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Multitool in premium steel?

Aug 21, 1999

I always take a SAK or a LM Wave on camping trips. I sometimes do rock climbing or other activities wherein I might have to use my SAK or multitool in a severe situation.

My problem with both SAKs and the LM Wave is that they are made of some inferior steel. The edges don't hold, the blades would snap off either make with little or moderate lateral stress. Perhaps these knives and tools can keep an electrician happy, but what I am wondering is this: Does anyone make a SAK-like knife ala the Champ or other model with a lot of tools or a multitool in a high quality steel choice?

I want a multitool/SAK I could bet my life on in the woods. I don't have one. Is this an untapped market given the vast improvements in locking folders in just the past five years?

Oh yeah, it would be nice if the thing had a corkscrew as sometimes romance is in the air. Not that a lot of you guys appreciate the virtues of the corkscrew as I note there is a bottle opener on every multitool I have ever seen. I am surprised there hasn't been a commerative Ms. Budweiser multitool by now.

[This message has been edited by lawdog (edited 16 September 1999).]
I have a favorite style of SAK with a 3.25" locking blade. I was wondering if a custom bladesmith could just make a copy of the Victorinox blade out of BG42 and swap it in place of the regular 420HC blade. If so, what would it cost? If not BG42 I'd be interested in A2.
Now THAT is a bright idea. The only problem I see with it is that grinding is kind of labor intensive. It does seem, however; that if someone out there was looking to get a start in blademaking, perhaps aftermarket SAK blades would be a way to learn. I wonder if we can find anyone willing to take on the project? I wouldn't mind a BG-42, VG-10, or Talonite main blade on my SAK and a smaller one made of high carbon non-stainless so that it could strike sparks if necessary. Good idea! People modify their guns all of the time, why not their knives?

"The cannibals of the West wear suits and ties"--Midnight Oil
About a year ago after I managed to break the small screwdriver without applying any force whatsoever on the SuperTool, it just snapped. And shortly afterwards destroying the "cutter" part of the pliers by trying to cut a 3/32" thick piece of metal wire (not brass). I sent my findings to Leatherman by email and suggested that if a pair of Taiwan pliers that cost me $5 could cut the metal wire without dammage I would expect the Leatherman pliers costing me $110 in The Netherlands to be able to cope with it too. I suggested they started using real tool steel for the plier head and give it a decent hardening. They could just give it a TiN coating, or Hard chrome coating afterwards to protect it from rusting.
They replied by telling me that the small screwdriver could only be used for light duty and that the cuting part of the plier was for brass wire and something harder then Brass should be cut with the special "hard material" cutting section, the half round openings in the cutter part. Well I had used those and damaged it so that the plier head couldn't close anymore. They said that all the materials where optimal for the work they were designed for.
My opinion skip the "Survival" in front of those tools until there is some decent tool steel "super" tool.
I got it fixed for free but sold the Supertool as fast as I could, and since then bought myself a SwissChamp which is a lot better although still not what I would expect for $ 100.
Count me in for a "Tool Steel Survival Tool"
cheers, Bagheera.

I've seen this discussed somewhere, probably here, before. I'm surprised some enterprising entity somewhere hasn't already started making replacement blades. Seems like it wouldn't be very hard to make them. But, getting the blade on the Wave might be a different story altogether. I've heard that the security Torx screws they use are non-standard in size and Leatherman won't make them available. At least that's what is claimed in http://www.equipped.com/wave.htm and Leatherman's own FAQ page, http://www.leatherman.com/default_frame.html backs that up. That is a good review, by the way.


P.S. I just emailed Leatherman and invited them over here. Maybe we'll hear from them.

Knowledge without understanding is knowledge wasted.
Understanding without knowledge is a rare gift - but not an impossibility.
For the impossible is always possible through faith. - Bathroom graffiti, gas station, Grey, TN, Dec, 1988

AKTI Member #A000831

[This message has been edited by Codeman (edited 17 September 1999).]
I have owned SAKs and Leathermans (don't like the look of that word but ,I think it is as correct as "SAKs")and have never felt they would break before an ATS34 or similar grade steel.
Now....edgeholding is another thing. probably the only real advantage of highend steels over the better "middle-level" steels.
'course, i was wrong one other time.

Brian W E
ICQ #21525343
Money : spend it before it's all gone

I have never noted deficencies in the steel of Leatherman, Gerber or SOG tools; however, I must admit I haven't had to use them very vigorously. I doubt that a multi tool made of high grade tool steel will appear soon, as most of these tools are produced by methods requiring easy to machine steel.

You might consider using a variety of tools to replace the multi tool. Sears has a nifty screwdriver set Cat. # 925630, which has a 3 1/2" driver and 9 hex bits, including two Torx bits (look for these around Christmas and Fathers' Day). You can buy other sizes of bits, according to your needs, and put them inside the soft plastic pouch. This is very compact.

For scissors, the Slip-N-Snips are far better for actual use than anything found on a multi tool. These are the kinds where the blades fold up inside the round handles, so there are no sharp edges exposed.

Concerning a knife, I am sure that someone on the forum has a suggestion or two.

Hope this helps, Walt
The SpyderWrench will have a 440C blade with a Spydie deployment hole. That's a darn fine steel by multi-tool standards. It will also be the most versatile, most complex, and most expensive multitool to hit the market. We'll see which of those three attributes determines its fate...

You can get info in the Spydie forum - they start shipping VERY soon. I've played with one - it's definitely unlike anything that's come before.

I seem to remember an article in Blade from a couple of years ago that mentioned a famous knifemaker (I think it was Wayne Goddard) that disassembled his SAK, made a superior blade, reassembled it, and then put wood scales on it. Perhaps someone out there has a better memory than I do. A SAK with better edge holding ability would be fantastic.
I have delayed purchasing a multitool because those owned by my friends have something broken on them. Most are Leatherman products, some are SOG's.
I want a Micra with premium steel.
But I also am excited about Spyderco's new product.