Leatherman tools that cost lots of money


Leatherman's 25th annivesary Argentum collection adds an ornate Victorian touch to its range of miniature multi-tools. Ranging from $12,000-$40,000, the fanciest of them are obviously just for show, though they are all fully functional.

I'm in two minds.

Firstly, they're much better, as gadget bling goes, than opportunistic trivia like the De Vere diamond-studded iPhone. This sort of thing hearkens to the age of tools both beautiful and effective.

Some of them, however, are still pretty trashy. They beg to be advertised in Parade magazine on a 36 month finance plan, next to Oliver North's autobiography and gold-rimmed collector plate Jesuses painted by Akiane.


Product page [Leatherman via Notcot and Laughing Squid]

Published by Rob Beschizza

Follow Rob @beschizza on Twitter.

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  1. Is it really necessary to put a great big ® on the decorative part of a FORTY THOUSAND dollar knife?

  2. #3: So, about the same amount then…

    Funny enough, a comparable fully-stocked multitool from leatherman costs a little over half of L$ 40k

  3. My first thought is that anyone who would spend 40K on a big gold knife isn’t likely to be doing much work with their hands.

  4. According to Newsweek, Hommage produced a $30,000 razor. Incorporate that into this Leatherman, and you’d have a $70,000 tool for virtually any job…

  5. Does this post make freifox completely freak out for anyone else/ it grinds to a halt for a few minutes on the huge image (perhaps because it’s scalled by 1px?)

  6. Oh, just what the world needs – Gordon Gekko’s Swiss Army knife, 22-years late. Surely hyperinflation of food and fuel prices will soon put pay to such a flagrant wasting of time and resources? Forty-dollars would be too-much to ask for this futile, over-specified contraption.

  7. I carry the Muji copy Rob mentions. Great for the money, just wish the damn bottle opener worked! Maybe bottle tops are a different size in Japan?

    MrAlistair – no, fine for me mate.

  8. Hideous tat. $40,000 for a knife? That is like the other knife you can get, but with some extra GOLD UGLY attached to it?

  9. I think the real goal here is not to sell any, but to generate viral advertising coverage for the maker and manufacturer. Seems to have worked.

    They’re marketing these as handcrafted Limited Edition art objects. As such, they’re worth exactly what the market will bear, no more but no less either. I’m sure there are artists working in metal who can get that kind of price for their stuff.

    But none of these strike _me_ as being that attractive, unless the knifemaker is up into the serious Famous Artist range. Knock the price down by an order of magnitude, and I can almost sorta see it, for some of these, though I disagree about the relative value.

    A friend of mine subscribed to Knives Illustrated. Look at a few issues of that and you’ll get a good sense of what a handworked knife can be — and what it should probably costs. And drooling over the photos is a lot cheaper than actually buying the knives.

    I do like the idea of making a “gentleman’s knife” out of a multitool, but I’d prefer something that’s actually made for use. I’m more impressed with Damascus steel than with gold… and while there are decorative uses for gold, plating is just fine and a lot cheaper.

  10. Total Fail.
    These Leatherman tools – and I have one – show the worst way to implement a screwdriver, knife, file, awl (who ever uses the awl?) and especially pliers. Cramming them into one package makes it too heavy for a pocket and too clumsy and bulky to use with ease. Worst, when squeezing the handles of the pliers – the most useful tool in the set – the edges of the handles gouge into your fingers. There isn’t a single thing about these that isn’t done better by a cheap single tool from a dollar store. I fail to see the reason for the popularity of this tricky and woefully compromised ‘tool’ except that perhaps there are more people who need to buy gifts for men than there are people who know how tools actually need to work.
    The best thing you could say about them was that they looked neat, but it looks like they’ve covered that now as well.

  11. but Ross, have you fondled all in the stable? My titanium cheeked Charge is easy on the hand when squishing things. The screwdriver expansion set that fits in the scabbard covers almost everything and the steel quality in the two primary blades keeps sharp a good time. I’ve bucked lumber and limbs with the saw and even the lowly awl puts a notch in your belt when you’ve lost weight. True, nothing beats dedicated tools, but my leatherman has been the closet thing to a toolbox in the pocket so far. My only real complaint is the weight could come down with exotic alloys but the price would be killer. If anything should be added,maybe an LED flashlight and a volt tick or micro VOM?

  12. I guess a bunch of tools from the dollar store are okay, if you don’t mind wearing a tool apron to hold all those tools!

    I prefer to keep a Leatherman in my purse instead of going to the shop to find a screw driver or a box cutter or a bottle opener or a cork screw or yes, even an awl (yes, last week, I offered up my Leatherman to a coworker who needed to add a hole to his belt.)

  13. I strongly disagree with ROSSINDETROIT. I’ve got two of the small size Leatherman multi tools, the scissors one and the pliers one, that have given me years of good service. Most tools from the dollar store/100 Yen shop barely survive one use.

  14. The Leatherman will do in a pinch when nothing else is available, but with that long, off center, heavy rectangular ‘handle’ it’s the most awkward screwdriver/saw/knife/(especially) scissors ever. Just about any single-purpose tool is going to be superior, especially in the case of the screwdriver which is nearly impossible to keep perpendicular due to the asymmetrical handle. If you find yourself using this frequently I recommend a trip to the hardware store for some better individual alternatives. If you need multiple tools I recommend the lightweight tool rolls sold for bicyclists. They’re a marvel of packaging and you can customize the roll contents with the stuff you really use instead of what the multitool designer thought you’d need.
    This thread has made me think about what tools I lay hands on the most. I think I’ll grab a few items off of the bench and shoot a photo of a few for Flickr.

  15. These are pretty repulsive, given that the most attractive thing by far about the Leatherman tools is precisely their spartan lack of frippery, but hey, if they want to soak the rich, I have no problem with that.

  16. If there’s a Muji version, why the hell couldn’t I find one at the big Muji store in Yurakucho today?

  17. Sure, single-purpose tools are better for their individual purposes, but carrying around a knife, a pliers, several screwdrivers, a saw, a file, and a scissors is not practical. Having a Leatherman on my belt is. I almost always do.

    I do think they’ve gone overboard with these, but can’t blame for trying to take advantage of people with more money than sense. A $4000 Leatherman tool is not USEFUL because you’re not going to carry it around with you and actually USE it, and the original idea is that a Leatherman tool IS useful. It’s a strange incongruence.

  18. what a scam. what a hideous piece of waste. i hope they sell a million of ’em – steal from the rich and stupid: RIGHT ON.

  19. Name’s Jim. From Seattle.

    My TTi not only works as good as but better than any screwdriver out there. Outside accessible S30V steel, unquestionably good service from Leatherman’s 25 year warranty and completely corrosion resistant. I’ve used it in the auto industry, as a deep-sea diver (yes, even underwater) and as a city pool operator (under chlorinated water) and it has yet to show any corrosion after two years. The blades hold their edges, the saw cuts through anything and the file is insanely effective. It’s got rounded edges so it’s easy on the hands, the scissors and rescue hook work great, etc… Don’t diss till you try it. This is not the PST 200 or the original supertool. Leatherman has seruiously matured, and so should everyone who dog’s it that hasn’t ACTUALLY used it as a replacement for said items, or used it as a prybar, or pounded on it mercilessly with a hammer. The bits are all ANSI and tool steel and all are 25 year warranted.

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