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Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
Type Private
Founded 1983
Headquarters Portland, Oregon, USA
Key people Tim Leatherman, Founder
Jake Nichol, President & CEO
Industry Manufacturing
Products Handtools
Folding knives
Pruners
Employees 450[1]
Website leatherman.com
Leatherman multi-tool
A Leatherman Wave with all tools unfolded
Leatherman Super Tool and belt holster
Leatherman Surge

Leatherman is a trademark for a line of multitools and knives produced by the Leatherman Tool Group. A Leatherman tool is essentially a pair of pliers with other tools stored in the handles, and generally includes a knife, pliers, screwdriver and assorted other devices. Some tools from Leatherman have as many as 20 tools and weigh up to 12.5 ounces (354 g), while others are smaller than a Swiss Army knife and weigh as little as 1.8 ounces (51 g).

Contents

Tool description

These are generally chosen for the following qualities:

  • compact and light (suitable to wear in a belt holster in some applications)
  • constructed as a single piece with various moving parts, so one component is not lost while using another (except for the New Wave, Surge, and all Charge models, Skeletool and Skeletool CX which all have two-sided removable screwdriver bits)
  • when collapsed for storage, relatively smooth and blunt compared to the equivalent discrete tools, thus reducing frequency of damage to items stored along with it.

Most models of the Leatherman brand have a built-in safety mechanism that locks selected tools in the open position when fully unfolded. Different models have various methods for unlocking the tools. In older models that use "clumping" locks, one of the other tools has to be partly unfolded to release the first one; if all the tools of this model were to be fully unfolded simultaneously, then an external tool might be needed to unlock them. In 1998, Leatherman used its first button lock on the Crunch tool, allowing each tool to be refolded. In 1999, Leatherman began using liner locks on the blades of the Wave tool, which allowed it to be accessed without unfolding the entire tool.

The method in which the pliers are exposed is similar to that of the butterfly knife.

In 2005, Leatherman added knives to their product line including straight and serrated-edged blades. Leatherman introduced its first pruner gardening tool in 2006.

Company history

The Leatherman Tool Group was founded by Timothy S. Leatherman, a 1970 graduate of Oregon State University who majored in mechanical engineering. According to a December 10, 1981 column written by Bill Monroe in The Oregonian, Leatherman came up with the idea of a "Boy Scout knife with pliers" during a 1975 driving tour of Europe with his wife, when he was unable to use his pocket knife to fix his repeatedly malfunctioning car.

Leatherman spent several years perfecting his prototype, getting his first patent in 1980. He also spent those early years refining his sales model. He originally expected that industrial companies with large staffs of technicians would be his target customer, but attempts to sell the tool to companies such as AT&T failed. It was only after following the advice of a contact at the Early Winters catalog company to simplify his product that sales began to grow. It was mail-order catalog companies such as Early Winters and Cabela's that gave Leatherman his first significant sales.

Tim Leatherman formed Leatherman Tool Group to sell his creation in 1983.[2] In 1996 the company expanded its manufacturing facility to 90,000 square feet (8,400 m2) from 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) in 1994.[3] Leatherman Tool Group lost a lawsuit for deceptive advertising that was overturned in 2006, but were still required to advertise in California that the company had violated laws in that state.[4] In 2007 the company opened its first retail store, located at its manufacturing facility in Portland, Oregon.[5] Tim Leatherman was inducted into the Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame at the 2007 Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia in recognition for the impact that his design has made upon the cutlery industry.[6][7]

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ Leatherman Online Media Kit
  2. ^ Leatherman Tool Group. Hoover's
  3. ^ Brock, Kathy. Once again, Leatherman Tool outgrows plant. Portland Business Journal, September 27, 1996.
  4. ^ Strom, Shelly. Leatherman gets partial victory in $18 million suit. Portland Business Journal, January 20, 2006.
  5. ^ Leatherman opens store. Portland Business Journal, April 24, 2007.
  6. ^ "Hall of Fame". Blade Magazine. 2007-07-31.  
  7. ^ "Mr. SpeedSafe Joins the Club". Blade Magazine. 2008-07-22. http://www.blademag.com/article/Ken%20Onion-Hall-Of-Fame-Induct. Retrieved 2008-07-30.  







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