Tuesday, February 28, 2012

BAD Gear: Multi-Tools: Leatherman Wave

So, something every Bad Ass Dad requires in his arsenal is a multi-tool. Why would any dad, lest he be a hipster douchebag, not carry one? The advantages are plenty:

  • Useful for the preservation of life and limb...
  • Useful for breaking the window of your vehicle and saving your baby, if you were texting and drove into the lake...
  • Useful for the disassembly and reassembly of Fisher Price playtime Microwaves that refuse to work as they should...
  • Useful for cutting grapes in half because Bad Ass Mom requires it for Bad Ass Daughter
  • Useful for slicing off apple flesh and inserting into mouth like a Bad Ass MoFo...
  • Useful for untangling balloon tie knots...
  • If you are one of those dads who chooses to formula feed, it is useful for accessing the nutrients inside the can...
  • Useful for mounting / dismounting the infant carseat carrier attachment piece to the BOB Revolution jogging stroller (another piece of kick ass kit)...
  • Useful for making hipster dads look like Bad Ass Dads when they go on their once a year, weekend family camping trip wearing overpriced Aeropostle plaid / flannel shirt.
  • Useful for extending the length of your hands to reach behind the washing machine to pick up that Ultra High Efficient Soap bottle cap...
Enter the Leatherman Wave.
Can be bought here for about $70-80 CDN
I've had this awesome multi-tool since 1998. Although there are better models now, this is the one that has been on my hip, in my body armour pouch, in my pocket, in my daily attache, or in my suitcase every  day (including my wedding day).

I've handled and have used several other pieces including Gerber, Columbia River, Canadian Tire brand, Walmart brand, Costco giftsets, etc...
By far, the best all-in-one tool I have ever used is the Leatherman Wave. Although other tools may contain similar features, it differs in its workmanship, easy of deployment, durability and strength. The action to open is very smooth with a good weight-balance, so as to not slip out of your hand and accidentally shank your kid. The workmanship is very very good. No sharp edges other than the intended ones. One-handed deployment can be achieved with some practice. Especially useful if your kid slams your fingers into the car door, and you need the pliers to cam your fingers out.

Some of its features include:

  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Clip-point knife
  • Serrated knife
  • Diamond-coated file
  • Wood saw
  • Scissors.
  • Phillips head
  • 4 Sizes of flatheads
  • Can/Bottle Opener
  • Lanyard attachment.
So how good is this tool? I've had to saw through Kevlar fibers in body armour (everybody knows how hard it is to cut through body armour right?) with this tool...and it still stayed sharp. I've used this tool to jerry-rig electrical connections overseas so that I could make a US laptop charge in an African country - just so that I could Skype my Bad Ass Kid.

Every Bad Ass Dad needs to have a multi-tool. I would even go further to assert that every Bad Ass Mom needs to have a multi-tool. She may not need the hardware that Bad Ass Dad needs, but at least a multi-tool with Scissors, blade, file, and tweezers. My Bad Ass Daughter's Bad Ass Mom rocks a Leatherman Micra that I got her for Christmas 5 or 6 years ago. It is looped into her keychain, and is possibly her most used go-to gadget other than her BlackBerry 9800.
Courtesy of Globetreckker.com

It doesn't matter what brand of multi-tool you have, as long as you have one that is of good workmanship, features you need, easy to deploy, and safe to use. Multi-tools are one of those items that you don't realize you need until you need it. And...when you need it you wished you had a good one. So, when you do your research, if the tool "feels" cheap, it probably is cheap. If it doesn't come from an industry standard manufacturer like Leatherman or Gerber, be wary of them. You may not receive good warranty support if the blade breaks, or the needle nose snaps in half from metal fatigue (which has happened to my Gerber). That Old addage "Buy Cheap, Buy Twice, Buy Steep, Cry Once"...or something like that...applies here.

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Full Disclosure: Unless noted, Bad Ass Dad has not been compensated in any means to review this gear. It is all his own, procured through pro-channels, retail, or issuance.