- Leatherman P4 Free series
Leatherman P4 Free series
The Leatherman P4 Free series - The future, but for whom?
What would you do if you were asked to re-design and come up with a new Leatherman product range?
A range that would take multi-tools into the future and allow the "now" generation to rub up against something that has:
- the class of a G-Wagon (that's a fancy Mercedes, for all of us over the age of 35),
- the sleekness of the latest Instagram influencer and
- the brains of the latest iphone
Tough ask for a multi-tool!
...but Leatherman have done it. They've taken all the pain points from their very popular old models and combined them into a new slick system that shines and draws pretty words of admiration from all those around you.
They old school Leatherman kept their tool in place with a rigid locking mechanism that had to be lovingly "worn in" during its break in period with a lot of knife oil.
They've bottled up the tortured screams of broken finger nails and changed the mechanism of opening and closing your multi tool bits to a magnetic architecture.
I was skeptical of the Leatherman Free range, it looked shiny and felt like something that was just there to pull their new-generation line through just to keep the shareholders happy.
The box it came in was a complete redesign of the old yellow boxes. It goes nicely with the new redesigned Leatherman logo. Opening it up was a great experience compared to the cramped in old school-style yellow boxes.
We managed to get our hands on some samples of the Free P2 and the redesigned Leatherman P4. They both came with newly redesigned Leatherman grey sheathes with different lighter material, compared to the older ones. They look great! I love the newly designed Leatherman buttons that wrap around the click-fast type closing mechanism.
The Leatherman P4 is finished in stainless steel and comes with 21 tools.
What are the specs for the Leatherman Free P4?
Blade Length: 7.02 cm
Closed Length: 10.78 cm
Weight: 243.8 g
420HC Stainless Steel
What tools come with the Leatherman Free P4?
- Needlenose pliers
- Regular pliers
- Premium replaceable hard-wire cutters
- Premium replaceable wire cutters
- 420HC knife
- 420HC serrated knife
- Spring-action scissors
- Bottle opener
- Pry tool
- Package opener
- Can opener
- Wire stripper
- Ruler (1.41 in | 25 mm)
- Wood/Metal File
- Electrical crimper
- Phillips screwdriver
- Medium screwdriver
- Small screwdriver
- Extra small screwdriver
Watch the video below for a full breakdown of each Leatherman P4 Free tool.
Follow the link HERE to find out more about the specs and features of the Leatherman P4.
Follow this link to see the specs and tools of the Leatherman Free P2.
All the tools have been moved to the outside of the unit, so that you can access them with one hand.
The difference between the Leatherman Free P2 and Free P4 is that the Free P2 comes with 19 tools and they've taken the P4 420HC Knife and the 420HC serated knife and combined them into a 420HC combo knife and given the Leatherman P4 a saw. The rest is all the same except that the P2 comes with a removable pocket clip. The P4 might be a bit too heavy to clip onto your clothing.
They both feel great to use! The magnets make it feel slick and the tools pop out easily. There does seem to be a mini "break-in" period where you figure out what's the best way to open up the big blades and the scissors with one hand. After about three or four attempts, you're good to go.
The lock-in mechanism is awesome and the release is fantastic. Smooth and quick.
How durable is the Leatherman Free compared to the old Leatherman tools?
You would think with all the shine and the new magnets that this new age multi-tool would be a bit shy to jump straight in and would need a bit more coaxing...or worse not be as solid. You would think that, but you would be wrong. It is rock solid, from the wire cutters, down to the extra small screw driver and feels just as solid as its older brothers and sisters.
The retention mechanism holds up well and the wire cutters haven't flinched yet.
The thing I like the most about the New Leatherman Free series is that Leatherman still back it with their 25 year guarantee. So you can be assured that they're not pulling any punches when it comes to making their tools last.
But wait...there's more to the Free series
Along with the Leatherman P4 Free and P2 they've also developed another little gem called the Leatherman Free T2 and Free T4.
Now imagine a Swiss Army Knife that has been pulled apart, had all the tools on the inside replaced by Leatherman quality and standard pieces, dressed up in stainless steel armour and finished off with the new Leatherman magnetic architecture. You get a Leatherman that can easily fit into your pocket and, in my opinion, blows the Swiss Army Knife out of the water.
When I got my hands on Leatherman's small keyring tool, the Micra it slotted perfectly into the quick fix, light-weight range where is something small popped up you could whip out your keys and beat it down with your little Micra. The problem was, with anything that got a little more heavy handed and needed a bit more force the Micra didn't measure up too well.
The gap between the Micra and the bigger tools have now been filled with the pocket sized Leatherman Free T2 and T4. The tools are solid enough to box in the realm of most day-to-day tasks that jump up. Definitely one to add to your pocket!
The biggest difference between the Leatherman Free T2 and Free T4 is that the T4 has a pair of scissors, a small screw driver, a wood and metal file and tweezers.
Click on the image above to see full specs, tools, pricing and features.
Is the Leatherman Free series the future and whom has it been designed for?
I love all the Leatherman I own. My favourite being the Leatherman Surge, the black one. It has Tim Leatherman's signature on it and carries a very special place in my heart. It looks great, it has not failed me and follows me around everywhere I go.
We've shared many stories and experiences together and when I hold it up or pull out its arms it feels like there's a story behind each one. There is a strong bond...there is friendship. Whenever I've pickup up a new Leatherman it's always given me that same feeling, a sense of comfort.
My biggest problem with the new Leatherman Free magnetic series is that I'm struggling to bond with this new age, fancy looking wonder who's sleek moves are seducing and futuristic. There's more of a sense of awe compared to the companionship that I've felt with my other Leatherman friends.
That being said, I had the same feeling when I gave up my Nokia 6110 many years ago. The new tech really is fantastic and all round Leatherman have worked up a fantastic series of tools that, in my opinion, have bought the brand into the new age and paved the way for the future.
I do think once most (not just the "now" generation) have tried the difference between the new and the old they'll be heading down the Free series route. The upgrades are just that good and I've caught myself grabbing the Leatherman P4 Free over the Surge a couple of times in the last couple of days.