Is it Crunch time?
Irrespective of the bad pun, I just received a Leatherman Crunch from the local store that can order me all things Leatherman, Gerber, and SOG. I may not be able to walk into a store and take one off the shelf, but it is nice to know that if I really wanted a specific multi-tool, I can order one locally at retail prices. Be that as it may, I have figured out that this can sometimes come out to be the same price as an eBay purchase when you figure out the shipping charges, etc.
This is going to be more of a first impression, since I only have had it for a few hours.
The Leatherman Crunch is an odd duck. Stranger then a Leatherman Flair, and even stranger then a Mini, the Crunch represents something a little different in the Leatherman line. It is the only model that features locking pliers. Now in my family, any tool of this sort is called a Vice-grip regardless if it is from that company or not. I guess it is much akin to calling tissue paper, Kleenex. I shall Endeavour valiantly not to call the Crunch a Vice-grip for the sake of accuracy.
The Crunch has an odd way of opening for use, and of closing for storage. The unit is rather compact. I was a bit surprised when I got home to open the rather large Leatherman box only to find something so small and petite. Online photographs and possibly my notion regarding my father’s Vice-grips, made me think the Crunch was well….er….larger than it actually was. I sort of chuckled to myself at the misconceptions people have based upon their past experiences with like tools. Anyhow, this thing is positively small. It is about the size of a Leatherman PST or a Leatherman Fuse to compare it to a newer model.
Here is the opening sequence in photographs.
1. Here the tool is closed along with the sheath which is the standard Leatherman pancake nylon sheath.
2. Gently pry apart the two halves. When you do this, you can see how the locking pliers are rotated pointing towards the back for inside handle storage.
3. Continue prying apart the handles, and then rotate the locking pliers to the right positon.
4. Angle the top handles in such a way that it mates with a projection on the locking pliers. There are two indents on the projection, with a matching pair of protrusions on the top handle. They should click together when done properly.
5. Keep moving the top pliers downwards until you come to rest and can’t go any further. At this point, you are ready to do some work.
Because this is a Leatherman, there has to be some folding tools hidden somewhere. In the lower handler, there is a set of 5 tools.
- A sheepfoot serrated blade, a medium flathead screwdriver, a combo large flathead screwdriver/ wood/metal file, small flathead screwdriver, and a Phillips screwdriver.
There are other hidden features that at first glance, you won’t see. I know I had to read the instructions to figure this out. For example, there is a built in bottle opener but it is nothing like I have ever seen before. There is a small hook on the back of the Phillips folding tool that you can use to separate bottles caps from their perch. Another weird looking features, is the wire cutter/stripper that is built into the handle. Once again, it does not look like the usually type of tool. Even the graphics on the tool with an arrow pointing to the right area didn’t help me at first ascertain what it all meant. Only after reading the included instructions did I figure it out. Once I was on the right track, I thought it was a neat and useful feature of the multi-tool…just not something I have seen before. One more hidden features is the driver bit adapter that is hidden in the end of one of the handles. You have to unscrew the tightening bolt completely out of the handle to access the bit adapter. It is nice that you can do this. Not so nice that you have to remove the bolt to do so. Nothing says I like you then having to unscrew a bolt 20 times to use a screwdriver bit. No thanks.
Only after close scrutiny, did Burro notice some of the neat hidden features of the Leatherman Crunch.Conclusion
The Leatherman Crunch is definitely a different tool. Its small size and feature set means that this is the perfect multi-tool for the job site as well as the household. So long as it is for small sized jobs that is.
I just love the feel and weight of this little wonder of design ingenuity. I find that I keep playing with it. Marveling at how they managed to put a locking pliers into such a small package. I just have to remember to not call it a Vice-grip!
- Only Leatherman that has locking pliers.
- Build quality is right up there. Love the weight, fit and finish of this unit.
- Folding tools lock wonderfully when opened.
- Good variety of functions into a small form factor.
- Must watch out for pinched skin when closing the pliers into the handle. Skin is especially in the danger zone when rotation the pliers into the handle.
- When all is stored away, odd shaped protrusions from the pliers and operating mechanism break out of the package, sort of speak.
- Too many flathead screwdrivers for my liking. Do I need 3 of them? As far as I am concerned, there are 2 wasted tool slots that could have been put to better use.
- Weird screwdriver bit adapter that requires a bolt extraction. Once you have turned the darn bolt X amount of times to remove it…what do you do with it during screwdriver bit usage…you guessed it…high potential for losing it.