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Thread: Improving the Leatherman

  1. #1
    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    Improving the Leatherman

    The Leatherman series of tools are really great. I carry one daily. But, annoyingly, they use a proprietary form of screwdriver bit and the holder for them on the tool will not accept the ubiquitous 1/4" hex bits available everywhere. [I have a Smith & Wesson knockoff of the Leatherman that has a fitting to accept 1/4" hex but, sadly, it doesn't measure up to the Leatherman in other respects.]

    Determined to have my way, I took one of the 1/4" magnetic extension adapters (on the left in the first photo) and ground the tang flat on both sides until it would fit into the Leatherman receptacle. Happily, the necked down portion of the tang provides the same locking action that the proprietary tips have. In addition to accepting standard 1/4" hex bits, it's now magnetic plus it will accept the proprietary bits. The fact that it also provides a bit of standoff from the tool body can be a real bonus in some cases.

    Yes, it's one more thing to weigh down your pocket, but, for me, it's worth the effort.






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    Last edited by mklotz; Jul 7, 2017 at 02:58 PM.
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    Regards, Marv


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  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to mklotz For This Useful Post:

    DaveInPA (Sep 8, 2015), Jon (Sep 6, 2015), kbalch (Sep 8, 2015), nevadablue (Sep 8, 2015), oldcaptainrusty (Nov 3, 2017), PJs (Sep 8, 2015), that_other_guy (Jul 9, 2019)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    The Leatherman series of tools are really great. I carry one daily. But, annoyingly, they use a proprietary form of screwdriver bit and the holder for them on the tool will not accept the ubiquitous 1/4" hex bits available everywhere.
    I cannot find the article where I read it, but this was done in part to save space, and as you discovered, it's still a 1/4 hex. Acknowledging this deficiency, they do sell an adapter for proper 1/4" bits:
    http://www.amazon.com/Leatherman-931...dp/B0022G72BK/
    but it's nowhere near as cool or cheap as something you make yourself.

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    Jon (Sep 8, 2015)

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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgmrequel View Post
    I cannot find the article where I read it, but this was done in part to save space, and as you discovered, it's still a 1/4 hex. Acknowledging this deficiency, they do sell an adapter for proper 1/4" bits:
    http://www.amazon.com/Leatherman-931...dp/B0022G72BK/
    but it's nowhere near as cool or cheap as something you make yourself.
    Yes, I'm aware of that. In fact, long after I made the one described, I received one as a gift. But, as you say, DIY not only provides a tool but also gives one a psychological boost. Plus, my version is a lot less expensive.
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    Thanks Marv! I've added your Leatherman Adaptor to our Miscellaneous category, as well as to your builder page: mklotz's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:


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    nevadablue's Avatar
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    Yes Marv, thanks for that tip. My Wave is a long time friend. I decorated it a bit... with some crude engraving. Please ignore the little bitty white hairs, I have a rat terrier and she likes to contribute to my photos.

    Improving the Leatherman-image.jpg
    Last edited by nevadablue; Sep 8, 2015 at 06:17 PM.
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    Ken

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    Cool tip, Marv. Buying an adaptor is convenient, yes, but there's nothing like one you made yourself.

  9. #7
    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevadablue View Post
    Yes Marv, thanks for that tip. My Wave is a long time friend. I decorated it a bit... with some crude engraving. Please ignore the little bitty white hairs, I have a rat terrier and she likes to contribute to my photos.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The engraving looks professional, not crude, to my (admittedly untrained) eye. I have a few engraving tools but they've only ever been used for practical, not esthetic, purposes.
    ---
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    nevadablue (Sep 9, 2015)

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    Supporting Member mklotz's Avatar
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    What Leatherman (and Victorinox, too) really need to do is offer a kit tool that would allow one to choose the inserts for the functions required and make up a personalized version of the tool suited to one's particular work.

    Ask yourself how often you've used the can opener on your Leatherman or the fish scaler or fruit peeler on your Swiss Army knife. I'll bet you can think of a bunch of tools you'd much prefer.

    Perhaps the way to do this would be to design the 1/4" hex socket into the standard tool and then sell a bunch of attachments with a 1/4" jack that locks into the socket. Allow enough room to fold socket with inserted attachment into the tool. Change the attachment out as your working focus changes.
    ---
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    baja (Jul 12, 2019)

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    Thanks Marv. That engraving made me happy when I did it and still does every time I use the Wave. Several years ago I decided to learn engraving and soon confirmed that I'm not an artist. But, I did manage to make myself smile and that's what hobbies are about, IMO.



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    baja (Jul 12, 2019)

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