Leatherman Surge Review after two years of ownership

A Leatherman is one of the things I couldn’t live without. I may not use it for a month, then suddenly I need it several times a day. I got this as a present for completing my apprenticeship a little more than two years ago and always had some sort of cheap multitool before that. Ever since I started metal detecting and treasure hunting my usage has gone up quite dramatically.

I considered a couple of different Leatherman models, but in the end they all had some weird extravagancies that I didn’t like. The Wingman has no saw, the Skeletool doesn’t even look like a Leatherman. The Wave was nice overall, but has no scissors. And so on and on, it ended up with the Surge being the only one that had all I wanted.

It’s also the heaviest of the bunch and I want to send ahead that is the only point I do not like about it, it’s heavy enough to be annoying when carried in the pants pockets. That being said it’s all fine when carried in a backpack or in the belt pouch (which I have lost, who would expect anything else?).

So on to the good stuff.

The features I expect from a multitool are a set of pliers that are sturdy enough to handle tasks they should not have to handle, a knife and saw, scissors and a screwdriver.

The Surge does all that and even puts knife, saw and scissors on the outside for easy access. I feel that is a really good evolution over the old design I was used to.

Everything is sturdy to the point where I trust it won’t ever break. A nifty touch is that the knife blades are easily exchanged should the need arise, as are the wire-snipping-thingies on the pliers which I think not all Leathermans (Leathermen?) feature.

It also comes with an awl and a can opener which I frankly see no use for, but they don’t hurt either. I can’t really think of any other tool I would want instead either, so I’m good with the overall layout.

Lastly the screwdriver comes with a flippable bit that is either flathead or Philips and again it’s stu
rdy enough to put some pressure on it without fear of breaking it. The only tools I have broken in my life are pliers and screwdrivers and for what it’s worth the Leatherman is still fine.

Before I forget it: All tools lock in place with is partly responsible for the overall sturdiness and also much safer to use. If you have ever had a knife fold in when you didn’t expect it to you know how dangerous that can be, and the Surge is the first time I have seen a safety on tools other than the blades.

That is basically the end of my review, let me summarize by saying that you cant do anything wrong with getting the Surge if you can stomach the price and weight.

But for the fun of it I will list all cases I can remember where I used the Surge, especially for detecting and treasure hunting it has proven to be an invaluable tool at many occasions.

  • On one hunt the armrest of my AT Pro came loose, screwdriver fixed that.
  • Adjusting valves and tightening bolts on my S51E was easy to do on the road with screwdriver and pliers.
  • When I forgot my detector strap at home I fashioned a new one out of a bungie cord where I bent the hooks so that they fit snug on the detector.
  • On many occasions I come across discarded electronics and I can never resist snapping the cables off for their scrap value. However who has a set of snippers around when they need them? I do.
  • All.these.damn.zipties. Do you know these reuasable zip ties that are super practical, but impossible to actually reuse without something pointy to keep the ratchet mechanism open? I use them all the time, to fix stuff on my bicycle, to attach item x when it comes loose from item y again and so on.
  • When the screw of my sand scoop handle broke I was able to use the tips of the pliers to hammer the screw deeper into the wood so I could take the handle out.

That’s all I can think of right now, but there were a lot of other occasions. All of these occasions would have meant severe inconviniences or premature ends of hunts had I not brought the Surge along, so I definitely recommend the purchase to anyone out there doing even remotely crafty or outdoorsy stuff.

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