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Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review. 30916

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« on: September 27, 2009, 04:33:23 AM »
Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review

I awaited rather impatiently the arrival of several Super Tool 300s that I had ordered before they came out. As luck would have it, I finally got them, and it is time to write a small review about my thoughts and ideas about Leatherman’s newest addition to the multi-tool family.

The Super Tool 300 is 3rd in a family of large heavy multi-tools. You can see its lineage in the older models. The first Super Tool came out in 1994 and was discontinued in 2001. That was quickly followed by the Super Tool 200 which had a run from 2001 to 2005. At this point, Leatherman produced the Core which was introduced in 2005 and is still being produced although there are talks that it may be discontinued soon, but who knows other then Leatherman. The Super Tool 300 is a 2009 model that had a September roll out.

To better understand the Super Tool 300, you have to examine its predecessors. The whole family is geared towards Industrial/Construction trades, where a larger and tougher tool is in high demand. Special mention should go out to another large multi-tool, the Surge, which will not be talked about in this short review as it belongs to another Leatherman family and doesn’t quite fit into the lineage of the Super Tool 300.

One could almost argue that the Core does not belong in this group, as it came out along with the kick, fuse, and blast,  which belong to another branch of the family. These all contain Zytel liners. However, the Core shares quite a bit with the Super tool 300 as you shall see, and is deserving of its place in this review.

Lets take a closer look…


1.   Super Tool.
2.   Super Tool 200.
3.   Core.
4.   Super Tool 300.



The thickness of each tool is of interest, and you can see that the Super tool 300 gets its shape from its predecessors.  The Core stands out due to its boxy profile.



From left to right, Super Tool, Super Tool 200, Core, Super Tool 300.


Super Tool





The original Super tool was a ground breaking product for Leatherman.  It had a locking tool feature which showed its age today. You basically had to move another tool 90 degrees to the locked tool to unlock it. It was rudimentary but it did work rather well. The back of the folding tools have a very deep notch and it was fairly impossible to unlock a tool by mistake. Solid locking tools are a must for its demographic market segment.


Super Tool 200





The update to the Super Tool. The big difference here is the locking mechanism which it shares with the Pulse. This mechanism tends to foster a love hate relationship amongst its users. Whatever can be said about them, they were an improvement over the crude locking mechanism of the original Super Tool. The other big introduction was the inclusion of a serrated sheepsfoot blade as opposed to the serrated clip point.  The Sheepsfoot would excel at giving you a clean cut on flat surfaces.


Core





The Core came out when the Super Tool 200 was discontinued. It shares many traits with the smaller Kick, Fuse, and Blast models, that being the nylon liner. The Core is also built a bit lighter and isn’t meant to take the abuse that the other Super Tools are meant to. Consequently, I have heard several reports of the locking mechanism failing. The nylon insert (Zytel) is used to stiffen the tool, as it is made from a very light sheet metal. I include this tool only in that it shares the exact same tool set as the newer Super Tool 300.


Super Tool 300





The 300 continues the line that was discontinued back in 2005. The Core was not exactly a sturdy replacement. Leatherman saw a need to bring back the Super Tool family. It eliminates the Zytel liner and thinner sheet metal in its construction that was the hallmark of the Core, and brought back thicker metal along with the traditional Super Tool profile. On top of this, they included removable cutters, and improved the tools usage with gloves by means of larger handle cutouts, hinting strongly at what this tool is designed to accommodate. The Super Tool 300 will be very popular with trades people and anyone who wants a very heavy duty multi-tool.






The arrow in the above photo points to a new feature of the new clumping system. The main blades are designed to be deployed alone with the aid of this indentation which mates to a protrusion in the handle. The secondary tools are designed to clump together to make it easier to get the tool that you want. Many people dislike clumping, and others love it. Tool clumping does aids in tool selection and deployment.



The arrows point to the spacers found on one side of these Leatherman multi-tools. Note the difference in the spacer locations in the 300 compared to the Core which has the same tool load out. 1-Super Tool, 2-Super Tool 200, 3-Core, 4-Super Tool 300.

Now, I like the Super Tool 300, but I do have several of them to compare to each other, and I have found a few slightly disconcerting things.



The above photo shows the plier head of the three 300s that I have in my possession. I noted a few inconsistencies that are minor and are mostly cosmetic in nature, but do indicate a quality control issue. The Black Oxide has grind marks on one side of the pliers. The 300 0n the right has a plateau where they didn’t grind enough off. Minor stuff, but if you have a few to compare, it quickly becomes evident.

Another issue that I have found that appears to have some commonality with several online user complaints… one of my 300s is super difficult to open and close. I know this will loosen up with time, however, not only are the main handles tough to open and close, but so are the tools inside of those handles. They are so stiff they fit the bill for the term “nail breakers”. Likewise, the same 300 has another issue with it that is even more disconcerting. The folding tools feel like there is sand around the pivot point. It isn’t smooth at all, and feels rough. The other two are much better. In fact, I would say they are perfect. So what does this tell you? Well, you might get lucky and get a perfect tool, or you might get unlucky and get a very bad tool. This leads me to the quality control thing again. I heard that the Skeletool was rough at first introduction. If that was the case, the 300s are much like that. With time, the QC will improve and eliminate the inconsistencies that abound with this tool right now at introduction.





Even with the Quality control issues at the moment, the Super Tool 300 sure does impress. I very much like this tool. It gives the user great confidence that it will survive a tough job and then some. It has a great tool load out that made the Core such a powerhouse in the Industry with a few welcome additions such as the removable cutters. Now, the electricians will have some choice over the very popular Gerbers with the removable cutters.


Conclusion

I recommend the Super Tool 300 to anyone who needs a durable multi-tool. It does not exactly replace the Core. The Core is built lighter but is a very capable tool. Likewise, the Super Tool and Super Tool 200 are discontinued models albeit still very desirable multi-tools today. The Super Tool 300 does have some quality control issues. Much of it is cosmetic and won’t affect the tools function. In fact, most people won’t care about these, and will probably add a few of their own marks in no time. A bit more disconcerting is the stiffness in the one tool that appears to be common to a few others mentioned on the net. The stiff one came in a Blister Pack and the two better tools came in boxes. I would be interested in seeing if there are many stiff tools that are shipped in boxes, or is it due to the blister pack somehow? Is there even causality, I have no clue.

Pros:
-   No plastic in the handles.
-   Exact tool load out as the Core…and that is no bad thing.
-   Removable cutters.
-   Heavier construction then the Core.
-   Clumping mechanism works as advertized (Some issues may be evident as per the Cons listed below).
-   Can use the two main blades with gloves due to a larger handle cut out.
Cons:
-   Some Quality control issues with the plier head castings.
-   Some 300s are super stiff. This will probably loosen with time, but it doesn’t give you that quality product feel that you would expect from a Leatherman.
-   Some 300s have issues with the clumping system. That indentation found on the main blades can be super stiff, negating any advantages you get with the larger finger cutouts in the handles.
-   Locking mechanism that sticks out too much and has no rounded edges.  
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 05:26:35 AM by Chako »

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Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2009, 04:58:55 AM »
Nice write up & pics Chako  :tu: :tu:.
Have you thought of emailing LM & telling them about the variations in your 3 ST300's. It would be interesting to hear their response   :think: :D


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 05:04:19 AM »
Great pictures as per usual Chako and a fine review as well. I found the comparison portion of your write-up to be most useful. :salute:

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: 1,547
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 05:07:48 AM »
Thanks you so much for taking the time do this great write up!

I find these comparison style reviews particularly useful. Nice job!  :cheers:

[
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 05:34:37 AM »
MultiMat, no I haven't thought of that.

I figure since I have two good versions, I might EDC the other on occasion and see if it will loosen up with use and time.

I just finished fixing some formatting issues that seem to happen when I import a MS Word file.

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No Life Club Posts: 2,886
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2009, 06:58:51 AM »
Great review Chako. :tu: I enjoyed the read and the pics. 

"
No Life Club Posts: 4,594 no nacimos con miedo...
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 07:54:08 AM »
i have a theory! the blister packs and metal tin presentation ST300 seems to be the nail-breakers and the traditional boxed ones seems to be the good ones

at least for what ive seen, so maybe the blister pack ones and the metal tin ones since they are packed in the open position they get tighten a second time while open before getting pack and thats why the are so hard to open, while the traditional boxed ones are treated like any other leatherman and therefor are not as tight as the others

now feel free to refute me :)

BTW great review man :tu:

A
No Life Club Posts: 4,230 I just don't know what went wrong.
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2009, 09:38:13 AM »
PRETTY PICTURES!

I skipped the review. :D

Got those frog legs.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 04:41:31 PM »
Good review Chako :tu:

A pedantic point though, if I may....

You suggest that the Core wasn't intended to be as "tough" as the Supertool / Supertool 200, however, it was marketed as being such. Although it doesn't have the word "Supertool" in it's name, the idea was, I believe, that it would reintroduce the "core" values of the Supertool. Much play was made of the standard, hollow ground drivers for example.

I'm not aware of any serious issues with the locks on the Core myself, but even if there were, I don't believe it was because LM intended it to be a lesser tool than the Supertools that preceded it, if you see what I mean. They always marketed the Zytel as being tough, and I think generally it has proved to be.

Pricing, marketing and tool selection suggest that LM always viewed it as the Supertool mark III I reckon.

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 06:03:20 PM »
I will have to disagree on this point. On the two examples that I have, there is a bit of flexing in the sheet metal. the Locks are not durable. Nor does it have the same shape and general metal thickness of the others. Yes, Leatherman did espouse it as the successor of the 200, but I know a few local tradesmen who dropped it in a hurry for the Surge because it wasn't sturdy enough for their needs. I know of one local guy who went through 2 because of the locking springs would bust. I am curious to see how the 300 will fare. I imagine a lot better in this regard.

I think of the Core as the big brother to the Kick, Fuse, and Blast. They all chare similar construction elements. Much like the Surge is the big brother to the Wave and Charge. The Super Tools are to my mind, a separate family line. I just don't think of the Core as part of the Super Tool lineup.

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 06:25:09 PM »
Not sure if I got my point across, but what I was trying to say was that Leatherman did intend the Core to be the Supertool 200's successor (which I think you just agreed with)  :think:

Whether you thought it was a worthy successor, which I gather you don't, is another matter altogether.

On the latter though, have you actually had any experience of using the Core, or is your opinion based on that of your unlucky, local guy. That doesn't invalidate your opinion in my eyes btw - it's just that my practical experience and those I've met with experience seems dramatically different. If I've learned one thing since I started accumulating these things, it's that having an opinion based on your own practical experience is very often different to some of the views and feedback you read on the internet. In both ways!


Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2009, 07:12:01 PM »
No, you misunderstand me. I have never thought of the Core as the successor of the 200. Leatherman did I think for a while, but not many local people around here believe it to be worthy of that nomenclature, especially my father's friends who are in the trades.

I wonder why so many people in here seem to think I don't use my MTs. Ben is another one who more or less stated that my reviews were just hot fluff full of pretty pictures with no experience behind them. I am starting to sense a trend here. Not sure exactly why this seems to be the case.  :think:

Dave, I have used the Core a few times. Nor am I basing this on what I have just read. Note the plural in my first posting. I know of several tradesmen who have had their Core fail in the field. They mostly turned around and bought a Surge and are very happy with it if I may add.

I know you like the Core. Very good of you. I don't dislike it either. I just don't believe it has a place in the Super Tool lineup. It sticks out in shape and construction. Why didn't Leatherman call it the Super Tool 300 rather than the Core?
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 07:17:32 PM by Chako »

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Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2009, 07:19:32 PM »
Goodness fellows, this is nothing to get ruffled about. :) Truth be told, none of us truly know what Leatherman's intentions were when they discontinued the ST200 and brought out the Core, and now discontinue the Core and bring out the ST300. You both have plausible views on the matter though. :salute: :)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2009, 07:22:33 PM »
Chako I very much enjoy your reviews text & pictures. Dave I also very much enjoy your reviews as well . I think it is a good time to say you disagree about the Core .
A difference of opinion is a great thing let us catch a breath & not let it become a bad thing.


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2009, 07:23:42 PM »
No, you misunderstand me. I have never thought of the Core as the successor of the 200. Leatherman did I think for a while, but not many local people around here believe it to be worthy of that nomenclature, especially my father's friends who are in the trades.

I wonder why so many people in here seem to think I don't use my MTs. Ben is another one who more or less stated that my reviews were just hot fluff full of pretty pictures with no experience behind them. I am starting to sense a trend here. Not sure exactly why this seems to be the case.  :think:

Dave, I have used the Core a few times. Nor am I basing this on what I have just read. Note the plural in my first posting. I know of several tradesmen who have had their Core fail in the field. They mostly turned around and bought a Surge and are very happy with it if I may add.

I know you like the Core. Very good of you. I don't dislike it either. I just don't believe it has a place in the Super Tool lineup. It sticks out in shape and construction. Why didn't Leatherman call it the Super Tool 300 rather than the Core?


No need to get the hump Chako. If you post your opinions on the internet, then you are basically inviting the world to disagree.

Quote
I wonder why so many people in here seem to think I don't use my MTs.

 :think: Err, two things:

1. I simply asked, you seem a bit defensive;
2. We all know that you've bought just about all of your tools within a couple of months, ergo, you can't really have used them all extensively.

I repeat, it doesn't invalidate your opinion and I still enjoyed your review, but, if people replying  upsets you and makes you need to defend yourself, maybe you should take a break?

As for the Core thing, perhaps read through both of our comments again?

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2009, 07:24:50 PM »
It is all good Bob.  :salute:

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2009, 07:25:40 PM »
I think it is a good time to say you disagree about the Core .

Not even relevant Mat.

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2009, 07:30:54 PM »
Not defensive in the least. Just answering your questions Dave.

Yes, I have reread everything. I did mention several tradesmen in my first post..and not one as you replied.

You don't have to have years of experience with a particular tool to make intelligent observations about them.

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2009, 07:35:44 PM »
Not defensive in the least. Just answering your questions Dave.

Yes, I have reread everything. I did mention several tradesmen in my first post..and not one as you replied.

You don't have to have years of experience with a particular tool to make intelligent observations about them.

It was you that mentioned being defensive first Chako - not me!

You're being defensive now - I thought I was pretty clear when I said that it didn't invalidate your opinion whether you were basing your thoughts on personal experience or hearsay, but I've repeated it twice now in case I wasn't!

I seem to have hit a raw nerve, which wasn't my intention at all - so apologies if that's the case. :tu:

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2009, 07:41:51 PM »
Blinks.

Ok...is this some game now?

I am being defensive if I respond to your questions?

I can assure you I haven't been defensive in the least in this thread.

This is a classic case of net miscommunication.





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No Life Club Posts: 4,594 no nacimos con miedo...
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2009, 07:43:29 PM »

This is a classic case of net miscommunication.


i hate that, thats why i only argue via phone :-[

A
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2009, 07:45:16 PM »
Looks like a classic case of changing your tune to me mate.

Summary:

I asked a couple of questions, specifically trying to avoid any offence, and you got all paranoid and asked why you needed to defend yourself, and that Ben thinks your reviews are rubbish and all sorts.

It's all there for anyone that wants to read it.




Chief of the Absolutely No Life Club! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 42,959 Why haven't you got a Farmer yet!
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2009, 07:45:27 PM »
Maybe we should just draw a line under it now guys, before it starts getting personal :police:

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2009, 07:45:55 PM »
I think Dave just made it that...too late.

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2009, 07:46:45 PM »
Maybe we should just draw a line under it now guys, before it starts getting personal :police:

Nah, let him carry on.

Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2009, 07:48:04 PM »
Agreed, we seem to be losing sight of the original topic. :-\



Again, fine review and pictures Chako, I'm sure Grant and David Bowen will really appreciate being able to post it up at the main site. :salute:

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Multitool Enthusiast Admin Team No Life Club Posts: 2,776 Staff Writer
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2009, 04:57:19 AM »
Looks to be worth of front page material to me Chako, quite an in depth review that is extensive. I will let you know when I am able to get it up  :tu:
Multitool Enthusiast Admin Team No Life Club Posts: 2,776 Staff Writer
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2009, 04:12:37 PM »
Ok the review is on the main page, thanks for the excellent write up Chako
Formerly known as 665ae No Life Club Posts: 3,370 blah blah blah
Re: Leatherman Super Tool 300 Review.
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2009, 04:45:47 PM »
Truth be told, none of us truly know what Leatherman's intentions were when they discontinued the ST200 and brought out the Core, and now discontinue the Core and bring out the ST300.

I know... and I'm not telling.

If you took all the intestines out of your body and stretched them end to end... you would die.

 

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