Leatherman Squirt P4
Field Test Report
Date of report: December 1, 2002
Personal Biographical Information:
Name: Leonard Christiansen
Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 195 lb.
Location: Mobile, AL
I am an Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 292, Mobile, AL. I
have been backpacking for about ten years and camping and hiking for
over thirty years. My backpacking interest was formed when my son
wanted to earn his backpacking merit badge in Scouting. He and I
learned together, making many mistakes along the way, I'm sure! But we
managed to survive.
My backpacking has been limited mostly to Alabama and Mississippi. I
have trekked the trails of the Conecuh Woods several times, a loop in
the Cheaha Wilderness in the Talladega National Forest (consists of
part of the Pinhoti Trail, the Chinnabee Silent Trail, and the Skyway
Loop Trail) several times, the Tuxachanie Trail in the Desoto National
Forest in Mississippi, and the Black Creek Trail in the Desoto
National Forest in Mississippi. These trails are within a "reasonable"
radius of Mobile for weekend or long weekend treks. I also accompanied
a crew of Scouts to Philmont Scout Ranch in the Sangre de Cristo
Mountains of northeastern New Mexico for a trek in the summer of 2002.
Product: Leatherman Squirt P4
Manufacturer: Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
Model Year: 2002
List Weight: 2.0 oz.
Test Weight: 2.0 oz.
Length: 2.25 in. closed
Materials: Stainless steel with
anodized aluminum scales
Color: Glacier (blue)
Other colors available: Storm (gray)
Features: Needlenose pliers
Small, flat Phillips screwdriver
File, straight cut
File, cross cut
Key ring attachment
I have not been able to get out on the trail with the Leatherman
Squirt P4 in my pack. I have, however, carried the Squirt P4 as my
pocket knife and tool kit around my home in Mobile, AL. Weather
information is probably not too important for the home environment. I
have had the tool very wet and subjected to chlorine bleach while
power washing mildew from the exterior of my house. I always manage to
get soaked while doing this job!
As I said in my initial report for the Leatherman Squirt P4, the main
reason for choosing the Leatherman Squirt P4 is I want a small,
lightweight multi-tool with pliers. I want the pliers to be able to
perform field maintenance on my camp stove when necessary. If they
cannot perform this task I will have to carry a different tool on the
trail. At first glance the pliers appeared very sturdy. Then I decided
to use the pliers to remove the generator from my Coleman Multi-fuel
stove. The pliers slipped. I gripped them more tightly. They still
slipped. I gripped them even more tightly, but the handles began to
hurt my hand. I protected my hand with a glove and gripped the pliers
once again, more tightly than before. THEY BROKE! A small piece of one
of the spacers (springs) in the handle, which contacts a step in one
side of the pliers to transmit the force from the handle to the jaws,
broke off, rendering the pliers useless.
Following the included instructions for Warranty Service, I sent the
tool to Leatherman for repair or replacement under the 25 year
warranty. I sent the tool by UPS on October 2, 2002 and, according to
the UPS tracking service, it arrived at Leatherman October 9. On
November 5 it was returned to me from Leatherman IN THE SAME BROKEN
CONDITION IT WAS IN WHEN I SENT IT TO THEM!!! The broken spacer
(spring) had been removed, but had not been replaced. There was no
explanation as to why repairs were not made.
I sent an e-mail to the Warranty Service Department asking for an
explanation. I also posted my experience to the BackpackGearTest group
message board. Jerry Goller, owner of BackpackGearTest, forwarded my
posting directly to Tim
\par Leatherman. After checking out my story Mr. Leatherman sent an
e-mail explaining that they had "messed up." Not only had the warranty
service been slower than standard, but they had mistakenly returned
the same tool I had sent them. By way of atonement Leatherman sent me
a replacement tool, lapel pin, and hat by next day air shipment. As
promised, all three items arrived at my home on the morning of
I appreciate very much Leatherman's honesty in admitting to their
error and the extra steps they took to correct it. I would have been
satisfied with the replacement tool, but I do appreciate the extra
Upon receiving the replacement tool, I decided to test the pliers
again. Once again I decided to remove the generator from my Coleman
Multi-fuel camp stove. This time, however, I reasoned that the joint
may have been overtight and I used another pair of pliers to loosen
the flare nut. I then tightened the nut again with the Leatherman
Squirt P4. I pressurized the fuel chamber with twenty-five strokes of
the pump and checked for leaks with soapy water. There were no leaks.
I then lit the stove and checked for leaks around the flare nut again.
There were still no leaks.
Being satisfied that the Squirt P4 could perform the task I proceeded
to disassemble the stove as though to replace the generator. I removed
the burner assembly by removing the Phillips head screw at the center
with the Phillips screwdriver tool on the Squirt. I then loosened the
flare nut on the generator with the pliers of the Squirt and removed
the generator. I reversed the above procedure to reassemble the stove.
I again checked the stove for leaks and found none. I am satisfied
that the Leatherman Squirt P4 is capable of performing field
maintenance on my camp stove.
The knife blade is sharpened from only one side, like a chisel. This
method varies from the usual method of sharpening a knife blade. I
prefer having a bevel on both sides of the blade. I carry in my
backpack a small Gatco sharpener that consists of two ceramic rods
held in an "X" with an approximately 40 degree angle between the rods.
I have found that I can use this hone to sharpen the knife blade of
the Leatherman Squirt P4. I lay the blade flat on the rod on one side
of the hone and with the bevel against the other rod. If I do not use
too much pressure I can hone the knife blade without raising a wire
edge on the blade. This method will suffice for honing the already
sharp blade, but will not be acceptable if the blade gets really
dulled or damaged. For now, I will not bother to change the method of
sharpening the blade by establishing a bevel on both sides of the
When I went to Iowa in September to help my father move into an
apartment after selling his house I brought two old dressers back to
Mobile. One of the dressers had two drawer pulls with loose screws. I
was able to tighten these screws easily with the medium, flat
screwdriver blade of the Leatherman Squirt P4. I have used the medium
screwdriver to tighten several other slotted screws.
In mid-November I pulled the power washer out of storage to remove the
annual accumulation of mildew from the exterior of my house. I was
able to remove the spider webs, dust and dirt around the nozzle with
the awl and extra-small screwdriver blade of the Leatherman Squirt P4.
I could have used the knife blade to remove most of the accumulated
material, but I really hate ruining a fine cutting edge by scraping it
against metal. It was nice to have the awl and small screwdriver
blades handy to do the job.
I also retrieved the pump-up sprayer I use to apply a mixture of
detergent and chlorine bleach to effectively kill the mildew. There
was some corrosion around the nozzle of the sprayer and I was unable
to remove the nozzle by hand to clean it. The pliers of the Leatherman
Squirt P4 easily removed the nozzle and the awl removed the corrosion.
I repeated this procedure several times because the nozzle gets
plugged with fine dirt and debris. The Leatherman Squirt P4 got quite
a lot of chlorine bleach solution on it during this time. A couple of
days after I completed the job I examined the Squirt P4 for any sign
of corrosion. There was none. As a precaution I rinsed the tool
thoroughly with tap water, let it dry overnight with all blades open,
and gave it a good spray of WD-40 penetrating oil to give it some
protection from corrosion.
The wire cutters of the Leatherman Squirt P4 easily cut copper
electrical wire. I managed to pinch my finger between the handles as
they closed suddenly when the wire parted. The pinch did not cause any
visible damage to my finger, not even a noticeable bruise. There is a
caution to "be extremely careful not to cut or pinch yourself with
blades or handles when opening, closing or using your Squirt" in the
literature that came with the tool.
1. Small size
2. Light weight
3. Tools accessible from outside the handles
Even though my experience with the warranty service was not good, I am
satisfied that it was unusual. My experience will not rule out future
purchases of Leatherman products.
1. Easy to pinch finger when using wire cutters
Len Christiansen lrchristiansen@...
SA Troop 292, Mobile, AL Spanish Trail District Commissioner
Gihim - One Who Encourages
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