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The Wave

Feb 9, 1999
Just got a Leatherman Wave today, I really like it so far. But it is very very stiff and the one hand tools have some sharp edges actually cut my finger(no blood) on something? My question anybody have one for a while. How long does does it take to break in. Anyone have anything to say about this tool, positive or negative, don't matter, like to hear it! Thanks Bart
How does the liner lock(s) hold up? I haven't heard any comment on them yet.



I really love mine too. I've had it for 3 months and there's no sign of it to give up its stiffness yet. Honestly, I don't use it as often as I'd like to (I use my Buck Tool interchangeably), so that might explains it a bit.

My only complaint is that the thumb holes for the blades (plain and serrated) are sharp at the edges. It actually skinned my thumb twice. This sometimes render it from one-hand opening to two-hand opening, using my nail.

More than once I was thinking about using my Dremel to smooth out the edges. I'd probably do it one of these days.

Take care,


My Leatherman Wave had no problems with the one hand opening knife blades. One side of the internal tools, however, was so stiff that it threatened to tear off my fingernail every time I tried to deploy the large straight blade screwdriver tool. I finally sent it back to Leatherman where it was repaired to my satisfaction and returned on a timely basis.

I started using my plain blade to whittle. After about an hour or so cutting wood I've noticed that the blade is easier to open. The lockup is still solid and there is no blade play. Guess you just have to use it a little.
I own a SOG PARATOOL that had all of the same problems. I took a Dremel tool to it dehorned the whole tool--corners, edges etc. Worked great. The SOG is adjustable so that wasn't a problem for me, but I still worked all the parts and applied force to them to loosen/break them in faster(open/close and tweak sideways etc). Hope this helps.

It is better to have and not need, than to need and not have.
I adjusted mine with the help of two locking pliers, adjust them so they lightly clamp on to the screws and you can then turn them...works great and leaves no marks.
The other improvment I made to mine was to use the small cutting wheel on my Dremel and cut 5 grooves on the serrated blade (Somthing like that on the Spyderco Native,only much smaller) so now just by feel alone I know which blade is which, I think it even looks better because of it.

Great idea, Keith! I never know which blade I am opening. Haven't had any problems with sharp edges though. It is a little stiff still and I miss being able to just flip it open, like my old Leatherman.

Chad Burns
Hey, that is some great ideas, I may take the dremel to it, just the edges of things and maybe the knotches on the serrated.
I'm gonna go whittle? Hmmmm, loosin that baby up?
Frank the liner locks work well, lock up deep and solid!!
I think it will be flickable as it breaks in, even my sideclip took a while to loosen.
I have had mine for over half a year now. The straight edge is opening very smooth, it seems that it just needed some time. The serrated edge is still stiff because I hardly use that one.
A slight warning on the thumbholes: they themselves don't appear to be a problem, but the blades are pretty narrow, and I allready managed to get the serrated blade in my thumb while playing with it.
Maybe a bit superfluous on this forum, but keep the thing well oiled, not only for smoothness but also for corosion protection. Teflon spray seems to work very well, no tuff cloth available here.

Frank: As far as the liner locks are concerned, I have done the tests from the linerlock faq and it didn't fail any of them. They lock up solid and without play.

Greetings, Eelco

I've had my Wave since last summer. At first it was a little stiff, but consistant use has made it as smooth as silk.

There is certainly a little tightness when deploying some of the tools, but nothing like it used to be.

The remaining tightness is a tribute to the fine tolerances established during the manufacturing.

I love this tool!

I'm going to combine four messages into one so that I won't have to keep entering my password.

Hi Bartman.

The Wave takes a little while to "break-in". I suggest "playing" with it for a time and see if that helps.
I can now open and close the Wave (pliers) like an "awkward" balisong.



Hi Reynaert.

I had a similar problem with main blades. I now open the main blades with the tip of my thumb as oppose to the flat. That seems to keep the blades from biting me.



Hi Frank.

The liner locks seem very solid. I haven't had any problems with them even during moderately hard use.



While overall I feel that the Wave is an excellent, well made multi-tool I have noticed a couple of problems (things that annoy me
) with the Wave and in particular the Leatherman company.

1) I have had rust developed on the inside part (where the screwdrivers are) of
the handle. That was quickly taken care with some WD-40 and a Scotch Pad. I was near (but not in) saltwater when this happened, so that is understandable.

2) About a month ago I e-mailed Leatherman and received a reply from Teresa Deutchman of Leatherman. The gist of her message was that the Leatherman company doesn't seem to want to support their product; either they can't or they won't or both.

2a) First, Leatherman hasn't made a tool adapter for the Wave and has no plans of making one. Perhaps that is a technical issue that can't be overcome.

2b) While Leatherman makes "clip-on" sheaths/pouches for the SuperTool, PST, etc., they have no plans on offering "clip-on" sheaths/pouches for the Wave. This is obviously not a technical issue; If I can make one with a "spring/belt clip" and some epoxy then Leatherman certainly can.

I love my Leatherman Wave. Comfortable handles and easy access to 2 blades*, file, and saw which all lock. The other tools do not lock. *[one handed, but be careful as as I recall some posters have gotten nicked-by the serrated blade]
Judgment call quibble: Cannot really call this a true camping/surival tool as it does not have an awl---of course most of the time the four screwdrivers will get more use. The small one could act as an awl in a pinch, along with judicious use of the blade. I have not figured out where to put one though...perhaps one that slides on, possibly locking to the lanyard attachment as it slides over a screwdriver blade. Why can't we have our cake and eat it too!

No excuse failures:
1. Lanyard hole is too small. Almost no one is going to thread it with a split ring. I have not yet "improved" mine by enlarging the hole slightly.
2. Inch and centimeter markings are conspicuously absent. Since they stamp Leatherman on the side, there is no excuse for not putting some gradation lines. Further, they need to differentiate the markings so one can tell easily which blade is going to open. Inches on one side and centimeters on the other would help. I scratched some in but they are not as clear as the ones that come on the original Leatherman. How can they improve the design so much and then screw something up that they had already figured out. Of course since they only had inches the improvement would have been to add metric measurements.

I do not have much experience with other tools, but still like the Wave. The diamond file is awesome for fingernails, the feature it is most borrowed for, and then secondly the scissors. I note the file recently showed some rust. I am not sure if there was any particular reason or whether I had used a Tuf-cloth, which did not penetrate the grooves....???

My main quibble with the Swisstool is the fact that after years of SAK's, many with scissors, they leave those off???

I note that apparently one of the Gerber multilocks have a nifty feature--a mount in which you can insert your jigsaw blade of choice--oh yes, and an awl. I have only seen Ron Hood of survival.com using it on a video. A Gerber Multi-Lock I that has a saw coupler is the Multi-Lock 600 Series Woodsman. I saw a picture at http://www.nwcutlery.com/gerber3.html
The Multi-Lite has one also.

I like the tip above about putting some grooves in the serrated blade to differentiate it. I had centimeter markings on that side, but since self applied they are faint. The grooves would be a more positive indicator. Now if I only had a dremel tool...