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design flaw in Leatherman Core 11797

Sr. Member Posts: 338
design flaw in Leatherman Core
« on: September 28, 2006, 05:33:10 AM »
I called Leatherman today with this info about the LM Cores. I am waiting their reply.

If you take out the medium sized screwdriver out from your leatherman and close  it squeezes the pliers inbetween the awl and large screwdriver and you cannot close it. There is just enough room for the pliers to fit and get jammed in it. When you open it there is a loud POP and it scrtaches it up. This will also scratch the new Core up and it makes using the medium screwdriver impossibly hard to use. I went to Walmart today and tested 5 Cores and they all do the same thing. >:( Now they all are scratched.

 ::) Go figure, their design team must have been on vacation.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2006, 08:19:28 PM by colubrid »
Full Member Posts: 216
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2006, 05:53:47 AM »
I tried the same thing with my core, but stopped before it jammed. That being said, all you have to do to avoid the problem is have the pliers jaws closed when you access the medium screwdriver.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2006, 05:56:12 AM by SoDak »
Sr. Member Posts: 338
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2006, 06:42:47 AM »
I don't think I explained well enough what the problem is.

Open your Core and take out the meduim srewdriver which is in the middle of the handle inbetween the awl and large screwdriver. Then close the Core as if you actually had to use the driver. Viola'. Pliers are stuck.

If you actaully use the medium screwdriver a lot (like I do) then this will happen everytime.



When you break the liers and the side that breaks first is on the same side of the screwdriver then it will get stuck. This does not happen on the phillips side because it leaves enough room for the pliers to fit in there.
No Life Club Posts: 2,887
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2006, 09:39:43 AM »
I tried to replicate your problem with my core but I couldn't.  I pulled the middle screwdriver out and then closed the pliers shut,  but everytime the plier tips just pused the awl and large srewdrivers down into the tool but didn't get stuck between them. I even took the middle screwdriver out, locked it in place, then pulled the awl and larger screwdriver out a little, then closed the pliers.  When I tried this I have to push hard to close the pliers and there a pop as you described but when I open the pliers they arn't stuck between the awl and the large screwdriver, and open fine.  I tried 8 times and evertime everything worked good.

"
Full Member Posts: 216
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2006, 03:18:49 PM »
I did it exactly like you said and as long as the pliers jaws are closed it doesn't happen, but if the pliers jaws are open the tip of one of the jaws will work its way into the gap and jam. That is my experience with my core, unless they changed something since then.
Sr. Member Posts: 338
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2006, 08:21:45 PM »
I went to another Walmart today and all of the Cores they had did the same thing. When I called Leatherman the tech tried it and it got stuck as well. I don't see how it cannot get stuck unless you guys are doing something different.

Administrator Full Member Posts: 232 Don't Panic!
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2006, 02:36:33 AM »
may be you could post a pic? that could help for sure.
Sr. Member Posts: 338
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2006, 07:58:15 PM »
My Core breaks on the same side as the medium screwdriver:
(I only have one hand for pics. So imagine my hand on the other handle as I am breaking it down)






It does not matter if the pliers are open or closed. The force of the breaking side pushes the pliers between the large screwdriver and awl.





STUCK!
Now to open it causes scatches and there is a pop.






Before going in:................



...........and with a very small amount of force......................



...VIOLA'. ..........................Jammed in there real good:

completely stuck inbetween:







Compare the space between the phillips side and the medium screwdriver side:





This is the space bewteen the screwdriver and awl. As you can see there is not enough spacde for the pliers to fit. Just enough to jam inbetween:


this is the phillips side. See the larger space that comfortably fits the pliers in:
« Last Edit: September 30, 2006, 08:11:13 PM by colubrid »
Sr. Member Posts: 338
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2006, 08:13:23 PM »
these are the scrathces it causes.



..and the other side:



I scratched all the ones at Walmart and the employee behind the desk said they are all going back. They tried them as well and the same thing happened to all of them.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2006, 08:18:21 PM by colubrid »
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2006, 04:35:49 AM »
I wondered why this problem doesn't happen with my Surge, and I found the answer: On the Surge, Leatherman engineered a little tab of metal for the pliers to bear against when folded. The pliers cannot come into contact with any blades, and therefore cannot bind up. There is ample room on the Core for this same solution. So why did Leatherman put the little tab on the Surge, but not the Core?    ???

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Sr. Member Posts: 338
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2006, 05:49:07 AM »
I don't know why Leatherman didn't do this on the Core but it is a great solution. Cudos to you for finding it!

I have been trying to figure out how to fix this problem. I sent the Core back to Leatherman after talking with Shellee. She said their tech will move the awl where the screwdriver is . But they are not certain that another tool will gets stuck..

I guess well see. I will post a report when I receive the Core back from LM.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,030 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2006, 12:49:10 PM »
I've been wondering what that little tab was for...

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Sr. Member Posts: 338
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2006, 09:17:33 AM »
I sent my LM Core into LM and explained what the problem was. This is the letter I received from them:



Thank you for your suggestions regarding our CORE product.  You recommendation to add a support to the CORE similar to the one in SURGE is an excellent idea, however it is not as simple or as feasible as it appears.  Not only would we need to create a brand new component (the support), but we would need to modify several other components (handles, screwdrivers, etc) to make it function correctly.  In this case, adding one more piece would force a considerable redesign of the entire tool. 

I'm not sure how you opening your tool when you want to use the Medium Screwdriver, but here's a helpful hint.  Don't completely open the handles onto the jaw when you want to use a tool.  Closing the tool from this position when the Medium Screwdriver is out forces the jaw tip into the crack (between the Large Screwdriver and the Awl) and wedges.  Instead, open the tool just far enough to unfold the Medium Screwdriver and then close the tool.  When using the tool in this fashion, the jaw should slide using the two side components as guides and the tool should close completely (without wedging).

I hope this helps satisfy your concern.  Thanks again!

Jeff Caniparoli
Design Engineer
Leatherman Tool Group
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,030 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2006, 12:10:29 PM »
As usual, it is cheaper to design a whole new tool than to redesign an old one.  At least you gave it the old college try though.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Sr. Member Posts: 338
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2006, 04:31:18 PM »
I think it was a kind and excellent response by LM. Considering they made a tool with a defect, they delt with it the best way possible.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,030 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2006, 05:25:58 PM »
I think these days, any response from a manufacturer is good.  These guys crank them out in such volumes that there would be no way for them to respond to their customers 20 or so years ago.  They were very much separated from the consumer.  Nowadays though, it's a whole new ball game, and it's more important for them to respond, and respond well.

Another feather in LM's cap!
Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Sr. Member Posts: 422
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2006, 12:35:19 AM »
Must be a known fault, so a simple sticky label with=

Don't completely open the handles onto the jaw when you want to use a tool.  Closing the tool from this position when the Medium Screwdriver is out forces the jaw tip into the crack (between the Large Screwdriver and the Awl) and wedges.  Instead, open the tool just far enough to unfold the Medium Screwdriver and then close the tool.  When using the tool in this fashion, the jaw should slide using the two side components as guides and the tool should close completely (without wedging).

as stated to 'colubrid' would be a simple solution as used by many other companies when a flaw shows up in the middle of a production run.

Dave
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2006, 02:41:19 AM »
I agree with everybody, but I'm still not satisfied.

YES, it's good that Leatherman took the time to give colubrid a detailed reply.
YES, they should add a note or few extra sentences to the instruction manual, detailing how to avoid the "plier wedge" problem.
NO, it's not realistic to expect Leatherman to recall all existing Cores, nor is it even realistic for them to make improved design changes on Cores currently flying down the production line.

HOWEVER, I do not agree that adding the extra support component (similar to the Surge) would be a big deal on future production Cores. Look at the picture I posted earlier. There is plenty of room to rivet a small "Z" shape bracket to the back of the blade channel in the handle. Only one such bracket would be needed, on the file-side handle, as the blade arrangement on the other handle does not lead to "plier wedge."

Sure, maybe a few customers complaining about scratched pliers are not that big of deal to Leatherman. Not worth adding an extra component to a product that is already selling briskly as it is. But on the other hand, it would be an easy problem to take care of.

It's not right, and they should change it.


 

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: 1,612 4x4 since '74
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2006, 03:06:06 AM »
...
HOWEVER, I do not agree that adding the extra support component (similar to the Surge) would be a big deal on future production Cores. .... It's not right, and they should change it.


That struck me as odd, too.  Despite what the engineer wrote, I would not rule out a change in the future.  But, it might appear in a successor to the original Core.

Retired engineer, author.

A man with one multitool always knows exactly which to use. A man with many multitools is never quite sure. - parnass
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,030 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2006, 03:20:05 AM »
I don't know- I think it's probably more likely to accompany a newer tool arrangement in a "New Core" like they did with the Wave, should they do anything with it at all.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 1,384
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2006, 02:33:18 PM »
My Surge jams the same way as the Core - even with the little tab to prevent it.
Sr. Member Posts: 338
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2006, 04:16:38 PM »
J-sews


I sent your words in an email to Mr. Caniparoli.  Hope you don't mind(?) I used my name, not yours.

Quote
Mr. Caniparoli ,

I do not agree that adding the extra support component (similar to the Surge) would be a big deal on future production Cores. Look at the picture I posted earlier. There is plenty of room to rivet a small "Z" shape bracket to the back of the blade channel in the handle. Only one such bracket would be needed, on the file-side handle, as the blade arrangement on the other handle does not lead to "plier wedge."
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2006, 01:24:27 AM »
J-sews
I sent your words in an email to Mr. Caniparoli.  Hope you don't mind(?) I used my name, not yours.

No problem colubrid, I stand behind my opinion.


My Surge jams the same way as the Core - even with the little tab to prevent it.

Tom,
I tried folding and unfolding my Surge repeatedly, but never came close to having a plier wedge incident like on the Core.

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: 1,384
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2006, 06:48:44 AM »
Mine wedges & pops just like the description of the Core.  I think Leatherman has some tolerance differences in manufacturing.
Sr. Member Posts: 338
LM sent me a brand new "RUSTED" Core
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2006, 09:02:03 AM »
Got my Core back today. They moved the tools around so that the awl is in the middle. They told me that i would use the screwdriver all the time it won't be such a problem closing it where the awl is now. They had done this to a new Core before I sent mine in. Its been two weeks but I finally got it today. They girl made a big deal about how LM never does free custom tools and how lucky I am.

So I open the envelope the Core is in and take it out and its COMPLETLY RUSTED.  They sent me a new Core and it has rust all over the tools and inside. Then I noticed the envelope they sent it in was wet. I guess that it when it was shipped it got wet in some way. They did not put the Core into a plastic bag or anything so the Core was exposed.

After I got over the initial shock  :o  I decided to try and open the awl and close the pliers. It jammed worse than before. It spread the handles apart and i had to really work hard to yank it out. The pliers are also scratched worse than before.

I really don't know what they are thinking down at LM, but i am not sending my tool back to them again. This one is going to Walmart as i am exchanging it for one in stock. I am not going through this waiting period again.

BTW, I sent Mr. Capainaroli two more emails and never heard back from him..
« Last Edit: October 26, 2006, 09:09:59 AM by colubrid »
Sr. Member Posts: 422
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2006, 01:16:16 PM »
Could it be 'Top Company Syndrome'?  :(
Firms always tend to give better service on the way up then lose interest in their customers when they get to the top.
Rust on a tool from a service center is inexcusable, a film of oil costs nothing unless you have to go out and buy it special. A decent mineral oil like 3 in 1 should be available in a service center at all times in fact you would expect a note with the returned tool reminding you to keep a film of oil on it.
You know the photo you showed, what is the very thin small blade (lanyard loop?) against the file? if you are going to have a go at fixing it try moving that towards the center, might give the plier head a bit more room to sit.

Dave
Sr. Member Posts: 338
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2006, 05:15:00 PM »
It did come from the top of the company. Several people knew about it and I talked to three different people.

I am going to call them and see what they say.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2006, 07:07:49 PM »
HOWEVER, I do not agree that adding the extra support component (similar to the Surge) would be a big deal on future production Cores. Look at the picture I posted earlier. There is plenty of room to rivet a small "Z" shape bracket to the back of the blade channel in the handle........

Here is an x-ray picture of what I had in mind. The two small red brackets would prevent the needlenose pliers from ever contacting the blades.

It doesn't seem like it would cost Leatherman much to add the brackets. And despite what the engineer wrote to colubrid, there is plenty of room.

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Sr. Member Posts: 338
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2006, 04:52:31 PM »
This is the response I got before I sent in the Core:

    I have talked with a couple different Engineers now about the Core tool you recently called about with concerns.  First of all, I was told that this was not a major design flaw in the manufacturing of this tool style.  They may choose to incorporate design alterations in future tools, but this was a purposeful design for this particular tool.  The way the handle is closed/opened may need to be adjusted a bit by the customer in order for this to not be a continuing issue.
 
    Even though our warranty policy does not include variations or alterations, we reserve the right to make an exception on occasion.  One of our Engineers has, this time only, moved the components around in a Core tool in order for you to use the medium screwdriver unhindered.  You had stated that you used the medium screwdriver often and this was the reason you had called.  Be aware, however, that since the medium screwdriver has been moved over that the component that has taken it's place may possibly have the same issue that troubled you before.  But since you had stated the particular screwdriver was of importance we were hopeful that this would fit your needs.
Sr. Member Posts: 338
Re: design flaw in Leatherman Core
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2006, 05:00:33 PM »
The "moving around" that they did on the Core was not my suggestion. What I got back was a rusted tool and the pliers jam worse than ever before. The opening between the tools is narrower now, so when they close and the pliers jam inbetween they really stay suck. I only did it one and my large screwdriver and med are damaged (not scratched but DAMAGED) as a result of their mod.

When I called LM to see what they would do about the rusted tool they went into auto response mode and suggested I clean with WD-40. They also said that the tools will get scratched from use.


YA RIGHT!

I told her that I sent in a new tool so I expected to get back a new one and not a rusted one. As far as the lame comment about the tools are supposed to get damaged/scratched I did not even bother responding to.

I then asked to speak to Monica and they put me into her voice mail because they said she was on tour. I left a detailed message about whats been going on and she never called back either. This was tuesday and today is sunday. So I thought this was ample time to return a phone call.

Anyway thats the update on LM customer service.

 

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