As a kid, I loved watching MacGyver. Every week he would find himself in a new predicament and out would come his trusty little red handled knife. I remember one episode though, out came this nifty new tool! That was my first experience with Leatherman. Since that time many years ago, Leatherman’s have gotten bigger, beefier, lighter, and smaller as their product line has grown. This year is no exception. This year Leatherman has come out with a few new additions to their product line including the Surge and the Charge XTi.
The Surge is one of the newest in Leatherman’s line. It’s the ‘Sherman tank’ of Leatherman tools with thicker, longer, and beefier blades, bigger, more comfortable grips and a very ingenious saw set up. There are also some new additions to the standard accessories that you would normally find. The one, and the biggest change, is that in addition to the straight and serrated blade there is also a detachable saw blade and a detachable wood and metal file. This new style of blade allows the user to utilize any t-headed blade like the ones you would find in the jigsaw section of your local hardware store. In addition to the new saw, the Surge has the heftiest pair of scissors I have seen on a multi-tool that are perfect for cutting mole skin or opening your favorite bag of beef jerky. This tool also includes a micro flathead/Phillips head screwdriver perfect for adjusting the screws on your glasses or your latest electronic device. They’ve also included a beefy flathead screwdriver good for adjusting your scopes, windage, and elevation, or just tightening those loose screws on your camper. The Surge is slightly heavier than the Supertool for example, but according to the manufacturer, the Surge was designed for those of you who like to ride your Leatherman hard and put it up wet.
Leatherman Charge XTi
The Charge XTi is a 180 from the Surge tool with Titanium handles and a size that is comparable to the original tool. The XTi was designed for the outdoorsman who wants all the bells and whistles without the weight. The XTi separates itself with a few noticeable upgrades. Besides the Titanium handles, this tool also has nock crimpers built into the jaws of the pliers as well as a cutting hook on the back of the serrated blade which works for cutting anything from fishing line to seatbelts. One of my personal favorite features on the XTi is the optional pocket clip which simply slides into the body of the tool and locks itself securely into place. It also has an optional lanyard loop (not shown in picture). The Charge XTi also comes with a nice selection of optional bits for the two screwdriver sockets from your one and two Phillips head and flathead screwdrivers to hex and torque choices as well.
There are several common elements on both the Surge and the Charge XTi starting with the comfortable and easy to use delocking button which releases smoothly any accessory from its locked position. Both multi-tools come with a newly designed sheath which allows you to reholster the tool with the pliers in the out position (see picture). The Charge XTi is my favorite for recreational use and the Surge is a perfect tool for the workplace. Either one, when effectively combined with ball bearings, a turkey baster, chewing gum, and a tube sock, will get you out of any jam you find yourself in. For more information or to see the rest of the Leatherman line, visit www.leatherman.com.
See you in the mountains!