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RE: [BackpackGearTest] Smallest backpack?

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  • Shane Steinkamp
    Thanks to all who replied. Shane
    Message 1 of 23 , May 31 12:13 PM
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      Thanks to all who replied.

    • Sam's gmail
      *Owner Review – Leatherman Wave Multi-tool, June 2, 2004* *Leatherman Wave* /Multi-tool/ Biography Name: Sam Johnson Age: 20 Height: 70 in / 1.78 m
      Message 2 of 23 , Jan 27, 2006
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        *Owner Review – Leatherman Wave Multi-tool, June 2, 2004*

        *Leatherman Wave*

        Name: Sam Johnson
        Age: 20
        Height: 70 in / 1.78 m
        Weight: 120 lb / 55 kg
        Email: ugqkhmn02@...
        Location: Berkeley, California, USA

        I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California but I am currently
        living in Berkeley attending school. I have been camping with family for
        as long as I can remember. I started backpacking in 2001, but I am still
        relatively new to the activity. My longest trip was 14 days with the
        Colorado Outward Bound School (now Outward Bound West), but I have taken
        a number of weekend outings. I have not been backpacking as much as I
        would like due to insufficient gear and lack of traveling companions.
        When I do have the opportunity, it is usually in the chaparral of the
        back country of Santa Barbara County. I have been car camping all over
        the western US. I also enjoy day hikes, and when living in Santa Barbara
        I do so regularly.

        Product Information
        Manufacturer: Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
        Manufacturer Website: http://www.Leatherman.com/
        Product: Wave Multi-tool
        Product Category: Multi-tool
        MSRP: USD $94
        Street Price: USD $58 to $70
        Price at Purchase: USD $75
        Year of Purchase: 2000

        Manufacturer's Specifications:
        Weight: 8 oz / 224 g
        Materials: 100% Stainless Steel, grades/hardness depends on each tool
        Length (closed): 4 in / 10 cm
        Length (open): 6.45 in / 16 cm

        List of Tools:

        Needlenose Pliers with Regular Rounded Interior Jaws and Wire Cutter
        Clip-Point Blade
        Serrated Blade
        Diamond-Coated File
        Wood Saw
        Four Flathead Screwdrivers
        Medium Phillips Screwdriver
        Can / Bottle Opener
        Lanyard Attachment

        *Descriptions of Tools and Comments:*

        /Large needlenose pliers/, but include rounded interior jaws that make
        it more versatile. The jaws are stored inside the tool and to access,
        the handles are rotated 170 degrees. The needlenose point is large
        enough to be operated in a similar fashion to regular pliers but bends
        inward to make good contact at the point. This makes the pliers suitable
        for finer work – I have pulled wood and glass splinters from hands and
        feet with it. The wire cutters are satisfactory, but can be problematic
        because the pliers do not lock to the frame of the tool. When cutting
        some wire, the pliers will jam, and be stuck closed. Reversing force on
        the handles merely causes the tool to fold up. The handles must be
        pulled on rather than used for leverage. Care should be taken when
        cutting soft, heavy gauge wire – I have had trouble when cutting 10 SWG
        copper wire.

        /Clip-Point Blade/. This is accessible without opening the entire tool.
        Easily opened with the aid of the thumb hole, the 2.5 in / 6.3 cm blade
        locks in place with a quality liner lock. The liner lock rests fully
        behind the blade, and is approximately half the width of the blade. It
        is disengaged with a secure push – not so easy as to be a hazard, but
        not difficult either. The blade locks in line with the handle, a feature
        I prefer, but this makes it more difficult to cut on a flat surface
        without hitting my knuckles. As noted, the blade is a clip point (not
        serrated) which gives it a fine point suitable for detailed work.
        However, the weight from the frame and other tools make it rear heavy,
        and a solid grip is advised for delicate work – I find it useful to run
        my index finger over the top of the frame so it runs alongside the blade
        while keeping my thumb on thumb hole. The blade is sharpened on both
        sides which allows for a nice edge.

        /Serrated Blade/. On the opposite corner from the clip-point blade, the
        serrated blade is also accessible without opening the tool. It has both
        the thumb hole and liner lock as described above. The blade is sharpened
        on one side only, with one large serration followed by two smaller ones.
        I have found it excellent at cutting cordage, fabrics and bread. This
        blade also features a nose rounded down to the blade line. It is not
        sharp and rather thick, making this blade relatively safe for cutting
        clothing away from skin. I have only used it in this fashion once, but
        when gripped securely, there was little danger of cutting the skin.

        /Diamond-Coated File/. I have used this only rarely. This tool is
        accessible without opening the tool, and locks in place with a liner
        lock. It has a rough and a fine side, as well as small teeth running
        along the underside. The file is useful for taking the edge off of sharp
        metal – useful if a piece of gear breaks. The larger bits could be filed
        down with the rough side, then finished with the diamond coated finer
        side. In a pinch it could be used to reform the edge on another knife.
        The teeth allow this tool to be used as an inefficient hacksaw.

        /Wood Saw/. As with the other tools accessible without opening the tool,
        this locks when fully extended. Two rows of sharp teeth line this tool.
        Very good at cutting wood, but with an absolute length of 2.5 in / 6.3
        cm the usable cutting length prevents any lumberjack activity. In a
        pinch it could be used for sawing though large pieces of wood, but these
        would have to be approached from different sides. It can also be useful
        for cutting part of a piece of wood, which can then be broken by leaning
        against an object (cut side down) and applying force. Sawing has never
        been much of a part of my backpacking, camping and hiking adventures.

        /Scissors/. Very well designed. These are stored inside the tool but as
        with all interior tools (except the pliers) the handles can be closed
        again once the tool is extended. Along with spring loaded blades, this
        makes the scissors very usable. Sometimes a knife is dangerous or less
        useful for delicate work. I have cut many pieces of moleskin with these
        scissors. Similar to the pliers, the blades can get jammed shut, and
        must be forced open. However, they can easily be opened and rarely jam.

        /Flathead Screwdrivers/. Leatherman describes the sizes in general terms
        but I have measured the heads as follows: Extra Small – 1/16 in / 1.6
        mm, Small – 1/8 in / 3.175mm, Medium – 3/16 in / 4.75 mm, and Large –
        1/4 in / 6.35 mm. The extra small head does not fit eyeglasses, which is
        disappointing. These all function as screwdrivers should, except that
        the blades are not centered in the frame, so turning the tool can be
        awkward. The handle in which the screwdriver is not stored may be turned
        at a right angle to the other handle and used for leverage against tight
        fasteners. Special care should be taken to avoid injury as the
        screwdriver blades are well squared and the corners sharp.

        /Phillips Screwdriver/. A #1 Phillips head, this tool is very sturdy and
        features four full blades (not just a flat “V” shape). The tip is
        noticeably different from the rest of the Wave tool's stainless steel.
        Leatherman claims this is hardened tool steel and my experience
        indicates it is a good deal harder than the rest of the tool.

        /Can / Bottle Opener/. Not very complicated, but thicker than most
        pocketknife can openers. The tool is more blunt, and requires more force
        to open cans. However, it can take more force and may be just the answer
        to a stubborn can.

        /Lanyard Attachment/. I do not use my Wave tool in a situation where I
        feel it necessary to use a lanyard, but this attachment is very good. It
        can fold out from inside the tool and provide an anchor for a lanyard.
        It is small and rounded – very natural to the tool in or out. It can
        swing out past the edge of the handle so as to not prevent the use of
        any other tool.

        My purchase also came with a high quality leather sheath and belt loop.


        Leatherman recommends cleaning and re-oiling the tool every so often, as
        well as sharpening the blades but does not give a specific length of
        time. I have never re-oiled mine but the inner tools sometimes stick –
        however, I do not have any problems with the outer four tools. I have
        not fully resharpened then blade; I have only refined the edge with a
        honing steel. It is still quite sharp, but could probably use a good,
        full sharpening. Based on my experience handling and honing the blade,
        sharpening should be easy, even towards the handle . Although
        construction is stainless steel, it is only corrosion resistant (as with
        all stainless steels). Periodic maintenance should prevent most
        corrosion. Maintenance should be more often if used in damp or marine

        *Personal History with the Product*

        I have used this tool backpacking, car camping, day hiking, traveling,
        EDC (Every-Day Carry), and around the house. I love to have it camping,
        as it it useful for many tasks. On a day hike, I find it less useful, as
        I usually bring a Swiss Army or folding knife. For EDC I find it heavy –
        I prefer tools to be accessible but not on my person. I'll often throw
        it in my backpack, my bicycle's pannier or my car's glove compartment.
        When camping, I will often carry it on my person, as I find it very useful.

        I began looking at Leatherman multi-tools when I first learned of them.
        My biggest concerns were that the handles were sharp when trying to
        apply force through the pliers, and the tool needed to be open to access
        the knife. The Wave tool met these shortcomings and added a liner lock –
        greatly increasing safety in using the tool. The rounded handles make
        this tool easy to hold, and permit easy shifting in grip to adjust for
        balance issues.

        *Concluding Remarks*

        The blades easily open – but not so easily as to be hazardous. The
        construction is top-notch. I have not had a problem with this tool in
        the time I have owned it. It has taken a ton of abuse, still looks great
        and I have no doubt that it will continue to serve me for many many years.

        I would like to see a locking device for the pliers, so they do not jam
        as easily. I would also like to see a sharper and thinner can opener.
        The other tool I would suggest is an awl. I find awls useful for a
        number of tasks while camping that a blade cannot easily perform. They
        are especially useful for repairs and other essential task.

        The Wave tool is about what I expect in size, weight and functionality
        from a multi-tool. Larger and more complex tools are on the market, but
        I do not have a need for so many functions. When backpacking and
        camping, I only need a step up from a pocketknife not a step down from
        my tool box.
      • chcoa
        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
        Message 3 of 23 , Jan 31, 2006
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