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New Charge Plus issues 1490

Newbie Posts: 14
New Charge Plus issues
« on: October 10, 2018, 01:21:28 PM »
Hi everyone, after doing a lot of research I recently made my first multitool purchase - a new Charge Plus.

It arrived and I've noticed a few fit and finish issues. I'm not sure whether I'm just being fussy or if it's a bit of a dud. I've heard the earlier Charges/Waves suffered QC problems but I've just finished reading a glowing review on here where everyone seemed to agree that the Plus updates had greatly improved. The handles on mine are date stamped 07/17 and 12/17.

1. The tip of the pliers scrape along the length of the driver bit as the handles close, carving a silver gouge into the bit a little more each time the tool is closed. The handles seem to be strongly biased to always close on that side (although I've put quite a bit of effort into breaking the tool in gently, lubricating and trying to loosen the other side). The little metal post in the handle that the plier head is supposed to rest on doesn't seem high enough to stop this.

2. The file, and to a lesser degree the saw rub the inside of the scale. I've read this is a common problem. Both knife blades lightly contact the scales too although it's smooth and they don't grind.

3. File has some up/down play when locked in the out position. Saw is rock solid.

4. The round plier pivot is not symmetrical (more gap on one side of the circle than the other). Pliers seem aligned correctly otherwise, but I notice it every time I look at it now.

5. One of the replaceable cutters was loose, the screw scraping the inside of the handle. Not a big deal but annoying as I had to go and buy Torx bits to tighten it.

Issues 2-5 aren't the end of the world but the first issue does really annoy me considering the premium price tag of the tool. I reckon I've watched every youtube video and studied every photo to see if other ones do this and it's normal, but I can't tell.

If there's a way of adjusting something to improve it I'm all ears.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 01:51:52 PM by floppy »


No Life Club Posts: 1,367
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 02:27:24 PM »
The problems u stated are actually pretty common..

For issue 1, u could try smoothing out the tip of the pliers a little. That should stop the scraping on the bit and allow it to close more smoothly.. Also, when closing the handles, use pressure on the pliers end rather than the tools end. It should close better. Regards 1 handle opening/closing first, there's nothing much u can do really.. No two handles are made with the equal tightness.

Issue 3 doesn't bother me if it's my own seasoned tool but it annoys me alot when its new from factory. Its a real screwed up job when it comes to QC..
Hero Member Posts: 648
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 02:52:33 PM »
Congrats on your new purchase  :tu:  I think as the tool breaks in, it will smooth out and glide close rather than dragging and scraping. They are usually tight and jerky new.  I have encountered similar experiences.

I agree with Sam’s thoughts also.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,623
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 03:04:42 PM »
I don't have one but with what you've described in #1 I'd be very unhappy.  Send it back is my thought. 
#2 This was common and should be corrected.  I'd be bummed if it were my first tool.  Send it back. 
#3 Could need tightening.  Is the liner lock engaging solidly?  Not sure I'd be so quick to send back. 
#4 While I can see how for some this is worth mentioning its a non issue so long as the pliers perform as they should. 
#5 This is annoying.  While easily solved by most imagine you picked up the tool and headed for work only to discover this.  I'd be really annoyed. 

My thought is, send it back.  I want to buy a tool and put it right to work.  I don't want to have to make adjustments or tighten parts first thing.  Down the road with use I have no problems making adjustments, I shouldn't but........  You may have got one that passed QC because they needed to make their numbers that day  :dunno:

Esse Quam Videri
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,408
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2018, 04:24:11 PM »
I don’t think that I would be very happy with that floppy  ???

fail to prepare prepare to fail
Newbie Posts: 14
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 03:10:25 AM »
Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I'll send it back and see what they say.


#3 Could need tightening.  Is the liner lock engaging solidly?  Not sure I'd be so quick to send back.

The liner lock clicks nicely when the file is opened, but there is a tiny gap between it and the base of the file. It appears the liner lock is not quite long enough which is causing the play. Enough that when I shake it gently in my hand it rattles up and down. I've noticed as well that when the file is open, the scale on the other side on that pivot becomes a bit loose and creaks when you press it.

While these are a bit disappointing I really love the tool itself. So much capability in such a small package.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,623
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2018, 06:49:56 AM »
With a closer look it would have to go back with the liner lock issue.  I have a Charge TTi and love it.  Its the older one with CC plier head and older Ti scales.  Its such a powerhouse.  I also have a Charge Al that is pretty sweet too.  I cannot say enough about the Charge/Wave series, that is when you get a good sample.  Mine have been flawless in everyday use at work.  Say what you will but the S30V blade is tops for me.  Haven't once taken it to my strop or even thought about actually sharpening it.  Come to think of it  :think: I'm not sure when I touched up the blade? 

I know LM will get you sorted out.  They have a terrific warranty.  I do hope your next one will be everything you hope.   

Esse Quam Videri
Newbie Posts: 14
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 07:24:00 AM »
Thanks Aloha. Good to hear you get great service from it. I would have liked a TTi but I didn’t want the CC plier head (and wanted the gut hook) so opted for the Charge Plus.

I’ll send it back and keep this thread updated.

In sending it back, does one send the whole package (box, sheath etc etc) or just the tool?
No Life Club Posts: 1,082
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 12:33:37 PM »
G'Day Floppy,

If you are in Sydney you can drop it off at Zen, the LM service agent in Ryde. I have had excellent dealings with them. They know their tools and are passionate about client service.

If you decide to post it, send it in via registered mail, well wrapped would be my recommendation. Here are there website with warranty information: http://www.zenimports.com.au/warranty-service/

Cheers,

Pete
Global Moderator Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 46,871
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 12:48:46 PM »
Welcome to :MTO: floppy :cheers: Hope you can get sorted with you Charge problem :salute:

Newbie Posts: 14
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2018, 05:48:54 AM »
Thanks for the welcome!

I don't live in Sydney near Zen so I posted it off and today received back a brand new one in a blister pack. Handles date stamped 10/17 and 12/17.

Here's how it compares to the first one.

The plier tip still scrapes along the bit. The handles are biased to close on the other side now though. I guess I'll just close it in the way Sam Lim describes above, or close it until a plier tip makes contact inside the handles, then open it again slightly to close the plier jaws to prevent the scrape (hopefully that makes sense).

The file still scrapes on the scale.

Two tools now have up/down play due to liner locks. The saw has about 2mm of play at the end, and the serrated blade has 1mm. Other tools are solid.

Would you good fellows consider this amount of looseness within acceptable tolerances or not? I need some perspective on whether it's worth pursuing another replacement. If so I'll ask them to test it before sending it out.
Newbie Posts: 14
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2018, 01:12:41 PM »
Been doing a bit of reading around about the liner lock play issue... looks like a very common problem. Not sure whether to return it or not and whether the 1-2mm play is minimal or significant. On one hand I think I'm too fussy and they're all like that. On the other hand I'd I feel like I ought to expect my multitool to have a high level of craftsmanship for the $255 I spent (it is more expensive than the Vic Spirit after all).

If I buy another Leatherman I'll be trying it out in a shop first rather than buying sight unseen.
Full Member Posts: 175
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2018, 01:10:07 PM »
These little quality control fails are exactly why I stopped mail ordering, and now buy in a shop where I can handle and examine.

A generous returns policy has become a business model which then tolerates poor quality control.

A generous returns warranty is great. But I'd rather see quality control first.

No Life Club Posts: 3,780
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2018, 02:45:21 PM »
I just checked 3 or 4 of my Leatherman Tools (the ones I have nearby while sitting behind the PC) and guess what, they all have the plier scraping against the bit ...

The reason why I've never noticed this before seems to be that it's something that (mostly) happens when you pay close attention to closing the tool.

I mean, when I close the tool fast like I would during real use, I feel nothing, maybe the plier is still slightly scraping the bit, but if so, it happens very smooth and unnoticeable.  But when I close the tool very slow, one handle at a time, leaving the side with the bit for last, putting the plierhead in the handle and then close up the tool real slow, I can see it scraping very hard, right up to the point that I have to apply extra force because the tip of the plierhead gets stuck on the edge of the bit. 

Just checked what happens when you close the other handle last and very slow, and it scrapes the tools on the other side as well, but it's not so noticeable since the tools on the other side don't have the "edge" that the bit has, and they are all stainless, so you don't see the scraping line as good as on the black bit. 

All of this on a tool that I use on a daily base, and on which I never noticed something wrong.

So I wonder; if you just close the tool like you would during real use, without paying attention to the plierhead sliding inside the handle and the scraping and all that, is it still noticeable enough to be a problem ?  please, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there isn't a problem on your Charge, but since I can't handle your tool the second best thing I could do was check some of mine, and this is what I noticed on them.

P.S.: I just checked one of my Spirits and guess what, the plierhead also scrapes while closing the handles, but ... Since the Spirit has outside opening tools the smart Vic engineers put in a slope for the plierhead to slide on until it is fully closed.

No Life Club Posts: 4,808 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2018, 02:55:11 PM »
Maybe just enjoy the Charge for now. And, if th scraping causes mechanical issues, then send it in again. But, with that said, I think will be fine. :)

And as far as fit and finish Charge vs. Spirit goes, my Spirit handles are misaligned pretty bad, but it doesn't affect on its' usage. Little things that don't affect performance are a part of MT life. It is said that LM sends more tools out with scraping pliers these days, but all seven of my PSTs(from bqck in the day) have marks on the pliers where they scrape. I can live with that.

Enjoy it and just ignore the tiny things. :tu:

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Hero Member Posts: 996
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2018, 02:57:48 PM »
I have over 20 Charges, all the way to 2004 first production but not a Plus yet. Not a single one of my Charge has liner lock play problem. I am amazed that they Leatherman were able to hold such tight tolerance with pressing machines. I do not have play problem when swapping genuine blades either, only with after-markets made by TTC. Blade scrapping inside of the scales is a common problem inherent to the design itself. The liner lock has to be perfect within microns for the end tip of the blade to be perfectly centered.

I think with machines getting more advanced, cost of production being driven down, and prices being ever jacked up, quality is sacrificed. Sorry to hear about your problems, as I do love the Charge platform.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,623
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2018, 04:17:21 PM »
I just checked my Charge ALX BO and will check the other charges I have.   The ALX as most, if not all, my tools favors one side to close.  The plier head only very slightly, I repeat, very slightly rubs when closing.  I had to close with my ear next to the tool.  The saw rubs when closing and is both audible and felt.  The main blade has very slight up and down movement. 

My Swisstool plier rubs very slightly.  All tools have very slight movement when opened in the locked position.  Mind you its only noticeable when pushing the tools. 

My Skeletool CXs main blade is rock solid.

I checked my Sprirt and no plier rub at all and all tools rock solid.  I believe the uneven handles was addressed by Victorionx as "its part of the design".  I could be wrong on that  :think:

I'll take a look in a moment at the rest of my Charges.  Mine are all going to be the oder versions Ti, AL, SLV, TTi but I'll check.   


Esse Quam Videri
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,408
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2018, 04:31:07 PM »
My new Surge has the same problem the pliers rub on
the handles and this really shows up on the BO pliers  ???

fail to prepare prepare to fail
No Life Club Posts: 3,780
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2018, 04:51:25 PM »
When you guys are talking about the plier rubbing you mean against the side of the handle right?

Because my Wave + (and my Spirit) don't have that either, I was talking about the plier tip on the inside tools (see my loooong post above  ;)).
No Life Club Posts: 3,780
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2018, 04:56:07 PM »
My new Surge has the same problem the pliers rub on
the handles and this really shows up on the BO pliers  ???

My stainless Surge has the same problem real bad, but since it's a user I don't really care...

My BO Surge on the other hand is not a user, but I haven't opened and closed it enough to have rub markings on the plier head (that is if he should rub in the first place).
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,623
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2018, 05:03:01 PM »
Charge SLV.  Plier head rub.  None.  Blade play. No.  Serrated. None.  File rub. Yes.  Saw rub. Very slightly. 

Charge ALX. Plier head rub. Very slightly near the pivot.  Blade play. None.  Serrated. very slightly.  File rub. yes. Saw rub. No.

Charge Ti,  Plier head rub. None.  Blade play. No.  Serrated. No.  File rub. yes.  Saw rub. No. 

Charge AL. Plier head rub.  Yes near pivot.  Blade play. None.  Serrated. None.  File rub. None.  Saw rub. Very Slightly. 

I'll check my TTi later as its in my vehicle.

I've highlighted my ALX BO earlier.

Hope this helps.   

Esse Quam Videri
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,623
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2018, 05:09:54 PM »
 :rofl:  Sorry OCD peeps.   :whistle:

Esse Quam Videri
Hero Member Posts: 996
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2018, 05:10:48 PM »
Charge SLV.  Plier head rub.  None.  Blade play. No.  Serrated. None.  File rub. Yes.  Saw rub. Very slightly. 

Charge ALX. Plier head rub. Very slightly near the pivot.  Blade play. None.  Serrated. very slightly.  File rub. yes. Saw rub. No.

Charge Ti,  Plier head rub. None.  Blade play. No.  Serrated. No.  File rub. yes.  Saw rub. No. 

Charge AL. Plier head rub.  Yes near pivot.  Blade play. None.  Serrated. None.  File rub. None.  Saw rub. Very Slightly. 

I'll check my TTi later as its in my vehicle.

I've highlighted my ALX BO earlier.

Hope this helps.   


It seems like there is still a market for older Charges. I recently bought a Charge plus, but not open the packaging yet. My newest dated Charge before the Plus is a Red Cross Charge, whose file rubs more prevalently than older models. Just wonder when the QC became lax at the factory.


A question, is it possible to put a Charge Plus head (non-CC) on an old Charge TTi?
Hero Member Posts: 648
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2018, 05:23:31 PM »
:rofl:  Sorry OCD peeps.   :whistle:

Was the first thing I noticed.  :facepalm:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,623
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2018, 08:35:44 PM »
For collectors the older ones will always be collectable, even with the release of the camo charges.  Thats my take.   

Esse Quam Videri
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,905 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2018, 08:43:45 PM »
For collectors the older ones will always be collectable, even with the release of the camo charges.  Thats my take.   

 :iagree:



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,623
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2018, 08:49:38 PM »
When you guys are talking about the plier rubbing you mean against the side of the handle right?

Because my Wave + (and my Spirit) don't have that either, I was talking about the plier tip on the inside tools (see my loooong post above  ;)).

For what I've described, YES. 

Esse Quam Videri
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,623
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2018, 08:53:06 PM »
@ chrono.  "A question, is it possible to put a Charge Plus head (non-CC) on an old Charge TTi?"


I dont see why the pliers wouldn't be interchangeable  :think:.  However what others have done is use Rebar plier head prior to the release of the + models.  Heck, I would imagine Rebar plier head is on the + models anyway  :dunno:   

Esse Quam Videri
Full Member Posts: 175
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2018, 08:59:27 PM »
The uneven handles on many SwissTool Spirits cannot be part of thew design. I got one with noticeably misaligned handles. Then I went to another store, and none of the exact same model had any misalignment. A Victorinox rep here in Israel had said "send it in," but let me know that I may get a blister pack replacement. And the misalignment may be in the new tool. He couldn't open the blister pack.  I will admit that the use of the tool is not affected. I kept it.

Victorinox multitools usually have a  near-perfection in their fit and finish, and crooked handles bothered me. But I am over it now. A little bit less idealistic. I just wonder what they pay QC engineers to do if they let crooked handles out of the factory in large numbers. Let's face it, much as many of use actually use multitools, they are also tactile and visual mechanical pleasures. Or as some would say, toys (...but sophisticated toys).   :multi:

Back to the Charge...
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,209
Re: New Charge Plus issues
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2018, 09:48:31 PM »
My 07 TTI and 08 AL are absolutely PERFECT.

Was I just lucky or was QC way better 10 years ago?

Buy now or regret later

 

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