I've picked up a few new toys recently. Making their debut are the Leatherman E4 and Buck Redpoint. Even though it's primarily a knife, it also has a bottle opener. See? More than one function!
My Skeletool decided to come along because it's also a relatively new purchase. I think I picked it up about three or four weeks ago.
I suppose I'll start off with the Squirt E4. I've had it for about three hours now, so these are opening impressions only. The E4 is my first "NIB" Squirt. I also have an S4 that I purchased used a while back, but have since switched to using a Micra.
This is a Radio Shack E4. I stopped by the Shack earlier today to browse, and found one that had apparently tried to break out of its clamshell. There is some scuffing on the scales near where the word "Leatherman" is emblazoned. I can live with the blemish, especially since the clerk knocked 5$ off the cover price. Initial impressions are that the springs are a delight to the senses. My S4 has kind of a lazy snap, so I was pleasantly surprised to find the springs very attentive.
The pliers grab stuff well enough, the blade is sharp, and the drivers will likely work well. I really want to put the Phillips driver to use, since the review on the main page didn't seem to like it all that much. I'll be sure to post a more in depth review as I use this little bugger.
Next up, the Skeletool. What can be said about this little guy that hasn't been already? My pair are surprising tight, but have loosened up nicely in the year since I've had it. I was a little hesitant about the size of the actual pliers (compared to my beloved Charge TTi), but they're larger than pictures let on. Definitely larger than a Squirt, but smaller than my dog's head. Meet Molly, everybody. She's not as old as her white whiskers make her out to be; that's the white lab coming out in her. She's about 3 1/2 years old.
I definitely love the thing, although I feel its too expensive. Even the fifty dollars you can get it for off of Amazon seems a tad much for essentially only three tools. Granted, they are the three tools I get the most use out of. If I need scissors, my Micra is on my keychain.
Next up, the Buck 750 Redpoint. I was at REI on Tuesday, saw this guy for 30$, and just picked it up on a whim. Essentially a yellow knife with a large lanyard ring (it's not a carabiner), I've decided that I really like this toy. It has a combination blade 2-3/4 inches in length. The serrations are predictably chisel-ground, with the straight-edged section your standard "V" bevel. I normally prefer PE blades, but Buck doesn't produce them that way (as far as I know). Also, I can't resist a yellow knife, especially Case or Spyderco's offerings. The clip is also configured for right-handed, tip-down carry.
Now on to what makes this knife unique. At first glance, you figure this is a standard flipper, using some radical jimping at the leverage. This is part true. As an added safety feature, you use your thumb to pull down on the red arrow while using your index finger to put the blade in motion. It doesn't generally settle in with a satisfying clunk the way my Spyders do, but it does the job. The blade is released the same way. This method of operation isn't lefty friendly at all, but you can jerry-rig it open using your left middle finger on the button, and your left index finger on the launcher.
Also of note, the scales aren't plastic, like Zytel or FRN. They're thermoplastic rubber, or whatever Buck was calling it on the packaging. If you've ever handled an ASP baton, you'll know what I'm talking about. It's very grippy and comfortable in the hand. There is a hard-plastic strip that extended down behind the clip so that it doesn't catch on your pants pockets. The clip is also one of the deep-rider variety; you won't have much knife real estate poking out of your pocket.
Finally, the bottle opener, while perfectly functional, took about three tries to pop open a bottle of Guiness. It'll work in a pinch, but there are better.
For the too long, didn't read crowd, let me summarize:Squirt E4
Pros- Good springs
Nice to have a different type of folding tool, other than pliers
3D phillips driver! Must try.
Blade, mini-driver and file oriented to open away from your keys. Always a plus.
Cons - It's tiny
Phillips driver opens into your key.
Pros - Great fit and finish
Love the blade shape
Swappable driver bits
Cons - Price
Pliers a little on the small side
Pliers and blade open a little tightlyBuck 750 Redpoint
Pros - Good price for a quality blade
Deep pocket clip
Multiple methods of carry
Grippy handles that don't catch on your pocket
Cons - Right hand, tip down carry only
Bottle opener could be better