Sunday, September 23, 2012

Leatherman Juice S2

I'll start this entry off by saying I love my wife.  She is very thoughtful.  Last night, about midnight, I was laying in bed, and she laid a plastic package on my chest and said, "Happy birthday."  I picked up the package and, to my joy, I was staring at a brand new Leatherman tool.  I'm building up quite the collection.  This one is the Juice S2 model in a really cool shade of orange.

Now, my computer screen shows this just a bit larger than actual size, but your computer screen may vary.  Suffice it to say this thing is pretty small, yet not so small as to be a fragile little thing.  At 3.25" long (closed) and only 4 3/8 ounces on my scale (4.4 advertised), it is easy to slip into a jeans pocket and forget about until it is needed.  Leatherman advertises this tool as a pocket tool, so I guess they got it right.  The tool body is thoughtfully shaped to slip into the pocket easily and is radiused on all edges so it will not snag on anything.  Even the fasteners on the corners are rounded so as not to get caught up on anything.  When folded, this tool is nice and slippery.  However, once opened, the handle presents solid flat surfaces to grip.  I can get a positive grip on this thing.

Keeping with the looks and aesthetics of the tool, you can see in this picture that Leatherman Tool is cast into the pliers head, which is a high cost addition, but it adds a lot of class.  There's no mistaking what this tool is.  When you place this tool on the ground, the pretty orange handle itself does not touch the ground - the fasteners do.  Of course, you're going to scratch your Leatherman.  But having the fasteners take the brunt of the action will help the handles stay prettier longer.  Remember, the first scratch is the one that hurts.  Every thing thereafter builds character.  The handle scales are anodized aluminum and the rest of the body is highly polished stainless steel.  Leatherman calls this crazy orange color "Flame Orange."  They also offer "Storm Gray" for those of you who prefer something more subdued in your EDC.  For those who don't know, EDC is short for "Every Day Carry."

Alright, so what does your hard-earned money get you with this tool?  Oh, before I forget: Amazon shows this tool at $43.53 if you are on Amazon Prime.  My wife had this shipped to our house for free with no tax, so it truly was a pretty good deal.  Okay, back to tool selection. I'll rattle these off in the order that Leatherman shows them on their website.  In the pliers head, you get needle nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutters, and hard wire cutters.  That's typical for just about any Leatherman Tool and is really the heart of it.  I find myself using the needle nose pliers, regular pliers, and wire cutters more than anything.  Next, in the handle, you get a 420HC knife, scissors, extra small flat screwdriver (known as a tweaker in the generator industry), small flat screwdriver, medium/larger flat screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener, and a can opener.  Phew!  That's a mouthful!  I rarely use the knife provided on tools like this because I usually have a more suitable option on hand.  However, the thing I'm most often asked for is scissors.  I'm glad they included them on this tool.  They are good scissors too.  They are only surpassed by the excellent scissors on the Leatherman Wingman.  Of course, I always like having more than one size option for flat screwdrivers.  The smallest of them is especially useful for turning pots (potentiometers) on automatic transfer switch controls and generators.  And who can argue with a Phillips screwdriver?  This Thanksgiving, I'll probably be a hero in the house because it seems everyone buys Sparkling Cider, but forgets the bottle opener.  The other tools I use a lot less, but being as they are included as part of other tools, they are invisible until you need them.  I like that.  For those that find them useful, the Juice S2 features a lanyard ring.  I'm glad Leatherman does not list that as a tool.

Of course, the Juice S2 comes with Leatherman's 25 year warranty.  Should it need work, just send it back and they will fix it for you.  And you'll have to have them fix it because of the only gripe I have, which is the fasteners.  There's no way to adjust the tension of the tools yourself, nor can you remove them for detailed cleaning or repair.  But this tool won't be terribly hard used.  Occasionally, it will probably see some abuse because 9 out of 10 times, the only reason you're using this tool is because the appropriate tool is nowhere to be found.  That's where Leatherman tools thrive.  In the EDC role, this tool will shine.  It will provide me with plenty of tools to help me go throughout the day.  It will provide me with another utility knife to back up my other knife, and it will look good doing it.  It really does help round out my EDC package with it's good looks, versatility, and cleverness. 

There are more variations of the Juice, which you can see at Leatherman.com.  There are two new models that are thicker, and have 18 functions.  I don't find myself needing all the extra tools on those models, given the intended use.  If I want to saw off a tree limb, I'll break out my Super Tool 300 or the Wave.  If I ever find myself in situations like that, I normally have much larger, and more appropriate, options available.  For its intended use, the S2 is ideal.  I'll take the penalty of not having six other tools to save weight and thickness.  I have never used a cork screw on any multi-function pocket tool, so I did not want the C2.  It sacrifices a tool I use almost daily - the scissors.  I can't do that - not for EDC.

I will be beating the piss out of this thing for a long time.  In a few months, I will post an update to show just how well, or not, the tool is holding up.  Stay tuned.

-James

3 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic little and lightweight multitool that gives you just what you need without creating the device too fat and difficult to keep. However, at money, it is one of the more costly of the lightweight multitools. An excellent sheath is available but marketed independently for another dollars.

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  2. It costs a bit of money, yes, but for my money, it's worth every penny. I look at overall cost/benefit when I buy stuff, and this one has paid for itself over and over.

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  3. A great tool for any job. High quality tool made to last.

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