Leatherman’s newest full-size multi-tool is the Rebar, previewed here in January. Akin to the larger Super Tool 300, the Rebar is purposely reminiscent of Leatherman’s original multi-tools. Not everyone will like the Rebar’s boxy style, or that its tools cannot be accessed from the outside, but its small size and robust design might make it a hit with heavier users.
My favorite multi-tool is the Leatherman Wave (what’s yours?), and while I make great use out of the outside-accessible knife blades, I am also very fond of the Super Tool 300. The Rebar is smaller and lighter than the Super Tool 300, and with nearly all of the same tools and functions, so I was excited for the chance to test one out.
The Rebar measures 4-inches closed, weighs in at 6.7 ounces, and its two knife blades are both about 2.36″ (6cm) long.
The pliers deploy quickly and easily, as with all Leatherman multi-tools. Handle edges are thick and rolled-over, and there are no noticeable pinch points. This is an advantage of multi-tools with no outside-accessible knife blades or tools – the greater and more uniform handle spacing reduces the likelihood of pinched-palm blood blisters.
Like the Super Tool 300, the Rebar has tougher-looking pliers. It’s difficult to tell if this is done for aesthetics or strength, but I find myself preferring the straight-edged jaws over rounded ones.
The pliers are fairly low-profiled, but the sloped-neck design at the start of the handles means that the Rebar can fit even better in tight quarters.
The user-replaceable (and resharpenable/repairable) wire cutting blades are a welcome feature. I know that not all tools can feature this, but it’s one of the things I like most about my Super Tools. The upcoming Leatherman OHT multi-tool will also feature these replaceable wire/hard-wire cutter blades.
The Super Tool 300 is said to have 154CM stainless steel wire cutter blades, and the Rebar’s is described as premium steel.
The plain-edge drop-point knife blade (420HC stainless steel) deploys via an adequately-sized nail notch. It doesn’t quite look all that spectacular, but it’s sharp and gets the job done. No complaints here.
Also on the plain-edge knife blade side – a wood/metal file, small slotted screwdriver, large slotted screwdriver, an awl with thread loop, and lanyard ring.
The file works well for impromptu deburring, but as with most multi-tool files it’s too small for serious work. (Unless you’re looking to work your muscles out in new ways.)
The small screwdriver is nicely tapered and will see some serious use. The large screwdriver will see less use, but it works great on those wide-slotted fasteners designed to accommodate coins. I will sometimes use large multi-tool screwdrivers for mild prying tasks, but this is something I won’t recommend.
As for the awl, I haven’t tested this one out, but the similarly shaped on on the Super Tool 300 punches through cloth and wood with ease. It’s one of those tools you might not use often, but when you need it you’ll be glad to have it.
On the other side you have a sheepsfoot serrated knife blade (also 420HC), a can and bottle opener, three-dimensional Phillips screwdriver, and a wood-cutting saw.
As with the plain-edge blade, the serrated blade should only be used locked-in and with the tool in the closed position.
This brings me to an important note – all tools are lockable when extended to their fully-deployed positions. The locking mechanism is simple but effective.
Here’s a closer look at the wood saw, Phillips screwdriver, and can/bottle opener. Do you see the V-shaped groove at the bottom of the can and bottle opener? That’s the back side of the wire stripper.
Aside from a curved back, the saw resembles Leatherman’s typical multi-tool saws. The screwdriver is slightly shorter than the one on the Super Tool 300.
The sample I tested came with a rather simple black leather sheath (made in Mexico). On one hand the leather box is as bare-bones as sheaths go. On the other hand, it’s as bare-bones as sheaths go! This means that it’ll protect and hug your Rebar close and tight without taking up unnecessary space on your belt or in your bag or pack.
Since I compared the Rebar to the Super Tool 300 and mentioned the Wave, I figured it only made sense to do a size and blade comparison as well.
The Rebar is shorter and thinner than the Super Tool 300, and most of its tools are scaled down proportionally.
Not everyone is going to love the Rebar, but it’s a solidly built tool. It faces some tough competition in Leatherman’s own product lineup, but it has a number of good selling points.
- Robust construction and build quality – this is a tool I’m not afraid to use hard, especially to cut hard wire since the cutter blades are removable and replaceable
- More compact and lighter than Super Tool 300
- Convenient outside ruler markings
- Tools are relatively smooth to deploy (I’m told that a last-minute production tweak will make things even smoother)
- 3-dimensional Phillips screwdriver
- Thin-profile pliers for improved tight-area clearance
- Knife blades are not outside-accessible, which does take some getting used to (but it’s worth it)
- No interchangeable bit driver (although LM’s accessory driver does fit the Rebar)*
- Smaller knife blades compared to Super Tool 300 and full-size 4-inch tools
I found the Rebar to be a high-quality multi-tool, and it has its place in Leatherman’s lineup. If you’re looking for a heavy duty multi-tool and don’t require outside-accessible knife blades or tools, then the Rebar should serve you well.
If anyone would like a tool vs. tool comparison, just let me know via comments or email and I’ll try to answer your questions.
Where to Buy?
The Rebar is currently priced at $49-55.
Product Info & Purchase Links (via Leatherman)
Thank you to Leatherman for providing the review sample unconditionally. Review samples are typically given away, donated, or in some cases retained for benchmark and comparison purposes.
*Credit to Jerry and Claudio for bringing up the removable hex bit driver via their comments below and on Facebook. You’re right, it does work with the Rebar!