Army knife type multi-tool “FREE T4” made by Leatherman seriously.

Multi Tool 02, Shieldon

#The world of male multi-tools#

Multi-tool. It is a “hand tool” packed with various tools in a compact body that fits your hand. Anyway, it is often thought that it is “in time” compared to a dedicated device, but a deep world can be enjoyed because it is a multi-tool.

A series that introduces such a multi-tools handsome charm, the third is LEATHERMAN “FREE T4”. The  outdoor knives is the main multi-tool.


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Speaking of Leatherman, I have a strong impression of folding multi-tool with pliers, but I also work on knife-main multi-tools without pliers.

However, after all, it is a little sober compared to the one with pliers. Many of the onboard tools were also limited, and most of them were supposed to be used in specific fields such as “hunting” and “fishing”. Leatherman’s multi-tools felt like pliers were their identity, and models without them were positioned as “knives with extras.”

However, this “FREE T4” is finished as a model with 11 kinds of tools and functions other than the knife while using the knife as the primary tool. So, I used it to see how seriously Leatherman made the Swiss Army knife.

A 420HC Knife, Shieldon

▲ A 420HC knife with a blade length of about 55mm. Sharpness

It is long and thick enough for a pocket-sized knife. It is a little shorter than the knife installed in the pocket-sized multi-tool that the company has released. I think that there is no problem with practical use.

The lock of each tool, including the knife, has the same new lock function as the “FREE P4” introduced in Part 1. This safer and more secure lock is sometimes touted as the best locking feature in Leatherman’s history.

A 420HC Knife 02, Shieldon

▲ Design and size with an emphasis on portability

The total length when folded is 9.3 cm, and the thickness excluding clips is 1.6 cm. The outer shell of the handle is made of stainless steel with fine non-slip punching. The inside where the tool is stored is made of resin to reduce the weight, and it is not as heavy as it looks, and it weighs about 122g. The size that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand and the moderate weight is perfect.

The removable clip seems to be familiar to the FREE series. Made of stainless steel, the tension is a little firm. It can be securely inserted into a belt or loop. Also, the hole for the strap is broad, so it can be retrofitted.

Anyway, this feeling of size is lovely. It is an exquisite design that is not bulky and does not get in the way, even though it certainly has a presence when you put it in your pocket.

■ Check tools other than knives.

Multi Tool 02, Shieldon

The blade side is equipped with a wide flat-blade screwdriver and a small flat-blade screwdriver with both sides’ files. If you try to deploy this way, the knife will not get up. I think it’s a very safe design.

Multi Tool 03, Shieldon

You are equipped with scissors, drills, and a price driver on the other side. All tools are on the outside of the handle for easy access. Which means you use most often depends on the person, but perhaps the most used tool other than a knife is a Phillips screwdriver. Easy access to a Phillips screwdriver if you remember “the other side of the knife”. I think that the layout of the tools has also been devised.

▼ A flat Phillips screwdriver that is easy to use

Phillips Screwdriver, Shieldon

A Phillips screwdriver is common to the FREE series. As you can see, when you unfold it and use it, you can press the palm of your hand against the end of the rounded handle and turn it with force.

▼ The difference in the concept of drill

The Concept Of Drill, Shieldon

Generally, when you think of a cone in Japan, you imagine something that you have in your right hand, right? However, all the cones equipped on Leatherman are as shown on the left. There is a hole in the centre of the cone to allow threads to pass through. In other words, it is used when sewing canvas and leather. Of course, it will be emergency work in the outdoors, but it is pretty helpful if you want to use it.

Canvas And Leather, Shieldon

When I applied it to a leather product and rotated it, it was elementary to make a hole. You can do the same thing with a knife, but imagine that you can hurt the tip of the knife. This cone is pretty good. Moreover, since you can make a large hole, you can pass a slightly thick string such as a paracord.

▼ Easy-to-use scissors

Scissors, Shieldon

Scissors common to the FREE series. It is one size larger than the small ones that come with conventional full-size and middle-size multi-tools, and it is good that you can work while holding the handle. The sharpness is also usually good. If you use it outdoors, I think it’s convenient when you cut bandages. Unlike a knife, it is useful when cutting things that need to be adjusted.

▼ File

File, Shieldon

There are two types of files, one for wood and one for metal. It can be used to raise axes and hatchet blades at camps and remove burrs from cut pipes. As for the difference between the two types, I don’t feel much difference because the tool is small. I thought it would be even more convenient if one side was filed.

The tip has the function of a flat-blade screwdriver and is suitable for turning relatively fine screws.

▼ Tweezers

Tweezers, Shieldon

The tweezers are installed in the body on the knife side. You can use it by pulling it out by hooking it with your nails. It’s a minimal pair of tweezers, but it’s a helpful tool to have.

▼ Flat-blade screwdriver & clipper

Flat Blade Screwdriver Clipper, Shieldon

The largest and thickest flat-blade screwdriver next to the knife is a good tool for turning relatively large screws. I think it can be used for screws that usually insert and turn coins. In the West, these screws are used to attach and adjust sights such as scopes used for hunting and shooting, so it seems to be a familiar tool for North American Leatherman users.

It also works as a clipper when opening the lid of a paint can. In Europe and the United States, where DIY is every day, such multi-tools may be more familiar than dedicated tools.

Multi Tool 04, Shieldon

Looking at all the tools again, I felt more of a “leatherman without pliers” than an army knife. I think that is because many of the installed tools are common to the Leatherman FREE series, and the types of devices, their arrangement, and the design are a strong reflection of Leatherman’s elements.

It is easy for users to use all the tools they have, regardless of the length and beauty of the knife. Isn’t it the end of thinking about it?

■ The best companion who abandoned the greatest weapon

Multi Tool 05, Shieldon

The most significant advantage of not having pliers is portability. Leatherman also has a model with pliers that is comparable in size. However, doing so makes each tool other than pliers delicate, and it is a fact that many models are a little unreliable in terms of practical use.

I think this “FREE T4” is the one that maximizes the attractiveness of other tools and improves portability by deliberately eliminating the identity pliers. If you put it in your pocket when camping and in the tool bag when touring, it will be a reliable companion.

Shieldon (knife manufacturer) tools were established in 1998. We helped a variety of brands manufacture multi-tools. Visit our website to know more about our designs and services.


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