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Core Vs SwissTool

ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Core Vs SwissTool
on: September 25, 2007, 01:30:36 AM
A member here has been asking me to put these two head to head for a while now, and this is my attempt at an unbiased comparison.  I know some folks feel differently about these tools than I do, but this is a forum, so feel free to disagree all you like!  Honestly, given the choice, I'd take the SwissTool any day of the week over the Core due to it's better quality construction and greater number of functions.  The well documented slippy screwdrivers haven't really affected me much, but I do acknowledge that it is a turn off for some.

Another important thing to mention before I start is that my Core seems to be somewhat loose.  I got it new this way, and I could likely send it in for a warranty job, but since I rarely carry or use it, it's never been important enough for me to bother.  I am also comparing the Core to the original SwissTool, as it seems pointless to compare any of the other models since the Core doesn't have scissors.  The Original SwissTool seems to be the closest analogue to the Core.

By the numbers, both tools are solid and I really don't think that you could go wrong with either of them. 

The SwissTool has a highly polished finish that resists moisture and the resulting corrosion.  The Core has a brushed stainless finish that is reasonably resistant to rust or corrosion, but probably not as capable in harsh environments.  The implements are also bead blasted which makes a pretty but easily scratched surface that moisture, dirt and oil from your hands can pool in (microscopically) and form spots of rust.  This is likely to be surface rust mind you, and not likely to affect the tool itself much, or at all.  It may also be a concern if the tool is to be pressed into food service, as microbes can survive much longer in the bead blast than on poliched steel.  Advantage SwissTool.

Both tools have similar typical multitool type plier heads.  The Leatherman's is a little longer and thinner and the SwissTool's is more stocky, but both have very capable wire cutters, with hard wire notch.  The Core has a longer wire cutter surface, but I don't cut enough wire to make that important to me- I also don't think you could cut wire thick enough to make use of the entire surface, so it's likely immaterial anyway.  The Core does benefit from being able to be flicked open, one handed much easier than the SwissTool.  Overall, advantage Leatherman.

The enclosed construction of the Core's handles can protect dust, pocket lint and other assorted gunk from building up inside of it, provided the tool is closed most of the time.  The open construction of the SwissTool means that while gunk can get into it even while closed, it can also be cleaned easier.  I have to give the advantage to the SwissTool again on this one, since any tool that is going to be used, is going to get dirty.  Period.  There's no point in keeping a tool closed and safely in the pouch all the time.  Additionally, the open construction allows the SwissTool's implements to be accessed without opening the tool, which I believe is a bonus.

Both companies produce an excellent locking system.  I give the overall advantage to Victorinox again, as their lock is not only functional, but it's also a little more elegant.  This is really a pretty close call though, since most folks know how much I appreciate aesthetics!

The wood and metal saws on both tools are virtually identical to each other, so that is a definite tie.  The SwissTool's implements are about .5mm thinner, and so should cut a little better, but it's such a fractional amount that I really wouldn't call it an advantage.  Additionally, if Leatherman had included the diamond file on the Core, they would have won bigtime, despite a marked increase in thickness.  Frankly, I don't think Leatherman should even off a tool without the diamond file.  I'm almost tempted to use the lack of the diamond file as a mark against them as a result!

The blades are where both companies really shine.  The Core's blades are a little longer, but the SwissTool's blades are thinner and polished, providing less drag when cutting.  The SwissTool's blades are also standard Swiss Army Knife style drop points, which I think works rather well.  The Core's plain blade has a clip point, which is a design I am not fond of, and to me would lose marks there as well.  However, the serrated blades are a different story- the Leatherman serrated blade has a sheep's foot which is great for getting under things to cut away straps or ropes without cutting what's underneath.  The same can be said for the Victorinox, but not quite to the same extent, unless you go for the RS model.  But, like I said, I am using the original.  Bottom line, I prefer the Vic's plain edge, but the Core's serrated edge, so again, a tie.

As mentioned above, the Leatherman screwdrivers supposedly have more "bite" to them, which I haven't really noticed, but one thing that is hard to ignore is the length.  The Core uses it's extra size to accommodate much longer screwdrivers.  Of course, when placed side by side, the Core's phillips driver is less than 1/4" longer than the SwissTool's, so that argument kind of loses some strength there.  The Leatherman also features three dedicated flatheads, while the SwissTool has four flatheads, two of which are integrated into other tools.  I'd like to give the advantage to Victorinox here because the length issue really isn't much of an issue unless you deal often with recessed screws, the greater variety, and the fact that they are integrated with other tools, showing a certain amount of care going into the design, rather than dedicated flatheads which to me seem like a cop out.

The Core has a combo tool that integrates a can opener, bottle opener and wire stripper in one tool, while the Victorinox has separate can and bottle openers, integrated with a wire stripper and two flathead screwdrivers.  I applaud Leatherman's desire to minimize the design, but I'd personally rather have two implements doing their jobs well than try to pound as many features into the single tool.  I know that doesn't make sense after giving the versatility points to Victorinox in the screwdriver category, but using the sharpened points of the Leatherman can opener on bottles often ends up with a pierced cap stuck on the top of the bottle.  The good news is if it's a twist off cap, the large body of the Core gives you great leverage to twist it off!  Frankly, I'd really rather see one of the dedicated flatheads on the Core include a small bottle opener notch in it.  Advantage Victorinox.

The awl is another one of those tools that gets used for just about everything despite no one really knowing what the heck it's really for!  Personally, I use mine mostly for drilling pilot holes for screws, and the Victorinox awl is much pointier than the one on the Core.  The Core's point looks like it could poke holes in a battleship, but I just don't do that enough to warrant a dedicated tool for that, so again, advantage Victorinox.

Sheaths are an interesting thing as well.  The SwissTool sheaths that I have are all form filling nylon affairs that seem to hold the SwissTool well.  I've been on many adventures with it and it has never gotten in the way, and I have never lost the tool.  It has a very authoritative snap closure and a good sized belt loop.  This is basically what a sheath should be.  The only drawback is that it doesn't have the option of being mounted horizontally on your belt, so you'll have to do a few more situps mister!  Tho Core's sheath can be mounted horizontally, which is about the only good thing I can say about it.  The one I have is a pancake style nylon affair with velcro rather than a snap.  Because it's a pancake style, it's BIG.  You could probably put the SwissTool AND it's sheath into this sucker.  In fact, I just tried it, and you can, although the top won't close.  Advantage Victorinox.  The Core sheath stinks.  It is noteworthy though that the squared sheath available for the Surge is significantly better than the Core's sheath, and fits the Core.  Unfortunately, the Surge sheath still isn't really as nice as the SwissTool's, so Victorinox really doesn't give up the advantage there either.

Stylistically I feel the SwissTool inspires more confidence with a lifetime warranty rather than a mere 25 years  ::) and the fact that the handles are all steel, without the Core's plastic inserts.  I'm certain Leatherman did their homework and chose a functional plastic, and put it in non stressful areas, but it does detract a little bit from the overall feel of the Core.  It's also important to mention that the Core is a bigger tool 19mm thick, versus the SwissTool's 15mm.  The SwissTool is also about ten grams lighter, which is really a negligible difference.  Both tools are comfortable to use, and neither dig into your palm any significant amount when squeezed. 

Lastly, the Core does benefit from a lanyard ring.  There is no lanyard ring on the SwissTool, and the Core's is pretty bad, having been stamped out of very thin sheet metal, folds and is quite large, making it somewhat flimsy.  It may be crap, but it's better than no lanyard ring.  Barely.

That's basically my take on the two of them, and how well they compare.  With a final score of 9-3, the SwissTool is a pretty clear winner in my book, but remember, being second to a company like Victorinox is not a bad thing at all.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


Offline Leatherman123

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #1 on: September 25, 2007, 01:38:04 AM
thanks a lot def!
B


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #2 on: September 25, 2007, 01:40:01 AM
No problem.  I know we have a few dedicated Core fans who will come along and chew this up, and to be honest, I'm looking forward to it! 

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


Offline Leatherman123

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #3 on: September 25, 2007, 01:42:49 AM
considering that I am a leatherman fan I will make the same type of review favoring the leatherman!
B


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #4 on: September 25, 2007, 01:47:35 AM
Be my guest! :P

Leatherman does have a few things that they are superior on, at least in my opinion.  They have a bigger market share, they are more adventurous, they have many more options (unless you compare SAK models as well) and they are constantly re-inventing the product to stay ahead.  I just don't feel that the Core is their best tool, and so the results look one sided.  I probably would have chosen the SwissTool over the Surge, or the Spirit over the Charge, but I guarantee that the Surge and the Charge would have scored more points than the Core did.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


Offline Leatherman123

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #5 on: September 25, 2007, 02:03:05 AM
Read it and weep def.. hahahaha
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #6 on: September 25, 2007, 02:19:40 AM
Read it, and enjoyed it! :P

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


gb Offline Mike, Lord of the Spammers!

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #7 on: September 25, 2007, 10:43:22 AM
Very cool review there mate, I nice logical review, I'm just surprised vic didn't win by more ??? ;) ;D
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #8 on: September 27, 2007, 04:23:27 PM
Here's a short video of the problem I have with the Core.  It's not as dramatic as it used to be, but you can still see my concerns:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Cn1XxEM9YA0

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


gb Offline Mike, Lord of the Spammers!

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #9 on: September 27, 2007, 04:30:33 PM
Here's a short video of the problem I have with the Core.  It's not as dramatic as it used to be, but you can still see my concerns:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Cn1XxEM9YA0

Def
Is that your voice ??? Its dead spookie to hear your voice after all these years, Kind of makes you a real person :o :o

As for the core that is a bit of a worry, what with the tools snaping out like that >:(, and it's a bit to unreliable too use it every time as a flick knife ;D
Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #10 on: September 27, 2007, 04:38:30 PM
Yup, that's me, don't don't worry, I am not a real person.  I am someone that the internet automatically generated to keep you amused when you should be working!   >:D

It's not a huge deal if you are ready for it to do that, and if it only opens the little bit shown, but I have seen the blades open up much more than that in the past.  Of course I also have a PST II that does this, but it is a significantly older model, and I did get it second (at least!) hand, so there's no telling what it might have been through in past lives.

If you are flicking it open because you need it, and your other hand and mind are occupied with what you are doing, the potential for a nasty cut is quite good.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


gb Offline Mike, Lord of the Spammers!

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #11 on: September 27, 2007, 04:41:38 PM
Yup, that's me, don't don't worry, I am not a real person.  I am someone that the internet automatically generated to keep you amused when you should be working!   >:D

It's not a huge deal if you are ready for it to do that, and if it only opens the little bit shown, but I have seen the blades open up much more than that in the past.  Of course I also have a PST II that does this, but it is a significantly older model, and I did get it second (at least!) hand, so there's no telling what it might have been through in past lives.

If you are flicking it open because you need it, and your other hand and mind are occupied with what you are doing, the potential for a nasty cut is quite good.

Def

So are you going to send it back under warrenty, I've got say I'd be inclined too :-\
Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #12 on: September 27, 2007, 04:45:55 PM
I probably should, but the truth is, I am just don't care about it enough to try.  I don't carry or use it, so it really makes little difference to me.  If I have something else to go in for repair I may consider it, but realistically it's not worth the effort to me.

I could also use the special wrenches the site has to tighten it up when they come back in.  It's funny that the Core is more useful to me as a project than a tool! :P

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


gb Offline Mike, Lord of the Spammers!

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #13 on: September 27, 2007, 04:49:24 PM
I probably should, but the truth is, I am just don't care about it enough to try.  I don't carry or use it, so it really makes little difference to me.  If I have something else to go in for repair I may consider it, but realistically it's not worth the effort to me.

I could also use the special wrenches the site has to tighten it up when they come back in.  It's funny that the Core is more useful to me as a project than a tool! :P

Def
Oh to be in your position ;D
Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #14 on: September 27, 2007, 04:52:40 PM
Trust me, I am just accentuating the positives! :P

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


gb Offline Mike, Lord of the Spammers!

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #15 on: September 27, 2007, 04:56:32 PM
Trust me, I am just accentuating the positives! :P

Def
It it's important to always look on the bright side of life...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo

 :D :D :D
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #16 on: September 27, 2007, 06:00:10 PM
I hadn't realized there were so many dance numbers in the old Star Trek! :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luVjkTEIoJc&mode=related&search=

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


gb Offline Mike, Lord of the Spammers!

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #17 on: September 27, 2007, 06:04:34 PM
I hadn't realized there were so many dance numbers in the old Star Trek! :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luVjkTEIoJc&mode=related&search=

Def
:D :D

There really are to many people out there with time on there hands
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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #18 on: September 27, 2007, 06:05:36 PM
Yes, I think you and I are living proof of that! :P

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


gb Offline Mike, Lord of the Spammers!

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #19 on: September 27, 2007, 06:13:17 PM
Yes, I think you and I are living proof of that! :P

Def
If only we could turn all that time into money ;D

Mind you now boyo is in school I am trying to find another full time job, that still allows me the weekend's of to see him, so far the search is not going well >:(
Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #20 on: September 27, 2007, 06:30:18 PM
Funny enough, I am trying to avoid getting a job!

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


gb Offline Mike, Lord of the Spammers!

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #21 on: September 27, 2007, 09:44:36 PM
Funny enough, I am trying to avoid getting a job!

Def
Well I think you've go the right idea, by trying to work for yourself :)
« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 11:47:27 PM by micky d »
Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!


england Offline Dunc

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #22 on: October 06, 2007, 10:22:54 PM
Def there is a dedicated lanyard hole and in try Victorinox fashion its is duel role and is also the corkscrew slot . Its not the best lanyard hole Ive ever seen though .





Dunc


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #23 on: October 06, 2007, 10:30:34 PM
That stainless snap looks nicely heavy-duty Dunc. Where might a guy find something like that?
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


england Offline Dunc

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #24 on: October 06, 2007, 10:51:05 PM
That stainless snap looks nicely heavy-duty Dunc. Where might a guy find something like that?

On the end of a rather expensive Surefire  :( Although you can buy them seperate .That one lives in my coat pocket . Another option I use is the little clips you use for fishing . I will sort some pics out later .

Dunc


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #25 on: October 07, 2007, 06:58:36 PM
You are absolutely right Dunc, there is a lanyard hole in the SwissTool, but I really don't care for it! :P

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


england Offline Dunc

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #26 on: October 07, 2007, 09:43:51 PM
You are absolutely right Dunc, there is a lanyard hole in the SwissTool, but I really don't care for it! :P

Def

Its not great is it




ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Core Vs SwissTool
Reply #27 on: October 07, 2007, 09:46:59 PM
No, and I'm not looking for much.  I like the small, unobtrusive one found on the PowerLock.  It's a small, insignificant thing, but so few seem to be able to get it right.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


 

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