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FR - Leatherman e307x Knife - Chari Daignault

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    html version: http://tinyurl.com/r8mnw Field Report: Leatherman e307x Knife March 1, 2006 Tester Information Name: Chari Daignault Age: 43 Gender: Female
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2006
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      html version: http://tinyurl.com/r8mnw

      Field Report: Leatherman e307x Knife

      March 1, 2006

      Tester Information

      Name: Chari Daignault
      Age: 43 Gender: Female
      Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
      Weight: 135 Pounds (61 kg)
      Email address: chari@...
      City, State, Country: Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.
      Backpacking Background: I've been an ultra light hiker for 33 years --
      I take the bare minimum with me and prefer a pack under or close to
      five pounds. I've hiked all the Florida State Forest trails in Central
      Florida and climbed Mt. Fuji in Japan when I was nine. I have hiked
      dry & sandy, rough & rocky and wet & boggy trails and as a result,
      have found what does and doesn't work for me in terms of equipment and
      clothing. Central Florida affords a lot of sun and rains, with high
      temperatures and massive humidity. It's a great testing area for
      clothing, footwear and headgear.

      The product

      Manufacturer: Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
      Web site http://www.leatherman.com
      Product: e307x Locking Liner Serrated Knife [shipped with optional Bit
      Kit Accessory
      Year manufactured: 2005 MSRP: $100.00 (US) / $110.00 (US) w/7 pc. Bit Kit

      Per the manufacturer:

      Blade opening: One-hand Blade Launcher, thumb stud
      Lock mechanism: Locking liner [a strip of metal which is pulled aside
      to unlock the blade]
      Closed length: 3.875" (0.10 m
      Open length: 6.7" (0.17 m)
      Blade length: 2.8" (0.07 m)
      Weight: 4.2 oz. (118 g)
      Blade style: Combination straight and serrated
      Blade finish: Polished and ground
      Handle material: Machined aluminum with glass-filled nylon inserts,
      stainless steel bolsters

      Included Bits: Phillips #1 & #2
      Screwdriver 3/16" (0.48 cm) & 1/4" (0.64 cm)
      Screwdriver 1/8" (0.32 cm) x Torx #15
      Verified weight: 4.3 oz (122 g)
      Color tested: Silver/Black
      Colors available: Silver/Black

      Warranty: [Quoted from web site], 25-YEAR Limited Warranty: If within
      25 years from the purchase date of your genuine Leatherman® tool you
      find any defect in material or workmanship, you can count on us to
      make it right with fast warranty service.

      Product description

      As shipped, the e307x came with a nylon sheath, three double-ended
      bits installed on the knife unit itself [one in the folding bit driver
      and two stored in the handle] and an optional Bit Kit accessory with
      seven additional double-ended bits stored in a small, plastic sheath.
      The nylon knife sheath has a stretch pocket inside that holds the
      plastic Bit Kit accessory sheath so all can be carried together. The
      nylon sheath closes with a flip-over Velcro closure.

      The knife has a metal pocket clip on it that can be removed utilizing
      a #8 torx screw bit, if so desired. The knife itself is stainless
      steel, with black plastic grips on either side, one of which stores up
      to two double-sided bits. The other side has the removable pocket clip
      on it.

      The blade of the e307x has a device called a "Blade Launcher" on the
      butt end that enables the user to open the blade one-handed. It's
      essentially a grooved trigger that when pushed with the index finger,
      partially flips the blade out, enabling the thumb to then push the
      "Thumb Stud" to fully open and lock the blade into place. The blade is
      a combination straight and serrated edge blade, with approximately 1/2
      of the blade being straight from the tip and the last 1/2 near the
      butt end being serrated.

      A folding carabiner clip can be flipped out, enabling quick fastening
      to belt loops, back packs or lines. The carabiner can also be used as
      a bottle opener. A fold-out, partial locking Bit driver holds the
      included double-ended bits for use as a multi-tool screw driver.

      Field Information

      I have mainly been testing this knife under office conditions; opening
      boxes, tightening large screws on network racks and cutting/stripping
      wires. The knife has performed wonderfully. I have not carried it
      sheathed, as thanks to the pocket clip, it's much easier to carry
      without the sheath. Many of the male inhabitants in my office have
      voiced positive comments on the look of the knife -- and they have
      enjoyed trying out [playing with] the Blade Launcher. The knife,
      during this particular testing phase, is indoors in air-conditioned
      space, with little or no humidity. It has not needed oiling thus far,
      and continues to open and close with ease. The bits I've used show
      little or no wear, aside from some of the darker color being scraped
      off on the tips and the bits are still shaped properly and fit screw
      heads nicely.

      The second area I've tested the knife was during my daily 3 mile [4.83
      km] hikes around the Econlockhatchee river basin in Southeast Seminole
      County, Florida. The average temperature has been 70 degrees
      Fahrenheit [21 degrees Celsius], and the elevation is about 12 feet
      [3.6 Meters] above sea level. The terrain is mostly flat, with sand,
      scrub brush, local trees and the occasional creek or river bit to
      cross. I've carried the knife sheathless, utilizing the pocket clip --
      secured to my light-weight backpack's strap. However, when I'm moving
      over precarious ground, I use the carabiner, as the pocket clip
      doesn't hold it securely enough if I'm hanging upside down. I don't
      utilize the sheath, as I prefer easy access, and that's one less step.

      Testing almost ended abruptly when I nearly lost the knife to the
      river [while using the pocket clip] -- but it luckily landed on a
      sandy bank. The weight of the knife had caused it to become partially
      buried in the sand, causing some concern as to how it would clean up.
      I found that the sand brushed off easily and did not stick to the
      moving parts or mechanisms of the knife. I was able to open and close
      the blade and other parts without feeling any grinding or sticking.
      Another day, I was able to use the bit driver out there while
      assisting a couple that was attempting to open a small, wooden box.
      The box had very small screws holding it closed, but after easily
      changing out the bit for a smaller one, I was able to open their box
      for them. Turns out, they were wanting to spread their pet's ashes
      along the river.

      The third and final area I tested the knife was on a one-day trip to
      Jamaica, where I hiked, zip-lined and rappelled in the Ocho Rios
      jungle. The average temperature there year-round is 86 degrees
      Fahrenheit [30 degrees Celsius] the elevation is from sea level up to
      2,000 feet [610 Meters] above. The terrain went from flat to
      mountainous, with highly wooded jungle trails, roots and trees to
      climb over and very high humidity. I carried the knife using the
      carabiner, keeping it clipped to my light-weight backpack. With the
      weight of the knife, the location I clipped it to had to be considered
      carefully, as if it swung around, it could definitely leave a mark. A
      person in my hiking party clipped her calf on a metal zip line cable,
      cutting it quite deeply. I was able to use my e307x's blade to cut her
      banadana up into strips and made a pretty good bandage. I tested the
      knife blade on some local vines and found that it sliced through the
      thinner ones with no problem. The thicker or more woodier vines were
      more difficult, but if I used the serrated end of the blade, it took
      less effort. We made good use of the bottle opener when our trip was
      finished, trying it out on several different brands of beer bottles.
      It worked like a champ.

      Field Testing Results

      My strategy for indoor testing had been as follows:

      a) cutting wires [blade]
      b) stripping wires [blade]
      c) opening boxes [blade]
      d) dismantling computer equipment [screw driver bits]
      e) configuring network racks and shelves [screw driver bits]
      f) poking holes in drywall for anchor bolts [screw driver bits]
      g) wearing the knife [sheathless] on my belt or belt loop,
      consequently smacking it into everything [carabiner & pocket clip]
      My strategy for the outdoor testing had been as follows:

      a) wearing the knife [sheathless] on my backpack [carabiner]
      b) cutting bandages when necessary [blade] Trust me -- I do this quite
      a bit
      c) cutting vines [blade]
      d) removing splinters and hitchhiker weed stickers from both my
      clothing and my person [blade]
      e) opening cans or bottles -- not that I'll need to, but just in case
      [carabiner/bottle opener]
      f) anything else I can find a use for this tool
      I've been able to test most of the above listed points and have been
      very pleased with the knife's performance. Even with the knife's
      weight and size, it has not been bulky or unweildly and has been
      extremely easy to carry. The knife fits well in my hand and I'm able
      to open the blade one-handed - although it does take two to close it.
      The knife's mechanisms and tool setup are intuitive, so they're easy
      to figure out without a manual. I'm very happy with the Leatherman
      e307x knife.

      Many thanks to Leatherman Tool Group, Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org
      for the opportunity to test this product.
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