Leatherman Tread Review
Multitools comes in a vast variety of shapes and sizes and certainly have had a lot of changes to them since the first Leatherman was issued. In spite of all those changes the general look and functionality hasn't deviated much. Tools are usually clumped into two categories; Swiss Army style or plier based which is what most people associate with.
On Sept. 11th the people of the world saw a face of terrorism that it hadn't seen before and it has forever changed people's perception of everyday objects. Even though the terrorists used simple boxcutters, knives and multitools have been scrutinized and frowned upon in social circles. The people who carry knives and tools are given an image by the media and its made carrying them difficult.
Because of this public perception, taking a knife or tool into places such as Disney World has been somewhat difficult. I have been there on multiple occasions since 2001 and usually carry something small and non-threatening. As of this year Disney has begun using metal detectors at its entrances and even though they allow knives under 3 inches in I would hate to be turned away because of carrying my favorite pocket tool.
Ben Rivera; President of Leatherman tool group went on a family trip to Disneyland and was stopped at the gate for carrying his Skeletool. He was unwilling to give the tool up to security so they made him take it back to his hotel room. Ben knew there had to be another way to carry another multitool with him that would be accepted by security. Upon returning to work Ben used his engineering skills and his team designed what would end up being the Tread. At first he started with a bike chain and the idea evolved from there.
The Leatherman Tread features roughly 29 different tools ranging from slot, phillips, hex and a 1/4 inch driver. There is even a scribe tool along with a cutting hook and sim card removal tool. There's quite a bit packed into a small area with this unique tool. The tool comes assembled out of the box with all the tools attached. To fix the tool to your particular wrist size you can remove links via the screws on the side of the tool.
No special tool is required to remove the screws, a simple penny is the correct size to unscrew them and make the adjustments. When removing links from the tool it's important to decide what you won't need on a daily basis and stick with the more common drivers. Most of the links are 1/2 inch with only one link being 1/4 inch. Adjustments can be tricky making the tool either too tight or too lose on your wrist. I have adjusted mine depending on the season, I can have the tool much closer to my wrist in the winter than in the summer.
So what tools does this man jewelry; I mean multitool have? Here is a rundown of what's included:
The Tread does a great job about packing all of this into such a small area. Overall the tool is not too heavy considering the size and functionality. I would definitely compare it to any large watch that is made of stainless.
Using the tools on the Tread can be awkward at times and meant for quick fix or something to turn too when there are not real tools available. Taking the Tread off your wrist you grip the body of the Tread in your hand length wise and use it as torque to turn the screw your working on. The drivers themselves are not very long and will only work on screws that are not really recessed. I found this tool to be really handy when I have a regular plier based tool on me. I use the Treat to hold a screw while using the pliers to hold the bolt on the other side.
Another great feature of the Tread is its constructed of 17-6 stainless steel. Being a long time Leatherman owner I have run into some corrosion issues due to my sweat. The stainless used in the Tread is very corrosion resistant and should withstand sweat and other everyday mishaps.
Having wore the Tread now for several months the reactions I get out of the tool from people is priceless. They find it either really cleaver or they think I'm into 50 shades of grey type stuff. Overall perception is good though, they all find it non threatening and useful.
The Tread for me is a double edged sword; the functionality and utility is there even though the tool can be a little awkward to use. I really love the idea and for your average Joe who wants a tool and a bracelet at the same time it could be the tool for them. For real dire hard tool users like myself this tool feels underwhelming but not underappreciated. Any trips I am going on that involve me needing to carry a tool and I'm restricted from doing so, I will defiantly rely on the Tread as my saving grace.
Pros: Lots of utility in a small package
Not heavy on the wrist
High corrosion resistance
Cons: Awkward usage
No minor size adjustments possible
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