Spring is upon us, which means, time to clean your Leatherman tool.
We get a lot of questions about keeping our tools clean, rust free, what to do when blades get dull, and finally, what do I do if I break my tool or it becomes unusable due to a maintenance issues…Well guess what, we’ve got answers!
Rust and Corrosion
All Leatherman products are manufactured from 100% high-grade stainless steel. (Exception: Screw bits for the tool adapter are made of tool steel.) But stainless steel is not rust proof; it is corrosion resistant. Depending on the mix of metal alloys, stainless steels may be highly corrosion resistant and relatively soft (like kitchen flatware), or they may be somewhat corrosion resistant and quite hard. Our products are fabricated from the latter type, so your tool components are strong and the knives retain a sharp cutting edge. Consequently, corrosion can occur in the absence of proper maintenance. Your Leatherman product should be cleaned, dried and re-oiled periodically to inhibit rust and corrosion. This is especially true if you use it in a damp or marine environment. After cleaning, re-oil pivoting areas with a light machine or penetrating type oil (such as WD-40). Buff stained surfaces with a polishing cloth or non-metallic abrasive (e.g., Scotchbrite pad or soft bristle brush).
Leatherman products feature knife blades that may be straight-edged, serrated, or both. Sharpening methods vary depending on the type of knife in your Leatherman product. Note that serrated edges should not be sharpened in the same manner as straight edges. Straight-edged blades can be sharpened using any standard equipment, including whetstones, rods, and various kits. To sharpen a serrated blade, be sure to use a sharpening system specifically designed to accommodate serrated edges. A proper sharpening method will maintain the curvature of the serrations. Sharpen serrated blades only on the edged side; sharpening the flat (back) side of the knife will cause the serrations to wear away, reducing the knife’s effectiveness.
Depending on what your Leatherman has been exposed to, there are several cleaning methods to consider.
- If your Leatherman has been exposed to saltwater or marine environments, it should be thoroughly rinsed in fresh water, dried, and lubricated with a water-displacing product. If stains or rust spots appear, refer to the Rust and Corrosion section above for removal tips.
- If debris or sticky substances have accumulated between the blades, your Leatherman may also be cleaned in a mild solution of detergent and water.
- To remove tar and similar substances, clean your Leatherman with turpentine or other mineral spirits. Do not use chlorine products.
- After cleaning, dry your Leatherman and apply a light machine oil or a water-displacing product (WD-40®) to force out moisture trapped in the joints. This also helps protect the tool from further corrosion and sticking.
How Does the Leatherman Warranty Work?
Our warranty is simple. You broke it, we’ll fix it. No questions, no hassles, no wasting your time. Just go to the warranty page and print/fill out the form provided there, put that and your tool (NO SHEATH PLEASE) in the mail to us and we’ll fix/replace your tool and send it back to you for free. If you are from outside the US/Canada, please go to this same place on the web site and select the country you live in and send your tool to that country’s distributor. They act as the warranty agent for Leatherman in that country. You can also find warranty information on the Leatherman Mobile Site, “Warranty” button, but the form cannot be downloaded from there.
Note: When filling out the paperwork online to be sent in, make sure to pay attention to the sentimental check box, if you don’t click it, chances are you won’t be getting your personal tool back. The warranty program will either send you a perfectly working refurbished tool, a new one, or a tool that is comparable (only if your current tool is retired).