Leatherman has announced exciting new tools for 2015, such as the recently discussed Tread multi-tool bracelet and watch and Signal outdoors tool. But that’s not all – there’s also the Rev, a new entry-level tool designed around an affordable price point.
Upon hearing that the Rev will be an “affordable” multi-tool and a tool “for all budgets,” I wondered if the Rev would be replacing the Wingman and Sidekick.
Our friends at Leatherman said the following:
The Rev will not replace Wingman or Sidekick. We had to raise the price on those two [multi-tools] in the past year, and we wanted to still be able to offer consumers a tool crafted in Portland, OR like the rest of our stuff (not outsourced) that still hit that $30 price point. There are a few efficiencies made in design that allow us to do that.
According to press materials, the Rev shares common manufacturing and assembly steps with the Wingman and Sidekick, which helps to keep costs down.
Compared to the Sidekick and Wingman, the Rev features one outside-opening tool instead of two – a knife blade that also appears to be a little simpler designed. Fewer machining and grinding operations should also help keep costs lower.
The Leatherman Rev features 13 tools and functions:
- Combination needlenose and regular pliers
- Wire and hard-wire cutters
- Knife blade (420HC stainless steel), 2.6″ long
- Package opener (for safely opening clamshell packaging)
- Ruler (1.5 in | 3.8 cm)
- Can and bottle opener
- Wood and metal file
- Small and medium slotted screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
The Rev is 3.8″ long when closed, weighs 5.9 ounces, and is made from stainless steel. Its knife blade is outside-accessible and locks into place for safe and convenient use. There’s also a removable pocket clip on the reverse side.
The Leatherman Rev launched with an MSRP of $37. As of August 2021, the retail price has risen to $40.
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It looks like the Rev will be a great starter multi-tool, and like the Wingman and Sidekick, it could also be a great backup for multi-tool and EDC enthusiasts and heavier users. Like their other multi-tools, the Rev is made in the USA.
While the Rev is not quite as fully-functioned or refined as Leatherman’s more premium multi-tools, it seems like a great tool to keep in the car glovebox, office desk drawer, tool bag, kitchen junk drawer, and other such locations.
I don’t always carry a multi-tool in my pocket or clipped to my belt, but I don’t like traveling without one either. The Rev – and the Wingman and Sidekick that came before it – are affordable enough that I don’t mind keeping one in the car for seldom use.
As mentioned, Leatherman made a couple of design decisions in order to achieve a lower price point. The knife blade appears functional, but simpler. And there is no scissor or saw. The Rev has just the knife blade as its sole outside-opening tool.
Although the Rev is said to have an MSRP of $37 and with an expected street price of $30, I think that its regular street price will easily approach $20-25. During winter holiday shopping seasons, its price might even drop further.
The Wingman and Sidekick seem to have been immensely popular during the past couple of holiday seasons, which was perhaps additional motivation for Leatherman to develop an ultra-affordable multi-tool. My thoughts are that either Leatherman will be able to arrange with retailers (such as Home Depot) to sell the Rev for less than $20 during the holiday season, or the Rev will replace the Wingman at the $20 price point.
There are two tools/functions I have very happy to see featured in the Rev. First, the knife blade has a plain edge. While plain edge knife blades are presumably easier and cheaper to manufacturer than partially serrated ones, they’re also typically easier to maintain and sharpen. Second, the “package opener” works fantastically well for opening plastic clamshell packages.