It is time for another short review.
The Leatherman Juice series (Current Production Models).
I just recently got in my possession 4 Juice models. I would like to contrast the differences and similarities of those models.
I will be quite honest and state that I never laid eyes upon a Juice model, nor did I ever have the opportunity to do so. Nobody locally sold them. Plenty of Kick, Fuse, and Blast models however. I was rather surprised at the construction of these models which differ substantially from the more traditional Leatherman multi-tools.
The Juice series are built very similarity to Swiss Army Knives, and most pocket knives for that matter. Gone are the traditional U shaped metal handles with folding tools affixed on one end by a pass-through pin. Layers with metal back springs are the Juices mainstay.
Along with the differentiation in construction, come several other unique features. For one, the size of the Juice series is, I would consider, medium . It is the perfect size for a pocket carry. When I first got these, I looked high and low for a lanyard ring and found one discretely tucked in with the Phillips screw driver. The only issue with this however, is that there is no easy way to take the lanyard ring out from its put away position. I had to find scissors or something that I could gently hook the ring and swing it out. So you can use a lanyard on all of these if you so wish.
Another interesting difference are the colours that you can get these in. Most models seem to have a unique hot colour and a gray colour. The ones I bought were a gray Leatherman calls “Storm Gray”. It is decidedly low key, just like I wanted. However, you can get the hot colour, which might help if you have several models. You can easily ID the Juice by the colour.
From left to right for size comparison: Leatherman Blast, Mini Tool, Freestyle CX, Juice S2, Juice C2, Juice CS4, Juice XE6.
From left to right: Leatherman Blast, Mini Tool, Freestyle CX, Juice S2.
As you can see, the Juice series have full sized pliers and are roughly the same size as a Freestyle, albeit with more functions. The Freestyle is basically a pair of pliers with a folding knife. The Juice series gives you quite a bit more capability for a similar sized package.
From left to right: Juice S2, Juice C2, Juice CS4, Juice XE6.
Let’s get back to what I found so interesting about these…their construction. If you take a look at the above photograph, you can see how there is a basic layer to which they add on extra layers to expand the functionality of the tool at the cost of weight and thickness.
I also understand that their naming convention follows a pattern.
S = scissors
For example, a Juice S2 is the model that has 2 layers and contains a pair of scissors.
Now, this convention goes out the door with XE6. There are 6 layers, but I have no clue what XE means other than they threw in the kitchen sink.
Also, of note, because the Juice series are basically modules, the handles on all 4 models are one layer less than the other handle. This makes them a little odd feeling in the hand, as they feel lopsided. Just another interesting part to their construction. I do recall somewhere reading that one of the other discontinued models had even handles. I am thinking the KF4, but that is just a guess on my part.
Mention should also be made of the Juice series that are not current production models. There are 3 that I know of.
1. Juice KF4 which has been discontinued.
2. Juice Pro which was a production run for Costco.
3. Juice SC2 which was a production run for another company.
Interestingly enough, both 2 and 3 are not listed in Leatherman’s listings of discontinued models. I cannot comment on these because I don’t have any of them yet.Juice S2
The only Juice that does not have a corkscrew. Oddly enough, you do get the bottle opener with assist. That feature is sort of useless without the corkscrew. I imagined it was a lot cheaper to use the same part then to change the shape of it.
I won’t get into details of listing the tools, the photographs shall speak that part.
This does feature a very useful pair of scissors instead of the corkscrew. I personally find scissors more useful than a corkscrew. The Juice S2 also has the distinction of being the thinnest of the models. Pair of scissors and a smaller package. I would imagine this is the more popular of Juices…but that is just open conjecture on my part.Juice C2
Here is the sister of the S4. The main difference here is that you don’t have a pair of handy scissors. Instead you have a corkscrew. Well at least the bottle assist feature on the can opener makes more sense on this model then it does on the C2. This model is slightly thicker then the C2 due to the addition of that corkscrew. Juice CS4
Now this models Is rather interesting. Take a look at that awl. It isn’t Leatherman’s usually Awl shape. It’s a bit of folded metal with a sewing hole punched in. It reminds me of that found on Victorinox Swiss Army Knives. The Juice CS4 contains both a corkscrew and scissors…all in 4 layers. Juice XE6
This is the largest of the current production Juices. The Juice Pro adds a few more features, making it the largest of the series; however, as far as current production models go, the Juice XE6 is the big Daddy of the series.Conclusion
I am rather intrigues at the Juice series construction. It is basically a modular system, with added layers differentiating one from another. With that said, it is the perfect size for an everyday carry. Not everything Is good though. A big knock for not having locking knives. Another dig for the difficult to get lanyard ring. A third strike for some slight quality issues and design gaffs. The XE6 has a file that is a bit too snug in its birth. It scrapes on the way out and in. Likewise, I am unsure why Leatherman decided to make the 3 small folding tools on one handle, hard to get at. I mean, Victorinox has figured out how to make tools easily accessible by fingernail. I have some difficulty getting those little tools out. You can say there is some finger nail breaking action just on those tools.
- Small and convenient package with a good amount of functionality.
- Looks classier and possibly slightly upscale to a more traditional Leatherman.
- Good selection of tools.
- Variation in models mean you should be able to find the right one for your needs.
- Funky colours.
- Some quality control issues are evident, especially in my XE6 model. It is minor, but It is still there.
- Lanyard ring is hard to find, and once you find it, you may need another multi-tool to get it out.
- Poorly designed fingernail grooves and orientation found on the backs of the 3 small folding tools on one handle.
- Blades don’t lock.