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Leatherman Signal review 4988

Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Leatherman Signal review
« on: November 06, 2015, 05:16:47 AM »
Hi all,
I know the Signal has been somewhat of a controversial tool, but figured I'd do a review as well.  Just to give a heads up:  I'm not a heavy user of my MTs, and primarily carry them as a "just in case" pairing with my SAK (most of my typical needs are covered by the SAK).  I love them as gadgets that prove useful from time to time, but spend most of their time as fiddle fodder :whistle:  So this won't be an in depth review of each implement's usage/performance from experience, but rather my thoughts/opinions based on experience with other MTs and my own preferences.  It may also contain some rambling and such that I may or may not be known for at times ;)

First, it weighs in at 7.6oz, which is a reasonable weight for my carry preferences.  The pocket clip makes it even easier to carry, but this is one of my issues with the tool.  The clip design causes it to ride rather high for my liking.  I work at a bank, and prefer to not be so obvious with my carry.  However, I don't deal with the public customers, just employees, and there's no strict policy on this kind of thing.  Here's a pic (although this pic doesn't show it, it does settle down in a bit, but I took the pic right after placing it in pocket, and it was tricky to get the shot at the awkward angle):


The ergonomics are ok, but I don't find them as bad as others have.  This may be due to my smallish hands.  I could see how larger hands may fall victim to the carabiner pinch that has been mentioned.  If I hold it low enough, I do get pinched, but most times I'm using the knife (or saw), I don't end up holding it in a way that causes this issue, at least for me, despite how it looks in the pic.  Perhaps if I was using it for a task that required a firmer grip or squeezing, it would pinch? 



Speaking of the blade - I really like it.  It's rather beefy, and thicker than the Wave's blade.  I don't mind a combo blade, especially if I have no other serrated blade equipped, which I normally wouldn't. 


The pliers are great as far as I'm concerned.  The ergonomics are ok.  It does have a wide handle splay, but for most of my type of use, it's not too big a deal.  The base of the hammer actually sort of holds my pinky in place, or whichever finger I have as the base.  The grip is solid and comfortable for me.  Somehow didn't get any pics of it in hand, but here's one of it in plier mode:


Speaking of the hammer - it's actually one of my favorite parts of the tool.  There have been a few occasions when I wished I had a blunt, solid tool on me (admittedly not often), and prefer not to use the body of the MT as a hammer (not that most of them can't handle it).  The hammer seems solid, and it's come in handy once already.


I know there has been issue with the inside tools not being usable with the handles closed (except the awl it appears), but I don't see that as a problem.  I prefer to use the drivers with the handles extended as it seems more like a dedicated driver that way.  I've never used the can opener that way, but don't see that it should be a problem.



Now the hammer does appear to have a spot right for the awl to rest with the handles closed.  I don't know what the purpose of that is really.  Perhaps to provide a more stable/solid base for the awl for digging, picking or drilling at something?  It's got a sharp point, but not a sharp blade edge.  Still may be a good little scraper though.


The whistle/firesteel rod and sharpener bits - they seem a bit cheaply made to me.  I haven't been able to really test out the whistle as I can't do that at work, or at home really.  I did try it lightly and it seems like a cheaply made whistle.  The firesteel rod seems rather recessed into the whistle, which doesn't seem practical, but I'm not experienced in these things.  The sharpener seems fine, but is a thin piece of metal with light diamond coating, so I'm not sure how much use it would take to wear it out.



The other thing I don't like about them (and my other only real problems with the tool) is that they are not solidly in the body of the tool.  I've noticed the sharpener shifts down slightly until it rests upon the inner tools' lock.  This happens when I've held it over multiple uses of the knife.  It won't come off though as the lock has to be pressed in to allow this.  The whistle has some play and rattles slightly.  Still, I don't want to remove them as I like having them just in case, and I like the looks of them with the black of the tool.

So to summarize my thoughts (I may ramble a bit here :whistle:) - The Signal seems like a hybrid of MUT and Skeletool to me.  Almost like a Skeletool on steroids, which is funny because I don't consider myself a fan of the Skele.  I held one briefly and didn't like the feel of it, nor the pliers.  Yet I like the feel of the Signal, although I'm sure it's different to some degree.  I just haven't handled a Skele other than that one brief time, and that was a couple years ago.  I've never handled a MUT, but I know this is somewhat considered or supposed to be the civilian version.  It's also well built, with the exception of the fiddly yellow bits, and seems to be up to the LM quality standard, with no QC issues that I can see (again, except for the yellow bits).

I think in a sense, I'm one of the target customers here.  No, I don't go camping and am not an outdoorsy type (although I wouldn't mind getting into hiking actually, which this would be great for), but I am also not a tradesman or heavy user, so I may be one of the types LM were hoping for with this one.  I don't think that's a bad thing at all.  I am really enjoying the Signal, and more than I honestly thought I would.  It actually removes some of the redundancy I typically have with carrying a more traditional MT like the Rebar or Wave, etc.  I like having the OHO blade, even if it's not a necessity for me.  I think I've found a great companion to my MechaRogue (and Rogueneer if I carry it) as they compliment each other well.



Thanks for reading my review (if you made it to the end ;))  I look forward to any thoughts :salute:
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 05:54:56 AM by Monrogue »

K-Tibbs
No Life Club Posts: 4,697 Captain's Apprentice
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2015, 07:00:58 AM »
Great Writeup.

Still a good looking tool.

Do you own a Nitecore tube? Or Streamlight Nano by chance?
No Life Club Posts: 4,697 Captain's Apprentice
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2015, 07:01:38 AM »
Also, a Signal and the "Monrogue Red and Black" Scheme would look LEGIT.
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2015, 07:03:29 AM »
Great Writeup.

Still a good looking tool.

Do you own a Nitecore tube? Or Streamlight Nano by chance?

Thanks Nate :salute:
I really do like the looks of this one.  I don't own a Nitecore tube, but I do have a Streamlight Nano I believe (if it's what I think it is), but I don't have it handy.  Why do you ask?

K-Tibbs
No Life Club Posts: 4,697 Captain's Apprentice
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2015, 07:08:39 AM »
Great Writeup.

Still a good looking tool.

Do you own a Nitecore tube? Or Streamlight Nano by chance?

Thanks Nate :salute:
I really do like the looks of this one.  I don't own a Nitecore tube, but I do have a Streamlight Nano I believe (if it's what I think it is), but I don't have it handy.  Why do you ask?
I think that replacing the sharpener or ferro rod would greatly improve the signals chance of "group approval"

And flashlights are definetly something that MT'S don't usually include.

I just mentioned the Stream Light and Tube because UI and batteries are simple. And they are small enough it might not take much to get them to fit.

What we really need is Evil's work on one of these!
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2015, 03:02:35 PM »
Interesting idea man :tu:

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk


K-Tibbs
Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 31,596 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2015, 03:19:17 PM »
Good honest review mate. :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...
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,337
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2015, 03:27:30 PM »
Good review M, I think there are many users much like you.  A casual MT user that likes a tool for what it could do.  If the implements you do use handle the day to day chores then awesome.   You are also on point about the times when a blunt object is handy.  I dig my MUT for that very reason.     

Esse Quam Videri
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,673
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2015, 05:06:23 PM »
Thanks for making this review! :salute:

-Knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður.
 "A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" old Faroese proverb.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,733 You're amongst friends.
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2015, 05:14:21 PM »
Nice review Kyle. This still does't change my opinion of the Signal but it does look like a nice pairing with your mecharogue :tu:

SAW
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,789 What's the matter, kid? Don't ya like clowns?
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2015, 05:28:49 PM »
Nice review Kyle. This still does't change my opinion of the Signal but it does look like a nice pairing with your mecharogue :tu:


Agreed. I'm glad you are getting along with yours, but I still think it's a terrible design and very poorly executed.

Just my opinion though. I hope others like it and if it works for you or others then all the better.

I'm the milk man!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,512 Little to the right...
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2015, 10:01:46 PM »
Great review (and pics) K Tib!!!  I'm super happy that it seems to be working for you!! :tu:  And I agree, if you could dye the yellow red to match your color scheme, it would be mint!!

Hero Member Posts: 935
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2015, 03:22:10 AM »
Nice review.  It's still a turd, but you did a good job with the polish


Sent from 9 miles from the face of the sun
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2015, 07:39:09 AM »
Also, a Signal and the "Monrogue Red and Black" Scheme would look LEGIT.

Yes....yes it would :drool:

K-Tibbs
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2015, 07:41:57 AM »
Good honest review mate. :cheers:

Thanks man :salute:

K-Tibbs
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2015, 07:47:54 AM »
Good review M, I think there are many users much like you.  A casual MT user that likes a tool for what it could do.  If the implements you do use handle the day to day chores then awesome.   You are also on point about the times when a blunt object is handy.  I dig my MUT for that very reason.   

Thanks man :salute:  I actually really like the looks of the MUT, and have considered it in the past, but it's likely too big and heavy for me.  Also gun specific, although the Signal is designed for a specific set of uses, and I like it, so the MUT would probably be just as useful to me in that sense.  I've always wondered why a wood saw is on a gun specific tool :think:  I think a metal file would be a better option there. 

K-Tibbs
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2015, 07:50:41 AM »
Thanks for making this review! :salute:
Nice review Kyle. This still does't change my opinion of the Signal but it does look like a nice pairing with your mecharogue :tu:


Agreed. I'm glad you are getting along with yours, but I still think it's a terrible design and very poorly executed.

Just my opinion though. I hope others like it and if it works for you or others then all the better.
Nice review.  It's still a turd, but you did a good job with the polish


Sent from 9 miles from the face of the sun

Thanks guys :salute: 

K-Tibbs
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2015, 07:53:09 AM »
Great review (and pics) K Tib!!!  I'm super happy that it seems to be working for you!! :tu:  And I agree, if you could dye the yellow red to match your color scheme, it would be mint!!

Thanks buddy :salute:  I wish there was a way to dye those bits red, as that would indeed look great, and pair even better with that color scheme on my MechaRogue :tu:

K-Tibbs
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2015, 08:18:54 AM »
Here are a couple more thoughts:

First, the price.  I meant to comment on this but forgot.  While I do really like the Signal, I don't think it's worth the $100+ price.  I'm sure it will go down over time, and I think it should be more in line with the $50 range.  I likely would not have gotten it if it wasn't for it being a Christmas splurge, at least until it dropped significantly.  I mean when you can get more robust, quality MTs like the Wave, Surge, Spirit, Supertool, etc. for considerably cheaper in most cases, then the Signal should certainly be cheaper. 

I had another thought, but lost it :think:  Then I had a different one, so I'll go with it and hope to remember the other later.  I'm curious if there are any fans of the Skeletool who don't like the Signal, and I'm curious why.  It seems to me like the Signal is a beefed up, slightly more robust Skele in a sense.  I wish I had one in hand to fully remember the feel and why I wasn't a fan, as it also seems odd to me that I like the Signal just fine, but wasn't a Skele fan.  I know part of it was the bit driver sticking out of the bottom of the handle and how that didn't feel right to me in plier mode.  I also didn't like the pliers.  I used to have a LM Freestyle, so I had some experience with that plier head type and just didn't like it.  The ergonomics weren't great either, and the Skele is basically the same thing with the bit driver and caribiner thing added. 

K-Tibbs
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,060
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2015, 01:00:22 PM »
Great review and sweet pics mate  :tu:.

Here are a couple more thoughts:

... I had another thought, but lost it :think:  Then I had a different one, so I'll go with it and hope to remember the other later.  I'm curious if there are any fans of the Skeletool who don't like the Signal, and I'm curious why.  It seems to me like the Signal is a beefed up, slightly more robust Skele in a sense.  I wish I had one in hand to fully remember the feel and why I wasn't a fan, as it also seems odd to me that I like the Signal just fine, but wasn't a Skele fan.  I know part of it was the bit driver sticking out of the bottom of the handle and how that didn't feel right to me in plier mode.  I also didn't like the pliers.  I used to have a LM Freestyle, so I had some experience with that plier head type and just didn't like it.  The ergonomics weren't great either, and the Skele is basically the same thing with the bit driver and caribiner thing added.

I own three Skeletools,  two regular ones and one CX (the CX is an early one, with the old plier head and serrated knife) and a MUT, and I can only say that, even though they seem to be members of the same family, they don't "feel" the same. 

The MUT feels like a real "heavy duty" tool, just like the Surge or the ST300, but the Skeletool feels ... how should I say this ... a bit flimsy.  In my opinion, the MUT is a plier based tool, with a OHO knife/saw and bit driver added on, while the Skeletool feels like a OHO knife, with a pair of mini pliers added on.  I mean, the Skeletool feels great when I use it as a knife, but when I use the pliers, or the bit driver, it just feels very thin, akward and sometimes even painful. 

I think it comes down to this, the Skeletool is great for pocket carrying, I like the pocket clip, and you hardly notice it in your pocket, thanks to its slim appearance, but you pay a price for this when you use the pliers/bit driver ... I like my Skeletool, but it sure has its limitations.

As always, this is just my own humble opinion  ;).

P.S. Since I already own a Style CS, a Skeletool and a MUT, I know I will get myself a Signal eventually, but not at the current price (180 euro :ahhh).  Maybe I should ask the help of one of the U.S. based members here to give me a "heads up" when there's a sweet deal on the Signal in one of the shops over there in the future :pok:.

 ;)
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,262 Tactical Desk Jockey
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2015, 04:33:25 PM »
I agree ^.
MUT & Signal being in Skeletool family only because they have a cararbiner...Other than that they share very little common characteristic with Skeletool.

Skeletool is heavily skeletonized, there is not a single straight line on Skeletool, everything is curved to fit user's hands. And Skeletool is a knife based MT. 

EDC: Black Talon, Black Cat, Spirit, LD02
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,076 Cats have pocket knives of their own
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2015, 12:43:03 AM »
Thanks for the review. I'm glad you like it even if I don't see why :tu:

Omnia vincit amor. Vae victis.
Hero Member Posts: 935
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2015, 01:00:23 AM »

Good review M, I think there are many users much like you.  A casual MT user that likes a tool for what it could do.  If the implements you do use handle the day to day chores then awesome.   You are also on point about the times when a blunt object is handy.  I dig my MUT for that very reason.   

Thanks man :salute:  I actually really like the looks of the MUT, and have considered it in the past, but it's likely too big and heavy for me.  Also gun specific, although the Signal is designed for a specific set of uses, and I like it, so the MUT would probably be just as useful to me in that sense.  I've always wondered why a wood saw is on a gun specific tool :think:  I think a metal file would be a better option there.

That's one of life's great mysteries......


Sent from 9 miles from the face of the sun
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2015, 03:57:05 AM »
Great review and sweet pics mate  :tu:.

Here are a couple more thoughts:

... I had another thought, but lost it :think:  Then I had a different one, so I'll go with it and hope to remember the other later.  I'm curious if there are any fans of the Skeletool who don't like the Signal, and I'm curious why.  It seems to me like the Signal is a beefed up, slightly more robust Skele in a sense.  I wish I had one in hand to fully remember the feel and why I wasn't a fan, as it also seems odd to me that I like the Signal just fine, but wasn't a Skele fan.  I know part of it was the bit driver sticking out of the bottom of the handle and how that didn't feel right to me in plier mode.  I also didn't like the pliers.  I used to have a LM Freestyle, so I had some experience with that plier head type and just didn't like it.  The ergonomics weren't great either, and the Skele is basically the same thing with the bit driver and caribiner thing added.

I own three Skeletools,  two regular ones and one CX (the CX is an early one, with the old plier head and serrated knife) and a MUT, and I can only say that, even though they seem to be members of the same family, they don't "feel" the same. 

The MUT feels like a real "heavy duty" tool, just like the Surge or the ST300, but the Skeletool feels ... how should I say this ... a bit flimsy.  In my opinion, the MUT is a plier based tool, with a OHO knife/saw and bit driver added on, while the Skeletool feels like a OHO knife, with a pair of mini pliers added on.  I mean, the Skeletool feels great when I use it as a knife, but when I use the pliers, or the bit driver, it just feels very thin, akward and sometimes even painful. 

I think it comes down to this, the Skeletool is great for pocket carrying, I like the pocket clip, and you hardly notice it in your pocket, thanks to its slim appearance, but you pay a price for this when you use the pliers/bit driver ... I like my Skeletool, but it sure has its limitations.

As always, this is just my own humble opinion  ;).

P.S. Since I already own a Style CS, a Skeletool and a MUT, I know I will get myself a Signal eventually, but not at the current price (180 euro :ahhh).  Maybe I should ask the help of one of the U.S. based members here to give me a "heads up" when there's a sweet deal on the Signal in one of the shops over there in the future :pok:.

 ;)

Thanks buddy, and thanks for the input on the Skeletool :salute:  What you said makes sense, and a good point in the fact that the Skele is more like a knife based MT.  I believe bayoublade :think: got a good deal on one at Cutleryshop or something like that.  It was mentioned in my Signal owner's club thread. 

K-Tibbs
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2015, 03:58:45 AM »
Thanks for the review. I'm glad you like it even if I don't see why :tu:

Thanks my friend :salute:

K-Tibbs
Global Moderator Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 45,617
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2015, 01:28:16 AM »
Great review !
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,512 Little to the right...
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2015, 01:29:56 AM »
Great review (and pics) K Tib!!!  I'm super happy that it seems to be working for you!! :tu:  And I agree, if you could dye the yellow red to match your color scheme, it would be mint!!

Thanks buddy :salute:  I wish there was a way to dye those bits red, as that would indeed look great, and pair even better with that color scheme on my MechaRogue :tu:
I wonder if Rit dye would work? :think:

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,733 You're amongst friends.
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2015, 01:34:44 AM »
Although I don't own one, I think the MUT is an awesome tool. I like much of what it has to offer, and can live with the features I know I won't use. The best part are the longer bits, IMO. So, Yes, the MUT is right up there with the OHT on my "to get" list :salute:

SAW
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2015, 02:57:14 AM »
Great review !
Thanks man :salute:

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk


K-Tibbs
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,211 Wooooo!
Re: Leatherman Signal review
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2015, 02:59:35 AM »
Great review (and pics) K Tib!!!  I'm super happy that it seems to be working for you!! :tu:  And I agree, if you could dye the yellow red to match your color scheme, it would be mint!!

Thanks buddy :salute:  I wish there was a way to dye those bits red, as that would indeed look great, and pair even better with that color scheme on my MechaRogue :tu:
I wonder if Rit dye would work? :think:
I don't know what that is, but I'd be interested in it if it were a simple process....

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk


K-Tibbs

 

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