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LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours 3957

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!
LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« on: April 21, 2008, 02:56:28 PM »
Well here's my long over due of my MT.O ALX Charge :)

Here's a picture in all it's lovely MT.O goodness...



Backround

Ok so on to the tool itself, well as most of you know this is LM's flagship medium size/weight tool (the Charge, not specifically the ALX), it's very similar to the new pattern Wave's infact the Charge really is just a product improved Wave thats had a bit of fancy steel and technology thrown at it.

Build Quality

I'm quite impressed with the build quality, it's not up to Victorinox levels, but it's still very impressive for all that, it feels solid in the hand, and all the tools deploy smoothly and without clumping, the pliers refuse to butterfly but I can live with that. I've not used it much for work as it's too big and far too wide for sensible pocket carry, but I have used it extensively around the home and garden, were it has really pulled it's weight cutting back some of the tree's and shrubs in my garden, as well as bodging various fence posts until it gets warmer to fix them properly!

Around the house it's been a bit of a mixed story, the needle nose pliers have proved useful around the house where the strength of blunt nosed pliers hasn't really been needed, but the stupidly short and wide screwdrivers have been a total joke when your trying to unscrew the battery compartment on my son's toys!

On the plus side, this is the first LM I've had that hasn't pitted with rust, and hasn't needed a lot of care and attention, so well done on that score LM.



Pliers

As you would expect from a Leatherman product these are a well though out design, an offer good control and reach, the pliers terminate in a nice point, which isn't always the case with other brands. the only slightly worrying thing is the amount of twist in the handles when torque is applied, I doubt they'd fail, but is unnerving nonetheless.

The wire cutters are effective and so far have been undamage in anyway, so I'm pretty happy to recommend them.



Individual tools

Blades, The main clip point blade has seen a lot of use and thus far has only needed a very light touch up, so the edge holding is very good from the 154 CM blade, it's proved it's worth doing everything from whittling to slicing tomatoes (which it did very well) the aggresive clip allows quite fine precise work to be undertaken easily. to be honest I've not really used the serrated/gut hook blade much, I'm sure it's an effective blade, but due to my personnel loathing of serrations I've only used it on carboard recycling and the like.

Saw, now this is fairly effective it doesn't bind too badly in green wood's but does seem to prefere deadwoods, it makes short work of 2 inch limbs so overall i was pretty happy with it, I just wish they'd adopt the swiss style saw as that cuts both ways and is effectively self cleaning, but I guess there's patent/cost reasons behind it.

File, now this is more like it, my first tool based Diamond file, smooth, fast and quietly aggresive every MT should have one, certainly made short work of any task I set it too!, the rasp on the reverse side is pretty good too, aggressive but not massively so...a good compromise.

Lanyard ring, this is an often overlooked feature but it's good in the way that they've managed to incorperate it into the tool without sacrificing a tool, I can't say I've used it much, as I prefer the (optional) tool clip, having said that the tool clip isn't idea on this tool due to the wide nature of the tool, which makes it uncomfortable for me to carry (I've only got a 32inch waist) it's just too bulky, but then thats the sacrifice you have to make for OH tools.

Can/bottle opener, well they work...just, it really is a bit to small to be able to open bottles effectively, as I discovered over Christmas, cans are fairly easy though.

Screwdrivers, ok worst till last, why oh why did LM choose to use a bit kit?, an MT should be a tool in it's own right and not have to rely on additional bit's to get the job done, not that it's going to be able to do the job anyway as the reach is pathetic, not just because of the short overall length, but because of the width is to wide fo fit in many gaps, and why two bit holders?, one would have been enough and would have left room for something useful like an awl?

Conclusion

Ok overall this is a pretty good tool, but it's let down by the details, when using the tool's your hand comes into contact with a lot of hotspots, there are a serious number of rough/sharp edges on this tool (my TTi is the same) and your hand will not thank you for using this tool over a long period (at least mine didn't), and while OH is a good and useful feature (although thats argueable), the price you pay is a serious amount of width over something like a Spirit, and a fairly minimal tool load out.

Don't get me wrong I like the Charge, but is it my favourite? No not by a long shot.



« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 07:08:56 PM by micky d »

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,449 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2008, 03:28:59 PM »
Yeah, but there's no pretty Multitool.org Spirit (yet!) now is there? :P

Great review!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
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: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2008, 03:30:07 PM »
Yeah, but there's no pretty Multitool.org Spirit (yet!) now is there? :P

Great review!

Def
Well there is that :D you should pull you finger out and make one then :pok: :pok:

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,449 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2008, 03:39:02 PM »
It seems I have been told...   :ahhh

Actually, it has been in the works for some time.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
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: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 04:21:55 PM »
It seems I have been told...   :ahhh

Actually, it has been in the works for some time.

Def
Well I got my Charge for Xmas, so it'd be nice if the Spirit was ready for my birthday in August ;) :D

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
No Life Club Posts: 2,886
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2008, 07:28:53 PM »
Nice review Micky D.

"
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,449 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2008, 07:45:42 PM »
It seems I have been told...   :ahhh

Actually, it has been in the works for some time.

Def
Well I got my Charge for Xmas, so it'd be nice if the Spirit was ready for my birthday in August ;) :D

I'll pass on the hint...

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Sr. Member Posts: 413 I do Exist!!!!
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2008, 08:04:18 PM »
Nice review. And as you mentioned, why they have to have two bit holders? And in the Ti/Al, why another flat screwdriver instead of an awl if you already have the bit holder? The scissors are ok, but they feel like a joke compared with the scissors found in Gerber multis.

Carlos
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 01:37:33 AM by crls1 »

(
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: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2008, 10:13:57 PM »
Nice review. And as you mentioned, why they have to have two bit holders? And in the Ti/Al, why another flat scredriver instead of an awl if you already have the bit holder? The scissors are ok, but they feel like a joke compared with the scissors found in Gerber multis.

Carlos
It is a bit of a mystery, especially when you consider the belt sheath holds all the other bit's securely :think:

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
No Life Club Posts: 4,532 Hello...is this thing on?
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2008, 10:15:32 PM »
Good write up :)

Life is like a sandwich...the older it gets the crustier it becomes!
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: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2008, 10:19:07 PM »
Thanks fella's, I'll post a link so you can nominate me for a pullitzer :D

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Global Tuffy Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,078 Just Awesome! And a Slayer of Polar Bear!
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2008, 01:02:12 AM »
Great review mate.  :)  I thought you were very fair considering how much of a Vic man you are.

I'm back!!
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2008, 02:35:27 AM »
Nice review Mike, looks like Charge 005 has found a good home! :)

I get the impression that you are generally pleased with the long outside blades, but unhappy with the short inside drivers. It seems like folks have strong feelings about the bit drivers. Some people like the versatility they provide, being able to deal with many different types of fasteners. (flatheads, phillips, torx, hex, robertson) Other people hate the bit drivers because they necessarily shorten the reach of the screwdriver.

It seems like there is a simple solution:
Instead of making two different Charge models with only piddlin' differences between them, Leatherman should make two different models with two different driver mentalities. A Charge BD with bit drivers for those who prefer them, and a Charge DD with longer dedicated drivers for that group.

Ya think? :)

 

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
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: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2008, 10:25:49 AM »
It makes sence to me Bob, the drivers are practically unusable to me in there current form :(

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Global Tuffy Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,078 Just Awesome! And a Slayer of Polar Bear!
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2008, 05:46:38 PM »
Not that I have owned any yet, but I am not too keen on the bit driver idea either.  :-\

I'm back!!
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,449 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2008, 05:50:50 PM »
I understand Leatherman's point of having a flattened driver to save space.  It's a good idea in theory... but then to put two identical bit drivers on the same tool?  No, I'm sorry, I just can't agree with that.  Take out both half sized drivers and put in one whole, standard 1/4" driver and I'd be a heck of a lot happier with the ALX/XTi models.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
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: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2008, 06:54:22 PM »
Can't argue with that either Grant mate, but I think they saw the dollar sign's of all those bit's that got lost and needed replacing ::)

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2008, 09:26:24 PM »
IMO, the bit drivers are great. They are versatile and get the job done. If the bits are too stubby for you- then just get the extender and long hex bits...

B
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,449 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2008, 09:49:32 PM »
Can't argue with that either Grant mate, but I think they saw the dollar sign's of all those bit's that got lost and needed replacing ::)

More likely the lesser number of dollar signs in using off the shelf parts...

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
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: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2008, 11:29:12 PM »
IMO, the bit drivers are great. They are versatile and get the job done. If the bits are too stubby for you- then just get the extender and long hex bits...
But then thats more weight and more bulk, on what shouldn't be neccassary, in what is already a bulky tool! ::)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 11:36:30 PM by micky d »

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2008, 11:39:18 PM »
Indeed, but with all multi-tools you have to make sacrifices. The Charge is bulkier because you have one handed opening blades. BTW, you could easily fit the bit extender and two long hex bits in the sheath!

Also, when I carry my ALX/XTi I put the philips/flathead in one of bit holders and a custom made awl in the other. It works out well. I also carry a Micra if I need scissors. But, most of the time I have my SURGE and its not necessary!  :D

B
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: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2008, 11:42:24 PM »
But, most of the time I have my SURGE and its not necessary!  :D
See thats the option I follow, if I need a medium size multi, I just grab my Spirit, which is a lot better for my needs :)

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2008, 11:48:48 PM »
Indeed! But the ALX/XTi with an awl in one of the bit drivers is a great idea. Especially if you are like me and have a bit card with all your favorite bits ( including a chisel bit).

B
No Life Club Posts: 2,886
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2008, 01:58:30 AM »
I personally have no problems with the shorter reach of the LM bit drivers. The strength of them is a concern for me. I always remember Spoonrobots story of the bit driver snapping apart on him.

Quote
Instead of making two different Charge models with only piddlin' differences between them, Leatherman should make two different models with two different driver mentalities. A Charge BD with bit drivers for those who prefer them, and a Charge DD with longer dedicated drivers for that group.
So Bob what would you call my bit driverless New Wave :D

"
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,449 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2008, 02:43:04 AM »
Nice!  Does it close ok?

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2008, 02:48:55 AM »
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.. BTW, did you put the bit driver on the tool you got the philips from?

B
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2008, 03:01:27 AM »
I really think that Spoon's bit driver was a dud. I have used the bit driver on my SURGE to the MAX and I haven't had any problems.

B
No Life Club Posts: 2,886
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2008, 03:07:36 AM »
Quote
Nice!  Does it close ok?

Def
You have to bend down the little tab inside the Wave handles that the plier head rests on so the phillips head can close down. Other than that Everything closes fine.

Quote
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.. BTW, did you put the bit driver on the tool you got the philips from?
Not yet.

Quote
I really think that Spoon's bit driver was a dud. I have used the bit driver on my SURGE to the MAX and I haven't had any problems.
Yea maybe. But I wouldn't want to find out with one of my tools.

"
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2008, 03:20:53 AM »
If you have time, could you take a pic of the tool closed? Thanks

B
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: LM Charge ALX in MT.O Colours
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2008, 03:57:21 AM »
I personally have no problems with the shorter reach of the LM bit drivers. The strength of them is a concern for me. I always remember Spoonrobots story of the bit driver snapping apart on him.

Quote
Instead of making two different Charge models with only piddlin' differences between them, Leatherman should make two different models with two different driver mentalities. A Charge BD with bit drivers for those who prefer them, and a Charge DD with longer dedicated drivers for that group.
So Bob what would you call my bit driverless New Wave :D
(Image removed from quote.)

Damn! That really seems like a sweet idea Prime! I'm impressed, nice job!  :multi:

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools

 

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