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Leatherman Surge 13322

No Life Club Posts: 4,532 Hello...is this thing on?
Leatherman Surge
« on: July 16, 2008, 09:00:04 PM »
The SURGE!!!!!!!

Let me take you back about 12months I had just started getting active on this forum after having 3 multitools for a year or so, top (or just about) of my list to get was the Leatherman Surge. Hardly a day went past when i didn't look on ebay to see if there were any bargins to be had but alas nothing cheap my way came. After a few weeks of this i got a bit bored with it and moved on to other tools that i could get for a reasonable amount. But always lingering at the back of my mind was "buy a Surge...go on you know you want to" but every time i had the money to get one other things cropped up that couldnt be ignored, so here i am 12months later and I still haven't bought one! ::) Hearing great things about them on here from various people i was really looking forward to finally getting my hands on one at the UK Meetup... there i was heart pounding as Mike wipped it out (ooeer miss! :o ) and there it stood massive and gleaming in the morning sun, the thing i'd been waiting for for 12months! And you know what.... i was sorely dissapointed :(

The implements:
Knife blades- Great no qualms with these (apart from not being able to EDC it of course!) Cut well and reasonably smooth to get out, i'm sure with some use they would become a lot smoother.


Scissors- Def's Surge has a little bit of a problem getting the scissors out, if you don't open them with a bit of force they don't always engage the liner lock. Their performance however is pretty good.

Blade Adaptor - While both of the blades (saw and file) work just fine by having the adaptor you lose a fair chunk of cutting length which is a bit of a disappointment on a tool this size.

Awl - Cracking bit of kit nice and sharp and with plenty of oomph behind it. Here's a pic of it in use:

Can Opener - Same as the Wave, i prefer the Vic style of openers but this one does work pretty well.

Flat head - Huge chunk of metal but well ground, functions as it should, really well!

Bit Adaptors - Some people don't like them but i do, gives you more flexibility in a compact package :)

Pliers - Cutters work well, and the pliers feel very strong (didn't push the tool as its not mine :) )




So why then if i'm giving it all this praise did i say i was disappointed in it? :think:

A tool is much more than the sum of its parts, its a whole other thing to be judged. The tool just doesn't scream quality as it should, the serrated blade has a fair bit of side to side play, the blades in the blade adaptor rattle around and the handles have play in them. Although i have nothing against big and heavy tools (i have the Gerber 800 and the Swisstool) the Surge feels a little ungainly with its weight and size and although the SURGE!!! looks like a big Wave  in my opinion it isn't in the same league in terms of quality, the lock release buttons are not as nice as the Wave's either. I also don't like the look of the ridged screw heads at the plier pivots, they just look a bit tacky!

It's not a bad tool, it just doesn't live up to the reputation as the be all and end all its been hyped up to be :-\

Thanks go to Def for providing this tool for us UK'ers :cheers:
Ryan


A couple of pics of the Surge on its holiday in the UK :)
A set of scales showing the weight of the Surge in kilograms :P


Life is like a sandwich...the older it gets the crustier it becomes!
No Life Club Posts: 1,547
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2008, 09:28:57 PM »
Thanks for the great pics and review, Roadie!

About 3/4 of the way throught it, I was wanting a Surge really bad, but I definitely understand what you mean about the sum of the parts being as important as the individual components.

I think there is one person here who is likely going to disagree with you though!  :D

FWIW, I really find reviews with comparison shots between different models to be extremely useful. Now I am wondering how the Surge compares to the Swisstool and Core, for example.

Anyway, great stuff!  :cheers:

[
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 09:32:11 PM »
Good review.. But, I think you need a current SURGE to test.. It's like reviewing an older SwissTool and saying the wire cutters are too small..

B
Sr. Member Posts: 392
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2008, 09:36:36 PM »
Roadie,

Do you still want a Surge or did gettig to see and handle one save you some money?

I have the Surge so I'm not looking for a recommendation, but rather I just wonder what the bottom line is.

Thanks for the review. I never seem to get tired of them.
No Life Club Posts: 4,532 Hello...is this thing on?
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2008, 09:40:24 PM »
Good review.. But, I think you need a current SURGE to test.. It's like reviewing an older SwissTool and saying the wire cutters are too small..

I did get to handle a newer one (DaveK's) but i still wasn't impressed with it as a whole. It just doesn't float my boat :)

And max....no problem :) Always happy to help, it is nice to be able to compare tools in pics isn't it :) A quick comparison with the Swisstool (no pics) is that the ST feels so much more refined and has a much higher level of quality to it than the Surge! Either one is a tough hard working tool but i'd take the Swisstool any day! :)

Life is like a sandwich...the older it gets the crustier it becomes!
No Life Club Posts: 4,532 Hello...is this thing on?
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2008, 09:42:09 PM »
Roadie,

Do you still want a Surge or did gettig to see and handle one save you some money?

I have the Surge so I'm not looking for a recommendation, but rather I just wonder what the bottom line is.

Thanks for the review. I never seem to get tired of them.

It's still on the "to buy" list (just like every other tool!) but its no longer a high priority for me (in fact it's somewhere near the bottom) If i find one cheap i'm not going to say no, but i wouldn't pay full price for one :)

Life is like a sandwich...the older it gets the crustier it becomes!
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,449 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2008, 09:43:45 PM »
Quote
Scissors- Def's Surge has a little bit of a problem getting the scissors out, if you don't open them with a bit of force they don't always engage the liner lock. Their performance however is pretty good.

I was under the impression that all Surge scissors had that problem?

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2008, 09:44:40 PM »
Good write-up Roadie, very well constructed I thought. I agree with most of the points you make, it's as though LM have tried to blend the sexy looks of the Wave with the brute-force of the ST200 and the end result has neither really - it's like a compromise.

LM123 - have they changed some aspects of the design of the Surge then? I didn't realise that. Mine has a 2007 (0307) datestamp and seems to show most of the characteristics that Roadie has highlighted.

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2008, 09:45:38 PM »
I like the one handed opening blades, and the large size.. That is why I EDC it.. I hate nail nicks.. A one hand opening blade is SO much more convenient! It's the way to go, IMO! And, you can get the knives out with gloves on.. So, you don't have to take your gloves off to get at the knife. Oh, and if you cut your nails it is VERY hard to get the tools out- on the SwissTool that is.. They are both good tools, but by a utility stand point the SURGE is triumphant- IMO!

B
No Life Club Posts: 4,532 Hello...is this thing on?
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2008, 09:48:33 PM »
Quote
Scissors- Def's Surge has a little bit of a problem getting the scissors out, if you don't open them with a bit of force they don't always engage the liner lock. Their performance however is pretty good.

I was under the impression that all Surge scissors had that problem?

Def

Dave's seemed to open fine....could have been a fluke though! :)

Life is like a sandwich...the older it gets the crustier it becomes!
No Life Club Posts: 4,532 Hello...is this thing on?
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2008, 09:49:05 PM »
Good write-up Roadie, very well constructed I thought. I agree with most of the points you make, it's as though LM have tried to blend the sexy looks of the Wave with the brute-force of the ST200 and the end result has neither really - it's like a compromise.

I'd agree with that :)

Life is like a sandwich...the older it gets the crustier it becomes!
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,449 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2008, 09:49:37 PM »
Wasn't Dave's Surge one of the newer ones? 

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2008, 09:50:24 PM »
Quote
Scissors- Def's Surge has a little bit of a problem getting the scissors out, if you don't open them with a bit of force they don't always engage the liner lock. Their performance however is pretty good.

I was under the impression that all Surge scissors had that problem?

Def

My scissors are OK. I think there's a bit of a knack to opening them so that the lock engages reliably. If you rotate them out by applying pressure to the scissor handle with the Zytel bit, then I have to press them hard to lock. However, if you use the back of the tip (on the side that's attached to the pivot) then mine engages every time.

I have to say though that mine hasn't seen a great deal of use as I always reach for the CORE!!! if I need a big 'un.


Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2008, 09:51:07 PM »
Yeah, I believe so... I find the older SURGE's rattle whereas the newer ones don't.. Oh, and the scissor spring doesn't engage until the liner lock is engaged.

B
No Life Club Posts: 4,532 Hello...is this thing on?
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2008, 09:53:10 PM »
Yeah, I believe so... I find the older SURGE's rattle whereas the newer ones don't.. Oh, and the scissor spring doesn't engage until the liner lock is engaged.

Don't i know it! At first i couldn't work out why the scissors weren't scissoring, then i realised the lock hadn't engaged ::) Don't have that problem with a Swisstool ;) :P

Life is like a sandwich...the older it gets the crustier it becomes!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2008, 09:59:46 PM »
Yeah, I believe so... I find the older SURGE's rattle whereas the newer ones don't.. Oh, and the scissor spring doesn't engage until the liner lock is engaged.

Don't i know it! At first i couldn't work out why the scissors weren't scissoring, then i realised the lock hadn't engaged ::) Don't have that problem with a Swisstool ;) :P

Although to be fair, you don't have that problem with the Surge once you know it either. The scissors are one of the strong points of the Surge I think, they are massive....

Agree with LM123s comments about comparison to the Swisstool (based on my very limited look at the Swisstool at the meet). The one handed opening and size of the blades are definitely advantageous, but both are too big for me to EDC.


No Life Club Posts: 1,547
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2008, 10:02:52 PM »
In terms of size, how do the Surge's tools compare to the Swisstool and Core? Are they all roughly the same size tools?

[
No Life Club Posts: 4,532 Hello...is this thing on?
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2008, 10:03:12 PM »
OH blades are great, but also more likely to cause hassle if an intrigued copper finds you with one. You do make a good point about the scissors though, i have got used to opening them the way you suggested and it's no longer a huge problem, but there shouldn't be a special way of opening them in the first place :-\

Life is like a sandwich...the older it gets the crustier it becomes!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2008, 10:07:16 PM »
Ah you see - you say "special way", whereas I say "correct way" ;)


Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2008, 10:08:11 PM »
Yeah, but every tool has drawbacks.. Such as the play while the SwissTool implements are locked, how the drivers are rounded, or how the philips driver slips.. Those drawbacks are only a few! ;)

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: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2008, 10:57:28 PM »
Great review Ryan mate, nice comparison shot's too :)

It's a very brave thing to write about a legend, especially if you impressions of it are none to positive :-\, I just glad I didn't have to write it :D

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
No Life Club Posts: 4,532 Hello...is this thing on?
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2008, 10:59:18 PM »
I have thick skin and a fast bike :D

Cheers though :)

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: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2008, 11:03:12 PM »
I have thick skin and a fast bike :D

Cheers though :)
I mean it :)

A little back story for the rest of you...

Neither Dunc, Ben or myself could thing of anything positive to say about the Surge (no offence, I'm not anti LM, I own a Core and hope to get an ST200 soon :)) seriously we were all totally underwhelmed by it :(

But despite that Ryan stepped up to the plate, and wrote a decent, honest review regardless :salute:
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 11:09:59 PM by micky d »

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2008, 11:09:32 PM »
^^ What he really means is that he couldn't handle it ;)

:D


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 Surge
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2008, 11:11:19 PM »
^^ What he really means is that he couldn't handle it ;)

:D


Nah Dave's right, my dainty little mitts weren't up to the task of holding it's 400kg weight :D

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Global Tuffy Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,078 Just Awesome! And a Slayer of Polar Bear!
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2008, 11:55:36 PM »
Great review mate!  :cheers:  I'm glad you "volunteered" to do that one.  :D

I'm back!!
No Life Club Posts: 4,532 Hello...is this thing on?
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2008, 12:06:54 AM »
Great review mate!  :cheers:  I'm glad you "volunteered" to do that one.  :D

It was more oh crap i'm the last to say "not me" wasn't it :think: :D

Life is like a sandwich...the older it gets the crustier it becomes!
Global Tuffy Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,078 Just Awesome! And a Slayer of Polar Bear!
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2008, 12:13:35 AM »
Great review mate!  :cheers:  I'm glad you "volunteered" to do that one.  :D

It was more oh crap i'm the last to say "not me" wasn't it :think: :D

That sounds about right.  :D

I'm back!!
No Life Club Posts: 3,371 Naked without my multitool!
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2008, 12:19:40 AM »
"You do not choose multitool, multitool choose you."
Surge works for me, its sometimes brute and unweldy, but it works for me.......... Unlike women it not a bad thing if your multitool is loose.  :D

Multitools are the best thing that happened to mankind since the invention of the wheel!
Sr. Member Posts: 392
Re: Leatherman Surge
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2008, 04:13:50 AM »
its sometimes brute and unweldy, but it works like women.  :D

Sounds like my ex.

 

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