It was only when I unpacked my backpack in my hotel room that the penny dropped: I had strolled through the airport security checkpoint several hours earlier carrying three multitools – without raising the alarm.
I had forgotten that, in the bowels of my bag, I had been carrying three new, rather different Leatherman tools. These flat pocket tools don’t have the flick-flack folding ability that made the company famous and they are all, by design, travel-friendly. They are the fruits of Leatherman’s acquisition of PocketTool, whose existing Mako TI, Piranha and Brewzer models now bear the Leatherman name.
Because of tighter restrictions on carrying sharp objects while travelling by air, many travellers have been forced to give up a lifelong habit of carrying a multitool or pocketknife. In my own case, only my most hangdog expression and a sympathetic security officer helped avoid having to give up a prized Swiss Army Knife at a checkpoint.
Soon afterwards, I stood by as a colleague plaintively explained, “But it’s just a little nail scissors that I used to cut my daughter’s nails when she was little (said daughter was by then an adult). It’s not even sharp.”
The stone-faced official would not be moved. One memento less.
To get around the restrictions, the three new Leatherman tools focus on the spanner/screwdriver side of things. There’s nothing that even resembles the familiar Leatherman folding pair of pliers or scissors – never mind a blade.
The rugged Piranha fits 5 tools into 1, the lightweight Mako TI packs an amazing 9 into 1, and the Brewzer has more novelty value than anything else. All fit easily into the palm of your hand.
- Read my full review in the Tested section of Popular Mechanics magazine, June 2013.