Leatherman MUT: great-looking successor to the Skeletool

There was a time when I had a lot of multitools: it started innocently, with a classic Leatherman "pocket survival tool," which I carried everywhere, and because when you have a multitool, everything looks like a screw, bottlecap, thing-in-need-of-sawing/scissoring, or filing, I used it all the time.

This led to me doing Wired's first roundup of the field, which coincided with a Cambrian explosion in toolsets and form-factors from the likes of Gerber and Sog, and a hasty bit of catchup from Leatherman itself. For years afterwards, I was everyone's go-to authority on the tools, full of durability information, early rumors of upcoming releases, and deep knowledge on the arcana of compound leverage and gravity-based tool extrusion.

Then came 9/11 and the ban on anything sharper than a housekey, which led to me losing literally dozens of forgotten multitools at TSA checkpoints. Now I have three or four in a drawer, tools I've bought at REI or Mountain Equipment Co-Op out of an ancient, buried instinct to evaluate them. The last one I bought was a Leatherman Skeletool, which balanced lightness and ease of access with a form-factor that I'm a sucker for, as it revealed the internal workings of the tool in a way that highlighted the deep engineering smarts of Leatherman's designers.

This morning, I happened on a link to Leatherman's MUT, a 2015 successor to the Skeletool with the addition of some firearms maintenance tools. I'm a Canadian who lived in the UK for the past 13 years, so I'm not a firearms owner, but that didn't stop me from being arrested by the MUT's design, which includes the Skeletool's excellent integrated carabiner, as well as some welcome, non-firearm additions, like an electrical crimper, a cutting hook, and a hammer (!). The gun tools are in a mix of metals, including brass, which gives the MUT a different look/feel from its predecessors, and the inevitable "tactical" black finish is a nice contrast with the brass and steel tools.

Like the Skeletool, this is a one-handed tool, meaning every bit can be flipped out with one hand (essential for ladder-work, but useful in lots of other contexts, too), and it has interchangeable screwdriver bits that store in the tool's handle.

I'm still not going to start carrying a multitool again, because I know I'll forget it and forfeit it to the diligent screeners of the American Department of Taking Shit Away, but if I was, it'd be one of these.

Leatherman – MUT Multi-Tool, Black with Molle Black Sheath [Leatherman]

(via Canopy)