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Saturday, 06 May 2023 00:02

Leatherman Tread LT

Written by

In an ever changing world companies like Leatherman are forced to innovate and diversify in order to stay competitive. Leatherman CEO Ben Rivera took the company in a new direction back in 2015 and released the Leatherman Tread multitool. The Tread was a tool born out of necessity for Ben on a trip to a theme park and his current tool was not allowed in the park. The Tread has gotten a lot of press in the last couple years; some positive and some negative. One fact that remains is that it's still a hot seller for the historic tool company.

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The original Tread is an interesting tool; take multiple drivers that folks may use on a daily basis and make them in a wearable form that doesn't raise the eyebrows of local security. The idea was quite ingenious if not a little crazy. The downside to this design is that the tool was extremely heavy for most users and when it was adjusted to fit your wrist you lost some of the functionality intended by the design of the tool. Leatherman decided to make some refinements to the overall design and tackle issues some folks had with the tool. The result was a Tread that was put on a diet yet still retained the same functionality as the original tool.

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The Tread LT (Tread Light) is still a heavy tool weighing in at 5.5oz/156g with all the links attached and out of the box is 8.56in/21.74cm in circumference. At first glance it appears to be the same tool that came out two years ago. Spending more time with it I see the changes that Leatherman has made to the tool albeit small.

The Tread still retains the functionality of the first Tread tool. It comes with 25 various drivers and cutouts that can handle an assortment of tasks throughout the day. What has changed the most about this tool is the weight and the width. One of the chief complaints about the original was it was too heavy and it felt wide on your wrist. Shaving 30% of the overall width of each link also allowed the tool to drop 10% of its weight. This may sound like it doesn't make much of a difference but I feel it's a big enough difference that I wear it more often than I ever did the original.

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The LT feels very much like a watch and due to the narrower links it is about the same width as one as well. I still get some comments about it, people intrigued wondering what it is but overall it's not talked about as much as it normally has been. I am glad actually, some of the comments I would receive were somewhat negative and asked if I was into things I would rather not mention here.

My main complaint about this tool as well as is predecessors is the fact that there are no fine adjustments one can do to make the tool the correct size. The Tread is comprised of 1/2 inch links with one 1/4 inch link in the middle. According to Leatherman a person can adjust the tool in those increments to make the tool more comfortable. This poses a challenge for some like myself because the tool is either too tight or too loose on my wrist making things very frustrating. Only option I had to fix this was to get an extended link via a 3rd party company called Chronolinks. Now my Tread is way more comfortable around my wrist and gets worn more than my original ever did.

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The LT has all the same functionality of the original and they have made some slight adjustments to some of the implements. Being narrower some links have been strengthened and modified to stand up to everyday tasks.

The Tread is designed to be a multitool when either a standard one isn't available or one simply isn't allowed due to security. A lot of people compare the Tread to its plier-packing brothers but, it's an unfair comparison. This niche tool was created for a specific reason similar to the Leatherman Signal and should not be treated as a do-it-all multitool. In spite of some limitations because of design elements I feel the Tread works extremely well.

Overall the Tread LT is a welcomed addition to the Tread line and I appreciate the changes Leatherman has made to the tool. They've addressed customer concerns and tried to appeal to a wider audience. This unique tool is already a part of many edc setups and the LT would make a great addition to yours.

David Bowen

As Co Founder of Multitool.org David has been a multitool enthusaist since the 90's.  David has always been fascinated with the design inginuity and uselfulness of multitools.

David is always looking forward to what's new in the industry and how the humble multitool continues to evolve as it radically changes and improves the lives of users.

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