Leatherman Squirt P4 FIELD REPORT
Height: 6 5" / 1.96 m
Weight: 205lbs. / 93.1 Kg
For the past seven years I have been an avid backpacker. I am also actively involved with Search and Rescue organizations in the Shenandoah River Valley region, which has pushed my equipment to its limits in both rescue situations and training environments. I reside in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, within a half-hour drive of the AT and about an hour from the Shenandoah National Park.
Leatherman Squirt P4
Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Weight: 2 oz / 57 g
Length: 2.25 in / 5.5 cm closed
Suggested Retail: Yet to be released
If I had to choose one word and only one word to describe my new Leatherman Squirt, that word would be indispensable. I can no longer leave the house without ensuring that it is in my left front pocket. It is small and light enough to be carried unnoticed, yet strong enough to accomplish most tasks with ease.
If it isnt obvious already, Ive become quite attached to the little bugger. Ownership of the Squirt has become something of an obsession. Though I am happy to show it off to anyone that will feign interest, even allowing them to handle it and check out its features. But, I will not let it out of my sight. If someone requires the assistance from one of the Squirts handy tools, often I will complete the task for them rather than allow them to use it themselves. This rule even applies to my wife.
In the era of buzzwords, the Squirts resume would have multi-tasking written all over it. With three types of screwdrivers, a file, an awl, a straight edge knife, and the obligatory bottle opener all encased in the handle of a small, but suitable pair of pliers (with builtin wire cutters), the Squirt is ready for just about anything. The part of the tool that I am most impressed with is the pliers. For a pair of jaws so small (about 1 / 2.54 cm) I had fully expected them to slip and twist when force was applied. Yet, even with such a small bite, the pliers could handle nuts up to ½ (1.27 cm) without slipping or having the jaws twist on me. I am especially impressed with the spring-loaded action that re-opens the pliers jaws when the handle is released. Just as handy and more often used was the knife. The blade is used on average about 2 times a day. Even so, it still maintains a sharp edge, able to easily cut a sheet of paper without tearing.
Where the Squirt really shines is in durability. Despite the small size, it easily withstands normal abuse. Though I do tend to treat it with care, that doesnt mean I use kid gloves. It has had its fair share of accidental drops and for it only has two small scratches. Otherwise, it still looks new.
Though I may be touting how wonderful the Squirt is, it is not without fault. To be truthful, they are not really faults, merely annoyances. Since it is small in size, I can see the benefit to keeping the Squirt on your keys for easy access. However, even without the keys attached, I found the lanyard attachment to be annoying as it was constantly where I wanted my fingers to be. Though, it was by all means a minor annoyance. The second item of contention was, due to the small size, when using the pliers I kept pinching the meaty part of my fingers. This is not necessarily a design flaw, merely a warning to users with large hands.
I just cant seem to say it enough, I am impressed. For such a small tool, it performs remarkably well and stands up to abuse that would have lesser tools crying for mercy. The best part about it is that I dont have to be out on the trail to make use of it.
Over the next few months, as winter sets in, Ill try to determine if the small size is a disadvantage when working in cold weather. Additionally, I will tend to focus more on long-term durability issues.
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