Thursday, March 22, 2012

Perfect Pocket Multi-tool

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 4:00 AM

The Juice series of pocket-size multi-tools are an industry leader. A focused blend of tools, features and size have put these Leatherman's on top.

The lineup consists of four multi-tools with a varying array of tools depending on your application of use. The Juice XE6 ($61.20) leads the pack with 18 tools and comes in at a whopping 6.7 oz, while the Juice C2 ($41.90) is the smallest in the line with 12 tools and weighing in at 4.3 oz.

With 18 tools the XE6 is far too bulky to be a carry knife and has too many tools that will never see use by most customers. The C2 is more on par with what is desirable in an every day carry size but doesn't have all of the tools needed. The CS4 is a blend of the C2 and the S2.

The Juice S2 ($41.90) is the perfect pocket multi-tool. It has everything you could want for a day hike, a hunting trip or an afternoon fishing your local stream, yet still is comfortable and adaptable to everyday carry.

The main tools included in the S2 package are pliers, a 420hc knife blade, scissors, four screwdrivers and a bottle/can opener.

The plier tool is full size and built strong. It includes both needle nose and regular pliers along with wire cutters and hard-wire cutters. In testing, the hard-wire cutters easily handled bailing wire and the tip of the needle nose pliers were precision machined enough to remove a fine metal sliver from a finger. Full size power and precision craftsmanship make this a standout tool.

Knife blades need to readily accessible and quick to deploy the S2 has located the knife on the outside of the tool to make deployment easier. The 420hc blade works well in this package, but does not lock open. I usually prefer a harder metal for blades but found that this blade is not lacking in it's capabilities. Shaping on the blade is strong in the back cutting portion and comes to a fine tip at the front 1/4 inch. Blade length comes in at 2.6 inches. Repeated testing of this blade on everything from cardboard to wood, found that it stood up to abuse and accepted a new edge when sharpened.

When it comes to screwdrivers this multi-tool has it covered. Three flat head drivers and a phillips driver let you turn any screw you commonly come across. Positive locking on the bits allows for a great amount of torque to be applied without slipping or breaking. Three flat heads maybe a little excessive and I wouldn't mind seeing the small one replaced with a long awl. I am impressed with the build on these drivers but find the overall package lacking in design.

The can opener works well. I opened several #10 cans and it handled the thick metal as expected. The bottle opener also worked when tested. What can I say it's a can opener. Nothing fancy to woo you, just a tool that does the job.

Now comes my favorite tool in the box and the one that makes the S2 a complete package for me. Scissors. These scissors are accessed on the outside of the tool and are incorporated well in the design. With the tool body held in your fist the thumb easily operates the shears. The scissors are large and allow for use in cutting everything. They cut fishing line, paper, even fingernails with out bending and warping. The spring is strong, thick and responsive. It will always open the scissors making one finger use an ease.

With an overall length of 3.25 inches, width of .5 inches, height of 1.38 inches and weight of 4.4 oz this multi-tool is compact enough to carry everyday and strong enough to get the job done when outdoors.

Features on every multi-tool in the line include: a lanyard ring, 100% stainless steel body, anodized aluminum handle scales and a 25-year warranty. Having personally tested the 25-year warranty in the past, I can attest that Leatherman backs their products and will handle the problem quickly. The lanyard ring is a little tough to deploy but is a great feature when outdoors. The Juice S2 can be easily tied to a pack or fishing vest and with a little strip of 400 grit sandpaper adhered to the back to sharpen hooks, it becomes the ultimate fishing tool.

With four knives in they lineup and up to 18 tools available the Juice series by Leatherman has a multi-tool for anyone. For me though, nothing compares to the perfect pocket multi-tool, the Juice S2.



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