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Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit

jzmtl · 16 · 37193

ca Offline jzmtl

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Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
on: July 16, 2008, 03:10:38 AM
Both Leatherman Wave and Victorinox Swisstool Spirit are medium sized multitool, and is the bread and butter model for their respective manufacture. Here we will look at the difference of the two and compare their functionality.

Being medium sized tools, they are similar in size and weight. Spirit is longer and more slender, while Wave is shorter and chubbier. Wave weights 240 grams (8.5oz), while Spirit weights 210 grams (7.4oz), although I doubt you will be able to notice the size/weight difference when carried in either pocket or belt sheath.





Like most multitools, both have similar sized needle nosed pliers. However Wave’s nose is pointier than Spirit’s, which is rounded off instead of square. This enable Wave to have a little longer reach and able to grab things Spirit is too big to do. For example when work with small split rings, it’s a lot easier to use Wave’s pliers to open the ring. The thinner tip however also means it’s weaker, so take care to not exert too much force while clamping down with only the tip. Both have bypass type wire cutter with hard wire notch build in.

The handle of Wave can be used as a ruler with its metric and imperial markings, Spirit's handle is curved so no ruler there, but it is slightly more ergonomic. The ruler marking has another advantage, it increase grip when the tool is wet. Spirit on the other hand is a slippery bugger when wet, my hardwood floor can attest to that. Better have a lanyard if you use it on water.





All of the Spirit’s tools can be accessed without having to open the handles, but Wave only has four outside access tools. However Wave’s outside access tools can be opened with one hand, while Spirit’s tools are accessed via nail pick and need two hands.



The tool selection of Wave and Spirit are quite similar, they both include blade, file, wood saw, scissor, can/bottle opener, and various screwdrivers. We will take a look at the first four larger tools first.

One thing quite a few people don’t like about Spirit is its lack of a traditional blade. The only available blade is a butter knife shaped serrated knife that has no point. Wave took the traditional approach and includ two blades, one clip point fine edge knife, and one blunt serrated edge. I don’t mind this, but that’s mostly because I carry a pocketknife in addition to multitool.





Wood saw on both are similar, with Wave’s tooth biased toward pull cut, while Spirit’s tooth has no bias. Both work well, assuming they are long enough for the object you are trying to cut.



The file on Wave actually includes both a traditional toothed file on one side, and a diamond coated file on the other. Spirit’s file has toothed file on both side, but they are much more aggressive than those on Wave. Both have ridges on bottom edge of file, while Spirit’s aggressive enough to use as metal saw, those on Wave seems to smooth to really do anything



I’m not sure why Victorinox deviated away from the tried-and-true scissors from Swiss Army knives that we are familiar with, and designed an entirely new one for the Spirit. On first look the scissors on Spirit is nicely sized, but note how far the scissors open, that’s as far as it is able to due to the design. Together with the curve on scissor I found that on slippery material such as synthetic ropes, it tend to push whatever you are trying to cut out, rather than cut it. Another thing I do not like about this design is I can’t sharpen it, because no sharpening stone is small enough to fit. Scissor on Wave, although small, works well for light duty work.



Onto the smaller tool selection, both include bottle/can opener. Wave uses a combination opener that works on both, while Spirit in Victorinox tradition divided them into two tools, the can opener with small flat screwdriver, and bottle opener with large screwdriver. This particular version of bottle opener however is longer and much thicker than those found on Swiss Army knives, and can function as a light duty pry bar.

Both tool include phillip and slotted screwdrivers, while Spirit use the traditional build in drivers, Wave utilize a bit holder that hold bits made from tool steel (which is harder but more rust prone than stainless steel that makes up rest of the multitool). You can purchase optional bit kit that greatly expands drivers available to you.

You may have heard people complaining about the drivers on Spirit slip easily, and that is my experience as well. I used Spirit to help friend assemble a BBQ, and the phillip driver keep slipping unless pushed hard toward the screw. The problem I see is that the drivers on Spirit is polished to almost mirror finish, and all corners are rounded, so it doesn’t bite into the screw. Screwdriver on Wave is shorter due to the bit holder, but unless you encounter recessed screws it’s not a problem.



Wave also include an eyeglass screwdriver sized bit holder that has both slotted and phillip driver. However I found the tip of slotted driver is too thickly ground to fit into eyeglass screw properly, and slip easily.

Spirit includes a chisel/scraper with wire stripper, although I don’t know if it’s a good idea to include it (and to a less degree, the pry bar) in a multitool consider the parts are not replaceable (not by end user anyway), and they tend to see a lot of force in use. Spirit also includes an awl, in Victorinox tradition.

Wave utilizes two type of locks for its tools. Liner locks are used for the four large sized tools, each tool has its own liner lock. Back lock is used for smaller sized tools, and tools in the same handle shared the same one. I think this is quite nice, because if one lock is broken, it does not compromise locking ability of other components. Spirit use a lock that wedge itself against opened tools to keep them open, I don’t know what this type of lock is called.

Both come with belt sheath, in either nylon or (fake) leather, and you can always purchased the other type if you like it better. Spirit’s sheath is more compact, and fit on belt more comfortable. Wave’s sheath is more functional, can be carried both vertically and horizontally, and have additional pockets for accessories.



Speaking of accessories, Wave has a few available. You can purchase quite a few additional bits for the bit holder, and a removable key ring, if you prefer to use that instead of the build in one (Spirit has no build in key ring by the way). A pocket clip is also available for wave, although I find it too heavy to clip to pocket comfortably.

Both are great tools with its own advantages, and either should serve its owner well. However if you work near water all the time, you probably should consider the Spirit as it has greater rust resistance than Wave.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 05:58:15 AM by jzmtl »


us Offline Spoonrobot

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #1 on: July 16, 2008, 03:21:37 AM
Nice comparison! Which one do you like better?


Offline Leatherman123

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 03:22:51 AM
Very nice review!! I am extremely impressed! I am all for the one handed blades.. So, I am partial to the Wave. I am anti nail nick!  8)
B


Offline max6166

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #3 on: July 16, 2008, 03:30:34 AM
Really nice work, jzmtl! 

I have to run and could only browse the comparison right now, but I am definitely going to go over this in depth a little later.

Thanks! :cheers:
[


ca Offline jzmtl

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #4 on: July 16, 2008, 03:40:55 AM
Thanks! I prefer spirit for EDC duty because of the smaller holster and more elegant appearance, but wave for outdoor activity for one hand operation. And nailpick is useless when heavy glove is on, like ski trips.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 05:59:48 AM by jzmtl »


Offline Hoghead

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #5 on: July 16, 2008, 04:55:34 AM
Great review!

The Wave and Spirit are two of my favorite multitools. I wish I could get the BO Spirit S with a black pocket clip.


us Offline Poncho65

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #6 on: July 16, 2008, 05:02:55 AM
Nice comparison there jzmtl I have a Wave and really love it I don't have a Spirit but it also seems to fit the bill of an all around great tool. Also thanks for the pics they also helped alot :salute: :D


gb Offline Mike, Lord of the Spammers!

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #7 on: July 16, 2008, 10:29:55 AM
Top job mate, a good, even handed review :cheers:
Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!


england Offline Benner

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #8 on: July 17, 2008, 11:44:24 PM
Superb review mate.  Very enjoyable read.  :)
I'm back!!


england Offline Dunc

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #9 on: August 07, 2008, 09:34:52 PM
Nice comparison  :D I was inpressed whith the Wave I saw at the UK meetup and its such an improvement over the old version . I'd rather have a Wave then a Charge I think .

Dunc


us Offline eodtech

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #10 on: September 12, 2008, 03:44:57 PM
The main reason I went with the Swiss Tool Spirit 'S' was that he has 2 blades: one serrated and one plain and it came with a leather pouch / sheath.
Why do I carry a 45 ?
Because they don't make a 46 !


us Offline WhichDawg

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #11 on: September 13, 2008, 05:47:50 AM
very good review (I'm finally reading it!) I really like the picture comparisons! :salute:


scotland Offline Sea Monster

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #12 on: September 13, 2008, 09:50:44 AM
Some slight clues as to the differing cultures from whence they came/were designed.


us Offline WhichDawg

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #13 on: September 13, 2008, 11:33:03 AM
do you ever feel like somebodies following you? (spring sounds in back round "bong bong")  :D


us Offline EZ822

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #14 on: September 13, 2008, 11:47:01 AM
Nice job comparing these tools. I'm partial  to the Spirit only because I don't like the bit drivers in the Wave.
Erick


scotland Offline Sea Monster

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Re: Leatherman Wave vs. Victorinox Swisstool Spirit
Reply #15 on: September 13, 2008, 11:50:17 AM
Quote
do you ever feel like somebodies following you? (spring sounds in back round "bong bong")

I always like to think I'm the follower.

It's like not being scared of witches, because you're the most dangerous orange tree in the forest.


 

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