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Walking Equipment and Accessories

Leatherman Free P4 Multi-Tool | Review

Who needs two hands when you’ve got one of these in your pocket. Introducing the Leatherman Free P4

Why We Chose The Leatherman Free P4 Multi-Tool: Powerful, innovative, reliable.

One of the USP’s of the new Free P4 multi-tool from Leatherman is its one-handed usability. It’s got that classic Leatherman look, but now, with the help of a few magnets, and specially designed hinges and locks, you can flip this open quickly and easily, and have immediate use of the internal pliers. So if, say, your left hand is occupied by holding something in place or out of the way, there’s no need to pause, you can just whip this off your belt or out of your pocket with old-righty and do what’s needed right away.

The rest of the tools are on the outside of the Free P4 and these can also be accessed quickly for swift use. It’s actually also possible to flip out all of these tools with one hand. You’ll want to be careful doing this with things like the smooth and serrated knives, but still, to have that capability is very handy if, say, you’re using one hand to tension something you want to cut quickly.

“With its 100% stainless steel construction you don’t have to use this timidly, that’s for sure.”

As well as the pliers and two knives, the full 21-item toolset includes spring-action scissors, wirecutters (integrated with the pliers), bottle and can openers, a small screwdriver, even a little ruler amongst other useful things to make life easier.

It’s possible to open this quickly and easily with just one hand. Photo: Chris Johnson

From an outdoor enthusiast’s perspective, with this you’ve got something that will: open your can of baked beans or bottle of beer, whittle your spoon, trim that flapping strap on your pack, cut the thread you’re using to sew up the hole in your trousers, and that you can saw through a branch with to help build your shelter.

Plenty of useful features then, but does that come at a cost in terms of carry weight? The ultralight backpackers out there – the kind of people who trim down their toothbrush – would find it too heavy, but for weekend wild campers, bikepackers, kayakers and those into their bushcraft, 243g will probably be perfectly tolerable for the convenience.

If this were any lighter it wouldn’t have that robustness about it, or the power and reliability that many will already associate with Leatherman products. With it’s 100% stainless steel construction you don’t have to use this timidly, that’s for sure, and all of the parts just seem to be joined up perfectly – open up the pliers, for instance, and the handles lock with a satisfying click.

The tools fold together securely within the housing. Photo: Chris Johnson
The Free P4 carries that reliability that we associate with Leatherman products. Photo: Chris Johnson
The nylon case that comes with the Free P4 can be attached to a belt. Photo: Chris Johnson

Safety-wise, the tools are certainly kept securely within the housing by elastomer springs, but they aren’t locked in. They knives and saw will lock out however, so they won’t move when they’re in use. To push them back in you simply press down on a little catch.

A final thing couple of things to point out are that the Free P4 comes with a grey-coloured sheaf made from nylon webbing that can be attached to a belt, and that there’s another version in the Free collection – the P2 – which is a sort-of trimmed down equivalent.

Tester’s Verdict

Neil Irwin, adventure photographer

“The Leatherman P4 free is a decent piece of hardware. Well made and robust, it’ll be knocking around for years to come. Good to know that parts are also replaceable if they become damaged or worn. It’s ergonomic in the hand, with most main features able to be opened one handed. There’s a well-made sheath too for storing it away or attaching it to a belt. I like the look and feel of it altogether, and it’s weighty enough to reassure you that you’re using a proper tool. This could be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your personal use.

“Overall, this is a great multi-purpose tool.”

The full 21-item toolset includes a spring-action scissors, wirecutters, bottle and can openers, small screwdriver, ruler, pliers and two knives. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

Ben Rivera – President and CEO of Leatherman

“We are thrilled to release this 21st century multi-tool which includes three new models. The Leatherman FREE Collection has been engineered to make every tool even easier to use.”

Leatherman Free P4 Multi-Tool

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