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Modified Leatherman Fuse (Lynn's $15 MT Challenge) 621

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Modified Leatherman Fuse (Lynn's $15 MT Challenge)
« on: April 16, 2018, 07:31:41 PM »
This tool review is part of a challenge, to find the best tool I could for $15, tax and shipping included. Here's a link to the main thread of the challenge.,76694.0.html

This tool is a modified Leatherman Fuse, obviously used, and was purchased as part of a lot, and was worth about $15 of the total price.

The lanyard loop has been removed, and replaced with a second large flathead driver, and a Nite Ize pocket clip has been affixed.

It weighs 179g (6.32oz). Construction is mainly stainless steel, but the tool has Zytel inserts in the handles. The tool is held together by knurled bolts. All of the tools are inside accessible, and locking. Locks are disengaged by big, comfortable locking tabs on the backsides of the handles. This is built on a 4" frame size, common to Leatherman full-size tools.

The components on this tool are common to the other Zytel handled tools (The Kick and the Blast), as well as having many common components with the Wave and Charge. For instance, the large flathead driver, plier head, scissors, and can opener are shared with the Wave.

The tool did not come with a sheath.

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Modified Leatherman Fuse (Lynn's $15 MT Challenge)
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 08:07:16 PM »
The pliers.

As I mentioned above, this tool uses the same plier head as the Wave, and I've been quite happy with the performance of the pliers on my Wave for many years now. So, how does THIS tool fair?

Handle splay is moderate. Virtually identical to a Leatherman Wave, as a point of comparison. IT should work well for even smaller hands as long as you're not trying to grip very large items. There is just a tiny amount of play in the pivot.

First, gripping self tapping screws in my basement ductwork...

It did well. I didn't have quite as much luck grabbing it nose on as with other tools, but it worked from from the side.

Then I put it against the 3/8" bolts of my storage shelves.

Here, it did fine, and the higher force started to show the benefit of the Zytel rounded edges. It was a good deal more comfortable than a tool like the original Leatherman PST, but not up to the standards of the Craftsman or Gerber Multi-pliers previously tested in this challenge.

I gave it a shot on the 1/2" nuts holding my basement stair treads together. (sorry for the blurry pic)

It did fine. Handle splay was quite tolerable. I had feared that the smallish area for grabbing larger bolts would not be enough, and the wire cutters might get in the way, but this wasn't the case. This harder use, though, really showed the difference between it's 'fairly good' ergonomics, and the outstanding ergonomics of the Craftsman, Multi-Plier, and MP600.

Finally, I took it against wire.

It did a great job against the coathanger wire. The hard wire notch in the wire cutters works very well in this. I then tried cutting thin stranded wire from an old set of headphones. It would cleanly cut the wire strands, but there's a fibrous material like nylon or something that it wouldn't cleanly cut.

After the cut testing, I used the needlenose to try making a tight loop in 12-gauge copper wire, which this tool did very well. And finally, I rebent the coathanger. The jaws of the tool flexes very slightly in rotational torque, but did the job well, and came right back into shape.

Overall, these pliers did great. They both have a fine needlenose point and worked well at harder tasks. The only knock against them is that the handles aren't the most comfortable at very high force. That's a pretty minor knock. They're also maybe the best wire cutters overall I've tested so far.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Modified Leatherman Fuse (Lynn's $15 MT Challenge)
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 08:33:56 PM »
The tool has a single plain edge, clip point blade. Like all other tools, it locks.

This blade looks like it still has factory grind marks on it, and came sharp enough to cut phonebook paper cleanly.

Regardless, I gave it 20 strokes per side on ceramic rods. After which it would almost effortlessly cut phone paper and was hair popping sharp.

I gave it 20 passes through corrugated cardboard (I usually do 10, but through longer pieces, so I thought this would equal out).

This tool was very comfortable going through cardboard, and the ergonomics were quite good.

It then went back to phonebook paper to test edge retention.

It was still cutting the paper effortlessly.

So, outside I went, to an old plastic trashcan, to see how it pierced.

This was the best I've tested so far at piercing, and only second to the Rucksack in cutting after the pierce.

Finally, I gave it a go at making firestick curls on a piece of aged ash. As you might be able to tell from all the curls that fell off, it's better at making them than I am. :D

This was the first time where the ergonomics of the tool became clean to me. Under the high force of this task, coupled with the previous tasks, I could feel it causing hotspots in my hand. The ergonomics aren't bad at all, they're just not the fantastic ergos of the Rucksack.

The cutting area on this is about 62mm (2 3/8"). It's equivalent to a small pocket knife. I don't know if it's fair to expect much more from it. The locking is solid and makes it feel safe in use, with no side to side play, and just a hair of front and black play while locked open.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Modified Leatherman Fuse (Lynn's $15 MT Challenge)
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 09:00:14 PM »
This tool has 4 screwdrivers. It has a phillips, two large flatheads, and a smaller flathead. The stock version has one less large flathead.

The first thing i'm going to say is that I am more than fine trading a lanyard ring for a second large flathead driver. Since the large flathead is going to double as a basic pry tool, and therefore be subject to damage, I don't have any problem having a duplicate of it.

The phillips driver is fairly long for a multitool. I stested it on the long woodscrews holding the bench together on my back porch, and it worked fine. This is a fairly hard task, and there was no torsion flex in the tool, and no sense of it camming out. And obviously as a locking tool, no fear that it would collapse closed.

For its combination of reach and stability, this is the best phillips driver I've tested so far in the challenge.

Next up was the small flathead. While it's not intended exactly for the screws holding lightswitch faceplates in place, it fit, and worked fine.

As with the phillips, this driver has pretty good reach as well.

Since the two large flatheads are identical, I only tested one.

It worked great for the larger woodscrews holding my door hinges together. And while not as good as the phillips or smaller flathead, it still has pretty good reach.

I gave it the 'crusty paint can pry test' (not pictured), and it did so well, I tried the pry-tool torture test.

I wedged it between two 2x10 boards that are screwed together and gave it about a 15 degree bend, flexing the tool.

After releasing the tension, the tool sprang right back into shape with no problem.

With the three stock drivers, and the backup of the large flathead, this thing has fantastic and pretty heavy-duty screw driving ability. All the driver heads are very well formed and grab screws quite well.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Modified Leatherman Fuse (Lynn's $15 MT Challenge)
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 09:46:13 PM »
Let's talk about the scissors on this tool

Here's how it fared in my testing.

Pass with distinction: Paper, PETE, T-Shirt, 550 Paracord +8
Pass: Non-corrugated Cardboard, Suede, Khakis, Corrugated Cardboard +4
Barely Adequate: Heavy Plastic
Fail: None

Total +12

About a jillion years ago, I made a testing method for scissors, to compare their abilities. In that thread (linked below), I tested a Wave, which has the same scissors as this tool, and they tested to the same number (+12), but for slightly different reasons. Regardless, this makes them extremely good scissors.,36798.0.html

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Modified Leatherman Fuse (Lynn's $15 MT Challenge)
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 09:59:17 PM »
And, the last tool, the can opener.

Yes, it opens cans. However, it can leave gouges in the can rim, that create little metal splinters (seen in photo). It also works pretty well as a cap lifter. And the wire stripper worked well on the pictured piece of copper wire.

EDIT to add: At  the time of this writing, my Flikr account is acting weird, and not uploading pics, or not recognizing them once uploaded, or something. (sigh) This review might be on hold for a bit.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 10:16:50 PM by Lynn LeFey »
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Modified Leatherman Fuse (Lynn's $15 MT Challenge)
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 10:32:37 PM »
The final feature of this tool, and only real carry option, is the very non-standard Nite Ize clip attached to it with an adhesive pad. It seems VERY well attached.

The clip has great spring in it, returns to shape after being bent a fair amount out of shape, and maybe best of all, has something like a locking tab, allowing the clip to slide onto a jean pocket, and not come off, unless the locking tab is pressed.

This allows the tool to be pocket carried quite comfortably. And at only about a third of an ounce (11g) more than the Rev, the tool is a very comfortable weight for pocket carry.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes a review of the features of this tool.

It was well worth the $15 I paid, and a good, and very sturdy basic multitool.
Hero Member Posts: 545 Another day, a whole 'nother set of possibilities
Re: Modified Leatherman Fuse (Lynn's $15 MT Challenge)
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2018, 06:02:53 AM »
 :like: I've been carrying the Blast and I love the plastic inserts on the handles. I find the microdriver handy for my sunglasses

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