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Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades) 16539

No Life Club Posts: 1,600
Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades)
« on: April 11, 2007, 07:05:33 PM »
Finally arrives today, so I'm posting the first impressions I have, haven’t used the tool yet.

First thing I noticed was that the TTI was a lot smaller and lighter than my surge that I previously owned. That is one of the reasons why I wanted to sell the surge and buy one of the smaller tools because I would find the surge uncomfortable when in plier mode since the handles were so wide, didn't make them difficult to grasp as such, but the smaller length and width of the TTI handles are more comfortable.

I was surprised by the scissors. They are not as disgusting as I thought they would be. The surge has brilliant scissors, large heavy duty ones on the outside of the tool. This is one of the hang-ups I had about getting the TTI, since one of the tools I use the most are the scissors. The fact they are on the inside is definitely a disadvantage for me, especially with the way they are layed out when closed in the handle (they are fully open). This is really something LM needs to improve IMO, they should be in the closed state at all times except when in use, since otherwise their blades are exposed, and you can cut yourself if not careful when taking them out, or putting them back into the tool handles. Having said this I am pleased with how sturdy they feel for such small scissors, and with their very sharp cutting edge. Overall I knew this was a problem with the TTI, so I'm not disappointed, but really wish LM will sort out a good solution for scissors on their 4 inch multitools.

I have heard lots of criticism of the second small bit driver on the TTI (and whatever other multitool it is on) which holds a very thin bit with a tiny Phillips head on one side, and flat headed screwdriver on the other. Apart from the complaint that it possibly takes up the space of a more useful tool, I like it. In the past whenever I have had to tighten or loosen a tiny screw, the major problem I have always had was finding a screwdriver small enough. Therefore I think it is quite convenient to have both Phillips and flat headed tiny screwdriver on the multitool. Of course, this does still leave the issue of it taking up space another tool might have. Until J-sews showed what an awesome awl can be made to fit into the bit driver, I would have preferred an awl, hopefully soon that won’t be an issue.

Maybe it’s just because the tool is new and the inner tools are quite stiff and difficult to take out, but I have not had any clumping occur yet as I did with my surge. All the tools come out by themselves, if this changes as the tool loosens up remains to be seen.

Now I come onto the most obvious worrying aspect of the TTI I encountered as soon as I took it out of the packaging and tried opening the outside tools. The liner locks on this thing are pitiful. By this I don’t mean their strength as locking implements, I would think they are actually very strong in this respect since the width of the liner lock in contact with the knives or files is as wide as the tool itself. I believe that on the surge the liner lock was around half the width of the tool end, so I believe these are stronger locks. However, what I am talking about here is the ‘placement’ of the liner lock on the base of the tool. What I would want is that when the tool is opened fully, the lock snaps into place and rests against the edge of the tool end nearest the handle so there is no way it can slip and the tool can fold.
On the TTI this was the case with the plain edged knife. The liner locks on the saw and file were ok, not perfect, but they came about halfway. The lock on the serrated knife is just plain crap. I find this hard to explain (hopefully the photos I also post will help explain what I’m saying) but it doesn’t even fully enter the space beneath the tool, so I believe there is a real danger of the lock slipping out and the knife folding.

Now the reason why this angers me so much is because it just shows real poor QC at LM. Every review of the TTi I have read has said this, I hoped it was to do with specific TTIs that people had received whereas most were fine, maybe that is still the case, but I have one which has the same problem. Surely this is something which should be very carefully checked? If someone was to cut themselves due to the liner lock slipping, couldn’t they sue LM?

Anyway, I thought about how I could remedy the situation so it stopped irking me and decided to start forcing the liner locks as far as they could go (i.e. right up against the handle) with the screwdriver on my small SAK, pushing the liner lock back into the unlocked position, rinsing and repeating. I figured that the reason why the liner locks weren’t clicking into the right positions was because they were slightly too long, and the ends of the tools are slightly tapered (maybe the angle is too great on some). By continuously opening and closing the locks they were being scraped against the bottoms of the tools they were meant to hold open. This should very slowly slightly wear them to allow them to eventually open into the correct position. I have spent a little time doing this already and on the saw and file it has worked well, the liner locks snap open to a greater degree, as they should have done in the first place. The lock for the serrated knife is going to take a lot of work (unless I can figure out another way to do this), it really is bad, and I will not be using the knife until I can get this issue sorted, it is just too dangerous I feel.

Anyway, I’m sorry for the way I’ve rambled on instead of being concise; I have tried to explain in words what would be quite easy to do if talking to someone face to face. I can’t quite figure out what kind of terminology to use for the place the liner locks lock into. As I use the tool more I’ll post some more impressions and photos.

This is not to say that I have not fallen in love with this tool. It is absolutely stunning looking and the only fault I have found with it so far is the liner lock issue. Hopefully I’ll get this solved though. Feels like an awesome bit of kit in your hand, I really love the design of having the two knives, saw and file on the outside, rest on the inside, it makes the tool look elegant IMO. I am glad I spent the extra money to get the paint job on this thing, the camo handles and black implements look awesome.
No Life Club Posts: 1,600
No Life Club Posts: 1,600
No Life Club Posts: 1,600
No Life Club Posts: 1,600
No Life Club Posts: 1,600
No Life Club Posts: 1,600
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades)
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2007, 07:09:00 PM »
Liner lock on the plain knife
No Life Club Posts: 1,600
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades)
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2007, 07:10:41 PM »
Liner lock on the metal file and saw
No Life Club Posts: 1,600
No Life Club Posts: 1,600
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades)
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2007, 07:11:42 PM »
Liner lock on the serrated knife
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades)
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2007, 04:19:15 AM »
Unfortunate news to hear about the liner lock issue on your new Charge,

Good news to hear that you like everything else though!  :)

A first impression after reading your post:
I've spoken with quite a few folks who actually prefer that the liner lock stops in the middle of the knife. Their thinking is that this gives the mechanism room to "wear in" over time, before the lock eventually comes to rest against the far side of its stroke.

So it sounds like the lock on the serrated blade is the only real problem. Unfortunately I can't think of much else to do about it. (other than what you are already trying with the screwdriver.) Bottom line is that you are not going to feel comfortable using that blade until the width of the lock is at least fully engaged with the width of the knife blade.

I'm hoping you can get it worked in there relatively quickly?

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
No Life Club Posts: 1,894
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades)
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2007, 05:24:04 AM »
First and foremost, excellent pics and excellent review. Thanks for the information on an interesting model!  :D


Funny thing, I just dusted my ol' Charge (one of the first models when they were released) off and checked the liners. This tool had a lot of wear and tear as it was my belt tool when I was heading a governement crew at the Great Lakes Navy Base in Illinois.

All the liners, save for the serrated knife, engage all the way to the handle scale and actually produce an audible *tink* from striking said scale. The serrated knife lock egages less than halfway.

Looks like this?

Serrated knife blade-Poor engagement?


Plain edge knife/saw/file-Excellent engagement?


Now keep in mind that the tang of a liner-lock is beveled and not flat so that the liner has room to wear in. If the tang were flat it would be a much harder process to achieve a solid lock up with no blade play. Also, even if the liner engages all the way to the handle scale there is always a chance that the lock can disengage.

If you want to force to liner to engage 100% you have many options. I find fault with the screwdriver method because it does not mimick the natural wear of a liner which is what leads to full lock engagement through said wear. The best bet to cause full liner engagement is actually very simple.

1. Open and close that blade repeatedly and constantly for at least a few days. I am talking a few thousand open/close cycles. This creates natural wear on the liner and the tang as well as the stop block so the liner gradually moves over.

2. (Try at your own risk) You can try to "seat" the entire liner assembly by whacking the blade really hard on it's dorsal plane. Depending on the knife; you hit the blade really hard on a block of wood on either the edge or the back of the blade. I haven't figured out which works for which kind of knife. My CRKT liners seemed to seat better when whacked on the back of the blade (ala the "spine whack," even though this sounds backwards) but most of my other liner lock folders seemed to seat better when whacked on the edge side. Do this a few times, monitoring the lock movement and then combine this method with #1 and you should see a better seat.

*Update*

I looked over my Charge again and looking at the tangs of the serrated and plain edge knives I think the problem is not only one of overall lock engagement but of actual lock face engagment.

Serrated knife (lower right)-Check the wear on on the tang from the lock face. This spot of wear is not nearly as full as on the plain edge blade. This looks to be a problem with the face of the liner not being ground properly and not engaging all the possible surface area. The picture shows it pretty well; the origin of wear on the serrated blade is about half as wide as the plain edge blade. This means the serrated knife is only getting half the locking strength. This combined with the poor engagment translates into a poor lock.

I'm going give ol' Leatherman Co. a call next week since I need to send the Charge back for a new bit driver anyway and see what they say.

It does suck having a new tool with defects but at least the other dozen or so tools work pretty well.



No Life Club Posts: 1,600
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades)
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2007, 07:05:02 AM »
Only the liner locks on the serrated knife bothers me, the others are perfect (with a little help from the screwdriver method). And I know I'm going to sort out the serrated knife lock one way or another, so its just a matter or working at it. So i'm not too bothered, bit annoyed that LM seems to have a problem with their QC, but it doesnt detract from how fond i'm growing for this tool. It just feels right in my hand, compact and rugged, and the colour combination makes it look stunning.

I forgot to take a photo of the camo sheath, it also looks good. I'll post one later, hopefully when i'll be able to post pics of the serrated blade liner lock working perfectly  :)
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades)
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2007, 04:32:13 AM »
Hey Raukodur, any improvement in the lock engagement on that serrated blade yet?

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
No Life Club Posts: 1,600
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black bla
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2007, 01:56:51 PM »
Unfortunately not had much time to play with it. Since I recieved it the liner lock has improved very slightly, I would say 75% of it now slots underneath the serrated blade, still not the 100% that it should do.

Hopefully when I get my finals out of the way I should have more time to play around with it (so hopefully in a week's time)
No Life Club Posts: 1,600
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black bla
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2007, 09:36:17 PM »
With the awl and chisel bits Bob is so kindly sending me, and the metal saw, and the bit extender which can take normal hex bits aswell as increasing the reach of the bit driver, this is quite an amazing multitool. Everytime I play with it grows on me some more, I wish there were more situations where I would actually need to use it, havent done any DIY around the house for ages due to exams and revision.

The pic is from the LM website and shows all the tools they list the TTi as having, add onto that awl, chisel, proper metal saw, bit extender...

Very versatile tool IMO.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,341 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black bla
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2007, 04:27:38 AM »
I really have got to get me a Charge....   :multi:

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black bla
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2007, 02:30:23 PM »
I really have got to get me a Charge....   :multi:

Def

...that reminds me, you are long overdue for a taste of the Pokey Stick on this Charge thing!  :pok:

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,341 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black bla
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2007, 02:37:05 PM »
One right back at ya!   :P

 :pok:

 ;)

I am certain the Charge problem with be solved very soon....

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades)
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2007, 02:43:47 PM »
 :D

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,341 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black bla
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2007, 02:49:01 PM »
Only YOU can prevent Def going Chargeless.... :P

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades)
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2007, 02:55:12 PM »
Eeeek!  :o  That's almost too much pressure to bear!


Hehe, we should be able to get you all Charged up shortly though.  8)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,341 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black bla
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2007, 03:00:27 PM »
Da da da DUM da daaaaaaaaaaaa!


CHARGE!!!!!!!!!






Oh boy I need to get out more....  ::)

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 1,956 Marsh-wiggle
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black blades)
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2007, 07:44:04 PM »
Just coincidence, but on my Charge, the serrated blade is the only one where the lock clicks up against the scale. I hope you'rs wears in well!

It's too bad QC cant catch all that stuff. But at the same time, think about the fact that people have complaints about lockup, bladeplay, fit & finish stuff with $100+ knives with only one blade! The Charge has four plus all the inside tools, bits, pliars, etc. Talk about a QC nightmare! And they have to do all this at a reasonable price! I'm actually impressed with how well they do compared to major knife companies that can have similar problems with their only blade.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black bla
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2007, 04:03:45 AM »
I really have got to get me a Charge....   :multi:

Def

...that reminds me, you are long overdue for a taste of the Pokey Stick on this Charge thing!  :pok:


Hah! Once again it is proven; no one can resist the overwhelming power of...the Pokey Stick!

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,341 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Leatherman Charge TTI (Cabela's Sec3D version: camouflage handles, black bla
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2007, 04:07:54 AM »
Yup... you got me good!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.

 

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