Versatile Tool on My Belt
I am an ex-pat working for a two-way radio, telecommunications and IT trading company based in Brunei.
I was first introduced to your tools when my principal (Motorola Singapore) handed out free engraved Super Tool or PST II to seminar attendees, sometime in late 1999. Although I didn't receive one (my colleague did), once I held the tool I knew it was a quality product that I've got to get myself one, too.
I finally bought myself a Wave (original version) in 2000 from one of my customers (who is also a Leatherman fan) as he purchased 6 sets of it from Singapore for friends and he had an extra one for sale at a good price (cheaper than local reseller) so I took the chance and was not disappointed. There are many knock-offs or me-too products in the market but I find your product is still streets ahead, especially the fit and finish.
Being a two-way radio technician I travel quite a bit around the country to maintain, deploy and install radio systems. While I do have a tool case and make use of those dedicated tools often, the Wave was a very helpful supplementary tool to tackle various light and medium duties such as preparing / cutting solid corrugated copper wave guide cables, ethernet cables, filing & whittling (shaping) copper surfaces to fit the RF connectors etc. I find all the tools inside the Wave (except the bottle opener and saw) the most often used tool during my field work. I still find various uses for the tool at home or the office and it had helped in many situations where a tool was not readily available.
There were many cases whilst on top of the radio mast and rooftop caused me to rely just on the Wave instead of the actual tool case since they are located on the ground level or radio shelter and would've been too troublesome to haul up or climb down to fetch. Since I needed to use the Torx, Hex and Pozi drive bits quite often I've also added the universal tool adapter so that I could complement the Wave with the bit driver kit and additional bit sets bought from the hardware store.
A few years ago I got myself a Crunch as I needed the locking pliers to grip small parts for soldering and to use the larger jaws to loosen or tighten bigger nuts which the Wave could not handle. Although I don't carry the Crunch often it stays in my laptop shoulder bag as I never know when I need it.
Unfortunately after 7 + years of good service I had misplaced the original Wave at an unmanned radio site and could not find it after several attempts re-visiting the site. I decided to replace it as I missed its tool feature set, so I got the Charge TTi and it has been with me for almost two years now. While it was twice as expensive as the Wave, I love it for the updated features and the improved handle (although the scissors were smaller it didn't bother me that much).
The Charge has now traveled with me to Bangladesh for another digital radio project several times and recently, I also supplemented it with the Surge and Core (both meant for larger jobs - under company expenses). I lost a Micra at the airport as I forgot it was in my fanny pack and was confiscated by the X-ray security personnel but I replaced it a few months later. Last month I bought a Skeletool to carry in my DSLR camera bag since it was light and together with a small torchlight and first-aid kit will be essential for shoots in the urban and rural areas (I do surveys of radio sites located inside tropical jungle only accessible by helicopter and taking stills is also a hobby).
While in Bangladesh for several trips during 2008~2009 period, the Charge on my belt was very helpful to strip wires, cut coaxial cables and perform various odd-jobs as the local business counterpart there were having tool problems e.g. either the tool is too cheaply made, it wasn't the right size (need imperial but they only had metric), someone else borrowed it or they plain don't have the right tool at all. Since tools were limited, the local workers used their tools and I did my job almost entirely on the Charge alone. It ended up much later we had to buy several dozen tools (including powered tools) from the local hardware store to fill-in the gap or else the project couldn't progress smoothly. The bit kit also came in useful as we had to open the lid of mobile radios and several base repeater modules during equipment demo or troubleshooting ad-hoc since they didn't have any Torx screwdrivers on hand at the time (saved us a few hours trip to town to buy it).
One thing to remember is poverty is still rampant in Bangladesh and the locals could not afford to purchase higher quality tools, they make do with what they have on hand. Consequently when I traveled back home in the middle of the project (in order to oversee another concurrent radio project), I passed the Surge to the Project Manager and he has been making use of it for the remaining tasks ahead.
I saw the ST300 on your website and am very keen to check it out but it isn't available in my country yet (perhaps during Xmas or next year). I now rotate the tools on my belt depending on my mood or expected job(s) for the week, but most of the time I am carrying either Charge or Core.
All in all, I can say Leatherman tools are built to last (if you take care of it properly e.g. wipe with Tuft Cloth), are very versatile and it has been a real pleasure owning and using them in my daily life.