Leatherman wave+ review outdoorgearlab natural gas jokes

Leatherman claims their Wave tool is their best selling product. This is likely with good reason. For the most part, it contains all the same features as the top-of-the-line Editors Choice Leatherman Charge TTI at half the price. The materials are less flashy on the Wave, one of the blades is significantly different, there is no pocket clip carry option on the Wave, and Leatherman ships the Wave with minimal accessories while outfitting the Charge TTI with all the bells and whistles. Otherwise, though, the Wave is the same. The innovative externally-accessed blades and saws are the same, as is the presence of Leatherman’s proprietary bit driver. The scissors of the Wave are tight and handy, and the ergonomics are on point. Read on for the extensive details of what earned the Wave our Best Buy award.

On our weighted scoring metric, the Wave comes in in a close second place to the Editors’ Choice winner. As noted above, there are just minor differences that tip the balance in favor of the Charge. For half the price, these compromises are likely worth it to bargain shoppers.

The bit driver the Leatherman has cooked up is interesting, but effective. Like any proprietary interpretation of a standard product, this bit driver has pros and cons as compared to its conventional counterpart. It is best to compare this bit driver to a 1/4" driver. Basically, the Leatherman version is a narrower version of this. Some of the dimensions are the same, in fact. Leatherman bits work in a standard 1/4 driver, while 1/4 bits will not function in a Leatherman driver. 1/4" drive would be more versatile and stronger, but bulkier. Leatherman ostensibly designed this bit format as to be more compact in their pocket tools, and it serves that purpose. Interestingly, though, on the Wave, Leatherman integrates the bit driver as well as a fixed flat-head screwdriver. One can easily get a flathead driver bit for either Leatherman or standard drivers. We would have loved to see Leatherman omit the fixed flat head driver and use the space gained to include a full-sized 1/4" driver. Doing this, and somehow making the pliers of the Wave (or Charge, for that matter) locking like those of the Top Pick Leatherman Crunch would make the perfect multi-tool. In any case, no such perfect tool exists, and we can choose from what is available. As when determining a feature set on a multi-tool, there are few compromises to be made with the Wave.

As mentioned, the Leatherman Charge TTI has more functions than the Wave. All the other tools in our review have fewer. All have pliers, screwdrivers, and knife blade. We like the subset of tools that has scissors, like the Wave, the Gerber Dime, and the Best Buy Leatherman Wingman, among others. The Leatherman Crunch and Baladeo Locker both have the coveted 1/4" driver bits but make significant compromises in other areas. Notably, neither of these have scissors.

The Charge TTI edges ahead of the Wave by its even more sophisticated materials choices. Anything with titanium is going to feel awesome in hand. There’s just something about that flat gray metal that inspires confidence. Otherwise, the Charge and Wave are similar in quality. The Victorinox SwissTool SpiritX attains a similar level of quality with a more svelte feel. The SOG Pocket PowerPlier is well-made in a utilitarian, bullet-proof way. All these upper echelon tools are very well made and will last a lifetime.

This award winner is a good "every day carry" tool for someone that can either carry it loose in their pocket or in the belt sheath. The tools will all hold up to daily use and the selection of functions is bound to be useful almost hourly in some lives.

The Charge TTI is clearly our top award winner. It is a "no holds barred" approach to producing the ultimate multi-tool. The Wave has basically all the same function and quality, at just a little more than half the price. When we were handing out awards, a Best Buy award for the Wave was a clear choice. Only the sibling Leatherman Wingman is a contender in terms of value. The Wingman has fewer tools and more compromises in construction quality but is again half the price of the Wave. All around the Wave and the Wingman are both great values. Therefore, both earn Best Buy awards for complementary reasons.