So I got the Leatherman OHT. I just couldn’t wait any longer and decided to purchase one as my primary multitool for fire/rescue/ems work. Up to date my tools were Supertool 300, Gerber Diesel and SOG Assist. I understand that there is no one tool fits all scenarios type of the deal but I wanted something close.
Size comparizon between different multitools (yeah I have a problem)
Straight out of the box OHT feels like any other Gerber tool I owned. I can’t seem to understand why would company like Leatherman go with Gerber design after all these years. In my opinion Leatherman OHT is what Gerber should have been/made long time ago. I’m going to compare the features of OHT to other tools as I go along just to get you guys the idea of superior and short falls of the tool.
I think the biggest selling point of OHT is one hand opening everything. It works great, tools pop out as advertised and since my OHT is new I won’t complain about the stiffness of the tools. OHT is thicker/wider that Supertool 300 with about the same length. You would think that that would give you bigger components inside but that’s not true. Knives are shorter to the point that I would call them barely usable. Screwdrivers are short as well and since they can only be utilized with tool folded/closed forget about doing any screw work in tight spaces (problem well known to Gerber users).
Features as per manufactures sheet are as follows:
• Spring-action Needlenose/Regular Pliers – loved them ever since I got my Wingman, great for gloved work. Smaller that ones found on Supertool 300. Problem? Not really althou for tool that is bigger in dimensions than beefy flagship of Leatherman line (Supertool 300) I expected the same size.
• Spring-action 154CM Replaceable Wire/Hard-wire Cutters – cut wire and they work.
• 420HC Knife – short blade in comparison to other tools. Even Wingman has a longer blade.
• 420HC Serrated Knife – short blade in comparison to other tools. Nice blunt tip that can be used for cutting clothes on the scene of trauma.
• Phillips Screwdriver – like any other screwdriver. Nothing to see here.
• Medium Screwdriver – strap cutter is shaped to form a medium sized flat head at the end.
• Small/Large Screwdriver – works but like I mentioned OHT is 1.5 inches wide and screwdriver function is 1 inch long. So if your screw is 1 inch deep into a hole you need at least 3 inches in diameter of space to make it work. Same goes for small flat head. Philips is little longer.
• Saw – short saw
• Strap Cutter – works great on seatbelts. Not a dedicated hook like one made by Benchmade. Straps only althou you can get creative.
• Can/Bottle Opener – yup opens cans and bottles
• Oxygen Tank Wrench– redundant with one hand pliers and hole is too small for tanks that has been abused at the valve.
• #8-32 Cleaning Rod Attachment – Yup is there.
I managed to take an OHT to an extrication training yesterday as an idea of breaking it in. I left my other tools at the station not to be tempted to use something else. Right off the bat I missed window punch. Than I tried to work the tool with firefighting gloves which was a hard thing to do. Hatch gloves and extrication gloves make it little easier. Closing the components with gloves on wasn’t a problem. Opening and closing of the pliers with any gloves on was also a breeze. I loved the spring opening, which made it easier to operate. Handles were comfortable and sat nicely in my hand without a pinch that I found with other tools. I’m going to put it thru the paces as time goes by and will see how it works.
In conclusion I like it but I’m not in love with it. I’m not very fond of the case which is typical molle attachment case. I prefer the old leather or thick nylon cases which made it easier to get tool in and out. Now this tool is about $70 which is reasonably priced for quality piece of equipment. I don’t like the fact that it can’t be fixed in the field if something goes wrong with the pliers (at least I can’t see it). Now is there an alternative? Yup. It’s called Gerber Flik. About half the price on Ebay with longer blades, same hand opening for blades, scissors and saw. Problem with the Flik is that screwdrivers and bottle opener is hard to get to and there is no strap cutter (use the serrated blade).
Size comparison between OHT and Gerber Flik:
Field repair if needed if I have right sized wrench:
Cases for MUT and OHT (smaller):
Lockout featur that allows you to keep pliers locket by turning a small knob.