Multitool.org Forum
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
+-

Hello Lurker! Remove this ad and much more by logging in.


Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering? 13294

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,427
Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« on: October 30, 2015, 12:12:10 PM »
Leatherman Signal – A bittersweet offering?



Introduction
For past couple of years, outdoor survival and bushcrafting have been gaining interest in both media and outdoor gear community.  As Leatherman announcing a new survivalist multi-tool in early 2015, it has spawned an enormous interest in our local MT.O community, and for months, multi-tool enthusiasts have discussed this tool to no end.  It was with this hype and high expectation, the new Leatherman Signal comes on sale summer 2015.

A quick background about myself--I am not an outdoor expert, but do hike on a very regular basis and camp once awhile.  My wife diagnosis me as a late-stage gear junkie beyond help.  All the ‘survival’ features on Signal, I have already owned and am satisfied with their performances.  So the decision of whether buying Signal is not question of needs, but a question of whether I want to.

It speaks to me as a multi-tool collector, but argues with me as a practical outdoor tool user. 

Just so I was visiting local Leatherman dealer, buying new MTs for my saw tests video, there I caught the first glimpse of Leatherman Signal.  The unusual color blend of silver, yellow and black does make Signal stand out, and it was calling me.  At the end, the ‘want’ won over the ‘need’ again, and I went home that night with a new Signal.  The MT.O forum members have taken rather polarized views on Signal, and I just had to see what were all the fuss about.




A Closer look at Leatherman Signal




Signal is a mix of successful tools with new innovative ideas.  Here are some of my thoughts, after fondling and using it for a short while:



The Blade

It is an one-hand-opening blade, with half serration towards the handle



Initial sharpness is decent.  It can slice printer paper easily.




Interesting point about this blade is the non-symmetric geometry.  The blade grind may look normal and symmetric from the onset, but since the edge is off-center and skewed towards one-side(to accommodate both this blade and the awl in tight quarters), so sharpening it will need extra attention. 
If you are a Spyderco Sharpmaker user like me, you can’t sharpen this tool in a traditional sense, but have to tilt the tool differently from side to side, which could be a hassle.



The Saw

It is a pull saw identical to Leatherman Wave.  I have since conducted a pretty thorough saw test with many popular multi-tool models.  Signal saw delivered an average performance after 12 rounds of sawing, but its ergonomics leave much room to be desired for. 


For more detail of the saw test, please watch my youtube video:
Mid Size Multi-tool Saw Tests and Analysis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1lIN7NDFzc



Outdoor elements on handles

I check on the longitude and latitude inscribed on that chassis, and it's in the middle of a wooded area in Portland.  Is it where the inspiration comes from?  Many argues about MT pocket clip may not be strong enough for good tool retention, I personally haven't carry it in that manner, but given the depression on chassis+decent clip strength+longer tool body, my guess is it should do an adequate for tool retention.

All the outdoor/survival elements are visible from the handles, the whistle, small ferro rod and sharpening file are all detachable.  I sure do appreciate LM putting yellow highlights on these tools, so it is more visible if I drop them in the dark.




The whistle is reasonably loud but I could feel air leaking while blowing, the ferro rod does give off fair amount of spark(from my saw test), but I expect the lifespan could be short due to it is deeply buried inside the whistle.  The sharpening file I haven’t tried, but the abrasiveness feel right and should do the job just fine.



Awl, Bit adapter, Can opener and Pliers

Signal hosts an awl, tool adapter and can opener in one of the handles.  The bit adapter and can opener is the same as Leatherman Wave.  The awl is a nice addition to this tool, since it could be used for both leather and wood work. 




However, the hammer does interfere with all these tools, and they are best used if the handles are to be remained open.


The awl comes pretty dull, so sharpening it may make it more useful.




Pilers is the same as Rebar, with replaceable wire cutter.  Do be careful how you put away your Signal pliers, without the whistle part, the beak of pliers may come out of the handle and nip at your hand.



The hammer, the Carabiner clip and the hex hole

At the end of the tool, Signal features a similar hammer to MUT, a tool clip and a 1/4 hex adapter hole.  I really can’t fully comprehend what use is a hammer in the wild, and the only usage I could imagine are to crush nuts or pounding in tent stakes.  But with a long tent stakes protruding from ground, you have to be 100% accurate with that hammer or you are in for a new world of pain.
The carabiner clip is convenient for tool retention, but many may argue it is equally convenient to lose tool.  The 1/4 hex is a good use of space, but in reality, I never lug many 1/4 bits into the wild, and do prefer the slim 1/4 Leatherman bits if I must.




Conclusion

When it comes to value, it all boils down to price vs performance.  As of Autumn 2015, Signal is retailing around $100-$120usd.  The price maybe a little steep when we compares this to a combo of traditional outdoor tools(Storm whistle/Bahco Laplander/Ferro rod/etc).

Personally, I think this tool could be a decent gift idea to an outdoor ‘beginner’(for example, a cub scout) or multi-tool enthusiast.  As for seasonal outdoor folks, they may have already owned all the relevant gears, and Signal, as a multi-tool may not have much to offer, but a luxury backup tool just in case.


************************************************************************************

Pros
Small gadgets are attached onto the handles, all in one package
All outdoor relevant functions work well
Vibrant yellow color for small detachables, easy to spot if lost on ground

Cons
High Price
Hammer interferes many tools, and has limited use
Not much to offer as an EDC  multi-tool, considering what's been traded off for few outdoor gears

************************************************************************************

Thank you for reading, and come join us in our leatherman subforum discussion if you are interested in Signal or other LM multitools:
http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/board,3.0.html
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 02:11:54 PM by comis »

Join Daredevil and Poker Face Challenge in 2021 and get Free magnets!
Comis Gear Youtube Channel
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,603 Bored

dks cy

********* *
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2015, 12:32:25 PM »
Many thanks

It looks good !   :D

Kelly: "Daddy, what makes men cheat on women?
Al : "Women!"

[ Knife threads ]  [ Country shopping guides ]  [ Battery-Charger-Light threads ]  [ Picture threads ]
No Life Club Posts: 4,702 Captain's Apprentice
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2015, 01:10:16 PM »
Great writeup comis!!!

It looks great and I'm glad there are so many comparison photos!

I'll own one one day, and I'll mod the crap out of it
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,555

Zed gb

******** *
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2015, 01:27:35 PM »
Great review Comis  :salute: i want one now  :facepalm:
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,973
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2015, 01:33:33 PM »
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank you,a proper review,and a damn good one at that :salute:

Oddly enough,it's done more to convince me that it's not a tool I want than all the other sabre rattling in the other threads.


There is no beginning,or ending,and for this we are thankful,cos now is hard enough to understand!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,076 Cats have pocket knives of their own
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2015, 01:41:09 PM »
Many thanks, Comis :salute:

My preliminary thoughts on the Signal, after reading your lovely review? Now, that's hipsterised! I probably never will own a Signal. Send it to Obi or Harley  >:D

By belief, I'm not a hater. Let me gather my thougths for a while and I'll explain why I don't like this thing.

:facepalm: Ughh.

Omnia vincit amor. Vae victis.
Jr. Member Posts: 63
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2015, 01:41:16 PM »
Good review :2tu: - maybe i need to enlarge my collection  :gimme:

multitools for the one leaving nothing undone
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,517 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2015, 01:49:13 PM »
Excellent write up Comis  :tu:

There's nothing in there to change my mind about it, so my opinions thus far remain the same (probably reinforced actually). You did however do an excellent job of achieving as balanced a review as is possible  :cheers:

Could you clarify one point for me please? You say the pocket clip is convenient for carry though others may argue it's convenient to lose it. Is it due to a weak spring, lack of traction beneath it, ride height, or something else? I don't feel the Wave "grips" a pocket well, but on balance I still find it an enhancement to the tool, and it does make the tool more convenient at times. How does this one compare to such as a Wave?



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Global Moderator Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 48,588
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2015, 01:52:59 PM »
Good review , thanks  :tu:
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,234 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2015, 01:56:52 PM »
Excellent review comis :salute:

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk


K-Tibbs
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,076 Cats have pocket knives of their own
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2015, 02:10:34 PM »
[rant] Where to begin?

Ah, the knife blade. Not only has the knife blade a combo edge on it (and one with the wrong kind of pattern IMO), it seems it's akward to sharpen. Just what you need in a survival situation, in other words. By the way, I see some dark spots on the knife blade?

Pliers poking at you if you lose the whistle. Something's wrong there.

Awl comes blunt! A blunt awl always comes in handy!

No pry tool, but it has bit holder and hex driver and a hammer thingy of little use (to be honest it looks like it makes using the saw uncomfortable). Perfect for your everyday survival situation, all of this.

It has geographic coordinates stamped on it so you know where to dump it in Oregon?

Good thing they didn't paint the detachable bells and whistles in tactikool black. [/rant]

:rant: :facepalm:

Omnia vincit amor. Vae victis.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,427
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2015, 02:13:06 PM »
Thank you everyone reading and supporting this!

@dks  It does look good, no question about it.  That's probably what convinces me initially.

@NKlamerus  Don't forget to put a link here!  :popcorn:

@Zed  Paul, I would then love to see you using it in your next camping trip, and keep us updated!

@kirk13  Personally, I love to see reviews that's subjective and real, than just lope sided praises or bashes.  I hope I am doing it right.

@firiki  Brother, do send them over to these gents.  I love to see what they can do with them. >:D

@leatherman-shop.de  Thanks for reading!

@50ft-trad  Yikes, Bro, you got me there, and I just went to make a quick correction.  What I meant is the carabiner clip is convenient, but also prone to losing gear.  Just plain old Murphy's law, so as long it is not a locking biner, getting caught with something and losing the tool is just a matter of time.  But you brought up the good point about the tool clip, and I just put my extra 2 cents in.  :cheers:

Join Daredevil and Poker Face Challenge in 2021 and get Free magnets!
Comis Gear Youtube Channel
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,427
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2015, 02:13:35 PM »
Excellent review comis :salute:

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk



Thank you!  :salute: :D

Join Daredevil and Poker Face Challenge in 2021 and get Free magnets!
Comis Gear Youtube Channel
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,427
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2015, 02:16:22 PM »
@firiki  Let's just say this tool may not be the best for everyday carry or everyone, and possibly an acquired taste.  ;)

Join Daredevil and Poker Face Challenge in 2021 and get Free magnets!
Comis Gear Youtube Channel
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,517 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2015, 02:18:10 PM »
Thanks for the clarification comis  :cheers: I may have partially misread it first time round  :salute:



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,427
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2015, 02:20:48 PM »
Thanks for the clarification comis  :cheers: I may have partially misread it first time round  :salute:

Nah, you totally helped me to edit it.  Thank you! :cheers:

Join Daredevil and Poker Face Challenge in 2021 and get Free magnets!
Comis Gear Youtube Channel
OCD Squad Leader Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 11,658
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2015, 02:21:31 PM »
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank you,a proper review,and a damn good one at that :salute:

Oddly enough,it's done more to convince me that it's not a tool I want than all the other sabre rattling in the other threads.
+1
I kinda like the whole idea of the Signal. Its a bit sad that the plastic inserts are of inferior quality (leaking whistle on a new tool :ahhh).

What I have learned from the Signal though is that I really, really want a MUT :D

Emergency Kit: Ovo Sport, chocolate, cheese, crispbread and a coin
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,427
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2015, 02:34:48 PM »
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank you,a proper review,and a damn good one at that :salute:

Oddly enough,it's done more to convince me that it's not a tool I want than all the other sabre rattling in the other threads.
+1
I kinda like the whole idea of the Signal. Its a bit sad that the plastic inserts are of inferior quality (leaking whistle on a new tool :ahhh).

What I have learned from the Signal though is that I really, really want a MUT :D

Yes, the whistle does leak a little, and I have to fiddle with it to blow it 'loud'.  Definitely not the same grade as my 4sevens 100db whistle, or our fellow MTO member Tofty's whistles(which is really well made in one-piece).

I don't have a MUT, and am not into firearm...still struggle on the fence about that one.  Maybe I should start a thread to ask people to convince me not to have one... >:D :D

Join Daredevil and Poker Face Challenge in 2021 and get Free magnets!
Comis Gear Youtube Channel
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,076 Cats have pocket knives of their own
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2015, 02:53:37 PM »
@firiki  Let's just say this tool may not be the best for everyday carry or everyone, and possibly an acquired taste.  ;)

Sure, I'll agree with that. I can't see me acquiring a taste for the Signal though  :)

Thanks again for the good review :tu:

Omnia vincit amor. Vae victis.
OCD Squad Leader Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 11,658
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2015, 02:55:48 PM »
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank you,a proper review,and a damn good one at that :salute:

Oddly enough,it's done more to convince me that it's not a tool I want than all the other sabre rattling in the other threads.
+1
I kinda like the whole idea of the Signal. Its a bit sad that the plastic inserts are of inferior quality (leaking whistle on a new tool :ahhh).

What I have learned from the Signal though is that I really, really want a MUT :D

Yes, the whistle does leak a little, and I have to fiddle with it to blow it 'loud'.  Definitely not the same grade as my 4sevens 100db whistle, or our fellow MTO member Tofty's whistles(which is really well made in one-piece).

I don't have a MUT, and am not into firearm...still struggle on the fence about that one.  Maybe I should start a thread to ask people to convince me not to have one... >:D :D
Me neither, but if I can put something more useful (like a long awl) in place of the two firearm-specific tools, this could be an excellent tool... I was hoping for a civilian version of the Mut, but in lights of the Signal I'm worried that this is not going to happen.

Emergency Kit: Ovo Sport, chocolate, cheese, crispbread and a coin
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,427
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2015, 03:06:21 PM »
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Thank you,a proper review,and a damn good one at that :salute:

Oddly enough,it's done more to convince me that it's not a tool I want than all the other sabre rattling in the other threads.
+1
I kinda like the whole idea of the Signal. Its a bit sad that the plastic inserts are of inferior quality (leaking whistle on a new tool :ahhh).

What I have learned from the Signal though is that I really, really want a MUT :D

Yes, the whistle does leak a little, and I have to fiddle with it to blow it 'loud'.  Definitely not the same grade as my 4sevens 100db whistle, or our fellow MTO member Tofty's whistles(which is really well made in one-piece).

I don't have a MUT, and am not into firearm...still struggle on the fence about that one.  Maybe I should start a thread to ask people to convince me not to have one... >:D :D
Me neither, but if I can put something more useful (like a long awl) in place of the two firearm-specific tools, this could be an excellent tool... I was hoping for a civilian version of the Mut, but in lights of the Signal I'm worried that this is not going to happen.

Wouldn't you think the bronze 'carbon scrapper' is already kinda a long awl?  Or you want something shorter?
After re-seeing the MUT vid, I tend to think MUT is a much better designed tool suited for firearm maintenance(such as using the 'hammer' on the punch) than Signal for outdoor/camping.

Join Daredevil and Poker Face Challenge in 2021 and get Free magnets!
Comis Gear Youtube Channel
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 22,384
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2015, 03:09:26 PM »
 :salute: Comis thank you for this review.  It's nice to see a balanced well thought out write up regardless of the outcome.  It sure is a lovely looking tool however with the noted issues I do hope LM is listening.

Esse Quam Videri
No Life Club Posts: 1,810 Duck!
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2015, 03:18:03 PM »
I have to mirror the feelings of many in this thread; I'm glad to have an impartial and reasonably detailed review of the Signal, but it has also further convinced me I don't really want one.
At this price point you could buy the fantastic Surge or a Victorinox MT, which I think have a much higher value.

If someone gave me one, I'd probably play around with it while car/cabin camping and enjoy it well enough. And if the price comes down, significantly, it might not be a bad gift for the weekend outdoorsman in your life. Assuming he isn't a hardcore MT user or bushcrafter I suppose.

At any rate- good job, Comis!  :2tu:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,262 Tactical Desk Jockey
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2015, 03:18:58 PM »
Very nice write up :tu:

What are your thoughts on Signal 's handle spread?

EDC: Black Talon, Black Cat, Spirit, LD02
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,733 You're amongst friends.
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2015, 03:19:31 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to review it. This reaffirms my thoughts on the Signal. It's also a very ugly tool  :P

SAW
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,262 Tactical Desk Jockey
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2015, 03:20:44 PM »
I have to mirror the feelings of many in this thread; I'm glad to have an impartial and reasonably detailed review of the Signal, but it has also further convinced me I don't really want one.
At this price point you could buy the fantastic Surge or a Victorinox MT, which I think have a much higher value.

If someone gave me one, I'd probably play around with it while car/cabin camping and enjoy it well enough. And if the price comes down, significantly, it might not be a bad gift for the weekend outdoorsman in your life. Assuming he isn't a hardcore MT user or bushcrafter I suppose.

At any rate- good job, Comis!  :2tu:
Even though my review on Singal is short, but it does conculde that Wave is a better tool.  :P

EDC: Black Talon, Black Cat, Spirit, LD02
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,427
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2015, 03:55:11 PM »
@Aloha007  I hope so too!  :pok: :)

@WoodsDuck  I have similar sentiment too, but am curious whether LM is playing their cards exactly the way we perceive it?  Most 'bushcrafters' might already have those tools anyway, and price wise, it is not motivating enough at this point.  So mostly for gifts/beginners?  But what got me curious is, if, most bushcrafters/outdoorsmen won't really vote with their wallets, will people think this is a great gift for beginners as well?  :think:

@Kampfer   Like you have reviewed in the LM subforum, I too think it might be a little too wide of practical use.  I have an average hand, and if I were to spread the pliers to grab onto something, my hands could barely contain it to apply good force/torque.  And come to think about it, if we were to argue this tool is mostly for 'outdoor/bushcraft' use, then the pliers might be more useful for picking up hot lids or grabbing onto hot pots...

@Sawman  haha...I personally am a sucker for this kind of color theme.


Join Daredevil and Poker Face Challenge in 2021 and get Free magnets!
Comis Gear Youtube Channel
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,156
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2015, 04:01:35 PM »
Great write-up Comis. :cheers:

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,179
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2015, 04:42:06 PM »
Great review with awesome pics mate  :tu:.

Thanks for taking the time to do this review, and I hope you will keep us posted on how the Signal is doing in the future, when you've had the chance to use it for a longer time  ;).
No Life Club Posts: 2,525 Look at all those shiny sharp things.
Re: Leatherman Signal - A Bittersweet Offering?
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2015, 04:51:06 PM »
Thank you Comis. Your writing is good reading as allways. Thank you, it gives very good info of the tool. Most things i have read of this tool has been mostly by persons that have made their mind before it was released.

 

Donations

Operational Funds

Help us keep the Unworkable working!
Donate with PayPal!
October Goal: $300.00
Due Date: Oct 31
Total Receipts: $109.46
PayPal Fees: $6.30
Net Balance: $103.16
Below Goal: $196.84
Site Currency: USD
34% 
October Donations

Community Links


Powered by EzPortal
SMF 2.0.17 | SMF © 2020, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.063 seconds with 32 queries.
© 2018 Defender Web & Tool