November 15, 2013

Leatherman Charge TTI Multi Tool Review

Recently, my dad and I went on a backpacking trip for three days and two nights. We try to do these trips at least bimonthly, and we carry everything we need, and as a matter of principle we do not go back to our vehicles for anything. I thought this would be the perfect chance to test my new Leatherman Charge TTi. Because this was an untested tool by my standards I also packed my Leatherman MUT. I had confidence in my Charge and made a rule where I’d only pull out the MUT if the Charge TTIi wasn’t capable of a task.

First of all, let me give you little background on the Charge TTi. The original Leatherman Charge AL and Leatherman ALX were awesome tools, and made from aluminum, which is where the AL designation came from. The Charge TTi uses titanium, a tough, durable, and also very light weight metal. The Charge series are on the heavier side due to the amount of tools packed in it, and titanium is a welcome addition to aid in shaving some weight off. The Charge TTi is a combination of the Charge AL and ALX, made unique by using titanium. This tool definitely won a position in our top 15 multi tool rank.

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So the MUT went in my backpack and the Charge TTi went on my hip. Before it went on my hip I gave it a once over. First of all I’m a big proponent of beauty and function. I have no shame in liking the way my tools look. The Charge TTi is by far one of the best looking multi tools I have seen.  It could be the titanium handle scales or maybe the stainless steel clip-point knife; something about this tool is beautiful.

The first time I used the knife was to whittle a stick as we walked.  Not much of a challenged for the knife blade at all. The 2.9 inch blade made carving notches and random curves easy.  While the knife blade wasn’t challenged I discovered something awesome about the little knife. The ergonomics are a work of art, the knife is incredibly comfortable in your hand and easy to manipulate. The tool has some heft to it, a little over eight ounces, so it’s not pocket friendly.

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So I got to use the knife again as we hunkered in for the day. We set up half shelters and the knife went to work. I used the blade to cut the 550 Paracord to attach the half shelter to a tree. The knife performed admirably, and without issue. I used the blade again on a fire striker and had no problems. Even after the entire three days the blade remained sharp, a testament to its ability to hold an edge.

I also utilized the saw at this point. I sawed small branches off my tree of choice for my shelter. Again the ergonomics were wonderful, and the saw performed flawlessly. Next I whipped out a can of beans. I only brought this can to use the can opener included. It was rather difficult at first, not due to the actual can opener, but to my lack of skill. After I learned the technique I opened the rest of the lid flawlessly. I may not use a multi tool can opener regularly, but I’m glad to know that it works, and how to do it.

I also used the wire cutters on the rest of the can, just testing how well they cut. I was impressed it cut through the metal easily and left a perforated tin can when I was done. I then used the pliers to grip, twist and bend the different pieces of the can. They tore the can to pieces without fail. I actually was able to legitimately use the pliers to tighten a small bolt on my pack. Not much of a test, but a testament to the usefulness of a multi tool.

Along the way I purposely dropped the tool in some mud and really rolled it around. The tools still folded out easily, and securely. The Charge TTi must have tight tolerance to put up with the sand and dirt the mud left in there.

Even the spring action scissors still worked well. Spring action scissors are typically the weak of any multi tool, but that wasn’t the case with the Charge TTi. I cut through an old t shirt with them and discovered a good use for them. Should someone become injured the scissors can slice through their clothing to access the wound.

3Leatherman-Charge-TTi

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Throughout the trip the tool was covered in dirt, mud, sweat. Used to cut cordage, limbs, and aid in starting fires. The blade was stuck in the dirt over and over, washed off, and then used to peel an orange. Over and over it was used for random tasks and performed well with everything I could toss at it.

I didn’t get a chance to use the screw driver, but the Charge TTi utilizes large and small bit driver, and also comes with a medium screw driver. With the bit set included you have a lot of sizes and options to deal with a variety of different screws. I love the replaceable bit system Leatherman uses as well.

The Leatherman Charge TTi has three files, a metal, wood, and a diamond coated files. These small files are useful for smaller tasks. Larger tasks can be difficult for such small files, but not impossible. Of course a bottle opener and ruler are included.

My Charge TTi came with a nylon sheath that staid on my belt and held the multi tool well. There is also a leather sheath available, as well as a MOLLE sheath for tactical uses. You really can’t beat the locking features for every tool. Locking features make a much safer multi tool, especially when it comes to use the knife.

The Charge TTi is a dependable and tough tool. The tool is also incredibly pleasing to look at. The Charge TTi fits a variety of roles, from construction, to tactical, and even simple DIY projects around the house. The Charge is covered by a 25 year warranty by Leatherman, so any issue you have this quarter of a century are covered. Replacement bits are available, and the multi tool is compatible with Leatherman’s bolt driver extender. If you want a little more style in a tool you can trust you really can’t beat the Charge TTi.

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