The “Personal Survival Tool” (PST), was christened by its designer, Timothy S. Leatherman in 1983. Its rather bland name was later changed to that of its eponymous designer and the iconic Leatherman that we all know and love today was born.
The business was founded in July 1983 by Timothy S Leatherman and Steve Berliner to market Mr. Leatherman’s – a mechanical engineering graduate of Oregon State University – idea of making an easily portable tool with multiple functions.
Mr. Leatherman gained his inspiration to design a “Boy Scout knife with pliers” whilst he and his wife we travelling in the mid 1970’s when a simple pocket knife failed to adequately repair an unreliable car and hotel plumbing
After years perfecting a prototype Mr. Leatherman in 1980 received his first US Patent (4,238,862) for “Mr. Crunch” in 1980. Following further refinement the PST was launched in 1983 and first selling old via mail order, 1984 saw nearly 30,000 sold. This permitted a rapid expansion and by 2001 the company had annual sales of $100m having sold more than 20m tools.
As the products benefit from an extensive warranty arrangement ten percent of the manufacturing capability is dedicated to repairs. Unless a customer requests their original to be repaired – for sentimental reasons – the company’s usual practice is to replace a damaged tool with a new version.
The company opened its first retail store in 2007 at its manufacturing facility, which has since relocated to a retail store in Northeast Portland (Oregon, USA)
As of February 2011, Leatherman produced 50 products sold in 82 countries, with U.S. market share estimated at 55 percent. In addition to their fine Leatherman products you can also select from an impressive range of hide carriers and a variety of compatible accessories.
Leatherman is a shirt sponsor for the MLS team “Portland Timbers”.
My Leatherman Wave: Both my son and I have a Leatherman “Wave” and on several occasions they have both been engaged in either ends of the same job!
Not the biggest nor the most expensive of the Leatherman range, the “Wave” is simply all the Leatherman the usual hobbiest will need.
Sitting in its excellent belt attachment you can carry your Wave around all day forgetting its there until there is surely the need to fix, tighten or prune something.
Your Leatherman? Please share your experiences, we’d love to hear them. How? By completing the “Leave a Reply” section below your experiences would be most welcome. Please remember, as we are an international site you may post in any language.
Photo by Leatherman