly more robust pliers - Package opener is a neat tool for opening boxes without dulling main blade - Tip of redesigned serrated blade could be used as a scraper/chisel
I've carried a wave or a charge TTI for years. I thought the new P4 would be a game-changer so I bought it even though my charge TTI is still in great shape. Here are a few things I've noticed: The P4's magnetic action is slightly easier to use and sort of one-hand friendly but the mechanism for unlocking the blades requires a fair amount of thumb pressure and hurts your hand a little bit. The shape of the main blade is warrencliff style and better suited for utility use than the blade shape on a wave/charge however the blade steel is not as good as the one on a charge TTI (which is in a similar price range). All Leatherman bit type screwdrivers are frustrating because the interchangeable bit get caught in the fastener and when you withdraw the tool they sometimes fall off. I like the Phillips screwdriver on the P4 because it is a real screwdriver and not a bit holder. The file on the wave/charge is full-length and a million times better than the small piece of useless junk in the P4, however the scissors on a wave/charge are small and double folded and the P4 has much better full fill size scissors. And what's with all the flat blade screwdrivers ? Flat blades are pretty rare in today's world overall it's a good tool but not quite perfection yet. UPDATE: I cut some barbed wire yesterday with a my charge TTI and when cutting wire the tool has the blades on the inside of the handle. The back of the blades pinched my palm and I bled all over the tool, the free has a smooth surface in that very location (being a different design)and can cut heavy wire fencing with much less effort and it is safer on the hand. The cutting edges are sharper and this is a significant improvement over wave and wave like tools. like so many reviewers have stated I really wish I could pick the features I want in a multi-tool I would take the P4 handle design made out of The charge TTI materials with a long file, better can opener, screwdriver and scissors
Owner of many Leatherman tools, and this is the only one I ever had to return. This one has no outstanding features that set it apart from any others. One-hand opening of the pliers is just a gimmick. One-hand opening is much better executed on the OHT, and those pliers are spring loaded. There are multiple other shortcomings in tool design and orientation, but....
A key design flaw is the pair of sharp locating pins that work with the magnetic latch for the plier handles -- Inexplicably, these sharp pins protrude out of the back of the plier handles - and into the user's hand. How this design flaw was approved by management is beyond me. This flaw alone made it mandatory to immediately return this tool. Other flaws include - excessive slop/play in the plier handles when deployed, inadequate retention of the small auxiliary tools when the pliers are deployed, flimsiness/miniaturization of the auxiliary tools, and odd selection of the marginally useful saw blade as the secondary blade (rather than the traditional serrated blade). Yet this blade orientation is handled "correctly" on most of the legacy LM models. Also, the knife blades - the most used tool - are exceptionally thin and shallow. They don't inspire much confidence for any type of heavy cutting.
Nothing to recommend this tool. There are multiple significantly better options from Leatherman for less. Quite frankly, in light of its multiple shortcomings, this tool would not be worthy of "just throwing in the drawer" even if priced at 30 dollars. There are competing multitools (e.g., Gerber) at that price point that are a better value.
Not to pile it on excessively (considering that LM otherwise makes a range of good products), but the Free P4, in its current evolution, is unquestionably overpriced by 100 dollars.
Pretty neat design but doesn't work as I had hoped. The wave plus is actually easier for my hands to operate than the P4. Just my opinion. I will make a buddy of mine a great gift. It just doesn't feel comfortable to me. And the tool release on the sides are harder for my fingers to operate than the top press release of the wave plus.
I'll make it simple- I am 66 and have owned a number of multi-tools. My most recent purchase (prior to the P4) was the Wave (in black). I disliked it due to the difficulty in opening the different tools. I went on-line to search for a replacement. Found out about the impending release of the P4 Free, and decided to wait. To put it simply, it is the best multi-tool I have ever owned. Everything easily accessible and seem to be rugged. Even the scissors (the one tool that often seems to be an afterthought) is solid. I plan on purchasing other items in the Free line as they become available.
The one and only reason I bought this was... I have access to all the tool without having to open the whole thing. This was something that should have been made a long time ago. I really like this tool. Everything really is one hand open with a little assistance from the side of your leg. I gave it 4 stars because some of the tools are useless to me. I'll never use the saw , the can opener, awl thingy, mini ruler, and mini file. All are worthless to unless I start a manicure business that serves potted meat. The other side has a pretty robust flathead screwdriver. In my field of work I don't come across that big of flathead screws. So it's been getting use to pry open paint cans lately. The phillips head..... using that pretty much ask for a stripped head. I had previously purchased the Charge Ti. I like that also. The tools were for getting work done everything was legit. Even the pliers were very nice. Seems like Leatherman took a step down to make this tool by adding the cheaper accessories tools. The real question is...... When are they going to come up with a tool that you can pick the accessories you actually use!!
First, I want to lay down my knowledge of multi-tools and EDC's (Every Day Carry). I have had a Wave for over ten years. I have also own a Surge and an Victorinox Swisstool Spirit X. I keep one of these on me at all times (and in my car) and use their features almost daily.
This is an interesting knife. They claim to be revolutionary with their new one handed use for all tools. This is their biggest draw, and my first gripe. Let me get down to the bad, and finish with the good.
If you find yourself opening and closing the tools often you may find that the way the opening mechanism is built will soon take a toll upon your hands and fingers. Two months into using the tool, they still are a pain. Pushing down on the hard triangular metal nubs just hurt. Don't get me wrong, it's not a deal breaker (unless you have arthritis in the hands or carpal tunnel) but it is worth a gripe. A bit of extra oil seems to make the job of opening easier, but not by that much.
My second gripe is that there are too many flat head screwdrivers. why do I need a screwdriver on the tip of my awl? I wanted an awl with a sharp edge and a pointed tip that can drill through leather like a hot knife through butter. Instead, I get a decent drill (after I honed the tip with a sharpening stone) that missed its full potential.
The metal seems to be very durable. I have used the pliers and the phillips screwdriver in such a way they should be worn by but they have held to like new condition. I love the can opener redesign, and the scissors alone are worth their weight in gold. I find myself using the serrated blade more than the smooth but that is a preference and both are very sharp out of the box. The steel of the smooth blade seems to be able to hold its edge for quite a few uses (not as much as my Victorinox blades). Also, things that are locked stay locked, this makes for a safe and usable tool. I have heard a few grips from others about the magnetic clasp tools coming undone when closing the pliers, but I have never experienced this. the magnet is strong (but not so strong that it harms a phone or electronic device when placed next to it).
Overall, I give it around 3.5 stars (I will upgrade to 4 because Amazon does not do half points)
The Wave+ is a superior EDC multitool but it got to where I couldn't open it. The magnetic design of this tool makes it possible for me to use. However, if you're switching from the Surge or Wave+, you are going to lose some functionality. Let me get this off my chest. Needle-nose pliers are pliers, that isn't two tools, it's one. Wire cutters and hard wire cutters are one tool, not two. If you etch 1 and a half inches onto the side of a small screwdriver, that doesn't make it a ruler. There's more but i'll stop there. The blade is very nice how they reshaped it, the wood saw blade is fantastic, I hope they offer replacement blades eventually. The access to the scissors is much improved. The awl is nice to have back. There is always some point this tool being made in the USA, it is, and it says so if you open the pliers a little. The sheath however boldly exclaims Made In China. I see a price increase coming. If you have the Wave+, keep it, take care of it, use it. If your nails are unable to open the Wave+ tools, you won't go very wrong with this EDC device, I expected better, I'm sure we'll see improvements in the coming years.