Dear Tim Leatherman,
I thought you might like to hear about my experience. I have been carrying a Leatherman PST II for several years. I like tools and I bought it because it intrigued me and seemed like a useful item. It has gone on car, boat and motorcycle trips but I didn't really use it much. Last week was a different story. My son and I took a spring vacation trip to the Colorado River. We boat camped in a cove and made day trips exploring the area. On one adventure, we went 47 miles up river from camp and hiked up a side canyon.
When we put the Zodiac back in the water to head back to camp, the outboard didn't start. The recoil starter rope broke and wound back into the mechanism. That was an unexpected surprise. Considering the time of day, the distance from camp, and the fact that there was little boat traffic on the river that day, I was concerned about where we would spend the night.
We had some food, water, jackets, maps and a GPS, but it is still quite cool at night in April and most of our gear was at camp. We paddled out into the current to start moving down river, but with the wind blowing against us, it wasn't going to solve the problem. On our other boat I have a complete tool kit, but I neglected to move tools into the small boat.
After taking inventory, I found that for tools all I had was the PST II in my vest pocket. I took the cowl off the engine hoping to fish the rope out, but it wasn't that simple. In order to get to the mechanism, the whole top casting had to be removed. It holds the starter and the electronic ignition. Large Phillips screws in deep recesses needed to be removed.
Amazingly the Leatherman screwdriver was able to reach them. Some came out, but others were stuck in place. I thought the tool would break or bend with all the torque I applied. I used the anchor to hammer on the screws to break the corrosion loose. Finally, I got the remaining screws out and removed the casting. The recoil mechanism was underneath. But there was still no way to fix it without removing a ¾" nut. I had my doubts that I would be able to with only the pliers, but with no other choice I continued. There was a bent tab locking ring that had to be removed first.
This ended up being the most difficult piece. The flat blade screwdriver was unable to get a purchase on the tabs to bend them away. I hammered on the Leatherman handle with the anchor until the nut was gouged by the screwdriver, but the tabs stayed put. Out of desperation I used the knife blade because it was thinner. It finally wedged the tabs out enough to get the screwdriver blade under the tabs and bend them out of the way. Then I put the pliers to work. I gripped them so hard my hands hurt, but the nut didn't turn. Then, with my son holding the casting against the ice chest, and a towel wrapped around the Leatherman handles so I could grip it harder, I was able to loosen the nut. This was when I knew we were going to make it. It was just a matter of figuring out how the mechanism worked and getting the rope and spring rewound properly. I put it back together and got it running. This whole process took 2 hours. It was not easy working on an engine without a manual and being worried about dropping parts in the water. We made it back to camp just as it was getting dark. What a relief.
Without your effective tool we would have spent a long cold night out on the river.
Amazingly, the Leatherman survived the abuse. The knife blade has some damage, but the rest of the tool looks fine. I thought that hammering on it with the anchor would have dented the surfaces, but there are no marks. I was also concerned the Phillips screwdriver would not survive the torque needed to remove the large screws, but it too looks fine. Being an engineer, I understand material properties. My experience using your product shows me that the alloy you selected is high quality. As a comparison, I was given an imported copy of a multi-tool once and bent it the first time I tried using it at home. That tool looked the part but would have failed when needed most. Quality counts when you really need a tool to work. Thank you for providing a quality product.
Designed for anglers, like Tim Leatherman himself, the PST II was our first tool with scissors, perfect for snipping line.