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Leatherman Rebar Multi-tool Review

au Offline ReamerPunch

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Leatherman Rebar Multi-tool Review
on: May 25, 2021, 05:30:23 AM
Introduced in 2012, the Rebar remains one of Leatherman's best sellers. Often called the "shrunken-down SuperTool 300", it is a familiar design which emulates quite a number of other Leatherman tools.



Dimensions and other info
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Length: 4" (10cm)
Width: 1.18" (30mm)
Thickness: 0.65" (16.5mm)
Tool weight: 6.3oz (179g).

Handle fasteners: Proprietary knurled Chicago screws

Wire-cutter material: 440c
Wire-cutter fasteners: Torx 8

Implement material: 420HC
Blade cutting edge length: 2.36" (60mm)
Serrated blade cutting edge length: 2.36" (60mm)
Saw cutting length: 2.32" (59mm)


Implement List
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Pliers; needle-nose, manual, squared edges
Wire-cutters; replaceable, hard wire-cutting notch
Blade; plain-edge, hollow grind, drop point
Blade; serrated, sheepsfoot, hollow grind with chisel edge, 0.4" (10mm) of plain edge at tip
Saw; wood, pull-saw
File; three-sided
Can opener; claw
-Bottle opener
-Wire-stripper notch
Flathead; 1/4" (6.5mm)
Flathead; 1/8" (3mm)
Reamerpunch; sewing eye
Phillips; Combination 1# and #2; compatible with square-hole bit adapter
Imperial scale; 8"
Metric scale: 21cm
Crimper
Lanyard ring


Features
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All locking tools
All inside tools
Replaceable wire-cutters
All-metal construction
Cut-outs for easier blade access
Tool clumping (for short implements)
Rolled-over inside edges, for comfort when using pliers
Manufacture dates are absent

Made in USA
Price at time of review: $60
Warranty: 25 Years




Ready to use with no opening required are the measuring scales. Imperial along one edge, and metric along the other.
The metric scale is in increments of 1mm, with each centimeter numbered. The imperial is divided in increments of 1/8" and each inch numbered.
Both are flawlessly stamped and easy to read. Of course the middle increments between the two handles are absent, and the pliers will protrude when using the full extent of the scales. Still, a useful feature for no added weight or bulk. These also add some grip to the tool, and it is nice to see both imperial and metric measurements.


The pliers are needle-nose and meet precisely at the tip. They have no play and are manual. The edges are squared, so this could be used to ream out pvc piping and the like.
The wire-cutters are replaceable. These used to be 154CM but have been downgraded to 440HC. The tolerances are superb, and the wire-cutters can cut paper cleanly. They had no issue with cables and coat-hanger wire.
At the back of the pliers is an electrical crimper which may work for what is needed.

Grabbing objects that are on the larger side may be problematic, as the wire-cutters limit the standard plier opening.

Ergonomics are quite nice. The edges of the handles are rolled and chamfered and there is not much splay. Also, the tool does not slip when squeezing hard.


The blades are easy to access, even with gloves, thanks to the cut-outs and long nail-nicks. They are expertly sharpened, and will take a keen edge. 420HC is not a premium cutlery steel, but adequate for the tool, and understandable, given the price point and everything else the Rebar has going for it.
The blade stock is thin, and ergonomics are wonderful. Nothing protrudes from the frame, the edges are nicely chamfered, and the tool is not bulky.
Each blade can be deployed and retracted without having to fully unfold the pliers from that handle, as the pliers rest next to the longer tools.


The serrated blade has 10mm of plain edge at the tip, which can be used very effectively for draw cuts. It can also act as a safety blade, with its rounded tip.


The woodsaw is properly aggressive. It has two rows of teeth that favor the pulling action, and is as long as the handle will allow. The spine is ground thinner than the teeth, which reduces binding in material. The spine has 90° angles and can be used to scrape.


The file is three-sided. The coarse side is known to be among the most aggressive in the multi-tool world. The fine side can be used for more delicate tasks. The edge is toothed and can saw through metal.
The fingernail slit may interfere with filing small, pointy things. Also, there is room in the handle for the file to be longer, about a 1/4". The early Rebars had a slightly longer file than current production models.


The can opener is among the best in any pocket tool. The piercing point angle, the edge, the taper, and the tool's ergonomics make opening cans extremely easy. There is no learning curve; nothing to compensate for or be mindful of. The process is intuitive and natural. There will be no sharp edges or points left behind, and no shrapnel will drop into the food. Truly excellent.

Opening bottles is also easy, as long as you hook it properly on the cap and pull up slowly.

There is also a wire-stripper notch. For best results, close the handles and fold the implement as far as it goes, trapping the wire. Push down on its spine with your thumb, while twisting the wire.


The Phillips screwdriver offers a useful length, and a robust shank. It engages #1 and 2# screws tightly and works wonderfully. Ergonomics are a big part of this, allowing users to grip tightly and push firmly with no hotspots.
In addition to the Leatherman removable bit adapter, this driver fits the square-hole bit adapter that is included with many tools. This will allow the use of standard 1/4" bits and immensely increase the versatility of the tool.

The flathead drivers are crisply ground and fit their respective screws without slipping. They also lock solidly and the large flathead can be used for small prying tasks.


The reamerpunch is sharpened and tapers to a point. It is able to make holes in wood, leather, plastic, and other soft materials.
It also has a sewing eye, but it is rather high up the implement, which means that attempting to sew may result in holes that are wider than desired. Also, the edges of the sewing eye are quite sharp and may wear down the thread/line.


There is also a lanyard ring. The hole is 1/3" or 8mm in diameter, allowing for thick cords and large carabiners.
This is quite long for the purpose it serves. When unfolded, it will protrude and make the tool longer, which may prevent a snap-button sheath from closing with the tool inside. It also is quite thick, taking the space of an implement.

The lanyard ring is the only attachment point present on the tool. A pocket-clip would solve potential problems and free up space. Also, the Rebar is compact, lightweight, and the design would limit the amount of crud that would clutter other multi-tools.



Construction Quality
The Rebar is considered the lowest tier of Leatherman's high-end tools. It is not a budget tool, though it is the most inexpensive of its size range, but it is not an expensive, premium one, either. As such, construction quality is quite good, but not perfect.
The numbers and words are stamped flawlessly. The Chicago screws have loctite. Edges are smooth and rounded, for added comfort.
All implements are properly machined, with no imperfections, and the blades are expertly sharpened. The saw is aggressive, and the Rebar file is known to be among the best in the multi-tool world. The drivers are all precisely ground and fit their screws well. The pliers have no play and meet perfectly at the tip.
Due to some issues with stamping the manufacture date on the frame, the dates are no longer present on current production models.
A short implement may have some play. The handles may be slightly misaligned. Also, there may be a slight gap between the handles when they are closed, which results in the handles teeter-totting against each other. Nobody is perfect, but at least these issues are cosmetic and do not hinder performance.



Design
The Rebar is quite a elegant design. With its minimal branding, satin finish, gentle, round edges, and a modest, clean frame, the tool has an industrial look. No bells and whistles, no fluff; the Rebar is not loud, though certainly eye-catching and photogenic.

A "box" design, none of the Rebar's implements are accessible from the outside. A handle must be opened to then unfold an implement. Though one may argue that this takes more time compared to other tools, this design approach allows the Rebar to be comfortable, with a sleek, slender frame. It also limits the amount of pocket lint and crud that will enter the tool. Having fewer moving parts, and thanks to the single-piece handles, this design is also resilient despite its light weight. It is also somewhat safer that other designs. If the lock was to fail, implements can only fold at a 45° angle, before stopping against the other handle.

Arguably its main design feature, the Rebar is surprisingly compact for how many tools is has. It is thin and narrow, which makes it perfect for small pouches, pockets, First Aid Kits, survival kits etc.

The Rebar bears a family resemblance to several Leatherman tools. Its closest relatives would be the SuperTool 300, with which the Rebar shares most of its design features, and the Bond, which took many design cues from the Rebar. The Micra is also a member of this little family. The Rebar is also considered the successor of the Kick, Fuse, and Blast tools, as well as the spiritual successor of the very first Leatherman, the PST. It also shares its pliers with the Signal.


Performance
The Rebar would not be a best seller if it was not a great performer. In addition to the strongest pliers in its range, the simple design lends to its robustness. And with its excellent ergonomics, the Rebar punches above its weight. The pliers are phenomenal, the blades take a nice edge, the saw and file are exceptional, the can opener is arguably the best of any multi-tool. The Phillips is tough and its length makes it a joy to use. It also accommodates the square-hole bit adapter that many inexpensive tools come with, making it that more versatile.

Everything on the Rebar performs the way it should, or even better, and the ergonomics allow for prolonged use with little fatigue. Moreover, everything locks firmly for peace of mind. Tolerances are superb, with everything pivoting smoothly.
It is worth noting that most of the Rebar's tools are considered the best in the size-range: pliers, wire-cutters, saw, file, fixed Phillips, can opener; Many features of the Rebar also dominate the "best in the range" list: ergonomics, robustness, size, weight, price. Few multi-tools, if any, can boast such claims. This is nothing short of impressive, and explains why the Rebar has so many dedicated fans.




Modification Potential
The Rebar is a fantastic modding platform. As a 4" Leatherman tool, the Rebar is compatible with implements of the Wave/Charge, Bond/Curl, Wingman/Sidekick/REV, and Blast/Fuse/Kick. The knurled screws and contoured handles may make the process a little tricky, but with the proper tools, the screws can be removed. Users have experimented heavily with the Rebar, and have come up with endless variations, that can address everyone's needs. Spare parts can be found separately, and thus the Rebar can be heavily customized. The Rebar can also act as a donor, with many sought-after parts, like the reamer, pliers, or Phillips.
Note that irreversible modification will most likely void the warranty.



Conclusion
It should be obvious that the Rebar's success is easily explained and well-deserved. From Day 1, the Rebar was the beloved edc of many. Its compactness is legendary, and few tools come close, certainly if we take into account just how many tools it boasts. Performance is also exceptional, and this applies to everything on it. It is also surprisingly rugged, standing up to abuse other tools would run away from. Price-wise, it is still competitive within top brands, especially considering long term use and the 25-year warranty.

Though certainly appearing as a "shrunken-down SuperTool 300", the Rebar is its own beast. Taking the good of its larger sibling, it manages to achieve excellent performance levels in a tiny package. Undoubtedly a worthy addition to Leatherman's line-up, the Rebar continues to win over users who seek a reliable everyday tool.

The modding potential is also significant, and will eliminate any subjective shortcomings users may have. Once those screws come off, it's game on. Users can find a plethora of implements that will fit the Rebar as if they were made for it, and the process itself is half the fun. The Rebar will become more and more appealing, as it evolves in the individual's hands.

Indeed, the Rebar is here to stay. Since its introduction nine years ago, it is still going strong, gaining fans along the way. A staple in the Leatherman line-up and the multi-tool world, with its old school design, the Rebar will also carry on the legacy of the PST and Blast, leaving nothing undone.




Pros
-Compact, unobtrusive frame, and lightweight.
-Robust, proven design.
-Tool density.
-Great ergonomics.
-Implements are compatible with Wave/Charge, Bond/Curl, Wingman/Sidekick/REV, Blast/Fuse/Kick.
-Phillips driver is compatible with the square-hole bit adapter.

Cons
-The only updates it has received have been downgrades (lesser wire-cutter steel, shorter file).
-The wire-cutters may interfere with grabbing objects.
-The only attachment carry option is the lanyard ring.
-The lanyard ring may interfere with sheathing, and the space it takes could have been used for another implement.

« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 06:45:57 PM by Poncho65 »


au Offline Echotech

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Re: Leatherman Rebar Multi-tool Review
Reply #1 on: May 25, 2021, 09:51:36 AM
Excellent review RP :tu:

Although I’ve only had my Rebar for 4 or 5 months it’s become a firm favourite.

During the recent Poker Face challenge I swapped between my 15+ yo wave, a Vic spirit and the rebar, which gave me a good chance to compare them.

Didn’t think I’d prefer anything to the wave, but in actual use, particularly using the saw, I found the Rebar more comfortable, and the saw the best of the three. Your observation re it’s shape likely explains why.

The lower weight of the rebar finds my edc’ing more often than the others, currently with spirit next, a fine MT

:cheers:


us Offline Poncho65

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Re: Leatherman Rebar Multi-tool Review
Reply #2 on: May 26, 2021, 04:50:52 AM
Fantastic review of the Rebar :salute: I carried one for a few years after they first came out and it did everything I needed it to :tu: Always have a soft spot for the Rebar :like:



au Offline ReamerPunch

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Re: Leatherman Rebar Multi-tool Review
Reply #3 on: May 26, 2021, 07:38:10 AM
Thanks, guys! :cheers:
I've reviewed many off-brand multi-tools, and after a couple of disappointments, I decided I might as well review my favorite Leatherman. :D

I've got two more reviews already written, and a couple more tools that I'd like to review as well. It's gonna be a busy month. :ahhh


se Offline kottskrapa

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Re: Leatherman Rebar Multi-tool Review
Reply #4 on: May 26, 2021, 08:20:43 AM
Really good rewiew!

The rebas are a fantastic tool and has a great grip in the drivers

[It's not failure if you learn something from it]



 

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