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New Leatherman Mini Multi-Tool

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  • flavrt@ymail.com
    Nom de plume: Helen GW Age: middle Gender: married Body measurements: irrelevant Email address: hellyw[at]mac[dot]com Residence: South Dampshire, Vermont &
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 14, 2010
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      Nom de plume: Helen GW
      Age: middle
      Gender: married
      Body measurements: irrelevant
      Email address: hellyw[at]mac[dot]com
      Residence: South Dampshire, Vermont & Longboat, Florida, USA
      Date: 6.14.10
      Backpacking Background: I started backpacking and mountaineering with the Outing Club at school. Now I am retired with time for extended recreation again, and trying to buy back my youth with ultralight equipment. I search for the best gear, often modify it, and occasionally make my own. I'm picky, weighing/testing everything that rides on my back.

      I travel to photograph natural and cultural wonders. That takes me on lots of day hikes and backpacking to more distant sites. My recent trips have been in New England and Southwest. Now I'm preparing for a month-long E2E hike of The Long Trail.

      Product/Model: Squirt PS4
      Manufacturer: Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
      Year of Manufacture: 2010
      URL: http://www.leatherman.com
      Listed weight: 1.9 oz (56.4 g)
      Weight as delivered: 2 oz (60 g)
      Size (closed): 0.5 x 0.8 x 2.3 in (1 x 2 x 6 cm)
      MSRP: $40

      Specifications: The Squirt PS4 is a lightweight mini multi-tool featuring stainless steel implements and body, with anodized aluminum bolsters. Implements include keyring/lanyard loop with small split ring, needle nose/toothed pliers, wire cutter, course and medium file, slot screwdriver/bottle opener/pry bar, flat phillips screwdriver, scissors, and knife blade.

      My experience: The PS4 appears to be the absolute lightest multi-tool to include a knife, shears, and pliers. I don't go anywhere without pliers. So I was excited to see a new multi-tool that could significantly lower my pack base weight.

      Unboxing the PS4 is a delight. It has cheery colors with a fine finish, succeeding brilliantly as a key chain fob. It is small enough to easily be lost, so I always keep it on a lanyard. Hefting the tool, there is a luxurious, iPod-esque density that promises good things inside. Unfortunately, the PS4 does not fully deliver on that promise. I've been testing the implements for 2 weeks in the garden with simulating camp chores as I prepare for an extended outing. This is what I have learned.

      The knife blade is so badly ground, I'm not sure it is appropriate to call it sharpened. The unintended serrations from the rough finish initially give the blade an aggressive cutting action. That quickly fades in use as the edge folds over on itself. I flattened the back of the blade with a diamond hone, hoping to achieve a fine edge afterward by sharpening the bevel. Sadly, the soft edge just smeared into a hopeless foil. This blade is not metalurgically destined to hold a sharp edge. It will rip a pant leg open for 1st aid. It will cut rope. It will slice cheese and salami, but not the petrified stuff. Best not to whittle with it, because the edge does not last.

      Leatherman pliers are a joy. The finely forged, elegantly rounded tips can be used like tweezers, but with the gripping power of sharp, hard teeth. The hinges are pressed tightly for smooth action and ground flush. Well, there's none of that Leatherman tradition with this new multi-tool. The PS4 pliers are just punched out of flat stock and riveted loosely together. The tips are boxy and awkward. The wire cutter can handle copper electrical wire, but just mangles the braided steel picture framing wire I carry in my repair kit. I've been able to tune them up by grinding the tips and beating down the rivet, but sheesh. The spring return is great though.

      The PS4 shears are the very worst I have seen in any branded tool, even with the nice spring action. The course grind on the blades is awful, but the fatal flaw is the sloppy hinge. Yes, they will open a package of freeze dried food, cut a patch of Tenacious Tape, and shear 1 mm braided nylon line. Anything finer, such as polyester thread, sterile gauze, aluminized mylar, and nylon fabric, gets chewed at best. Again, I've been able to tune the shears up by carefully beating the hinge rivet down.

      Then there are dead weight implements. The file has a course and medium cut. They could be used to sharpen an ax, but both sides are too rough for fingernails. The bottle opener/flat screwdriver is fine for loose screws, of which there are none in my gear pile. Nor would I ever bring a glass bottle with a steel cap into the wild. However, this implement is perfect for opening Bearikade canisters. The flat phillips screwdriver is entirely useless. I am grateful they did not include a can opener.

      Good: The PS4 has the implements that are essential to me on the trail. The weight and form factors are right for lightweight backpacking. The folding action is smooth and the implements are large enough to be useful. The exterior finish is excellent--nothing to snag delicate ultralight fabrics.

      Bad: The PS4 has implements which are useless to me on the trail. Nobody needs to turn phillips head screws in the woods, even with a serviceable driver. The design, materials, and workmanship quality of the implements is consistently poor--unlike anything else with the Leatherman brand. The steel is soft, the cutting edges are coarsely ground, and the hinges are sloppy. It takes 2 hands to open each of the implements, but none lock in the open position. That is a safety issue to bear in mind whenever the PS4 is put to use.

      Summary: Unfortunately, the PS4 is more of an over-priced keyring toy than a miniature Leatherman. Still, it is currently the best solution I've seen for a lightweight backpacking multi-tool. After modifications, it amplifies the power and precision of my hands with a minimal load on my back, and makes wilderness travel easier and safer. I can only offer a qualified recommendation of the PS4 for light duty by experienced knife handlers. This product should never be put in the hand of a child.
    • Jerry Goller
      Actually, your gender, age, and under certain circumstances, your body type or size is important. That is why we ask for it. The reader has a much better
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 15, 2010
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        Actually, your gender, age, and under certain circumstances, your body type
        or size is important. That is why we ask for it. The reader has a much
        better understanding of what you are saying if they understand *who* you
        are. Granted, on this particular item those things don't make any
        difference, but on most things they do. For consistency, we require the
        correct info on all reports.

        We also don't allow nom de plume ( or guerre), nick names, or trail names.
        We want to be sure everyone knows who is reporting.

        Jerry

        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/: the most comprehensive interactive gear
        reviews on the planet.


        -----Original Message-----
        From: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of flavrt@...
        Sent: Monday, June 14, 2010 17:44
        To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [BackpackGearTest] New Leatherman Mini Multi-Tool

        Nom de plume: Helen GW
        Age: middle
        Gender: married
        Body measurements: irrelevant
        Email address: hellyw[at]mac[dot]com
        Residence: South Dampshire, Vermont & Longboat, Florida, USA


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      • flavrt@ymail.com
        We want to be sure everyone knows who is reporting. Dear Jerry, That s fine. But before we descend into the banality of forum administration, how about
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 16, 2010
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          "We want to be sure everyone knows who is reporting."

          Dear Jerry,

          That's fine. But before we descend into the banality of forum administration, how about humanizing the discussion with a friendly hello. I'm a Vermont Yankee turned Florida snowbird, with a taste for dry trails and clear Western skies. Please call me Helly, as all my friends do. I was formerly known in the blogosphere as HelenW, but this winter my name was matrimonially hyphenated. So whenever you see Helen GW, you can be sure it's really me. My pen name is not a nom de guerre, nor fictional, nor deceptive. Just prudent.

          I linked to backpackgeartest.com from ula-equipment.com. Over the past 2 years, I've been busy researching, buying, making, and using a ton of UL outdoor recreation equipment. And I've been chatting online forever. So what could be better than a forum for discussing hiking gear? Maybe I can learn something and avoid a few disappointing purchases. You can view my current gear list here.

          https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AnTeYt7qiEBgdF94U0tGdXVyLUtZbmdqNXU1MXFIWHc&hl=en

          I also live by the principle of reciprocal altruism. Whenever I take something of value, I intend to leave something in return. So let's see if we can reach an accommodation. If you can't accept Helen GW as my name, well then too bad for me. I'll read the reviews, keep my gear tests to myself, and the sun will still rise over the hill in the morning.

          Pumping forum participants for personal information is a quaint notion, but identity theft, confidence schemes, and acts of online retribution are rampant in our age. I've been stalked twice and there will be absolutely no more of that. This past January, I merely posted an image of some scenery from a unique hotel in Sedona. A fanatic drove nonstop overnight from SoCal, arrived unannounced at the hotel, and demanded a F2F with me. Since our RV is very distinctive, he would have tracked me right to our door. Fortunately I had taken the precaution of time-lagging my posts; we had already left the area 36 hours earlier. Also, I can't count the number of messages that read something like, 'Helen GW, we need to verify your credit card account.' If they had my legal name, it would put me into shopping paralysis. Life is too short to be defending myself constantly. So I actively block these invisible psychopaths at the gate in one easy step.

          And wouldn't it be a shame if I had to shoot some overwrought maniac in my driveway, just because he didn't like one of my unflinching reviews?

          Of course I share your concern for consistency and accuracy. So I promise to conform to your format as closely as possible, and avoid reviewing any gear that is sensitive to age, gender, or size bias. The truth is, those factors have no relevance to 90% of the reviews at BackpackGearTest, and nothing I'm interested in.

          How does that work for you? There is another review (Trail Design's Caldera Kitchen) in the pipeline, but I have no interest in provoking you or being disruptive by posting unacceptable content.

          Cordially, Helly
        • Jerry Goller
          Hi, Helly My name is Jerry Goller. I live at 760 Three Fountains Dr., #110, Murray, UT. My home phone number is 801-313-9339. I am a 63 year old male Viet Nam
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 17, 2010
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            Hi, Helly

            My name is Jerry Goller. I live at 760 Three Fountains Dr., #110, Murray,
            UT. My home phone number is 801-313-9339. I am a 63 year old male Viet Nam
            vet. I'm 6' tall and weigh a dainty 230 pounds. I'm diabetic due to Agent
            Orange exposure (Viet Nam vets exposed to Agent Orange have an incidence of
            Type 2 diabetes 70 times higher than the general population).. I draw 100%
            compensation from the VA for various wounds, conditions, and fairly serious
            PTSD. I have spent a good portion of my adult life under psychiatric care
            and medication. I spent almost 3 years in combat, in the field, in Viet Nam,
            in the Marine Corps. I spent most of my time in the Combined Action Program,
            living in the vills and training the local farmers, at least half of whom
            were on the other side. I tend to be quaint. If it weren't for spell
            checkers this would be virtually unreadable,

            I've never been stalked, except perhaps by ex-wives, and am unlikely to be.
            I'm just not that interesting. I'm not overly concerned about it. To be
            concerned would require a level of interest that is outside my emotional
            range.

            You are not required to give any personal information to BGT. You are only
            required to give your name (doesn't have to be your *full* legal name),
            general location, age, gender, and, if germane (like clothes and such) your
            approximate height and weight on reports.

            If you don't want to do that, no problem. Just don't write reports for us.

            BGT is not actually a social networking site. We test and report on
            backpacking gear, period.

            Reaching an accommodation is no problem. Follow the rules and we send you
            gear to report on. Don't and we don't. We require the information for what
            we believe are very good reasons and address what we see as shortcomings in
            other reporting sites.

            I hope this finds you well and clears up a few things for you.

            Have a nice day.

            Jerry


            http://www.backpackgeartest.org/: the most comprehensive interactive gear
            reviews on the planet.


            -----Original Message-----
            From: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of flavrt@...
            Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 22:17
            To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Greetings from the Green Mountains

            "We want to be sure everyone knows who is reporting."

            Dear Jerry,

            That's fine. But before we descend into the banality of forum
            administration, how about humanizing the discussion with a friendly hello.
            I'm a Vermont Yankee turned Florida snowbird, with a taste for dry trails
            and clear Western skies. Please call me Helly, as all my friends do. I was
            formerly known in the blogosphere as HelenW, but this winter my name was
            matrimonially hyphenated. So whenever you see Helen GW, you can be sure it's
            really me. My pen name is not a nom de guerre, nor fictional, nor deceptive.
            Just prudent.

            I linked to backpackgeartest.com from ula-equipment.com. Over the past 2
            years, I've been busy researching, buying, making, and using a ton of UL
            outdoor recreation equipment. And I've been chatting online forever. So what
            could be better than a forum for discussing hiking gear? Maybe I can learn
            something and avoid a few disappointing purchases. You can view my current
            gear list here.

            https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AnTeYt7qiEBgdF94U0tGdXVyLUtZbmdqNXU
            1MXFIWHc&hl=en

            I also live by the principle of reciprocal altruism. Whenever I take
            something of value, I intend to leave something in return. So let's see if
            we can reach an accommodation. If you can't accept Helen GW as my name, well
            then too bad for me. I'll read the reviews, keep my gear tests to myself,
            and the sun will still rise over the hill in the morning.

            Pumping forum participants for personal information is a quaint notion, but
            identity theft, confidence schemes, and acts of online retribution are
            rampant in our age. I've been stalked twice and there will be absolutely no
            more of that. This past January, I merely posted an image of some scenery
            from a unique hotel in Sedona. A fanatic drove nonstop overnight from SoCal,
            arrived unannounced at the hotel, and demanded a F2F with me. Since our RV
            is very distinctive, he would have tracked me right to our door. Fortunately
            I had taken the precaution of time-lagging my posts; we had already left the
            area 36 hours earlier. Also, I can't count the number of messages that read
            something like, 'Helen GW, we need to verify your credit card account.' If
            they had my legal name, it would put me into shopping paralysis. Life is too
            short to be defending myself constantly. So I actively block these invisible
            psychopaths at the gate in one easy step.

            And wouldn't it be a shame if I had to shoot some overwrought maniac in my
            driveway, just because he didn't like one of my unflinching reviews?

            Of course I share your concern for consistency and accuracy. So I promise to
            conform to your format as closely as possible, and avoid reviewing any gear
            that is sensitive to age, gender, or size bias. The truth is, those factors
            have no relevance to 90% of the reviews at BackpackGearTest, and nothing I'm
            interested in.

            How does that work for you? There is another review (Trail Design's Caldera
            Kitchen) in the pipeline, but I have no interest in provoking you or being
            disruptive by posting unacceptable content.

            Cordially, Helly



            ------------------------------------

            To read our reviews, please visit http://www.backpackgeartest.org/Yahoo!
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            The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.

            http://www.eset.com




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            database 5202 (20100616) __________

            The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.

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