Which do you prefer, SAK or Leatherman?

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by VicAlox74, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. VicAlox74


    Nov 4, 2018
    I would have to go with a SAK. Although i do like Leatherman also. Being pliers based it does have it's advantages in some situations.

    So what do carry most of the time and why?
    redsparrow likes this.
  2. 315

    315 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2017
    In what I do everyday I really don’t need a Leatherman on my belt, but use a knife here and there so I’d say SAK in the pocket. Given that, I have either a Leatherman or Gerber multitool in every vehicle I drive , my work vehicle, and in the boat. They come in handy for the pliers, and if I don’t have an SAK with me the tools have come in handy too.
  3. Grateful

    Grateful Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 5, 2002
    I have pretty much given up on pliers based multi tool. I’ve been using a sak and a small pair of pliers for several years now.
    Pomsbz, mitch13, 315 and 1 other person like this.
  4. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    I am not into mechanic and quite a bit into hiking/backpacking so I am naturally leaning toward SAK
    I EDC a small rambler on my keychain and an Alox in my pocket organizer
    During holidays I usually have a fieldmaster or a climber in my backpack

    they are generally more affordable and lighter than lethermann
    I like the plyers but actually won’t really use them ...
    Sawl Goodman, 315, jmh33 and 2 others like this.
  5. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    I'm a contractor. I have found the leatherman style tools indispensable to my edc work. I love my SAKs, but the added utility if the pliers along with the extra ruggedness (at the price of weight) of their build makes them a better fit for me.
  6. mitch13

    mitch13 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 3, 2004
    I like them both, doesn't have to be an either or for me.
    Sawl Goodman and jmh33 like this.
  7. GIRLYmann


    Nov 7, 2005
    its nice to have pliers
    its use ain't an every day occurance.
    sak it is :)
  8. Knives&Lint


    May 10, 2013
    I've daily carried a Swisstool (Spirit X/black oxide) for quite some years now and appreciate having a full-sized multi-tool with pliers that has the refinement (for lack of a better word) of a Victorinox. That being said I've recently started appreciating SAKs more, and will likely start carrying them more often. Though I doubt that they will ever completely displace my trusty Swisstool.
  9. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    You're asking me whether I prefer an actual knife that cuts extremely well over a less than ideal more awkward to use knife blade incorporated into a folding pair of pliers ?
    And a Vic is a knife with tools not a multitool, that's why it's called a " Swiss army knife " and not " Swiss army multitool " , so this is all apples to oranges here.

    I always have a pliers based multitool of some kind on me, however I don't always have a knife with tools on me and sometimes when I do it's a scout or electrician not a Vic.
    Usually said knife with tools is a Vic though.
  10. Brooks2


    Jan 7, 2019
    I have a ton of experience with Swiss army knives. During part of my time in college the blade on my Swiss army knife was the only blade I had, and it never let me down even though I used it to engrave metal, cut boxes, prep my food, and more (I only sharpened it when I was home). It really matters what occupation your in, I could see someone involved in construction loving their Leathermans just as much.
    Storm 8593 likes this.
  11. sickpuppy1

    sickpuppy1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 27, 2018
    I carry and use a leatherman wave in a nylon pouch on a daily basis. But I'm a maintenance guy, so there's a reason for it. I own a couple of SAK and the blade is soft to the point of useless in a short period. The wave has a standard blade, saw blade and serrated blade on it and I use the last two more than the standard one. That being said, I've not had to sharpen any. kinda weird since the standard is 440 steel.The thing I use most on my SAK is the toothpick. My findings are model specific so I'm sure with the amount of SAK fans out here there are much better ones than I've used. So my opinion and 50 cents will get ya a cup of coffee.
    But I also carry my benchmade mini grip for real cutting.
    allenC likes this.
  12. VicAlox74


    Nov 4, 2018
    Yes. A Swiss Army Knife is a pocket knife not a multitool.

    The multitool started with Leatherman.

    They are similar in that they have some of the same tools but are quite different.
    GIRLYmann likes this.
  13. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    The first were definitely pliers based, and of course I'm pretty sure the term multitool started with the leatherman.
  14. tueller

    tueller Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 16, 2012
    Rural/Woods a sak
    Urban environment a leatherman wingman
    Either way I carry a separate knife. I find the blade on both falls short for my needs.
  15. Pomsbz


    Jul 31, 2015
    I'm about to convert to exactly this. All my Leatherman Charge gives me is a small package, there is not a single tool on it that I wouldn't prefer to be using something else instead.
    jackknife and Grateful like this.
  16. Lesknife

    Lesknife Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    I have very limited time using an SAK, I tried a Gerber dime and it was okay but I needed a bit more rugged and larger size so I tried a Leatherman wingman first and then a wave. The wave is my favorite. The needle nose pliers have saved the day several times and the wire cutters as well. I use the files fairly regular and the saw has been a pleasant surprise in a tight spot. Yes the screwdriver bits are short and it isn’t as ergonomic as a single tool. It has its limitations but any tool does. The knife blades are kinda redundant because I carry two designated knives a large vantage pro and a small 303 cadet but the wave blades are a backup if things go to crap or for something nasty I don’t want to use my good blades for. I also keep a long bit set in my possibles bag in the pickup just in case. So yes the Leatherman is my choice for a multi tool.
    allenC and GIRLYmann like this.
  17. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    I prefer a SAK. And as far as a pliers-based multi-tool, I prefer my Victorinox Spirit over the Leatherman tools. I’ve carried SAKs for nearly 40 years, and I also carried various Leathermans over the years (PST II, Supertool, Wave, Blast, etc., u til around 2010, when I got my Spirit. I no longer regularly carry a MT, but when I do, it’s my Spirit. And I still have 2 SAKs in my pockets.

    I do think that Leatherman makes great tools. I simply like my Victorinox tools better.

    ironclad816 likes this.
  18. allenC


    Jun 18, 2000
    I like and use both SAKs and multi-tools, but if you twisted my arm and forced me to choose one over the other....the humble SAK wins.
    Pomsbz, jackknife and GIRLYmann like this.
  19. GIRLYmann


    Nov 7, 2005
    leatherman having named
    their first model as "PST" ( pocket survival tool )
    perhaps the liberal use of some rather catchy
    or descriptive marketing terms may have added
    to the present confusion.
    by replacing the name for a particular product
    with the idea of trying to making things easier for the
    consumer to remember?
    seen here early winters ltd '83 ( pocket tool chest )
    which also happens to be the name of a wenger sak model :)
    source: https://www.sakwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page=Pocket+Tool+Chest

    cabelas '84 ( pocket multi tool )
    whilst we see a leatherman '95 ad
    having termed their product as a "multi-purpose tool"
    gerber of course had their trademarked "multi-plier" ( mp )
    as seen in this '99 advert
    source: https://wiki.multitool.org/tiki-index.php?page=Multitool+Ads

    imo, all this jargon does successfully create a spin :)
  20. Shrub


    Feb 7, 2012
    That's not really a choice I want to make.Lol. Typically I carry at least one of each, sometimes more, along with other dedicated blades. I believe that they each have numerous advantages.

    In my experience, pliers based multitools have more tools and options, as well as being more customizable. Plus they are up to more heavy duty tasks, in most cases. The obvious advantage being the pliers, but I also consider the one handed blades a big advantage. Yes Victorinox offers some 111mm options with one handed opening, but they are not near as smooth and the blade steel is very limited. Bit drivers and inline drivers are far more common. Diamond files are a huge plus.

    However, the Vic Saks, the only Saks imo since Wenger is no more , are more compact and ergonomic. I'm no weight weeny, but the lightness appeals to some. The toothpick, tweezers and pin are a big advantage. The ink pen would be more of an advantage if it were more common, but it's not. So I bought a Fisher Space Bullet. Problem solved.

    I think probably my favorite models, respectively, are the Leatherman Charge Ti(highly modded/customized) and the Victorinox Trekker. Black two handed, plain edge version.

    Picking one would be very difficult and based on situation. But I guess in most cases, the Leatherman would win out.

Share This Page