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Sunday, 08 October 2006 13:05

Leatherman Fuse Review

Written by Robert Milliron

The Fuse is the middle child in a family of three tools Leatherman brought out in 2004. It is more capable than the less expensive Kick , but thinner and lighter than the Blast. All three tools bear a strong resemblance to each other, and all share the same improved stronger elliptical plier head. (Along with the Leatherman Charge and New Wave .)

Leatherman Fuse

The pliers on the Fuse are the exact same thickness as my old Leatherman PST, but the pivot area is the considerably wider and stronger. Using the Fuse on various odd jobs around my house, I didn’t feel that this extra width got in the way at all. With a larger wire cutter area as well, I feel the new plier head design is a definite improvement.

Leatherman Fuse

If you are more familiar with the older Leatherman tools, the first thing that jumps out at you about the Fuse is its handles. Plastic grips with rounded edges have been molded in along the edges, making the pliers much more comfortable to grip than the previous plain steel edges. A series of finger grooves has been added as well, which help keep the tool from sliding in wet and slippery hands.

Leatherman Fuse

In one handle, the Fuse packs a pair of scissors, a Phillips screwdriver, and a cap lifter/can opener/wire stripper combo blade. The scissors aren’t bad, but they are a step backwards in my opinion. For some reason Leatherman made them smaller than the old Wave scissors, with a considerably shorter cutting stroke. I liked the old ones better.
Much improved however, is the Phillips screwdriver. Unlike those on cheap imported multi tools, it has a good useful shape to it. It’s also plenty long enough to reach deep into those recessed screws to the battery compartment cover on my kid’s new toys.

Leatherman Fuse

The other handle has a clip point knife blade and a couple of flat head screwdrivers, also refreshingly long.

Leatherman Fuse

Speaking of long tools, this knife is the Crocodile Dundee of multi tool blades, with significantly more reach than that of previous multi tools in its class. Now that’s a knife!

Leatherman Fuse

But compared to its less-expensive cousin the Kick, the only extra tool the Fuse has is its scissors. Which kinda sucks. I think Leatherman should have left the silly lanyard ring off the Fuse, and substituted a good diamond file. I often need a file, and don’t prefer to carry a multi tool without one.

Leatherman Fuse


One important point about the Fuse blades; they all lock. Using the same rocker switch lock that Leatherman first employed on the Crunch, each tool snaps securely into place with an audible click. Yah, I know, I carried an original PST without locking blades for over ten years. But it’s like power steering on pick-up trucks; once it became available, it doesn’t make any sense to do without. Locking blades are a necessary thing in my opinion.

Leatherman Fuse

If you do buy a Fuse, plan on buying a good aftermarket sheath as well. Leatherman really cheaped out on the sheath they include with the tool. Made out of genuine imitation leather (from genuine imitation cows?) it feels like it would disintegrate the first time it gets wet.

Pros:

  • Stronger pliers
  • More comfortable grip
  • Locking blades
  • Long knife and screwdrivers

Cons:

  • Thicker handles than Kick, but only added tool is scissors
  • No file
  • Scissors are smaller than they should be
  • Imitation leather sheath

Dimensions:
Length closed 4”
Width Closed 1-3/16”
Thickness 11/16”
Length open 6-1/4”
Weight 5.9 oz

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