Got My Charge...

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Great Pebble

Settler
Jan 10, 2004
775
2
51
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Finally got my Leatherman Charge Ti yesterday afternoon :)

First impressions, it's a lot sturdier than the original Wave, with only a very small amount of handle play evident. Locking of the internal tools seems very positive, probably better than the liner lock on the outer "blades".
It looks more business like than previous models also and feels extremely solid in use.

The tool selection seems to cover most bases, if the standard phillips/straight screwdriver bit is in place 90% of the usual multitool tasks should be possible without the additional bits being carried. The scissors are smaller than those on the original Wave and are of a similar design to those on the PST II but with a much more positive "spring" action, I like the new satin-y finish on the internal tools. The reversable "eyeglass screwdriver" bit seems a bit of a tight fit, I needed the pliers from my wave to change it round, maybe this will ease a bit with use. The raised "nicks" allow for very easy extraction of all tools with little evidence of "clumping" although the scissors do seem to lift their neighbours a bit, a quick shot of WD40 could well put this right.

Now, the blades. :wink: This is the real plus with this model, a much wider blade made of decent steel, passes the left arm test straight out of the box. The serrated blade is also of new design and although I haven't actually tested it yet it seems as serviceable as it's plain neighbour. The saw is of the same design as that of the Wave and should be just as efficient, likewise the file/diamond file, the finish on the latter seemed a little more abrasive than those previously fitted to Leatherman tools but this could be due to the one on my Wave having seen considerable service.

The sheath, leather in my case, I don't particularly like although adequate for the job, it's ugly, reminding me rather of those "robocop" boots that gothic/metal girls attempt to run about in, the metal brand tag might be responsible for this image. It's also rather "skimped" being just large enough to contain the tool and the bit holder and still snap closed, the snap itself does not seem that positive, I'd be concerned about losing the tool particularly if it was carried in the horizontal position as I intend to do. It's not possible to have the lanyard ring attatched while the tool is sheathed which might have relieved by worry about losing it somewhat. I'd also have prefered a fully enclosed sheath, rather than what amounts to a leather frog with elastic sides, it seems like a fairly petty cost cutting measure and I'm not impressed. Although the Leather may "give" a little with use and thus make the snap closure a little less straines and more positive I'll be looking both at the Leatherman nylon sheath and some of the aftermarket alternatives from other makers, perhaps even a custom leather number as it will now become my EDC.

One other gripe that I have which is entirely unrelated to the function of the toll is the packaging, the large tin box with a plastic liner and cardboard inner packaging is IMHO overkill, if the costs of this presentation had been directed into a slightly better sheath and the tool sold in the plain brown cardboard I got my Wave in I'd have been a lot more impressed.

All in all I'm extremely happy with the Charge Ti itself, the ancilliaries could be better. I'll wax the leather of the sheath a bit to see if it softens a little, but I've little faith in it and will probably replace it anyway, for peace of mind.
The only other downside is that I feel just a little sad at "retiring" my trusty Wave as EDC. It'll doubtless work it's way into my bag kit in some capacity but It's been a trusted friend for some years and I almost have a sense of guilt about not having it in my back pocket.

Should add that I got it from GadgIT, a chain store, in their sale for £91.20, the cheapest I could find locally
 

Andy

Native
Dec 31, 2003
1,867
10
35
sheffield
www.freewebs.com
I don't like the sheath on the charges. I've heard a lot of complaints over on bladeforums and the local shop is a bit miffed by them (and the tin). Haven't heard of any been taken back though.
 

PC2K

Settler
Oct 31, 2003
511
1
34
The Netherlands, Delft
here is a nice review http://equipped.org/lm_charge-wave.htm
They cheapest place i have seen sells them for €115, but i really don't have plans of buying one. It seem a bit price for what it is. And why would i want titanium sidepieces ? sounds cool, but the real life value is questionable to me. And still the tools aren't reachable without opening the pliers, except for the knifes, saw and file.
I would like to hear some thing about the new swisstool, haven't heard much about it. I need a lighter replacement for my swisstool X, haven't been able to find "the" one, the blast come close, but i have to open the pliers to access the goodies...
 

Adi007

New Member
Sep 3, 2003
4,080
0
Hmmmm ... yours came in a tin? Mine came in a yellow box. Mine also had the cordura sheath I guess so that might be different. I quite like the cordura sheath and it seems to hold the tool in place well.
 

shinobi

Settler
Oct 19, 2004
517
0
49
Eastbourne, Sussex.
www.sussar.org
Thanks for the real-world review GP. I've been putting off buying the charge because I couldn't decide between the Ti and the XTi. Could I do without the scissors of the Ti or do I need more "Bit" drivers on the XTi? Maybe I should stay with my Wave? I gave up choosing and am still with my wave :eek:):

I WILL get one though, but I'd like to play with them both first. Maybe we should have a Charge passaround !!!

You would not realise how much work gets done on Jumbo-jets with these tools. When you're climbing two flights of stairs each time you forget something from your tool-kit, or lug a huge tool box up and down all the time so much time is saved by these lovely little things. Which is why aircraft engineers are the only people permitted to carry blades through airport security with impunity :biggthump I Don't leave home without it.

Oh, and as too the different packaging, I believe the tin box is a "Presentation" version for collectors that will never use it, whereas the yellow cardboard box is the usual wrapping.

Cheers,

Martin
 

Moonraker

Need to contact Admin...
Aug 20, 2004
1,190
18
59
Dorset & France
Nice review thanks :biggthump

Personally I sold mine right away.

It is incredibly well built and the Ti scales really made holding it a pleasure; very smooth and no hard edges. Also it is larger and fitted my hands well. The blades were good.

BUT.. It was simply too heavy to carry comfortably in my pocket. It is well built but at the cost of weight IMO as an EDC or for Bushcraft. It weighs 8.4 ounces / 238 grams without sheath.

Also I found the screwdriver/ phillips bit was not up to the job. Only a little torque and they started to give and did not feel up to any tough work. The pliers worked well but annoyed me because they did not close proud because the top touched leaving a 2mm gap at the base. For a precision tool I was not impressed with this.

The leather sheath was rubbish and I was surprised to find it was made in China when they make such a fuss about the Leatherman being made in the USA ( I even go a small US metal pin badge with mine!) So that probably indicates the quality of the thing. I found the metal press fastener would undo if I brushed against something hard which nearly led to me nearly losing it on the first trip out with it :roll: I would not trust this sheath to hold an expensive piece of kit like the Leatherman Charge or anything else I needed in the field. I also heard that they start to fall apart fast but I did not have it long enough. Perhaps the cordura sheath Adi has works better in this respect.

If I used it everyday in my job then I would be tempted where it's sturdy construction was worth the weight. I would still reach for a screwdriver though for most jobs :wink:

In the end I decided on the Leatherman Squirt P4 at the other end of the size scale which I carry easily on my keychain all the time. It weighs 2 ounces / 57 grams. It can't cope with anything like the Charge Ti of course but is still very well put together, very strong for the size and I actually carry it without having nightmares about losing it :)
 

Stuart

Full Member
Sep 12, 2003
4,141
45
**********************
the leatherman wave was more comfortable in the hand and more robust.

the steel used for the screwdriver bits on the charge is too soft and deforms easily, and I have managed to bend the jaws a charge so they no longer close flush at the tips.

the design of the charge Ti is first rate, but the production and materials used do not do the design justice.

having said that I am still testing the one I have and was impressed at how little it corroded in the jungle.
 

shinobi

Settler
Oct 19, 2004
517
0
49
Eastbourne, Sussex.
www.sussar.org
Moonraker said:
The pliers worked well but annoyed me because they did not close proud because the top touched leaving a 2mm gap at the base. For a precision tool I was not impressed with this.

I think that lots of pliers are designed to do this. Having the gripping flats not touching means that the two sides do not contact each other resulting in damaging the grippy pattern on the flats. Also, as there is little chance that you would be gripping something thinner than 2mm tightly, there is no need for the flats to be parallel below this dimension. I hope I'm explaining myself properly ??? :?:

As to the case, I totally agree, I wasn't impressed with the leather version. The cordura one seems to have a better fit and quality control. This is not normally the case when leather has the better image.

Finally, in leathermans defence. It must be remembered that these tools are no substitute for a conventional tool-kit. They are a compromise, but you must weigh up the pros and cons. Effectivity versus convenience. My primary tool is my Wave because it is in my hand instantly, but as soon as things get a little bit tough, I head for my toolbox.


Having said that, if anyone else is unhappy with their Charges, feel free to sell them to me :biggthump

Cheers,

Martin
 

Great Pebble

Settler
Jan 10, 2004
775
2
51
Belfast, Northern Ireland
And a week later....


I still love the tool... But the sheath has moved in my estimation from being "not all it could be" to being "positively a pain in the rear", to the extent that I'll be writing a note to Leatherman informing them of my displeasure. I've been a Leatherman user since (I think) 1988, from PST through PSTII, Wave and now Charge, I've never had anything more than a niggle about any of them and each model has been a marked improvement over it's forebear. The Charge sheath is hideous, absolutely hideous. I love the horizontal carry ability, the belt loop is very secure, no nasty shifting and despite the obvious bulk of the tool it's profile is low enough that nobody has yet seen fit to comment, I suspect they think it's a natty new mobile carrier. However, no matter how carefully I pack tool and bit holder in there the flap refuses to stay closed. Even the slightest brush against something opens it and only the relative taughtness of the new leather retains the tool in place. The danger of losing a rather expensive and heavy chunk of metal is obviously exacerabated by the horizontal carry position.

It's really poor form when the "top of the range" model from one of, if not the, premier manufacturer of this class of tool is let down so badly by an ancilliary which it would appear has been manufactured by the lowest bidder, with corners cut. An extra 1/4" of leather and a quality stud would have made all the difference.
 

Adi007

New Member
Sep 3, 2003
4,080
0
I have to say that while I don't dislike the cordura sheath on my Charge Ti I do feel that multi-tool sheaths are an area where enormous progress could be make. As I look at the cordura sheath here I feel that if as much effort had been put into the sheath as the metal badge on it it would have been miles better. I'd say the same of the Swiss Tool sheath (which also has a metal badge on the sheath) and the sheath on my now nearly 11 year old Victorinox SOS SAK - with that I was so concerned at losing the SAK that I attached a loop of elastic to the front flap which I used to go around the bottom of the sheath to keep it all shut which worked a treat.

Personally, I feel it's odd (and crazy!) to trust the security of a +£100 tool to a 1p bit of hook and loop fastener!
 

Moonraker

Need to contact Admin...
Aug 20, 2004
1,190
18
59
Dorset & France
As I said before guys, the first time I wore it out attached to my belt I had a nasty moment when, after a not too strenuous walk through a wood, I noticed the cover had undone itself :yikes: Great relief to see the Charge still in there but with the weight of the thing and this poor, poor design and lack of attention to detail, I was lucky not to have lost it. Like I said I found it too heavy and bulky to carry in my pocket.

I was also a little miffed to see that it was 'Made in China' when they make such a fuss about their stuff being make in the US of A even included a small metal lapel badge with mine :roll: )

I am more than happy now with the tiny but sturdily built Leatherman Squirt P4 as it is carried everywhere on my key chain and is so much lighter I hardly notice it. Also I can attach it to a lanyard for carry in my jacket. The pliers are small but functional for a lot of the use I might make of them outdoors. The wirecutters function well. The blade is not wonderful but then I always have my other EDC Fallkniven U2 for that :wink: and Puukko for that. And if I lose it, well I do not have to mortgage the house for a new one :)

bush-squirt_p4-01.jpg
 

Great Pebble

Settler
Jan 10, 2004
775
2
51
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Okay,

Drafted and sent to Leatherman this afternoon... I'll have to be careful or I'll get a reputation as a professional complainer, maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy.

Dear Sir,

I have been a very satisfied Leatherman Tool user for more years than I care to remember having worked through the original PST through a PSTII, a Wave to a Charge Ti which I received recently as a present.

The Charge Ti is an excellent tool, in every way improving upon the already capable previous models, I am most satisfied with the tool itself particularly the much improved quality of steel used in the main cutting edge. It has been carried with me every day since I received it in both work and leisure situations and I anticipate continuing to do so.

Unfortunately this everyday usage has led to me having my first ever dissatisfaction with a Leatherman product. I feel that the production quality of the leather sheath included with my tool leaves a great deal to be desired. While I welcome the opportunity to carry the tool sheathed in a horizontal position, when so carried it is essential that any sheath have an extremely positive retention mechanism to prevent accidental loss of the tool.

The sheath provided with my Charge Ti is not, in my opinion, up to the job. The major failing is in the press stud fastener which seems to be of rather poor quality, lacking a firm, positive closure. The problem is exacerbated by the rather short "flap" of the leather element of the sheath. When both tool and bit holder are carried the closure is under such pressure that the slightest contact will cause it to open, leaving open the possibility of losing the contents. So often in fact have I found that the sheath has opened unnoticed that I have found it necessary to carry the whole unit in a pocket rather than on my belt, which is for me a far from ideal situation.

I am sorry to have to bring this matter to your attention but I feel that as the Charge Ti is the current "flagship" model in the Leatherman tool range that it is reasonable for customers to expect that the accessories provided with it will be of the same very high standard as the tool itself. I also wish to reiterate that I am extremely pleased with the design and performance of the tool itself, as I have been with all previous models and would not hesitate to recommend Leatherman tools to any colleagues or friends in the market for a multi-tool. Perhaps your design and/or marketing departments could give some attention to this matter.


Yours,

Great Pebble
 

Moonraker

Need to contact Admin...
Aug 20, 2004
1,190
18
59
Dorset & France
Well written letter GP. I think that it is really important that people take the time to complain when things are not right. The British tend to have a problem on this point.

It would be interesting to hear their response if you don't mind posting.
 

Stew

Bushcrafter through and through
Nov 29, 2003
5,738
680
Aylesbury
stewartjlight-knives.com
Great Pebble said:
Assuming you mean the ability to pop the pliers in open, the leather version allows you to do that also.

Yep. Didn't realise that about the leather one.
I guess you can't fit the other bits in at the same time which would be annoying.
 

Moonraker

Need to contact Admin...
Aug 20, 2004
1,190
18
59
Dorset & France
Great Pebble said:
Assuming you mean the ability to pop the pliers in open, the leather version allows you to do that also.
But can you close the cover like the cordura when it is in the open position and in the sheath? I thought it was not possible with the leather one or maybe it is just my memory playing tricks again :wink:
 

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