Reviewed by David Savage
Christmas can be a very stressful time of year, especially looking for the perfect Christmas gift or stocking filler. What do you buy someone who already thinks they have everything they want, or just doesn’t know what they want? Whitby & Co may just have the answer and they kindly sent me a Leatherman FREE P2 multipurpose tool that would make a luxury gift idea this Christmas.
Whitby & Co, based in Cumbria, are the UK’s leading outdoor accessories distributor, offering the latest and best outdoor accessory products for outdoor pursuits. They supply equipment from outdoor and camping, hunting and fishing, gift, DIY, agricultural and many more from world-renowned names such as Leatherman, Zippo, Klean Kanteen and Opinel.
I used to repair laptops and desktop computers for a living and was always looking for screwdrivers and pliers. These days I repair very few computers but am always doing something around the house that requires a tool of some sort. Searching through the toolbox for the right tools can be a pain, especially when I have used something, put it down and forgot where and then isn’t where it is supposed to be. So the Leatherman multipurpose tool is excellent as it features a whole host of tools in one small package (closed length is 4.25″/10.25cm). It has many more tools than I thought would be possible to fit into one small penknife sized package – 19 to exact! The Leatherman FREE P2 is THE problem-solving multipurpose tool!
So why is it called FREE? After all it isn’t free, it does cost £144.95. Well, it has been designed using magnets for one handed operation, leaving your other hand FREE!
The Leatherman FREE P2 Multipurpose Pliers tools comes with 19 different tools, these are:
- Needlenose pliers
- Regular pliers
- Premium replaceable hard-wire cutters
- Premium replaceable wire-cutters
- 420HC Combo knife
- Spring-action scissors
- Bottle opener
- Pry tool
- Package opener
- Can opener
- Wire stripper
- Ruler (1.41in / 25mm)
- Wood/Metal file
- Electrical crimper
- Phillips screwdriver
- Medium screwdriver
- Small screwdriver
- Extra-small screwdriver
The Leatherman FREE P2 looks luxurious and real quality. It is made from 100% Stainless Steel, features magnetic opening and closing, has all-locking tools, designed for one-hand opening and comes with a removable pocket clip and nylon sheath that you can attach to your belt. It is fairly lightweight, it weighs only 7.06oz, or 215.46g if you prefer. With a folded length of just 4.25” it takes up very little room and fits nicely on to a belt or in a pocket (although due to UK knife laws it probably isn’t wise to keep on your belt unless actually using it at the time).
The multipurpose has nearly all the tools you will ever need. All the tools, bar the pliers, are on the outside edges and are very accessible with one hand, there is no need to open it up to use any of the tools except the pliers. The handles and held closed using magnets. The tools do not have the little fingernail notches to release the tools, that notch used to be a right pain, they release by pushing on the tab at the rear and then lock into place and the tools are freely move without applying too much pressure. There is a knife with a combined flat and serrated blade that also features a wire stripper. There is a pair of small, strong and sturdy scissors. The is a Phillips head screwdriver along with a variety of flathead screwdrivers in different sizes, even a tiny one for fixing small items such as glasses. There is a bottle opener, can opener, file, pry tool, awl, pliers with a fine point that could even pick up a stand of hair and even a tiny 2.5cm straight ruler (not sure how much use this would be). Even the cutter heads can be replaced yourself when the blades are dulled.
This is an extremely tough, durable and practical multipurpose tool. It really is very useful but it does have a small flaw – the tabs on the handle sit proud of the chassis so when bearing down on the handle to use the pliers or cutters the tabs dig into your hand and can be quite painful.
The one-handed use is excellent. For example, if you are up a ladder or have to hold something to work on it you have easily accessible tools in the palm of your that can be accessed with the push of your thumb or flick of the wrist. It does take a bit of getting used to using one hand to open everything, but once mastered it really is simple. All the tools are secure in the chassis, held by magnets but freely move with the push of a thumb when required.
Whilst this is an excellent tool that has been engineered to a very high standard, please be aware that it has a blade that locks into place and in the UK there are rules against carrying a bladed article in public places. You should actually only carry this outside if you have a valid reason such as using in your occupation or wild camping etc. You can find more on www.leatherman.co.uk/pages/using-carrying-knives or www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives. Although the blade is under 3”, because it locks into place if you are stopped while carrying it you will have to justify why you have it.
If you are looking for a great gift idea or luxury stocking filler then look no further than the Leatherman FREE P2, it has a multitude of useful tools that would be handy around the house for DIY, at work for stripping cables, opening paint tins, tightening screws etc. and is even useful for leisure activities such as camping and fishing or just opening packets and cutting paper. It even comes with a strong and durable nylon sheath and a massive 25 year warranty against defects. With an eye-watering price tag of £145 it definitely is at the luxury end but once you see and feel the quality, the ease of use and the usefulness of the toolset, you will see that is definitely worth the cost.
For more information or to buy, visit www.leatherman.co.uk.