Old Wave vs New Wave (Leatherman)

10-02-2009, 12:01 AM
I had a first generation Leatherman Wave for years. Had. I left my stainless steel tool on a stainless steel piece of equipment and didn't realize it until after I had hosed it down into a sewer well. Can't justify shutting down a 200 MGD station and making a hazordous environment entry that may not yeild a tool for that. Yeah. I'm pretty peeved with myself. Should have replaced the pouch when it broke and this wouldn't have happened.


That Wave was the best multi-tool I had ever owned. Period. Well, lemons to lemonade, at a cost of $83. I got the new Leatherman Wave.

Lets compare.

-Old Wave about $60. New Wave $83.
-The new Wave has noticeably beefier straight and serrated blades. The new straight blade seems a little sharper right out the box but kinda rough. The serrated blade ends at an angle rather than a curve like the old one.
-The course side on the new file seems courser than the old one.
-The new pliers are bigger and still have the built in wire cutter and stripper. The old stripper did very well.
-All the outside tools still lock. The knife blades are still one hand open.
-Saw blade looks the same. Good.
-On the new wave, all the inside tools lock. Nice! They didn't on the old Wave.
-The new Wave is missing the medium and small awl/chisel type tools. It still has the big one. That smallest awl/chisel is the only thing I broke on the old one. Considering I was trying, and succeeded, to break free a salted, rusty shackle pin, I must say, I broke it.
-The new Wave has a small jewelers type flat and phillips head driver. It fits my eye glasses. Cool. The shaft comes out and flips around to get at each end. It seems pretty secure.
-The new Wave has a second, larger flat and phillips head driver. It flips around like the small one and also seems secure.
-The scissors are longer. The spring mechanism seems beefed up. The old one was fine. If this one is better, it should be... more finer.
-The new Wave does not have a lanyard ring. I never used the old one.
-The old Wave had high polished stainless steel tools. The new one has gray brushed looking tools. I can't tell if they're better or worse quality. We shall see. They certainly look and feel better than the cheap knock-off brands. That's no big feat. Some of the cheap-os are straight up junk.
-The new Wave has inch and centimeter marks on the handles. I don't expect it will replace a proper measuring tool but, it's a nice feature.
-The new pouch is black instead of brown. It's bigger and more bulky. The stiching looks just as good. It does have elastic sides. We'll see how they hold up. I think it's nylon or 'leather like' instead of leather. Already, I'm missing the old style there. They both snap closed.

All in all, this new Wave is bigger and feels heavier. Right out the box, I'm thinking this is a very good quality tool like I expect from Leatherman. It all fits together tightly but not difficult to open. If it turns out to be junk, and I don't think it will, I'll let ya know.

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Bill Sanders
10-02-2009, 02:05 AM
At work, I carry both a new style Wave and a Surge (Think Wave on steroids) they both have similar tools, except the Surge has the awl and a blade exchange setup for the saw/file/any T-shank blade, and the Surge came with a removable lanyard ring and removable belt clip. Sometimes I need two pair of pliers, or a pair of pliers and a screwdriver. The bits for the Wave and Surge are interchangeable, so I bought their bit kit. I use Allen wrenches or Torx more often than I do the straight or phillips bits, so it was worth it.


12-07-2009, 09:58 PM
I have a new wave that I got to replace a SuperTool I had to give up at an airport. It mostly stays in a bag on my Valkyrie, but is always accessable for the "need this" times. Great multitool!

12-07-2009, 11:52 PM
I've allways been impressed with Leatherman quality.

12-08-2009, 07:34 AM
I used Leatherman tools until the company owner came out in support of John Kerry during the presidential elections. I've switched over to SOG multi-tools; took a while to get used to them. Now I prefer them to the Leatherman.

12-08-2009, 02:41 PM
just boutght a leatherman kick a little while back. on sale for 20 bucks....couldnt pass it up....been wanting a decent multi tool for a while and this one fits the bill....light, simple, and inexpensive....and seemingly well built

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