Some of you may be wondering why the sudden logo change at the top of the page- it is in response to some very bad news I got last night. One of our early members, and serious Leatherman and Victorinox collectors, Joe Wright, aka JoeBW on ours and other forums has passed away.
Assume for a moment that you want a decent multitool, but you don’t have or want to spend a lot of money. In fact, your budget is a total of $5US, including shipping. I realize this may seem a bit extreme, not to mention a bit of an impossible task, but I like extremely impossible tasks, so I thought I would give it a shot.
Looking on eBay you will find all manner of cheap tools, many from the Far East, many cheap knockoffs of existing designs from major manufacturers like Leatherman or Gerber, many from custom makers like Peter Atwood or Ray Kirk, and many that just leave you scratching your head as to what the heck they are for, or what was the designer thinking when he/she designed that?
With all due respect to Sir Mixalot, I have a deep fascination with trucks. To me, a good truck is a vehicular multitool- it carries anything you need and manages both highways and dirt tracks with relative ease no matter the weather.
After Megan and I had finished swimming for the day at a friend’s cottage (ie the impending thunderstorm chased us out of the water!) we decided to relax and open a bottle of wine. The only problem being that the rose we had bought had a cork, and we had no corkscrew as I’d misplaced my trusty yellow scaled Compact after our last trip. Luckily I have since found it, but that didn’t help us then!
Going without wine wasn’t an option, so I had to dust off an old trick that Tim Leatherman himself taught me. I’d say that he would be proud of me for remembering it, but as the only tool I had was a SOG PowerLock, I think the shine might come off that a bit…
According to our friends over at Knifenews.com (full story HERE) the famous firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson has purchased Taylor Brands LLC for $85 million. For those who don't know, Taylor has long produced knives and multitools with the Smith & Wesson name on them, and I have often commented on the quality (more accurately, the lack therof) of Taylor knives, whether they are marked S&W, Schrade, Uncle Henry or Imperial.
For years I had labored under the impression that the folks at S&W were blissfully unaware of the crap that Taylor was producing with their name on it- I am a big fan of Smith & Wesson firearms, and that name has become (in my mind at least) synonomous with quality revolvers. I had assumed that someone at Taylor had arranged for a dump truck full of cash to arrive on a bi-monthly schedule at the house of S&W's licensing manager, and that as a result, he or she just didn't ask any questions. It seems that isn't the case, and that S&W is fully aware of the crap that Taylor is producing, and that is very disapointing to me.
The worst part is that S&W doesn't appear to even want to fix it- they seem content to merely take advantage of the distribution network that Taylor has, so that they can make their own in house accessories more available. As if having their name on crappy knives wasn't damaging enough to the brand, now Smith & Wesson will be selling their actual merchandise on the shelves right next to crud, strengthening the connection.
This is one of those times when I really hope I am wrong. As I said, I have lots of respect for S&W, and I hate to see them take a bad decision (like giving a license to Taylor in the first place) and make it worse.