Tested: Leatherman FREE P4
The Leatherman FREE P-Series is a reimagination of the ubiquitous multi-tool. The P2 measures 108mm long and weighs approximately 215g, while the P4 is the same length, but slightly heavier, at 244g. Both share the same main blade length of 70mm, and both utilise a magnetic system to enable users to open and close the FREE one-handed, as well as each individual tool in the unit. The handles of the FREE are held closed by magnets as well, but are easily opened with your thumb while you hold it in the palm of your hand – yep, that’s right, no more nail grooves in the tools are needed, nor is a long-ish fingernail to open them. As well, Leatherman has ensured all the implements are on the outside of the tool for easier access.
Think of all those times you’ve been holding something you’re trying to fix, but had to put it down to use both hands to prise open your multi-tool to access a particular tool for the job. It really was a case of ‘not enough hands’, and this is where Leatherman’s smart use of magnetic technology has solved that problem. And all the usual tools are present, too: two types of pliers; hard-wire cutters; scissors; a bottle opener; a number of different screwdrivers (including one Phillips-head and three different sized regular drivers) and plenty more.
Leatherman claims this use of magnetic technology in a multi-tool is the first of its kind; the simplicity of use makes you wonder why no-one thought of it earlier, but we’re stoked Leatherman has implemented it as you now get the convenience of being able to attempt one-hand operation of the multi-tool. This is backed by the assurance of the brand’s 35 years of top quality multi-tool design and manufacturing. And each tool locks into place smoothly and solidly each time, thanks to newly designed cam locks.
Overall, in the short time we’ve had a FREE P-Series multi-tool to test, we’ve been impressed; the magnetic architecture considerably reduces the effort needed to access and use each of the included tools, allows you to use the FREE P4 with just the one hand if you need to, and having all the implements on the outside of the tool increases useability. It’s a very smart re-invention of what was already a (excuse the pun) very handy tool to have in your backpack, bike-bag or in the glovebox of your car.
RRP: $324.95 Available at Leatherman Australia