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Leatherman. A name that commands respect in the world of multitools.
Have you ever found yourself going about your daily routines and needing to open, pry, tighten, or cut something only to spend the next 15 minutes of your life rooting around toolboxes, drawers, and cupboards looking for the right tool for the job? Most of us have at some point, and if you haven’t it is probably because you carry a multitool with you! We have been testing out the Leatherman Signal multitool over the past few weeks. The Signal is one of Leatherman’s latest releases and is marketed as part of their “Outdoor” range. We decided to carry the Leatherman Signal with us every day for a week to see how useful it is to have 19 different tools strapped to our belt.
The Leatherman Signal has 19 individual tools which we have listed above. What is noteworthy about the Leatherman Signal’s tools is how accessible they are. The knife blade is accessible with one hand thanks to the thumb hole at the back of the blade. Even the internal tools are very simple to get to thanks to small indentations that make them easy to pull out. All of the tools lock open as well which is a huge plus. There are many multitools on the market that may have locks on the blade and nothing else. However, the Leatherman Signal has two liner lock mechanisms, one for the blade and one for the saw. The bottle opener, awl, and bit driver all lock open as well.
This would be a long article if we ran through the functionality and uses of all 19 tools on the Leatherman Signal. What we will do however is highlight some of the ingenious tool integrations in this tool.
The eagle-eyed viewer will notice in the first image of this article that there is a red and black bump on the side of the tool where my thumb is resting. This is not just for ergonomics, this is fire steel. Fire steels are reliable ways of creating sparks, they can be used to light fires or camp stoves when you are out and about. The sparks are generated by scraping the back of the saw (not the blade) on the black material. We were pleasantly surprised at how effective the tool was. Not only that, the red and black tool is also a high-pitched whistle that can be used for attracting attention.
We are very much entering winter now in Ireland as I write this and with that in mind, we have been lighting our wood-burning stove more and more. One Sunday afternoon when we were processing some firewood I came across a stubborn piece of not yet seasoned wood that refused to break over my knee. The saw tool on the Leatherman Signal made light work of it.
The Bit Driver
Before a cycle one day I noticed that the cleats on my cycling shoes needed replacing. Instead of routing around for the correct bike-specific tool, I was able to quickly remove the bolts from the cleat and replace them. This meant I could get out on my bike sooner, which is always a good thing!
The Bottle Opener
After work one evening we decided to have our dinner outdoors! We headed to a nearby lake with our dinner in a food container and a bottle of McDaid’s Cream Soda! We spread out our picnic blanket and began to eat. I reached for the bottle looking forward to taking a swig when, for a moment, I thought I had made a grave mistake. I thought I had forgotten a bottle opener. Then I remembered that I had the Leatherman on my hip!
The Plastic-Free Food Containers We Use
Most of our time spent outside recently has been with a springer spaniel, while they make excellent walking partners they can often get too confident with navigation and wander off or get distracted by a dear, a bird, or a leaf falling from a tree and dash off into the undergrowth! This happened once over the past week. Luckily, I was easily able to take out the whistle in the Leatherman Signal and get his attention before he went too far away.
Leatherman has so many excellent tools. We will be testing a few more over the coming weeks, but where does the Signal fit in? Moving forward the Leatherman Signal will be our go-to outdoor multitool. It will live in our hiking bag or on the belt of our hiking pants. We have found that we reach for it way more than we thought we would!
By Matthew McConnell
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