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What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?

us Offline damiross

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This curious mid wants to know.  What's the logic behind the naming of Leatherman and Victorinox?


us Offline IMR4198

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #1 on: August 22, 2023, 10:33:06 AM
    It might not be what you want to know, but... Leatherman is the surname of Tim Leatherman, the founder.  Victorinox is a combination of Victoria (the founder's mother) and inox  which was the proprietary steel.  Lots of information here for anyone who wants to learn things.  Search around a little on the site.  Best wishes.  Gary


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #2 on: August 22, 2023, 02:31:44 PM
This is a great question, and one we go over a lot here.

Leatherman tends to name things based on what sounds cool- like a Rebar, Crunch or Skeletool.  There were some names that had weird connotations for a while, like the Surge and Squirt models, but I don't think that marketer is with them anymore.

Then there were some series, like the Squirt and Juice lines- and these were named (mostly) based on what they were.  For example, the Juice KF4 had Knife  and File in 4 layers.  Other Juice models like the XE6 are not as descriptive.

As bad as they are, they have nothing on Victorinox.  Just search for a model called the Golfer and you will see what I mean.   :ahhh

This is because Victorinox used to outsource distribution to local distributors in different regions, and those distributors would often make up their own names for models- this is why we have models like the Plumber and Lumberjack that are the same model, but with different names.  Different distributors called it something different.

This makes sense, because different places have different languages and different ways to used the language- for example, getting pissed in the US means something completely different from getting pissed in the UK!   :D

But it gets weirder than that.  The one that always comes to mind for me is the Huntsman conundrum. 

A Huntsman model has exactly the same layout as the Fieldmaster model except that the Fieldmaster model has the Phillips instead of the corkscrew.  If it has a corkscrew, it's a Huntsman.

Unless....

If it has Boy Scouts of America scales and a Phillips driver it's a BSA Huntsman rather than a Fieldmaster just because it has BSA scales- even though it should be a Fieldmaster.

Keeping up with all the names is kind of fun!

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


us Offline NutSAK

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #3 on: August 22, 2023, 04:32:43 PM
Plumber and Lumberjack that are the same model, but with different names.  Different distributors called it something different.

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us Offline nate j

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #4 on: August 22, 2023, 04:42:08 PM
Victorinox is a combination of Victoria (the founder's mother) and inox  which was the proprietary steel.

Inox is an abbreviation for inoxydable, which translates to stainless (steel).


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #5 on: August 22, 2023, 08:42:47 PM
Don't forget Walker!

I was trying to simplify for effect! 

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!   :D

Def
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us Offline damiross

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #6 on: August 23, 2023, 03:41:15 AM
    It might not be what you want to know, but... Leatherman is the surname of Tim Leatherman, the founder.  Victorinox is a combination of Victoria (the founder's mother) and inox  which was the proprietary steel.  Lots of information here for anyone who wants to learn things.  Search around a little on the site.  Best wishes.  Gary
The part amount Leatherman I knew.  I didn't know that part of Victorinox.

Thanks, all, for your responses.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2023, 03:47:34 AM by damiross »


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #7 on: August 23, 2023, 01:09:52 PM
It wouldn't be much of a forum if we didn't enjoy talking about stuff!  :D

Naming is always a fun one- for example, did you know that Leatherman and Gerber both have tools with the same name?

Long before the Tread was a fancy bracelet from Leatherman, the Tread name was used by a Gerber model.

https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,44385.0.html

Of course, Leatherman also (sort of) copied Victorinox with the (One Hand Tool) OHT, which is funny because, as a sliding head tool it is definitely a copy of a Gerber.

Victorinox had been using the OHT name for the One Handed Trekker model to differentiate it from the standard Trekker that did not feature a one handed blade.

But it gets a bit more involved than that- the Trekker (and One Handed Trekker) are only called that in North America- in other markets it is called the Trailmaster, but Victorinox couldn't use that name because Cold Steel was already using it for their Trailmaster bowie knife.

Coincidentally, Cold Steel attempted to manufacture inexpensive SAK style knives at one point, right down to the red plastic scales.  They called it the Swiss Steel series, and it was meant to be a high quality, affordable alternative to a SAK.

I don't know if it was trademark issues, production issues or cost issues, but I don't think the Swiss Steel series ever made it past being some photos in a catalogue.

Going a bit further down the Cold Steel rabbit hole, their signature Carbon V steel was originally provided to them by Ontario Knives, who recently (unfortunately) went out of business.

It's amazing how interconnected all of these companies are- for example, Bear Cutlery made components for Leatherman in the early days, then Bear decided to make their own, better Leatherman and called it the Bear Jaws.

The design was so much better than the original box style Leathermans (PST, SuperTool, Flair etc) that it allegedly caused Tim Leatherman to turn to (then designer, now CEO) Ben Rivera and say "why didn't you think of that?"

That story was told to me by the Big Bear himself, Ken Griffey of what is now called Bear and Sons Cutlery.

The reason for that name change?  Simple- Victorinox bought Bear Cutlery to gain access to the tool patents, and the design for the Bear Jaws eventually was modified into becoming what we know today as the SwissTool series.

And I wouldn't read too much into the Tim Leatherman/Ben Rivera story, as Mr. Griffen also makes it sound like he chased the Swiss out of his factory and reclaimed it as his own, for him and his descendents, aka the Big Bear and his lineage.

How's that for a rambling answer?   :D

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


us Offline SteveC

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ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #9 on: August 23, 2023, 03:44:07 PM
Oddly enough, as part of the 25th Anniversary of the Leatherman Wave, Leatherman released this video of CEO Ben Rivera:

https://youtu.be/wEZsBR59tQQ

Not too far into it he mentions something about how naming the tool was taken away from the developers and that responsibility was given to the marketers.

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


us Online Poncho65

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #10 on: August 23, 2023, 08:07:29 PM
Great bits of info in here :woohoo: :like: :like:


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #11 on: August 23, 2023, 08:13:05 PM
See what happens when you all let me ramble on?

I say so much that somewhere in there is some valuable and/or interesting information!   :D

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


us Offline DIAMOND

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #12 on: August 23, 2023, 09:45:36 PM
Good info, Def.

A fun walk down trivia lane.
MTs: Gerber Dime, Gerber Suspension NXT, PLeatherman Wave, Misc China Cheapos

SAKs: Vic Climber, Vic Classic SD, Vic Classic (non-SD), Engraved 3-blade SAK (given to me as a gift)


00 Offline Simon_Templar

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #13 on: August 23, 2023, 11:54:19 PM

But it gets weirder than that.  The one that always comes to mind for me is the Huntsman conundrum. 

A Huntsman model has exactly the same layout as the Fieldmaster model except that the Fieldmaster model has the Phillips instead of the corkscrew.  If it has a corkscrew, it's a Huntsman.

Unless....

If it has Boy Scouts of America scales and a Phillips driver it's a BSA Huntsman rather than a Fieldmaster just because it has BSA scales- even though it should be a Fieldmaster.

Def

Good one! To me, the biggest conundrum is the naming of the Craftsman/Master Craftsman. Why on earth would a Master Craftsman have less tools than a Craftsman? I just cannot get my head around that. This has been driving me nuts ever since I found out about it, and I don't even own any of the two models. Nuts!


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #14 on: August 24, 2023, 12:13:51 AM
I guess because a true Master can do more with less?   :D

I don't know, I've always wondered about that one too!

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


00 Offline Grand_Banana

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #15 on: August 24, 2023, 03:13:06 AM
Glad this question was posed lots of good info here. Thanks Grant.

I don’t know where the kick/fuse/blast/core nomenclature originated as a marketing strategy, but I think those are the best “fun” LM names after Crunch (which makes sense). 

The Vic naming by distributor is interesting, but we see that with trademarks and cars like the Honda Fit in US markets but it’s Honda Jazz in others. 


Offline dobegrant

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #16 on: August 24, 2023, 03:31:35 AM
A lot of information shared in this thread.


au Offline Huntsman

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #17 on: August 28, 2023, 05:06:11 PM
And the Vic names are often pretty randomly assigned

Eg What is climbing oriented about a Climber or mountaineering oriented about a Mountaineer ???    :think:
And as for the original Golfer  ........ :twak:  Fortunately at least the current Golfer has something to do with golf


us Offline nate j

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #18 on: August 29, 2023, 12:43:17 AM
What is climbing oriented about a Climber or mountaineering oriented about a Mountaineer ???

No idea, but it sounds cool.
- The Marketing Department


au Offline Huntsman

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #19 on: August 29, 2023, 10:11:47 AM
 :rofl:    :like:


cy Offline dks

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Re: What's the naming logic behind Leatherman and Victorinox?
Reply #20 on: August 29, 2023, 11:52:55 AM
Volkswagen golf, for poor golfers....

For Victorinox I tend to use their official number, when searching for information or wanting to give it, as it gives you information about the "family" it comes from too.  It is not perfect, and can differ between continents too.
Kelly: "Daddy, what makes men cheat on women?
Al : "Women!"

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