I just received the second version of the Piranha today, and thought this might be a good time to talk a little about these 3 similar tools and toss in a few photographs into the equation.
As most of you know, Leatherman purchased PocketToolX in 2012. I must admit, I do not have an original PocketToolX Piranha, and I feel that might be something I may have to find. What I do know is that the Piranha and Brewster were PocketToolX designes that Leatherman quickly added their name to and sold through their vast distribution network. I personally do not know much about PocketToolX, and quite possibly a few more designs were either taken or modified for the Leatherman branding. I am thinking about the Mako Ti here.
Anyways, here is a news article announcing the purchase of PocketToolX.http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/morning_call/2012/07/leatherman-to-buy-pockettoolx.html
The Piranha was a very solid pocket tool. It surprised many that Leatherman came out with a second version so quickly after the heels of the first version. In between, there was a cut down version of the original Piranha called the Croc. The Croc was a Home Depot exclusive that came packaged with a Leatherman Sidekick. Interestingly enough, many of the subtle design cues of the Piranha II comes from the Croc, and not from the original Leatherman Piranha. Yes, I do wish I had an original PocketToolX Piranha to make direct comparisons. I strongly suspect it will look exactly like the Leatherman branded Piranha however.
The Leatherman Piranha came with a full sized 1/4" double ended bit. This was a bit surprising as Leatherman has always had their unique flat driver bits. Likewise, the rubber holder is rather bulky and rounded.
In contrast, the Croc was a bare bones Piranha that did not include a driver bit. It was a simple slab of metal with a few features lacking in the more fancier Piranha. The Croc is also half as thick as the Piranha and Piranha II. Interestingly enough, the model designation is stamped into the steel unlike the laser etched Piranha and Piranha II.
The Piranha II is much like the first version, except the new model has a cut out metal arm that acts as a spring/lever to um, I guess, better bind the driver bit and 1/4" hex driver. Unlike the original version, this one now features the Leatherman standard flat drivers. Both still double ended flat and Phillips drivers. Because of this, the rubber holder is now flat and more compact compared to the older version which had to accommodate a larger bit driver.
There is a lot of speculation that the cut out for the spring arm in the second version has introduced some weak spots. After looking at the affected area, I am relatively confident that it shouldn't break there as the metal is thick enough. Mind you, we won't know until we start seeing reports coming in of broken Piranha IIs. Looking at it head on, it does look like a weak spot, albeit, there is still a lot of metal there due to the thickness.
As I have mentioned before, the Croc led the way in some design cues for the second version of the Piranha. The beveled front end is straight much like that seen in the Croc. The edge grooves are also similar. The edge grooves in the Piranha are a thing of beauty. You can tell they were rounded etc, and just look beautiful. The later edge grooves in the second version and the Croc are just not as sexy. Mind you, this is a subjective thing.
Now onto some photos.
From top to bottom: Piranha II, Piranha, Croc.
All tools of this class have the following:
2. Bottle opener
3. English open wrench
4. Metric box wrench
5. Box opener
The Piranha and Piranha II also feature:
6. 1/4" Hex driver
7. 1 double ended driver bit that features a flat driver/Phillips driver.
The Piranha II also features:
8. A flat driver hole designed to mate with the Leatherman flat driver bits.
The Croc also features:
9. The lower jaw can be used as a flat driver as the Croc is half the thickness of the other two.
Here is an image of the old Piranha's bit driver holder. You can see the bit is 1/4" in size, and the rubber is larger and rounded to accommodate it.
In contrast, here is the bit holder for the Piranha II. Note that the standard Leatherman flat bit is used here, meaning the rubber holder can now be flat and less bulky. You can also see the new spring bit holder.
The older Piranha is a good looking tool. I think part of it is the nice beveling in the contours.
In contrast, the newer Piranha II lacks these little design details.
Here is the Croc for comparison.
Here is the sexy edge bevels on the Piranha.
Compared to those of the Piranha II.
And the Croc.
So there you have it, 3 versions of a tool that now bear the Leatherman label, and not that of the PocketToolX moniker. The original Piranha is a beautiful tool that is very nice to look at. The Croc was a lower quality tool bundled with a Sidekick for cheap money as an exclusive for Home Depot. You can see some design cues taken directly from the Croc for the newer Piranha II, which when compared to the older version, just looks cheaper. I must add however, that the Piranha II did beef up the scraper end where the name is located compared to the original version. With that said, they appeared to have added a weak spot at the other end of the tool where the flat bit is used. It is equally as thick as the original version however, and because of this, I don't think it should beak with normal use. I say this because if one has a mind, you can break any tool out there. The Croc has that stamped name, which is a very nice touch. I am a bit surprised Leatherman decided to just laser engrave it on the newer version.
That wraps up my views, thoughts, and pontifications on these 3 pocket tools.