Leatherman Signal Review

Leatherman Signal

Leatherman signal ReviewWhen a tool is oriented towards survival there are a few things I feel are necessary, and it's just my experience. When you're in the woods for a long period it helps to make things easier.

The Leatherman Signal checks many of these boxes for me. One, I like to have a knife, firesteel, sharpening stone and if I can a flashlight. Now you can get away without all these things if you really know what you're doing. But it's much easier when you have them!

Leatherman signal ReviewWith Leatherman's new tool they've taken a lot of good points from the MUT, an excellent tool but more designed for Military personnel, as many of the tools are so you can field strip rifles and other related tasks.




Leatherman signal ReviewBut the MUT has one point that Leatherman has added to the Signal and that's the hammer like pummel which is combined into both a hex wrench and carabiner like clip. The Signal branches off from what the MUT offers after that with more survival tools such as a firesteel and a sharpening stone.


Leatherman signal ReviewThe firesteel is held in place inside the handle with a little spring latch that can be pulled aside when the tool is open and the firesteel just drops out. It's a little tricky at first but works really well. The sharpener on the other hand is very smart, Leatherman has designed the tool so it locks into a notch on the back of the tool but this would not be a good idea if it wasn't for the way they have executed it. Leatherman designed it so that once it's placed into the notch the thumb lock that holds all the tools like the can opener in a lock position also acts as a safety for the sharpener, and you need to push it down to remove it. This is just one of the many details when it comes to Leatherman that shows someone put a lot of thought and planning into this tool.

Leatherman signal ReviewNow you remember that firesteel, well this is another instance of care being taken to make a quality product. Leatherman has even added a whistle to the back of the firesteel so you can signal for help, and this might just be where the name came from! Whistles are a great tool for survival as they will carry their sound much farther than yelling and take less effort to do so, allowing you to use the whistle even if you can't or are too weak to speak!

Leatherman signal ReviewOne thing I would like to have seen with the sharpening steel is a sharper point that would fit into the fine grooves in the knife blade, not that it's a real must as serrations on blades take forever to dull but it would make a more total sharpener.



Leatherman signal ReviewWhen it comes to removable parts like the firesteel and sharpener I'm happy to see that you can get replacements easily. Products that come out like this with parts that remove and get lost or used up can really hurt the product's sales if you can't replace your parts when they wear out. I've often shied away from these as the product is useless if you can't get parts, now keep in mind it will take a long time to wear these parts out but it's super easy to lose items in the dark while you're using them.

Leatherman signal ReviewLeatherman has their standard blade opening from the outside while the tool is closed which I really like, the main blade and saw is of the reasons I use Leatherman over other multitools I have. It's ideal to be able to flip open the knife just like any other knife without fiddling around and opening the tool just to cut something.

Another big selling point for me on the Signal is the replaceable blade and the needle nose pliers. Many times I've seen mutlitools with blades that become mired over time or just dulled up so bad they're unusable. Having a hard use point that can be replaced is awesome and also allows you to use even harder steel on the blades, while maintaining a different temper in the tool itself. You also have a small almost hidden feature behind the pliers and it's a wire crimper that can be used to strip wire as well.

Leatherman signal ReviewLeatherman has also included a pocket clip in case you want to forgo the belt pouch and just carry the tool in your pocket like a knife. As well as the other must haves for survival, an awl with thread loop is included for repairing clothing and gear, a can / bottle opener which has far more uses as well, and a driver that takes the standard leatherman bits. The Leatherman Signal comes with a Philips, flat head and two different square heads, but you can buy many other bits in a set to go with your Signal, and the pouch that comes with the Signal also has the slot for the bit set ready to go!

Leatherman signal ReviewOne idea I had was if you could polish one side of the needle nose pliers to a mirror like finish, you could possibly use the tool (while looking through the hole in the grabbers) like a signal mirror. What gave me the idea was how much shine the sides had on the tool, and just maybe they could be shined a little more!


Leatherman signal ReviewOk now for the conspiracy guy in me, a little detail that is found on the Leatherman Signal is a latitude and longitude of 45°N 122°W engraved on the side of the tool. After doing some research it seems to be pointing at Oregon, the home state of Leatherman and to be more precise it points at the Mt Hood National Forest, near Portland where you will find Leatherman's headquarters.

Leatherman signal ReviewNow for one downside, it's small and not a super big deal but I thought I would mention it, because the firesteel and its mechanism for holding it takes up so much space in one of the handles it doesn't allow for any other tools on this side of the handle. The only spot that's available is on the outside for the saw. But seeing that this tool is marketed towards survival, it has everything I would want to have on me, aside from a flashlight, paracord, duct tape and makes for one of the best small survival tools on the market.


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