Do you know the origin of Leatherman multi-tools? You will now.

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NEWS – We’ve been reviewing Leatherman multi-tools for years, but I never knew the story behind the brand until this morning when I happened upon a CBS Sunday Morning video. I always learn cool stuff from those bite-sized clips and today wasn’t any different. But this time, it just happened to be on a topic near and dear to The Gadgeteer. Multi-tools. Leatherman multi-tools to be more exact.

According to the video (linked below), the Leatherman origin story is like all great superhero origin stories. It starts with a person and ends with a hero. The hero of this story is Tim Leatherman, a Portland, Oregon-based engineer who created his first multi-tool prototype in 1975. Did you think that Leatherman has been around for way longer than that? Me too!

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1st generation Leatherman Wave that I found in my Dad’s stuff after he died

Tim initially had a lot of trouble getting knife and tool companies interested in his new design that combined a knife and basic tools into a compact folding pocket tool. But he hit the jackpot when he sold his first batch to Cabela’s. Tim’s superpower was creating a tool that the world didn’t know it needed, and now it’s a brand synonymous with EDC gear. The cool thing is that Leatherman tools are still being made in the Leatherman factory in Portland. Boy, I wish I could have a tour of the Leatherman factory!

Check out all of our Leatherman multi-tool reviews.

6 thoughts on “Do you know the origin of Leatherman multi-tools? You will now.”

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  2. Very cool, thanks for sharing this. Like you, I was surprised that they were only invented in 1975, and that there is a Mr. Leatherman!

          1. Didn’t you see the video? Gadgets don’t sell. He would have to be Inspector Multitool. And of course dressed all in leather.

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