Leatherman vs Victorinox Multi-tools
Leatherman and Victorinox both produce excellent multi-tools. But what are the differences between the two brands? We will tell you what the specific characteristics are of the Leatherman and Victorinox multi-tools, and why you should choose one over the other.
The start of the multi-tool
Ever since the eighties Leatherman has been producing multi-tools. Founder Tim Leatherman noticed during a road trip through Europe that he could do a lot with his Swiss pocket knife, but that it was missing a pair of pliers. Years have passed since that moment and today the name 'Leatherman' is synonymous with the term 'multi-tool'.
Victorinox might not have invented the multi-tool but they know damn well how to make this type of tool. Ever since 1884 Victorinox has been producing the famous Swiss pocket knives with many different moving parts, all with the famous Swiss precision. The fact that the Victorinox Swisstool multi-tools are good is therefore not that surprising.
Fit & Finish: how is the finish?
Both companies produce top-quality tools, it is something that has to be said first. They definitely know what they are doing. Now we are mainly talking about the finish of both brands. There are, after all, some differences to be found.
We notice that for Victorinox the finish is always good. Scales and tools are always nicely polished and all edges are nicely rounded. The adjustment of all moving parts is also great for almost all tools.
This finish is the result of a special, secret process in the Victorinox factory. Not only does this feel great in hand, it also ensures that we rarely come across Victorinox multi-tools with rust stains.
When we compare this to Leatherman we see that different parts are often a little sharper along the edges. It also occurs that the tools are not as equally adjusted, or have a little more wiggle room. In addition, we come across rust stains a little more often on Leatherman multi-tools.
A variety of tools
When it comes to the basic functions of a multi-tool both manufacturers offer you excellent options. The main difference can be found in the variety of different multi-tools. Victorinox decided to introduce dozens of different tools. All with approximately the same, popular size.
Things couldn't be more different at Leatherman, where it has become some sort of a sport to produce a multi-tool for every specific purpose. We are talking about almost 100 different tools in total. From keychain tools to large multi-tools for soldiers and other professionals. As such there will always be a Leatherman tool for your specific purpose. At Victorinox you will then often find yourself looking at one of the Swiss pocket knives without pliers. In their own way this is also a solution of course, but if you are looking for a small multi-tool a Leatherman tool will often be a better option
Bit holder and bits
Leatherman added a bit holder to many of its Full Size Tools that enables you to use different screw bits. For this purpose Leatherman has developed its own type of bits which aren't hexagonal, but flat. As such they will perfectly fit inside the multi-tool. A disadvantage is that you can only use Leatherman bits and are therefore bound to the types Leatherman introduces.
Victorinox Swisstools do not have a built-in bit holder, but some tools come with an individual bit set with individual bit holder or ratchet. As such you are more flexible than with a built-in bit holder, and this set fits in the included sheath. At the same time Victorinox uses standard 6 mm bits. As such you can, if you lose a bit or are looking for a special bit, use a standard bit. We also sell this bit set separately to make sure you can add it to a tool that doesn't come with a bit set.
Leatherman excels at adding tools that can be accessed from the outside, and opened with one hand. Models like the Leatherman Wave Plus and the Charge TTi Plus are all enhanced with a blade you can open with one hand. As such you can immediately start working. With the Leatherman OHT you even have a tool where all tools, including the pliers, can be controlled with one hand. Victorinox does have tools that can be accessed from the outside, but all by using two hands.
If you ask us there are some other things that are worth mentioning. The Victorinox tools, for instance, have a sleeker and more stylish design. You can tell when you look at the nice leather sheaths. More 'gentleman-like'. That said a Leatherman multi-tool is a little tougher. You can also look at the country of origin: Leatherman is made in Oregon, USA. Victorinox comes from Switzerland.
There are, as you can see, a couple of differences between the two brands. In short we think that the finish is the biggest advantage when you look at Victorinox, and the variety of different tools is the main advantage of the Leatherman tools. In the end it comes down to this. Whichever of the two brands you decide to go with: both produce excellent tools.