The 5 Best Leatherman Wave Multitools Available Now

Der Leatherman das Werkzeug

If a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, then a Leatherman in your pocket is worth a toolbox at home.

Leatherman pocket tools are ubiquitous among tradesmen, outdoorsmen, and those who ascribe to the theory, “Better to have and not need than to need and not have.” Leatherman multitools are bursting with usefulness; they can loosen a nut, cut a rope, open a bottle, and just plain save the day.

Sure, a full-size knife, plier, saw, or screwdriver is usually better suited to handling a task, but who can tote a full toolbox around everywhere they go? Enter the Leatherman, named after company founder Tim Leatherman. What started as an idea for a simple pliers-based multitool with a saw, serrated and plain knife, can opener, four screwdrivers, awl, and file has grown into a successful business that offers 68 tool products including knives, watches, and all-in-one kits ready for any adventure.

As Leatherman diversified its lineup, it created specialized tools ideal for different groups such as electricians, hikers and campers, anglers, and hunters. These tailored tools better meet the needs of end users through specialized options and add-ons, enhancing their utility in the field or on the job.

This article looks at some of the most popular Leatherman products. These tools are all-around fantastic — much like the original that launched the business.

1. Leatherman Wave Plus

Wave+ Multi-Tool

by Leatherman

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The Wave+ builds on the immense success of the now-discontinued original Wave by adding a dose of durability, functionality, and ease of use. The bulk of the Wave+ is made of 420HC stainless steel, meaning it’ll stand up to the elements in all conditions. It’s 4” long when closed and weighs 8.5 ounces. The main knife blade is stainless steel and measures 2.9” in length and 1.2” in width. It is recommended to carry a knife of this size on your belt in the included sheath.

It carries a whopping 18 tools, all of which lock into place. This means that every tool in the Wave+ (except the main plier) will not close on you during use. To close a tool once you’re through with it, you must press the lock lever. Again, it might seem like a pain, but trust us, this little feature will save you some bloodshed and foul language.

Many of the tools are also outside-accessible, meaning you can get to them without opening the tool. Both knife blades, the saw, and the file are among these, which is great since the knives are the most frequently used.

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The bits for the bit drivers are two sizes of Phillips-head and an eyeglass screwdriver. However, if you’d rather have a different bit, the driver is compatible with the Bit Kit, which adds 42 heads to your arsenal.

The wire cutters on the Wave+ are new and improved in that the blades are replaceable. Sure, everything is super sharp out of the box, but after cutting through scads of wire, they tend to get dull, making each ensuing task more difficult. When the blades have had enough, you don’t have to suffer through dull ones or replace the whole tool; simply swap in a new pair of blades and you’re back to hot-knife-through-butter status.

Perhaps the best feature of the Wave+ is the fact that you can open it with one hand. Many times when you need a tool, you’re already midway through a task and are likely doing something with your other hand. Not having to stop what you're doing to open your tool is a lifesaver. 

The Wave+ features include the following: needlenose and regular pliers, replaceable wire and hard wire cutters, crimper, wire stripper, 420HC plain knife, 420HC serrated knife, saw, spring-action scissors, 8" ruler, can and bottle opener, wood/metal file, diamond-coated file, large and small bit driver, and a medium screwdriver.

The Wave+ retails for $119.95.

2. Leatherman Wingman

Wingman Multi-Tool

by Leatherman

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The Wingman is a tad smaller than the Wave+, but it still carries 14 tools within it. It’s thin and light enough that it comes with a pocket clip for inside-the-pocket carry, but it’s removable if you want to use the included sheath or just slide it all the way into your pocket.

Speaking of size, the Wingman is just under 4” when closed. It weighs 7 ounces, and is a mere 1/2" thick.

The Wingman is also one of the more affordable Leatherman offerings and comes in right around $70. With the tool still closed, you can access the knife and the scissors. Both are designed so that they can be opened with the flick of the thumb, keeping your other hand free.

While the Wingman doesn’t have the full complement of tools, the ones it does have enjoy some key upgrades. For instance, the scissors and the pliers are spring-loaded for safe, simple, one-hand operation.

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One of the coolest things about the Wingman is that it shows a lot of thought went into maximizing its usefulness to solve common problems. For instance, what do you usually do when you need to open something in a blister pack? Usually, you reach for a knife and start slicing. This is a great way to cut yourself if the blade slips free. The Wingman features a nifty package opener tool that solves this problem. It’s a tiny blade that’s crooked at an angle that gives you leverage when you stab into plastic packaging, letting you gently pull the blade in a controlled manner.

Like every Leatherman multitool, the Wingman is made in Portland, Oregon, and is covered by the company’s 25-year warranty. 

The Wingman features include the following: spring-action needlenose and regular pliers, spring-action wire cutters, crimper, wire stripper, 420HC combo knife, spring-action scissors, saw, spring-action scissors, 1 1/2" ruler, can and bottle opener, wood/metal file, Phillips screwdriver, and small/medium screwdrivers.

You can own a Leatherman Wingman for $69.95.

3. Leatherman Rebar

Rebar Multi-Tool

by Leatherman

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As its name implies, the Rebar is made with maximum strength in mind. It carries a total of 17 tools. Its boxy design is reminiscent of the original Leatherman PST, but with several key upgrades. It features a beefed-up backbone to offer a wire/hard-wire cutter within the pliers, which is a first for a multitool this size. When folded, the Rebar is 4” long and just over 1/2" thick. It weighs 6.7 ounces. The bulk of it is made from 420HC stainless steel and 154 stainless steel, which is known as one of the “better” steels for knives and tools because of its hardness and edge retention.

The Rebar is loaded with substance, but has ample style, too. Along with the classic natural/raw stainless steel finish, a matte black or a coyote tan version are both available to suit different tastes. No matter which finish you choose, a custom-fitted nylon sheath comes with it.

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All of the Rebar’s tools are locking, which means that they will not snap shut in the middle of a job, potentially saving your fingers. None of the tools are outside accessible, meaning you have to open the Rebar to get to any of the tools. But hey, that’s how the original Leatherman was designed, and it has worked well for scores of folks. Plus, if you usually carry your tool in your pocket, you’ll appreciate the slick sides that won’t hang or snag.

Because the Rebar is designed for hard everyday use, it's made with a spate of tools that make it a versatile, indispensable unit in the hands of a tradesman, outdoorsman, or average Joe. The wire cutters are replaceable when they wear out, and a trio of blades and screwdrivers stand ready to tackle the most common day-to-day tasks. 

The Rebar features include the following: needlenose and regular pliers, replaceable wire and hard wire cutters, crimper, wire stripper, 420HC plain knife, 420HS serrated knife, saw, awl with loop thread, 8" ruler, can and bottle opener, wood/metal file, Phillips screwdriver, and large/small screwdrivers.

Put the Leatherman Rebar in your pocket for $79.95.

4. Leatherman Curl

Curl | Everyday Carry Multi-tools

by Leatherman

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The Curl embodies the classic Leatherman styling but with upgraded functionality due to a feature set and price point; that’s great for those who are new to pocket multitools. It carries 15 tools in a well-rounded package that’s slim enough for pocket carry (it comes with a clip!) and stout enough to handle everyday tasks with aplomb.

The centerpiece of the Curl is the 2.9" knife blade that’s outside accessible and locks into place. It’s complemented by a file on the other side that is also outside-accessible and the classic plier in the middle that’s revealed by opening the tool.

The Curl is 4” closed, and .6” thick. It weighs 7.5 ounces, making it unobtrusive enough that you won’t leave it behind because it’s too bulky. It also features Leatherman’s Bit Kit compatibility. This is a socket on the tool that accepts one of the 42 different bit options.

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If there’s a knock against the Curl, it might be that the pocket clip isn’t reversible. Many pocket knives can accept the clip on either side for “tip up” or “tip down” carry, which also gets the clip closer to the outside of your pocket. This keeps it as far out of the way as possible so you don’t rake the outside of your hand whenever you fish something from your pocket.

The Curl features include the following: needlenose and regular pliers, hard wire and wire cutters, wire stripper, 420HC knife, large bit driver, spring-action scissors, diamond-coated file, can and bottle opener, awl with loop thread, 4" ruler, wood/metal file, and a medium screwdriver.

Snag your own Leatherman Curl for $89.95.

5. Leatherman Surge

Surge 21-in-1 Multi-Tool

by Leatherman

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If every Leatherman is made to fill a slightly different niche, the Surge is made to fill all the niches. It’s the 4×4 Cadillac SUV of the lineup with a big frame, every option, and the capability to take on anything comfortably. It can be had in a handsome matte black as well as a classic stainless finish.

The Surge carries 21 tools as it comes, but it also features Leatherman’s Bit Kit capability that offers even more advantages and a blade exchanger that allows you to tailor the tool for whatever the day might bring. Going to be doing a lot of cutting? Add another blade for backup. Fine-tuning metal or a project? Stick the combo wood/metal and diamond-coated file in there. Need everything every day? Check out the Surge Tool Pouch, which gives you the tool, the entire 21-piece, 42-head Bit Kit, a 1/4-inch ratchet driver, and a carrying case to keep it all together.

Being a flagship tool with the greatest variety of implements, the Surge is a bit large for pocket carry. You’ll probably want to use the sheath to accommodate its 12.5-ounce weight, 4.5" length, and 1" thickness. But, as with many things in life, tradeoffs abound.

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Every feature on the Surge (except the plier) locks for maximum confidence when you’re cutting, filing, unscrewing, or doing anything. Outside accessible features include a 3.1" smooth-blade knife, serrated knife, saw, and spring-action scissors.

The Surge is designed for rugged, daily use and features Leatherman’s largest pliers, longest blades, and replaceable premium wire cutters for years of abuse. Even though it’s built to take your worst, it’s still covered by Leatherman’s 25-year warranty.

The Surge features include the following: needlenose and regular pliers, replaceable wire and hard wire cutters, stranded-wire cutters, crimper, wire stripper, 420HC knife, 420HC serrated knife, saw, sping-action scissors, awl with loop thread, 8" ruler, can opener, bottler opener, wood/metal file, diamond-coated file, Blade Exchanger®, large bit driver, and a large/small screwdriver. 

The Leatherman Surge can be yours for $149.95 (the sale price as of December 1st, 2022!).

Bonus Leatherman! The Skeletool 

Skeletool 7-in-1 Multi-Tool

by  Leatherman

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Many of the above are larger tools that require a holster and some dedication to wearing them day in and day out. But if you have a tool and leave it at home, what good is it? If you want the convenience of a pocket tool with 80% of the functionality and less bulk than a full-size tool, the Skeletool is a great choice.

It’s all Leatherman, but it’s made to fit in your pocket and has a clip to keep it hanging on your pocket. Its smaller size makes it less obtrusive while still giving you seven different tools: needlenose and regular pliers, hard-wire and regular cutters, knife, bottle opener/carabiner, and a large driver bit with large and small Phillips and flathead screwdrivers.

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The knife can be accessed from the outside and locks in place via a liner lock. When it’s not in use, it's held fast to the body of the tool by two powerful magnets. The Skeletool also features Leatherman’s Bit Kit functionality for added versatility.

The Skeletool is a mere 4 inches long when closed, and is just 1/2-inch thick, which is on par with many pocket knives. It’s available in six different color combos and can be customized on Leatherman’s website

The Skeletool features include the following: needlenose and regular pliers, hard-wire cutters, wire cutters, 420HC knife, carabiner/bottle opener, and a large bit driver.

The Leatherman Skeletool costs $79.95.

Final Thoughts: Have the Tool for Every Situation

Leatherman tools have been around since 1983, and their utility has been tried and tested by homeowners, mechanics, tradesmen, and so many others. From Tim Leatherman’s first tool — the PST — to the wide selection of pocket multitools available today, the market for multitools is constantly refining itself as new models are released with even more capability.

Plus, every Leatherman tool is made in the USA and carries a reasonable price tag for the amount of utility they boast — plus a 25-year warranty.

You can’t take your whole garage with you everywhere you go, but you can tackle a whole lot of jobs with a few of the most often-used tools in your pocket. The beauty of the Leatherman is its ability to complement a full toolbox while adding minimal bulk to your everyday loadout.

There’s a saying: “A man with a knife is worth $1 an hour more.” Just imagine what you’ll be worth with a Leatherman in your pocket!

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