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Gonna post this one soon too

ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Gonna post this one soon too
on: November 04, 2006, 01:35:12 AM
Again, waiting for some pictures.  My camera needs alot of light to take decent closeup pictures, and my house tends to be quite dark after the sun goes down.  For everything other than picture taking, I like it dark.  Unfortunately, by the time I get home from work in the evening, the sun has almost sunk below the horizon so I can't get any decent shots.  I will try to get them done this weekend and post this properly.  Until then, enjoy!


Leatherman Juice Kf4

   Rather than add to the existing Juice Series Review (LINK) already posted here on Multitool.org I decided that the Kf4 was a standout enough tool to warrant it’s own article.  Besides, as a discontinued model (the only discontinued Juice model) it really is in a class of it’s own.

   Personally, I don’t see why Leatherman would discontinue a tool like this one.  It is fast becoming one of my favorite tools, and despite it’s discontinued status, I find myself carrying it more than any other tool.

   First off, here is a breakdown of what makes a Juice a Juice.  All Juice models feature a main blade on the outside and on the inside, three varying sizes of flathead screwdrivers, a phillips driver and a folding lanyard ring.  The tools on the outside of the Jiuce are what gives that model it’s individual name (as described by Fred in The Da Juici Code LINK) and in this case it is a serrated Knife and diamond file, making a total of 4 implements on the outside, including the main blade and wood saw/awl.

   The Kf4 has a great selection of tools, but another thing that makes it stand out (besides the bright yellow color) is that unlike the smaller models, the Kf4 has a ruler printed on the side.  Most multis have some kind of ruler engraved into them but since that would be difficult on a rounded handle tool (notice the SwissTool Spirit doesn’t have a ruler?  Same reason) they have simply printed it on.  I rarely, if ever use the multitool rulers since most items I want to measure fall invariably fall into the “missing” section under the plier head, but it is something I have come to always expect on a tool.

   Also of note is the diamond file.  To me, this file should be on every multitool, regardless of manufacturer, and there is no excuse for Leatherman not to have it on every tool they make.  Their diamond file is the best file available, and I dare anyone to disprove that statement.  The file on the Kf4 however loses some parks for not having the groove for sharpening points.  The Juice series are supposed to be more leisure oriented, so why not include a fish hook or dart sharpener?  It’s just a little gouge in the file and I see little to no benefit for omitting it, and great benefit for keeping it.  In fact, it does greater detriment overall to the tool by not being there, since that was the main reason why LM’s files are thicker than those on other tools, but were worthwhile despite sacrificing cutting ability on the saw that is combined with the file.  Lose the groove that makes the extra thickness worthwhile, lose the effectiveness of the saw for nothing.

   Speaking of saws, this brings me to another flaw in the Kf4's design.  The wood saw is only half as thick as the channel it sits in, and so Leatherman included an awl to fill in the gaps.  On the surface this seems like a great idea, but in practice it seems to have missed something.  To extend the saw the user first has to pull out the awl, then the saw pulls out without a problem.  The drawback to this is that once the awl is out of the way, there’s nothing to hold the wood saw straight in the channel, which means that it gets bent in and will eventually warp.  Had the saw been fitted to the inside of the channel rather than the outside it would have pushed against the inner wall of the channel and be protected from getting bent or warped.

   I also have the same question with this model as I did with all the other Juice models, and many other multitools as well- how many flatheads does one person need?  At least the 4 and 6 tool Juices have a better tool compliment because of the tools on the outside, but still, 3 out of 5 tools inside being flatheads seems excessive.  Especially when one of those other 5 tools is a folding lanyard ring, an implement I have even less interest in than a series of flatheads.  Would it have killed them to include a can or bottle opener, nail file, folding scissor, eyeglass screwdriver, etc instead of so many flatheads?

   It may sound like I don’t like the Kf4, but this is far from the truth.  It is so far my favorite Juice model, although I have yet to handle the CS4, XE6 and the fairly rare Pro model.  I do however miss the scissors, and would have gladly sacrificed either of the blades in favor of scissors.

   In fact, I really like the Juice series for offering a full sized tool in a smaller than full sized package.  Leatherman learned a valuable lesson from the Mini Tool, which was also a good idea in theory and should have probably stayed that way.

   As with the other Juice models, this one was available in two finishes- standard drab multiool grey or mind numbingly bright yellow.  I recommend this one higher than any other model because it has a good tool compliment, is collectible since it is discontinued and since it can be found on closeout in many places quite inexpensively.

Good:
•   Small size, very convenient
•   Decent tool compliment (especially the diamond file)
•   Easy to find in the water, woods or nuclear accident site

Bad:
•   No point groove in file
•   Poorly placed wood saw
•   Too many unnecessary tools that take the place of more useful ones
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Gonna post this one soon too
Reply #1 on: November 04, 2006, 02:55:44 AM
My hat is off to you sir, that is one nicely written review. I look forward to the pictures. (You hereby have my permission to leave work early and get home before the sun goes down!)
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Gonna post this one soon too
Reply #2 on: November 04, 2006, 04:09:23 AM
Thanks- tomorrow is only a half day so I should manage it...

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


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Gonna post this one soon too
Reply #3 on: November 04, 2006, 06:03:44 PM
Kf4 review and pics posted...

http://multitool.org/content/view/53/67/

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


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Gonna post this one soon too
Reply #4 on: November 05, 2006, 12:56:56 AM
Fixed now.  The idiot that wrote "LINK" and then didn't include the links has now fixed it...

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


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Gonna post this one soon too
Reply #5 on: November 05, 2006, 01:39:39 AM
Nice pics.

Hmmmm.........I see you have a "post class-action lawsuit" tool there. The plier head was already forged, complete with LEATHERMAN and USA logos. Then Leatherman lost the lawsuit, and the USA logo had to be removed with a milling machine. Silly stuff.

* before.jpg (Filesize: 35.18 KB)

* after.jpg (Filesize: 41.19 KB)
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Gonna post this one soon too
Reply #6 on: November 05, 2006, 01:50:28 AM
That's kinda funny since there is the USA on one side and not the other...

Maybe this one was made halfway through the suit? :P

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


us Offline J-sews

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Re: Gonna post this one soon too
Reply #7 on: November 05, 2006, 02:01:31 AM
Ha-ha! I've never seen that before.  :)
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


us Offline CacherX4

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Re: Gonna post this one soon too
Reply #8 on: November 05, 2006, 02:10:57 AM
Hmm, sounds like you have a REALLY rare KF4...Mine also has the USA milled out of it.  Also, for a discontinued tool, Costco has probably 75-100 of them still...as they have since mid-summer.  I have two and will most likely pick up 3 or 4 more as Christmas gifts.  Great review BTW.


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: Gonna post this one soon too
Reply #9 on: November 05, 2006, 02:38:00 AM
I just checked both my C2 and S2 and they both have "TOOL" stamped where the USA is on my Kf4.

Thanks for the kind words about my incessant nitpicking!

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


 

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