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2009-03-06My review: Leatherman Kick and Micra

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Incidentally, I haven't gone OCD collecting Leathermans, I'm just picking off bargains before eBay ban the sale of them on its UK site. (eBay got hauled up on Watchdog yet again, where it was demonstrated that — shock horror — kids are intelligent enough to be able to find websites where they can obtain or import stuff they can't get legally. Which in terms of knife crime is going to have no effect whatsoever, but has a chilling effect on legitimate users' buying of tools. eBay are a bunch of twats.)

Personally I've settled on the Juice CS4 as most useful, as it's basically a swiss army knife built around a good set of pliers. Got a used one cheap, cleaned it thoroughly with WD40, ground the knife where the tip had broken and sharpened it, and am happy.

The Kick is the model I was trying to get after getting the initial Squirt I acquired, and is Leatherman's basic standard tool. What's surprising is how light it is, which is because a lot of the body is made up of reinforced plastic rather than metal. This also has moulded grips so that the pliers don't cut into your hands. Tool selection is, as mentioned, basic — long Philips driver, two flatheads, can-opener/bottle-opener, knife, lanyard ring (all non-locking and inside the handles.) The body is also printed with a ruler, and there're the usual cutting options on the pliers. It's a fair glovebox / around-the-house tool, but there's no small flathead suitable for glasses. What they emphatically aren't worth is the RRP of £40+ Â…this one felt like a good buy at £12, but I wouldn't suggest going above £20.

The Kick is part of a range of three, the other two being the Fuse and Blast. Both of these others have locking blades, to which the only other feature added by the Fuse is a pair of folding scissors. The Blast adds to that a saw, metal file, and double-ended eyeglass screwdriver suitable for screws smaller than the screwheads in my glasses.

The keyring-sized Micra predated the Squirts in terms of design, and I suspect is the most common type of Leatherman around. They're available in anodized colours, but those don't seem common and the coloured versions have probably been phased out in favour of more recent product (or retained for branding opportunities.)

They're geared towards personal care, glasses, sewing, people who use scissors, etc. and feature, apart from a tiny knife blade, tweezers, two flathead screwdrivers that include one which will fit a lot of glasses screws, a flat Philips screwdriver, bottle opener, nail file, and of course the scissors. All in a very svelte and keyring-friendly package.

Brief reviews for some other types of Leatherman can be found here or for a more comprehensive source of information I'd recommend the excellent www.multitool.org


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