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Sunday, 21 January 2007 10:03

Leatherman Juice XE6 Review

Written by Grant Lamontagne

After being so pleased with the Juice KF4 I received a couple of months ago, I decided it was time to take the plunge and get the big boy of the series, the XE6. Mostly, I missed the scissors of the S2 .

Leatherman Juice XE6

For a small tool, the Juice XE6 isn’t much of a small tool. At a hefty 188 grams (not counting the sheath) the XE6 outweighs many of the full sized tools like the PST (148 grams), the PST II (149 grams), Kick (150 grams), BuckTool (184 grams), the SideClip (142 grams), the SwitchPlier (153 grams) and the Para Tool (179 grams). This is quite a hefty little tool. In fact, it’s shape reminds me a lot of the Victorinox AutoTool, which is perhaps the bulkiest tool on the planet. Of course, at half the size of the Autotool, the XE6 is much more convenient.

The XE6 is outfitted with plain and serrated blades, a wood saw, metal saw/diamond file, awl, scissors, corkscrew and bottle opener on the outside and the standard three flatheads, folding lanyard ring and phillips driver inside. This is an excellent array of implements for a tool of any size, and especially impressive in a smaller tool like the Juice.

Leatherman Juice XE6

If you’ve read any of my other LM reviews, especially the Kf4 review, you will already know that I am a big fan of the diamond file included in the XE6. This is the best file available from any manufacturer, although once again I miss the groove down the middle for sharpening points like darts or fish hooks.

Leatherman Juice XE6

I also like having the scissors. That’s about the only thing that I missed on the Kf4. Scissors were the main motivator for purchasing the XE6 (well, that and I didn’t already have one!) and the scissors are typical Juice style non folding scissors. Adequate, although nothing special. They do the job, and that’s good enough for me.

Leatherman Juice XE6

Of course there are downsides to the XE6 as well. The biggest ones to me are the same as the other Juice models- no sheath and too many flatheads. As mentioned before, the size and weight of the XE6 might turn off some folks looking for a light, convenient tool. Also, the wood saw has the same issue as the one on the Kf4- it warps and gets caught on the awl.

Another problem that I encountered with the XE6 was the tools on the inside are pretty stiff and did not come out without a fight. I actually broke my thumbnail trying to get the flatheads out. As I said, this may be due to the newness of the tool, it might be a defect with this tool or it may be common to all XE6's, although I have never noticed any spring pressure difference between the KF4, S2 and C2. I believe it’s it’s just this tool, but I will be looking into it more and will update this review with any new information as I get it.

Leatherman Juice XE6

Personally I am sure the XE6 will see some good pocket time. It has an excellent tool selection and isn’t overly bulky. The wider handles may bother some people, but I like the extra surface area as it is more comfortable on the hands when squeezing tightly.

One thing I would recommend for this, and any other tool with a corkscrew- I did this with my C2 as well, and that is to add a Victorinox eyeglass screwdriver to the corkscrew. The screwdriver is very inexpensive and can be an invaluable tool to have if you or anyone you know wears glasses.

Pros:

  • Excellent tool selection
  • Wide handles are very comfortable
  • Despite weight, it’s still a small tool

Cons:

  • Bulky for a “small” tool
  • Typical Juice problems- too many flatheads, no sheath
  • Wood saw gets warped easily
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