ST 200 and Core: A Comparison

Joined
Dec 29, 2007
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1,990
The ST 200 and Core
Pros and Cons of the Legendary Large Tool

First let me say that I have used both of these tools extensively in the maintenance field with months of execution and observation behind this experiment.

The Pliers Themselves
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The differences are obvious. No hard wire cutters on the ST 200, but they still hanle hardwires quite well without chipping. Second to note is the broadness of the Core pliers, which are desingned to give the tool more gripping and cutting power. I didn't notice any difference in grip or cut on either of the tools.

The Tools
Philips head screwdriver on the Core has a longer reach which makes a big differences for deep set screws.
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Hollow ground flat head screwdrivers on the Core. What can I say?:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
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The awls aren't worth a flip on either tool, but only slightly improved on the Core.
The file, saw, serrated and plain edge blades are longer on the Core. Honestly, it didn't make any difference for cutting and filing tasks seeing that they are not much longer than the ST 200. Quarter of an inch max.
Then there is the issue with tool bunching on the ST 200. If it wasn't for the tool bunching though you loose some fingernails trying to open some of the tools with the, ok I'll say it, half assed nail nicks. So, I have concluded that I'm thankful for the tool bunching.
No tool bunching on the Core.
I did loose edge on the Core blade faster then the ST 200 blade which I have concluded that the steel on the Core is softer.

Weight
The Core weighs in at 10.8 ounces
The ST 200 9 ounces
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Locking Mechanism
The ST 200 is a more complex locking system that is hard as hell to open with just the thumb. There are a couple benefits to this. It is tough and in the fat chance that it breaks the tools will still lock because the original Supertool locking feature is still there.
The Cores locking system is easy to execute, but in my opinion is not as well built.
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Lastly, the plastic in the Core I have not seen yet pose any disadvantage. Dropping the Core and Supertool 200 from 4 and a half feet high and judging by the sound the Core absorbed a lot of the impact because of the plastic.

Thanks,

Dylan
 

parnass

Basic Member
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Dec 6, 2005
Messages
405
Thanks for posting the well illustrated comparison.

I am surprised your ST200 lacks a hard wire cutter.

The original SuperTool, predecessor to the ST200, lacked a hard wire cutter, but a hard wire cutter was added to a later version of the SuperTool.
 

Steely_Gunz

Got the Khukuri fevah
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May 9, 2002
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Great review:)

I do have a question. Have you experienced any sticking or jamming of the jaws when closing the tool. My 2004 wave as well as my Surge both have jamming issues where they get hung up between a couple of the tools as they shut. My fuse does not have this issue.

I have almost picked up a Core several times. I have a retired ST200 that has served me too well to use till it dies. Right now I'm using a SOG powerlock, but I would love a bigger blade.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2007
Messages
1,990
Great review:)

I do have a question. Have you experienced any sticking or jamming of the jaws when closing the tool. My 2004 wave as well as my Surge both have jamming issues where they get hung up between a couple of the tools as they shut. My fuse does not have this issue.

I have almost picked up a Core several times. I have a retired ST200 that has served me too well to use till it dies. Right now I'm using a SOG powerlock, but I would love a bigger blade.


No, never had that problem on any of my Leathermans.
 

ElCuchillo

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Oct 3, 2006
Messages
713
Great review:)

I do have a question. Have you experienced any sticking or jamming of the jaws when closing the tool. My 2004 wave as well as my Surge both have jamming issues where they get hung up between a couple of the tools as they shut. My fuse does not have this issue.

I have almost picked up a Core several times. I have a retired ST200 that has served me too well to use till it dies. Right now I'm using a SOG powerlock, but I would love a bigger blade.


I had that problem, Steely Gunz. My Wave would jam at times when closing it, and I realized what was causing it. One of the drivers, the phillips head bit driver I think it was, would stick out ever so slightly, and the plier jaws would catch it as it closed. Just a loose tool. Go slow when closing the tool and it should be all good.
 

Steely_Gunz

Got the Khukuri fevah
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I had that problem, Steely Gunz. My Wave would jam at times when closing it, and I realized what was causing it. One of the drivers, the phillips head bit driver I think it was, would stick out ever so slightly, and the plier jaws would catch it as it closed. Just a loose tool. Go slow when closing the tool and it should be all good.

Yeah, I figured out how to sort of baby it closed. However, the Wave just jammed up so damn tight that it irritated me to no end. I bought the MT for quick jobs, and fiddling with the thing to get it to close is not a real convenient thing for me. This is compounded by the fact that prior to 2004, I never had a single issue with any of my multiple LM tools.

I ended up gifting the Wave to my asst manager. He doesn't care if he has to baby it shut:p My Surge sticks but can be pressed firmly and it will snap shut. It's warn a little mark on the jaws, but that's no big deal.

For the time being, I'm sticking with my SOG and my LM Skeletool CX. I'm glad that it's not an isolated event with my LM's.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
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2,792
I consider the Super Tool 200 a transitional model.
Although well satisfied with a Super Tool, a blowout clearance price several years ago tempted me into picking up an ST 200. It was almost identical to the original, except for the lock release levers and slightly thicker handles, both of which turned out to be a deal breaker.

With practice, I learned to use the levers without potty mouth language :eek: , inevitable because they were difficult to operate, especially with wet or cold hands :grumpy: . However, when using any implement other than pliers, there was almost no grip in which the levers didn't dig into my hand. Very annoying. The rounded handle edges were an improvement, and the increased thickness ot the tool was no problem in use, but made for a tight fit in my then favorite NiteIze belt pouch, while the protruding levers contributed extra wear to that and other sheaths which had fit the original perfectly.

I kept the ST200 as a backup or maybe for sale/gift, but went to a Core instead, which has a better lock release mechanism, no sharp protrusions, and carries well in the supplied nylon sheath. It is much easier to use than the original and the ST200, although not worked often or hard enough yet to determine how it will hold up long term.

All considered; except for the increased weight, a minor issue, I find the Core a worthy successor to the Super Tool, correcting its flaws while keeping a tool set that, IMHO, Leatherman got right from the start.
 
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