Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Leatherman Tread Multi-Tool

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I’m not exactly sure when I bought my first Leatherman multi-tool, but it was a couple decades ago, and since then I’ve probably owned just about every model they have manufactured over the years. There have been many imitators, but Tim Leatherman invented the original multi-tool. Leatherman is located here in Oregon– my adopted home state– and I keep getting invited to go to the Leatherman factory for a tour, but I just don’t get up into the Portland, OR area very much these days. I prefer living and staying out in the boonies. I cherish my privacy!

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Tim Leather is an innovator, and he thinks outside the box. I like that. It was on a bike tour in Europe that Tim Leatherman came up with the idea of a small, easily carried multi-tool that could make all kinds of repairs on his bicycle, instead of carrying a tool bag full of tools. You can read all about the Leatherman story on their website. It’s very interesting.

I was more than a little intrigued when I received a press release for the Leatherman “Tread” multi-tool. It is unlike anything Leatherman has produced in the past and unlike anything I’ve seen before. First, I’d like to list all the different tools on the Tread, and then we’ll go from there.

It has :

  • #1-2 Phillips screw driver
  • 1/4″ box wrench
  • 3/16″ screwdriver
  • 6mm hex drive
  • 10mm box wrench
  • 5mm hex wrench
  • 1/4″ hex drive
  • Oxygen tank wrench
  • 3/16″ hex drive
  • 1/8″ hex drive
  • 3/16″ box wrench
  • 3/32″ hex drive
  • 3/32″ screwdriver
  • 1/8″ flat screwdriver
  • 4mm hex drive
  • 8mm box wrench
  • 3mm hex drive
  • 5/16″ screwdriver
  • 3/8″ box wrench
  • 1/4″ flat screwdriver
  • #1 Phillips
  • 6mm box wrench
  • #2 Phillips
  • Carbide glass breaker
  • pick/sim card tool
  • cutting hook
  • 1/4″ socket drive
  • bottle opener
  • #2 square drive

Wow! To say the least, that’s a lot of tools to have on any single multi-tool. However, it gets even better. The Leatherman Tread, isn’t your typical multi-tool. Instead, all of these tools are manufactured into a stainless steel wrist bracelet. Yes, you read that right; all of this Is on a bracelet you can wear on your wrist! And, the Tread comes in satin finished stainless steel or black coated stainless steel. We are talking high quality and not some piece of junk, though I’m sure there will be imitators come along in very short order.

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The Tread is designed to be taken apart with a penny, if you need to remove a link or two, to make it fit your wrist. Some of the above listed tools can probably do double duty, if you need to remove a link so that it fits your wrist. As soon as you put the Tread on your wrist, you know it is high quality, just by the weight of it.

Now, to be sure, the Tread is not designed to replace the regular multi-tools that Leatherman produces. I wouldn’t want to find myself attempting to work on my truck with only the Tread. Whereas, I’ve done some quick repairs with my Leatherman Blast on my truck as well as other household repairs. Instead, the Tread is designed to work on a bicycle, in my humble opinion, or maybe on a motorcycle.

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I stopped riding bicycles and motorcycles some years ago, but I always had a small tool kit stowed in a pouch as well as a multi-tool with me. Two wheeled vehicles always seem to break down a lot. I couldn’t tell you how many times I had one of my motorcycles quit on me when I was far, far from home. However, with a multi-tool, some extra fuses, and some electrical tape, I always managed to get going once again, short of running out of fuel, not that that ever happened to me! LOL!

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When something like the Leatherman Tread comes along, and I have to wonder how Tim Leatherman came up with this design idea. I’m not saying he’s a tortured soul, like some of the book authors whose books are turned into some really strange movies. I’m thinking those types never give their minds a rest, always turned on high and going at full-speed all of the time. However, it took some serious design genius to come up with the Tread, and it is more than obvious that Tim Leatherman’s mind is always working on new ideas and products. Just look at their website. There are so many different multi-tools, each different from the next one.

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In my carport are two, rusting 10-speed bikes. One belongs to the wife, and one to the oldest daughter. Neither have ridden their bikes for at least five or six years or maybe longer. So, the bikes are just sitting there, rusting and taking up space, much needed space, in my carport. I decided to see how well the Tread would work on the two bikes, but working on some of the nuts and bolts, even rusted, I was able to loosen them. I also tinker with firearms all of the time. When I’m out at the range, I usually reach for my Leatherman Blast to do a quick repair. Lots of times, it’s just screws working loose on handgun grips. The Tread worked fine, but I carefully used the tools as I didn’t want to scratch the finish on any of my guns, which would be easy to do, if you aren’t paying attention.

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In my neck of the woods, there are a lot of people who ride bikes these days. I don’t know if it’s because they enjoy it or because they lost their driver’s license. It doesn’t matter one way or another. However, I’ve seen more than one person either carrying or pushing their bike, because something had broke on it. I have seen more than a few broken chains, to be sure. Bet they wished they had a Leatherman Tread on their wrist for a quick repair.

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I know a lot of people enjoy riding their bikes up and down Highway 101, which runs along the coast from Washington to California. These are hard core bike riders, and they usually carry tools for repairs. To be sure, even the best bikes can and do break down. The Leatherman Tread would sure be a nice tool repair kit to have on your wrist.

As with everything I’ve seen out of Leatherman, the Tread is of the highest quality. As I’ve stated numerous times, you can buy junk, over and over again. However, if you buy quality, you don’t have to keep buying it. Plus, we have the Leatherman 25-year warranty on the Tread. If I were riding bikes and motorcycles again, you can be sure the Tread would be worn on my wrist. Tim Leatherman’s mind was working overtime when he came up with the Tread. I just can’t help but wonder how people like Leatherman keep coming up with new and better ideas in small packages. Quality doesn’t come cheap. The stain-finished Tread is $200, and the blackened model is $220. Yep, it’s spendy for sure, but if you want the best and you want the innovator, then check out the Tread. I think you’ll be saying “Why didn’t I think of that.”

– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio

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