05 April, 2014

Leatherman PST II

Ok this post is both to commemorate my PST (Pocket Survival Tool) II and note my repair experience.

This is one of the oldest things I have. I bought it around 1999. Apparently the insides of the handles are stamped with the date of manufacture in mmyy format, and mine say 1195 and 0196. That's a long time ago. Maybe shipping was slower in the past millennium? Why are the handles made 2 months apart?
I got it at the recommendation of a friend, who preferred Leatherman products over Swiss army knives. I specifically remember choosing this model because it was the cheapest that had a scissors, that I thought would be useful at that time. It cost about $74 and came in a plastic clamshell package with grey paper.

Mine is so old, it doesn't even say the model. I've carried it to a lot of places, and carried it almost all the time for the past few years. Despite this, it's still in good condition, I suspect because I don't use it that often, or for hard jobs. It's come in useful a lot of times, particularly the pliers, wire cutters, scissors and serrated knife. It may not seem very different, but even the half-serrated knife can cut through manila rope with one stroke, while other knives need sawing. It has the usual set of tools: screwdrivers, can and bottle openers etc. Notably, no saw or corkscrew, but its scissors and diamond file are uncommon, even on knives today. According to Leatherman, it's 10 cm long and weighs 142 g.

Not long after I bought this, the first Wave came out. At the time, the Wave seemed to have everything - including 2 knives, a straight and serrated (the PST II has a single knife that's half straight and half serrated), and a saw. It cost about $125 and came in a cardboard packaging (not the black and yellow box, a brown one). It's funny looking back now because the current Wave is one of their smaller tools, dwarfed by the Super Tool 300, Surge and Charge. Part of the trend of things getting bigger?

Unfortunately, my file recently broke when trying to use it as a lever. Apparently it IS possible to break it with hand strength! Also, other parts break at a force that the pliers can easily withstand! I don't think it's the tool's fault for breaking when doing something it's not designed to do, though. Anyway, I sent it back to Leatherman to try out their warranty, which is supposed to be quite good. It will be quite interesting to see whether they can repair a tool they've long since stopped producing. Postage from Singapore to the U.S. cost S$8.20, has tracking and is supposed to take 5+ working days.

This is what the broken edge looks like. I didn't send the broken file back, because I don't think they can use it, it would make the package weigh more, they might not send it back, and it'll come in useful.

Just in case they can't repair it and I have to get a new one, I've been looking at their current models. As mentioned, they're bigger and heavier than my PST II. Maybe I'm too used to my PST II, but I find all its tools useful and would like a replacement to include them. The most problematic tools are the scissors and diamond file.

I'd also really like a corkscrew and tweezers, but their Juice models don't have locking blades, so they're out.

The Wingman and Sidekick are almost the same, except the Wingman has a scissors while the Sidekick has a saw (even their names mean the same thing). Wingman - no diamond file, 198.4 g. At least the blade is accessible with the tool closed, and it locks. This is their simplest tool with the functionality of their PST II, and it already weighs 40% more.

The next tool is the Wave, which at least has a diamond file, but weighs 241 g. The Charge is similar, weighs slightly less and costs slightly more. The Charge TTi has fancy titanium, but it's really only used for decoration on the handles. So far I'm leaning towards the Wave.

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