You won’t find much to complain about in a Leatherman. Patient zero for the pliers-and-blade multitool, the company has spawned numerous imitators over its 35 years in business without every being surpassed by one. This owes to their commitment to R&D: they constantly look for little ways to improve their tools but never go so far as to attempt to reinvent them.
And later this year, they’ll introduce one of their niftiest innovations in recent memory with the Free series, a collection of six multi-tools that are largely inseparable from existing Leatherman designs — to the naked eye, at least.
Leatherman Free Series (3 images)
From left: The Leatherman Free series P4, T2 and K2 tools
What’s new here is on the inside: all six models are built on a first-to-market magnetic architecture that may very well become an industry standard. Rather than digging tools out with your fingernail — which can be a maddening task — everything smoothly deploys and stows with some pressure or a flick of the wrist. The pliers-style P2 and P4, for example, open like a butterfly knife.
GearJunkie editor Nicole Qaultieri, who had access to an early product demo, went so far as to call it “the most intuitive thing that I’ve handled as far as a multitool goes.”
The Free series will roll out over the next six months, with the P4 and P2 (pliers) arriving in April, followed by the T2 and T4 (Swiss Army-style pocketknives) in June and the K2 and K4 (simple folding knives) in August.
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