Leatherman has officially announced their new CURL multi-tool, model 832930, which is described as being packed with some of Leatherman’s iconic features while also being affordable for first-time users.
The new Leatherman Curl multi-tool has a very familiar look to it, almost like a scaled-back Wave.
Leatherman’s marketing copy says that the Curl was “inspired by their best selling multipurpose tool,” and so the resemblance makes sense.
As with many other Leatherman multi-tools, the new Curl has combination pliers, a knife blade that’s accessible when the tool is folded closed, and also inside-accessible tools.
What’s different about the Curl is that it only has outside-accessible tools on one side. This is made clear in Leatherman’s product images, which show a plain back with pocket clip.
Whereas the old Wave and Charge multi-tools had four outside-accessible tools, the new Curl only has two. With the Curl, you get am outside-accessible knife blade and a file.
Leatherman Curl Tools and Features
Leatherman says that the Curl multi-tool has 15 tools and functions.
- Needlenose pliers
- Regular pliers
- Hard wire cutters
- Wire cutters
- Wire stripper
- 420HC stainless steel knife (locking)
- Large screwdriver bit (Phillips/slotted)
- Scissors w/ spring action
- Diamond-coated file (locking)
- Can opener
- Bottle opener
- Awl with thread loop
- Ruler (8-inch/19 cm)
- Wood/metal file (same as 9, opposite face)
- Medium screwdriver
The Curl comes with a removable pocket clip and a nylon belt sheath.
The Curl’s large bit driver is compatible with Leatherman’s modified screwdriver bits and accessories such as their ratcheting bit driver.
- Blade length: 2.9″
- Closed length: 4″
- Overall length: 6.5″
- Weighs 7.5 oz
- Thickness: 0.6″
Product pages describe the Curl as being made in the USA.
I reviewed the Leatherman Wave a long time ago, and they have since updated it with an improved wire cutter. The new Wave Plus currently retails for $100.
Leatherman multi-tools have increased in price over the years, and the company has made attempts to offer more affordable tools without making too many compromises.
Leatherman describes the new Curl as being great for beginners, and being affordable for first-time users while still offering 15 different tools and functions, plus the knife and file as outside-accessible tools.
If you’re new to multi-tools, the outside-accessibility of the knife is a big deal compared to many other brands and models, where you might instead have to fold open the pliers to access the knife blade.
Leatherman Curl vs. Wave Multi-Tools
Here, the new Curl looks very similar to the Wave Plus multi-tool.
The Curl has launched at $79.95, which makes the Wave Plus a $20 upgrade at $99.95.
The Curl has similar pliers and cutters as the old Wave, and nearly identical tools and functions as the new Wave Plus. I specifically reference the old Wave because the newer Wave Plus has more premium pliers jaws with replaceable cutter blades, unlike both its predecessor and the Curl, which have non-replaceable cutting edges.
It looks like an awl is swapped in for the Wave’s eyeglass screwdriver bit driver feature. The Curl is missing the serrated blade and wood saw from the Wave, but it does look to have the same wood/metal file and plain edge knife blade.
The Curl comes with a pocket clip. You can add one to the Wave Plus for $5.
With only two outside-accessible tools on one side of the Curl, I would expect it to be more compact and possibly a little more comfortable for pocket-clip-carry. I bought a pocket clip for my Wave a long time ago, but hardly ever used it. In my experience, the Wave and Wave Plus multi-tools, and other full-size models, are more comfortably carried in a belt-mounted sheath. The Curl does come with a sheath.
The Curl weighs a little less than the Wave Plus – 7.5 oz (212 g) vs. 8.5 oz (241 g).
With the Curl only featuring two outside-accessible tools on one side, compared to the Wave Plus having two on each side for four total, I would expect the Curl to be a bit thinner. There is a difference in handle thickness, with the Curl measuring 0.6″ (1.50 cm) and the Wave Plus 0.7″ (1.78 cm).
The difference in thickness is 2.8 mm if going by Leatherman’s metric measurements, which would mean the Curl is nearly 16% thinner compared to the Wave Plus.
From the product images, the Curl does NOT look to have the same active locks as Leatherman’s Wave Plus, Charge, and other like-styled full-sized tools. The tools might still feature a slip joint or other passive locking mechanism.
So, it seems that the Curl is scaled down a little bit from the Wave Plus, but is it worth saving $20 for?
The Curl is advertising as having 15 tools and functions compared to 18 for the Wave Plus, but it looks like the Curl is missing the inner tool locking system, and that’s on top of the non-replaceable cutter jaws and 2 outside-opening tools instead of 4. There could be other more subtle differences as well, such as with the pivots or user experiences.
Leatherman did give the Curl their large bit holder design, and so it is compatible with the brand’s bit kits and other drive accessories.
The Curl looks to be a meet-in-the-middle type of tool. It lacks some of the more premium qualities of the Wave Plus, but offers upgrades over Leatherman’s more entry-priced tools.