Leatherman FREE P4

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Leatherman FREE P4

It would be easy to call it a day with “don't fix what isn't broken” when it comes to Leatherman's tools. After all, they've got iconic and beloved models in their stable (many of which got it right the first time they released decades ago), build quality to last a lifetime, and the tools to cover nearly every imaginable task. But taking a look at their new FREE series, Leatherman definitely didn't take the easy route. Designed to be an overhaul and evolution of their EDC multi-tools, the series—led by the flagship FREE P4—comes with functionality, durability, and a thoughtful new approach to usability that's never been seen before. The FREE series re-imagines how you use your everyday multi-tool, with the feature-packed P4 leading the way with a versatility you never knew you were missing.

Out of the box, the FREE P4 immediately makes a statement that this isn't the Leatherman you're used to. The sleek, futuristic design offers a modern contrast to the more traditional style of its predecessors, with a smooth, streamlined silhouette especially when closed. But as much as the FREE P4 is the wave of the future, it also takes influences from the tools of the past. When deployed, the P4 still resembles the classic design with pliers at the pivot and tools that deploy from its handles, but it's how everything deploys that sets the P4 and the rest of the FREE series apart. To spoil the magic a bit: with magnets.

Baked into the entire design of the tool is a new magnetic architecture responsible for the fluidity and ease of use of the series. These magnets are strong enough to keep everything closed and secure, while equally pliable enough to make tool deployment smooth with just the right amount of resistance. They also work together with a cam lock system in a balance of mechanical and magnetic forces that improve usability, such as securing tools when not in use or locking them back into closed positions on their own. The pliers deploy with an action akin to a butterfly knife once you initially separate the handles, while the rest of its tools pivot out with a series of tabs that resemble a front-flipper deployment. This is done by rolling your thumb on the tools' exposed tabs, which also works well on the job while wearing gloves.

Speaking of tools, the P4 comes with some of the best Leatherman has to offer, and the most out of the entire FREE line. 21 functions reside in its handles, standing toe to toe with some of their other flagship models. This includes the iconic needlenose/regular pliers, replaceable 154CM hard wire cutters, a complement of drivers and openers, and assorted useful tools like spring-action scissors, a file, and an awl. For cutting, you get a full array of slicers, from a box cutter to your choice of 3 420HC blades (plain, serrated, and a saw). All the tools deploy with the FREE's signature magnetic system paired with what Leatherman calls “epic haptic” clicks which give a more tactile experience when using the P4. The asymmetric design when closed also allows complete operation by touch and feel alone. And when it's time to move, the P4 still manages to carry well with its included lanyard attachment point or sheath, in a familiar form factor that weighs 8.6 ounces (one ounce more to account for the 2 extra blades from the P2 we reviewed) with a closed length of 4.25 inches.

The Leatherman FREE P4 has its eyes squarely on the future of multi-tools, pushing design and usability forward while learning the best lessons from the past. Whether you're a working professional looking to streamline your workflow or a new EDCer covering your bases with the cutting edge of multi-tools, the P4 and the rest of the FREE series are the tools to set you free. Pick up the P4 from Leatherman at the link below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by Leatherman.

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Discussion (9 total)

I went for the P2 and find that the two small bumps that stick out at the bottom of the handle when in plier mode are a flaw. Mine are rather snap and will cut if you are holding it tightly and it slips. I can see in the pictures that the P2 has them as well. Maybe they just stick out farther and are sharp on my copy?
Rather sharp.. that is.
I own several high end multi tools already, including the Wave, Charge Ti(original model), Skeletool CX, Vic Spirit X, SOG Power Access and several SAKs. My new Free P4 has replaced the Spirit X as my current EDC.

Is it perfect? Not yet, but I can see a time when it will be. Replace the serrated blade with the Waves file, incorporate a bit exchanger, a little tweek here and there. But even as it is it's pretty awesome and the most fidget toy like object that I own.

The build quality is a full step above previous Leathermans and on par with the Spirit X. Everything is smooth yet solid. You really owe it to yourself to see it in person before judging it.
I have over a dozen multi tools from several manufacturers, including Leatherman. And found purchasing a P4 only because I wanted it was a good enough reason.
I absolutely love mine. The action is smooth and one-handed everything is great. I loved my Wave, but I find this to be so much better. Sure, if you need a bit kit, it's not going to work for you. But I've only used my bit kit once before, so I'm good.

I've relegated my Wave to a backup. I'm finding this superior.
I have it and after i got leatherman to send me a pocket clip it is easier to carry. my only issue is that i really dont need 3 flathead screw drivers i would have loved the bit exchager in stead of one or two of those flatheads. i do like the ease of opening up the tools with the magnetic gimic. I also have several other leatherman including a charge tti that i have EDCd for over 3 years and used every day.
The fact that it's not compatible with my Leatherman bit kit is a huge deal breaker, and frankly a big misstep by the company IMO. I'll stick with my Wave.
Some observations/criticisms:

(1) Being able to open every tool with one hand is, IMO, nicer in theory than in practice -- really the only tools I find myself needing to open with one hand are the cutting blades, which is functionality that already exists in the Charge and Wave tools (among others).

(2) Since I'm generally not breaking out my Leatherman in pitch dark rooms where I'm forced to feel my way through tasks -- there are these miraculous inventions called flashlights -- the "epic haptics" are a gimmick that add nothing of real value.

(3) To whatever extent the magnetic architecture in this thing makes it run smoother, you could achieve the same result in an older Leatherman and some WD-40 or CLP.

(4) The tool lacks a bit driver socket, so you're stuck with just three sizes of flathead and one size Phillips screwdriver. Boo, hiss.

If I didn't already own a Leatherman this might be worth taking a look at, but I don't see anything about it that's worth replacing my Charge+ TTi for.
I don't like this tool. I don't like the magnets idea. I don't like the european prices for it. I'll still go with my wave.