Did you know that Leatherman and Costco teamed up to make an exclusive multi-tool, the Bolster? I didn’t – I only learned about the Bolster this week, thanks to a reader comment.
The Leatherman Bolster looks to be a cross between the Leatherman Sidekick and Rev multi-tools.
The Bolster looks to have a similar tool arrangement as the Rev, with a knife blade, 3 tools on one side, and 2 screwdrivers on the other.
But, the Bolster is closer to the Sidekick with respect to handle aesthetics, knife blade, and tools.
The Bolster has just one outside-accessible tool, the knife blade, as opposed to two for the Sidekick.
Visually, the Bolster looks to be half Rev, half Sidekick.
As of March, 2022, Costco has 573 store locations in the USA. Costco is a paid members-only wholesale club retailer. As one of the biggest retailers in the country, Costco has enormous purchasing power, and they also tend to buy in bulk.
In other words, I’m surprised that Leatherman and Costco teamed up to offer the Bolster, but I’m also not surprised.
Leatherman Bolster Tools & Functions
- Needle-Nose Pliers
- Regular Pliers
- Wire Cutters
- 420HC Knife
- 420HC Serrated Blade
- Wood/Metal File
- Flathead Screwdriver (Small)
- Flathead Screwdriver (Med)
- Phillips Screwdriver
- Ruler (1.5”)
- Bottle Opener
- Can Opener
- Wire Stripper
The pliers are spring-action.
The tool comes with a (presumably removable) pocket clip, as well as a nylon sheath.
Leatherman Bolster Multi-Tool Specs
- 3.75″ closed length
- 1″ closed height
- 0.5″ width
- Weighs 5.9oz
- 100% stainless steel construction
Pricing & Availability
According to Costco’s listing, the Bolster is made in the USA with US and global parts.
The Bolster is covered by Leatherman’s 25 year warranty.
Thank you to Mitherial for the tip!
Looks good! The Sidekick and Rev are both popular, so something between them seems bound to be good.
I don’t remember the last time I used the saw on any of my multitools – so that’s not something I would miss.
I’ve used mine a couple of times, but I believe only on my legacy Wave.
The Wingman has scissors in place of the Sidekick’s wood saw.
I agree. I would rather see a second knife blade. With two blades you could keep a sharp edge twice as long.
There are two knife blades – a primary plain edge blade, and a small serrated blade.
I must be missing something. Between two old school / original style leathermans and two quite nice swiss army knives ( one ” limited ” edition, one IT specialty ( and a few regulars )) I just can’t get excited about another multi-tool or knife. Ok, this is a bit lighter, smaller, different tool here or there, … I am not catching a must upgrade vibe.
Here’s my take on it – it’s an entry-priced Leatherman multi-tool, and with a useful selection of tools, plus some upgrades compared to the similarly priced Rev.
I posted about it because a) there are always tool users looking to buy their first “real” multi-tool, and b) I was unaware of the Bolster and figured this might be true for many other tool users, and c) it looks to be an interesting mish-mash model.
My Costco membership lapsed, but I’d like to know about this tool before running into it at a store. Wholesale clubs and other big box stores usually have terrible reception, and it can be slow to research unfamiliar tools and products while shipping.
I don’t see the Bolster as an upgrade for anything I have, but it’s an interesting tool nonetheless – at least in my opinion.
Funny you should mention lousy cell reception in big box stores. I asked someone involved with this and they said it’s not intentional at all. The metal in the under roof plus usually being slightly “out of town” is the main reason the problem seems so common.
Some strip malls and similar suburban shopping “centers” have exactly the same issues.
Especially it seems to me when my wife is shopping and I’m along but bored.
I used to have lousy reception in Costco, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. back with my 4G LTE phone. Since I’ve upgraded to a 5G phone I haven’t had any issues except in one Lowe’s for some reason.
In fact I waited as long as I could to buy a 5G phone because I was worried about reception, but it’s been stellar so far.
This phenomenon is perplexing to me. You’d think 5G with a significantly higher frequency wouldn’t penetrate a partial faraday cage — or really anywhere — as well as a lower frequency.
Hmmm, after further review, I’m reading contradictory articles some are saying 5G is 600Mhz and other are saying in the 10s of GHz. Evidently it can be both.
Where we live, Costco builds stores that are effectively Faraday cages, with steel cladding on roof and walls.
Costcos here have good reception. I am constantly sending photos of spontaneous buys to my wife for her approval. No issues in transmission or reception. I don’t see the allure of jack of all trade so-called EDC tools like this. Less contact area, less leverage, poorer ergonomics, and security guards’ attention if you forget to take it off when entering a controlled area. When I need a tool I reach for a real tool. The counter-argument I’ve seen is a basically a mediocre tool that is EDC that is with you when you need it is better than a real tool you left behind. But don’t professionals really need tool bags?
I agree strongly with this sentiment.
I have a fair number of multi-tools and such and find that the older leatherman tools are just amazing. Plain, simple, functional, and very well built.
There isn’t really any significant difference in function or capability that makes the newer models better than the old ones. In terms of size and weight the older PST and PST II are amazing. The newer ones may look fancier or have slightly better ergonomics but usually at a significant increase in both size and weight or loss of functionality.
Newer isn’t always better
Matt the Hoople
This is Costco. They don’t do these exclusives for the enthusiast or professional. They do this for impulse buys by the person that has been wanting a multi tool but has been on the fence or the person that has a “handy” friend/relative and sees this as a good gift opportunity. It is an entry level model as that keeps the price low enough to spur an impulse buy.
I’m guilty of falling for these. I’ve purchased work gloves, car mats, flashlights, insulated water stainless bottles, coolers, beach gear and other items that I didn’t necessarily need at these places. On a lot of those things I would normally have done a bit of research first. However, since I was in the club and spending $300 on groceries already, what’s anothe 40 or 50 bucks for a cooler of $20 for a couple pairs of leather work gloves or a pair of decent led flashlights.
All that stuff has been pretty decent. Not the best but good for the price.
I don’t think this is an “upgrade” model. Despite being new and exclusive, it is based on popular and well-liked existing designs, but obviously intended to meet a pricepoint.
Nevertheless, there’s nothing obviously goofy about it. I bet this is a pretty decent tool that packs the tools people are like to use the most.
I probably won’t buy one either – I’ve got several multitools and this just isn’t something I need. It’s larger than I like to pocket carry and less capable than my glovebox or office-drawer multitools. I would seriously consider it as a gift for someone who didn’t own a multitool though – or if I wanted to put yet another one somewhere else convenient.
Costco has had a few Letherman options over the past year. I think they were testing the waters. Looks like it went well. Costco loves to get suppliers to make unique products for Costco. The price is pretty great as it is. I’ll have to check next time I’m in the store but items are normally cheaper in person.
I have one, and it is definitely an “entry level” multitool, but with Leatherman (-ish?) quality. It is priced inexpensively to be an “impulse buy” while shopping for something else at Costco (how I ran across it in the first place). I tried the “Bond” but couldn’t get over the lack of a lock on the blade.
My 15 year old Leatherman Wave is certainly a “better” tool, but a new one costs almost three times as much. I don’t particularly like carrying things in my pocket, so I leave the tools I use the most–multitool with pliers, Klein 11-in-1 screwdriver, heavy-duty shears– in convenient places (desk drawer, night-stand, back of my SUV).
“but with Leatherman (-ish?) quality” is unlikely for obvious reasons. Leatherman has exactly one manufacturing facility and it’s in America. Barely 200 miles from Costco’s suburban Seattle HQ.
Leatherman quality has gone downwards in recent years and I guess part of this is the popularity their multitools got through the years (perfect example this Costco variant). Also their manufacturing being in the USA means nothing when the pliers heads are all made in Mexico. They get away with the moto “American made with US and Global materials”. In my eyes this means American made pride goes out the window and quality issues follow.
Matt the Hoople
I do the same thing. Keep a similar mix of multi-purpose tools in convenient locations. If I plan to work on something, I’ll go out to the shop and get the right tools. The multi-tools and multi screwdrivers are extremely handy for the “spur of the moment” needs.
As such, Even the entry level models will serve my needs (although the kitchen drawer houses an original Wave and Klien 11 in 1 screwdriver being the ones getting the heaviest use).
420HC Serrated Blade? Where?
Oh, I see it now 🙂
I have two. The pliers’ teeth are cast instead of machined, so they aren’t the least bit sharp. Hence, not a serious tool. They’re kept in our house for very easy tasks.
Really? That’s surprising for Leatherman. Their plier heads are pretty good in my experience.
There’s no coating on them – I bet you could sharpen them up quick with some needle files if you wanted.
Yep, the plier teeth are unlike any other Leatherman I’ve seen. They’re downright smooth. Saw online that other people were seeing the same thing. Many don’t even think to look at the teeth since we expect the Leatherman name to be synonymous with good manufacturing. If the teeth were machined/cut, I’d like the tool much more.
Longtime Costco exec member here and one other big benefit is Costco’s unbelievable return policy. Essentially, you can bring back whatever, whenever – even years later – and they’ll refund it, no questions asked.
I’m not saying abuse it (I don’t) but it totally removes the barrier of “what if I don’t like it?” or “I have to figure out if I’m committed to this purchase in 30, 60 , 90 days”. It has certainly lowered my barrier to purchase on many things there that I would not have done at other retailers where I knew I was up against the clock or even just the hassle of a return.
Yet another in the long lineup of recent releases that are just a stripped-back version of one of their lines’ models, offered at a “Discount” that doesn’t equate to much more than 10% off a tool that only does 50%-75% of what the original family does. New Raptor: Missing 3 tools out of 8, $10 cheaper than the original, more financially sensible to get the original. New Wave/Charge/Surge family tool: Missing half the tools, uses the outdated plier head, $10 cheaper than the cheapest Wave ($20-$30+ cheaper than the Wave+) for buying Half a Wave. And now we have… This one. Not only is it exclusive to a place you need a paid membership to enter (adding to gross cost of the tool), it’s missing half the outside-opening tools, and only has approximately 50% of the tools of either model in the line it falls into… And the price? you guessed it… Around $10 cheaper than buying any of the other tools.
I am more than irritated with what Leatherman has been doing lately. Wasting materials, wasting marketing, and making me feel ashamed to carry their tools around, because I bought them before the company went this insane price-gauging direction. Such a sad state of affairs for a company I loved so much.
I’m not so sure Joe – the Bolster has 13 tools, the Sidekick has 14.
MSRP for the Sidekick is $70 USD. The Bolster is $45.
If the plier head on the Bolster is as bad as David suggested – that’s a significant compromise. Otherwise, at least on paper, the Bolster looks like excellent value.
I have at least 4 dif models. I have a small family and I’m on CERT in my town. I go crazy when I forgot one of mine at home. I’m not sure of the model it has needle nose pliers. They are about 30 years old. I use this one for cutting wire A LOT. The cutters are warn down. The knife is broken. But I use everyday. My smaller ones as well. I do use the saw quite a bit. Great tool
I like that Costco does this sort of thing. Picked up a 4.5A Battery Tender about 6 months ago because I needed one – wound up dying in one day, and when I called to warranty I noticed the back of packaging specified “Made for Costco”, and when I tried to find the same model online it was nowhere to be found…
I bought a second one and warrantied the first, because it is a pretty big unit and cheap compared to the competition – plus battery tender has a good rap aside from my 1-day-and-gone issue. No more issues with either of the two I’ve got after 6 months, first must have been a fluke.
Great first multitool. I got one for my daughter back in January when she earned her Arrow of Light and moved out of Cub Scouts ans into Scouts BSA.
I believe it was either on a deal or closeout as I think it cost a less. I was excited to see it in the store the other day as I did not get a chance to get one for kiddo #2 yet . . . .
Thank you for the comprehensive review and comparisons with similar products in the Leatherman line.
This was an impulse buy at my local Costco for around $40. This is intended for the glovebox as something a bit more expendable but still very utilitarian. This compares very closely to my Leatherman “original” but at about an oz heavier. It’s shorter, wider and thicker as well. The sheath it came with is a premium nylon one with an hd snap closure. I like that it has a belt clip and a lanyard ring.
I have the 1st and 2nd generation Waves as well as a smattering of Gerber MTs. This Bolster is nicely built and will be put to good use.
I own several Leatherman tools and the Bolster has become my everyday carry because it has all the basic tools, isn’t as large or heavy as my Wave, and best of all for me is the clip that enables me to keep it in the watch pocket of my Levi’s.
It works great my dad got it foe me fr my Birthday. Its nice but after some use i had to put some WD40 but other than that I EXTREMELY remand.