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Saturday, 03 June 2023 04:57

Leatherman Curl

Written by

Leatherman has been the dominant force in the multitool industry and never seems to stop innovating. Year after year they wow us with these shiny new creations, and we anticipate these releases. I do feel over the last serval years, we have seen a slowdown in new products and more of a rehash of what they already produce.

When the Curl was announced, I thought alright here we go, let's see what they've been working on. Instead of being wowed, I feel like Leatherman just took two models and put them together and called it a new creation. So, is it a new amazing tool? Or just a cash grab for the folks in Portland? Let's take a look.

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The Curl's frame is similar to the new Bond, which is a modern take on the original Leatherman tool (PST). Coming in at 4 inches closed and a little over 6 inches open, the Curl is a medium duty tool. In the closed position we see one side has nothing going on but a pocket clip. On the o/reverse side or show side we'll call it; we have a one hand opening blade and a combo file.

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The knife is opened via a thumb hole and is designed for righties. I found the opening of the blade very difficult and have been using a penetrating oil to try and loosen it up some. Out of the box it could barely be qualified as one hand opening. The file is the same one we've come to know and love from the Wave/Charge line. The file is aggressive and makes short work of wood/metal.

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On the inside of the tool, we have an awl or punch. I find it awesome that we have an awl in a Wave style package. A lot of users would happily trade the micro driver for this tool. The addition of the sewing eye is nice, I could see it being used for roadside repairs or camping. On the same side, we also have a large flat driver and a pair of scissors. The flat driver is not much to talk about; I feel it comes in handy when needing to do some light prying or if you encounter a flat head screw that's a little large for the bit driver. The scissors came very sharp, and even though small will work well for many things up to probably light fabrics.

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On the reverse arm of the Curl, we have the Leatherman bit adapter, and a combo can opener/wire stripper. The bit driver is loved and hated by many a user; but its usefulness when combined with a bit kit makes it invaluable. The Curl comes with a double-sided bit that features a philips head with a flat on the reverse. The can opener makes short work of cans that I've tried it on. Being too lazy to buy a can opener, I tend to use multitool can openers a lot. The wire stripper works decently; it strips off the housing pretty easy and better than being barbaric with a knife blade.

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The inner tools do not feature any kind of a locking mechanism. Instead, Leatherman opted for a spring tab similar to the original PST. The snap is strong, and I did not encounter any folding when using any of the inside tools.

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The pliers head is not the new style we have seen on other tools currently being offered. Seems going with a traditional style head was a cost saving decision by Leatherman. This style is tried and true and there's no reason to think this was a bad decision. Wire cutters work well on different gauges of wire and braided wire didn't seem to bother it too much. The teeth on the pliers are like those on the other pliers heads. I kind of miss the fine teeth near the tip but these work pretty well.

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The pocket clip included with the Curl is like that found on the Free series. It is easy to pull and replace the tool to your pocket and tension was decent. I do think Leatherman has changed the heat treat on these. I had the clip on my P2 shatter when I caught it on an object at work. This clip needed a slight adjustment in tension, and it feels more flexible than what I have on my other tools.


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So overall how does the Curl fair? It seems to be a nice package for someone who wants some Wave features but in a slightly different package. I think some decisions like spring tabs on the inside are strange when we have two locking outer tools. This would have been great for folks with strict knife laws, but it seems to be somewhat of a contradiction. Everything on the tool works well even though it feels awkward in my hand due to the two halves being different. Even though I'm a bit of a LM fanboy, I'm still kind of on the fence with the Curl.

David Bowen

As Co Founder of Multitool.org David has been a multitool enthusaist since the 90's.  David has always been fascinated with the design inginuity and uselfulness of multitools.

David is always looking forward to what's new in the industry and how the humble multitool continues to evolve as it radically changes and improves the lives of users.

More in this category: « Leatherman Tread LT
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