This is a story about the Leatherman Wave Multitool. It covers everything from Timothy Leatherman’s first patent in 1980 to the launch of Wave in 1998.
Timothy S. Leatherman majored in mechanical engineering at Oregon State University. After having a hard time making repairs to his car with a regular pocket knife, he created what is known as a “boy scout knife with pliers.” Leatherman obtained his first patent in 1980. His prototype was far from the Leatherman Wave Multitool we know today. Initially he tried to sell his creation to large companies like AT&T, which would have many people who needed tools in the field. After failing to get big customers, he decided to try his hand at regular consumers. After simplifying the design, he began selling his product primarily through mail-order catalogs. This new business model proved to be a great success and in 1983 he founded Leatherman Tool Group.
The company grew exponentially. Leatherman Tool Group began experimenting with new designs and products. For example, they added scissors to the tool. They also created tools that were smaller and easier to transport. In 1992, the company doubled and then tripled the size of its factory. They were on a roll. The world had realized the usefulness of a multi-tool. The Leatherman began to appear in films and television such as the hit show “MacGyver” and the blockbuster movie “Speed.” The Leatherman became more than a useful tool, it became a cultural phenomenon.
In 1995, the Leatherman Super Tool, which featured the first locking blades, sold over a million units. The Super Tool became the Leatherman to have. The company started an advertising campaign in 1996 that featured real-life stories of Leatherman users using their Leathermans to survive. The Leatherman Super Tool was the tool on which the Leatherman Wave Multi Tool would eventually be based. It could be argued that the popularity of the super tool was vital in propelling the company to take the necessary steps in Wave design.
In January 1998, the Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool was featured at the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) show. Wave is the first multi-tool that allows access to the blade without opening the pliers. It also allows one-handed access to the blade. This one-handed action was useful to Jackie Chan in “Rush Hour,” who used the Leatherman Wave Multitool to fend off mobsters. This would be Wave’s first big screen appearance.
The Wave has become the most popular Leatherman in history. It is used by everyone from skilled men to law enforcement officers and survivors. Features pliers, wire cutters, clip-tip knife, serrated knife, saw, scissors, wood / metal file, diamond-coated file, large screwdriver, large screwdriver, small screwdriver, ruler, bottle / can opener and a wire. stripper. In 2004, the Wave was redesigned with larger knives, stronger pliers, longer wire cutters, and full-lock blades. The Leatherman Wave Multitool is the most versatile and best designed Leatherman yet. The company has continued its tradition of innovation and has introduced several new tools since Wave, but Wave remains the Leatherman Tool Group’s best-selling product.