Leatherman has announced a new multi-tool, the Signal, which is designed for survivalists, outdoor adventurers and enthusiasts, and as described by Leatherman – those who participate in activities away from civilization.
A lot of outdoors activities requires that you carry your tools with you, which is why many outdoors enthusiasts already carry multi-tools. It looks like the Signal is a great minimalist multi-tool option for hikers, campers, geocachers, hunters, and others who might want to lighten their load.
Leatherman’s Sr. Product Manager, Jason Carpenter, said that they “spoke with a lot of professionally trained survivalists and if you’re lost, or need to stay overnight outdoors, the main things you want with you are fire, the appropriate tools, and a way to communicate without relying on technology”.
The Leatherman Signal multi-tool satisfies these requirements with a fire starter, whistle, and a complement of Leatherman-standard tools and functionality.
Signal Multi-Tool Features and Functions
- Knife blade with partially serrated edge
- Replaceable wire cutters
- Diamond-coated file
- Can opener
- Bit driver
- Removable pocket clip
The hammer face seems to be another new feature not found on other mainstream Leatherman tools (there’s something similar on the MUT), and there’s also a shaped diamond-coated sharpener for maintaining the knife blade.
Availability: Summer 2015
More Info(via Leatherman)
Buy Now(via Amazon)
The Signal looks to be a decent new Leatherman entry into the world of EDC and survival tools. It looks like Leatherman took design cues from the MUT, their tactical/military-oriented tool, or possibly the Skeletool (review), as this is similarly pegged as a minimalist tool.
It might not be appealing to someone who already has a Wave (Review), Surge, or Super Tool, but the Signal could be a great multi-tool for backpackers or survivalists. As a big fan of Leatherman overall, I will likely add one to my collection.
One of the comment Leatherman made about the Signal stuck out to me: Lose yourself in the outdoors, but never get lost.
Lots of outdoors enthusiasts carry Leatherman multi-tools, but the Signal truly looks to be the first designed for this crowd. They are also targeting survivalists and for emergency preparedness applications.
I like the idea of the removable fire-starting ferro rod, although it would of course have to be removable to be struck, and it looks like the whistle and diamond sharpener are incorporated into the same accessory. Perhaps this piece will be available separately, either as a consumable or accessory that can be carried with any other multi-tool.
I think that the Signal will be popular with outdoorsy types, but some might even buy one for use as an urban emergency preparedness tool.
I wish they added scissors. They include an awl, I assume with an eye for emergency sewing, but then you are stuck using the knife blade for cutting cloth and thread. I carry a Leatherman of some sort on me 95% of the time, and my 4 most used tools, in the order I most use them, would be the pliers, knife, scissors, screwdriver. Yes, you CAN use the knife for most of the times you would use the scissors, but if I have scissors, I use them a lot for everything from snipping loose threads, to shortening a straw to fit a child size drink. Trust me, whip out the knife in Arby’s to shorten the straw, and people will stare. Open up a small pair of scissors, particularly ones tha you can access without opening the tool, and you hardly get a second glance.
I’m not ragging on Leatherman or anything, but rather stating that in my personal opinion, scissors tend to be a much used accessory. On the other hand, with so many models of multi tools out there, it isn’t hard to find one I like. One of my all time favorites is still the PST2. It has more of the tools I use most, in the smallest package I can find. I also like the Wingman, as the knife and scissors can be accessed without opening up the tool.
I’m not sure that your comments apply to the Signal. It has been designed for camping and survival, and your examples seem to apply to urban or park use. I camp a lot, and a prefer a hammer or a ferrocerium rod over scissors. You’d probably be happier with a Wingman or a Juice, which are just perfect for the city.
I kind of agree with that. I have found that in the real world, I reach for scissors far more often than a knife. The accessory that I find interesting with this tool is the whistle. That’s not to suggest that a whistle isn’t in order for a survivalist. Designing a whistle however that is effective enough to be heard over distances useful to this application, is a science in itself. Some companies like “Fox 40” have been working exclusively on that task for years.
That seems like a slippery and grey area for Leatherman to venture into. Most survivalists are acquainted with all the sickening details of the specs on popular whistles. They know the decibel levels, the frequencies, how far they can be heard in real world applications, etc. I would think that Leatherman would be better off leaving that one alone. Survivalists will generally have their whistles anyway. I’d be looking for a way to chuck the whistle and add something more useful like scissors.
Good point. Every serious hiker I know, carries a whistle around their neck, and every one in the group has a whistle. Those who may go solo, often keep one in their pack, just to be sure. I’m not into that, but you are right in saying they are particular about DB level, tone, etc, and usually want it to be metal.
Again, not to nit pick, as Leatherman has done a good job dominating the multi tool market without my advice, but maybe have scissors on the tool, and the whistle as a separate accessory on a lanyard.
Someone I know hikes a lot once said they want the whistle where they can get to it, even if they fall and break their arm, hence the reason they wear it around their neck.
Totally agree with you guys here. I too prefer a scissor in place of the whistle. Especially having a scissor that is accessible from the outside.
I love having scissors too, but this is marketed at the outdoors enthusiast. I’d rather have pliers as the primary tool than scissors in the woods. I use pliers all the time for cooking and fishing. I don’t think I’ve whipped out my scissors for anything other than cutting line, and that’s a special type for braided line. Now that’s a specialty tool I would buy, a Leatherman Micro with serrated scissors.
I’m not a fan of fold out scissors either, if I have to fold something out I’m going to use the knife.
The fire starter and whistle are a nice touch. Now if they could cut the price about $70.
“The fire starter and whistle are a nice touch.”
Maybe…. Since both are integrated together, using the whistle might be detrimental if you inhaled after using the fire starter.
Id like to see it lower than $120 and then Im in.
I also use scissors more than any other tool on a multi-tool.
Nobody said that they wouldn’t like pliers, even as a primary tool. Nobody wants to lose or replace those. We’re just saying that we’d like scissors on the tool as well.
I was personally saying that I’d like scissors, particularly in place of a whistle. That’s all.
In light of the intended purpose, I think a small pair of scissors would be out of place. Campers would be better served by a small sewing kit with scissors, patches, needless, thread, etc. or getting a second tool like the Style.
That being said, how cool would it be to have a modular, made to order, tool where you could pick exactly what you want? I’m sure it’s been thought of before but I don’t know of any good examples of them. To each their own.
Its an interesting variation in a long line of great designs. For a tool specifically designed for used in outdoors, I am surprised that Leatherman chose black instead of something else (safety orange, fluorescent green) that would cause the tool to stand out if laying on the ground.
Great point. I believe the yellow parts are meant to help more easily identify the tool, but I agree with implementing the tool in Orange, Yellow and bright red would be a better option.
This is a tool, I am likely to get in the fall. The knife sharpener and the awl are nice touches.
As it is the multi tool I am likely to take to the middle of nowhere would be my Leatherman Ti or the Leatherman Juice. This tool is a worthy replacement, though my Ti would now life my B.O.B.
I like the outdoors and right after fishing at the park I can just picture eating a fresh of the water fish before heading home.
I can picture using this to take-out/cut the hooks (being careful not to drop it in the water lol), cut the fish up, and start a fire at the camp with it too. All from my back packet.
I sound like one of those people in a commercial but I would really use it for this purpose. I have other multi-tools for work too.
Here’s a true story just for the hell of it regarding using a multi-tool. Me and my buddy back in high school we fishing by this gated park that hits the gulf of mexico. It was/is a big park just for fishing. I use to go there a lot but then I never went back because of the following – the security would always drive around the park in his vehicle anouncing through his speaker 30/40 minutes right before he was about to close the park. That would give everyone a heads up to gather their stuff and get out of there. Me and my buddy lost track of time. We noticed this when we drove to the gate there was no security there and the gate was closed. It was late at night and we thought we where going to spent the night there so we threw our fishes we had cought to the night animals that where beginning to come out. But then I remembered I had my multi-tool in my pocket so I used it to cut the fense wires and it was about 12am when we left. I knew they had cameras so I never went back fishing there thinking they would give me a citation or worse…lol we made it home…true story.
Hmmm… Good product and looks promising. Not the ultimate Leatherman multitool though. I wish they would also include scissors like that of Surge and the gut hook like that of the Charge Tti/ALX. Maybe the next model they’ll build would be the ultimate one (Maybe called Super Charge? Surge Tti?).
I like the fact that Leatherman has come up with a multi tool that has some true outdoorsman functions, but I have some major issues with the design.
First, the combination whistle, fire starter and sharpener is poorly thought out. The fire starter won’t last long in a survival situation. I suspect that the whistle might not survive many attempts at starting a fire and as was pointed out earlier, using the whistle after starting a fire might not be the healthiest thing.
Second, it’s too small. At under 5 inches closed, it seems to limit the functionality in a survival situation. I could be wrong about that, but would rather they had designed a true full size multitool.
Third, is what they call a hammer. I don’t see the functionality. You might be able to set a tack in a phone pole with it, but use it to actually hammer something, no way. Nothing can be done about the lack of mass, but you also have the lack of reach, given that your hand will be right next to the head. Then there is the way the head is tilted away from the hammer. Perhaps that was an attempt to compensate for the lack of handle length, but in the end it will reduce the force the user can apply at the hammer head.
Fourth is cost. Frankly, Leatherman’s designs and quality are not what they once were and they are leaning more towards gimmicky designs to hold the market. Sadly, that doesn’t mean they aren’t still the best multi tool maker out there. It’s just that if you gave me a choice between a 20 year old full size Leatherman in good condition and what they sell as full size nowadays, I’d choose the 20 year old model.
In short, make it 20 percent larger, seperate the whistle from the fire starter, make the fire starter more robust, make the hammer head heavier and more like a standard hammer head in shape, lower the cost and add some more tools and I’d probably buy it. As it is, I’d more likely buy a $20 hammer multitool at the local hardware store than this one. Same size and a better hammer.
I currently have the Lethermen MUT and If it had a ferro rod and Can opener that would be amazing. But I use to many of it features to replace it with the signal. bolt override tool, cutting hook having 6 bits in the tool. Here is to hoping they are similar so I can upgrade my MUT with parts from the signal and make my perfect tool ^^
I you want a small pair of scissors look at the swiss army cards. The one i use has a small pair of scissors,pin,pressurized ballpoint pen,tweezers and its the size of 3 gift cards.
It seems like a good idea but lacks a bit in execution.
I’m not sure why they put half serrated blades on so many tools, but a straight blade is so much more useful. Maybe they should make different blade options? I would really prefer to have a straight clip point and a serrated sheep’s foot or gut hook. Even a fully serrated would be better so that way it would be obvious to supplement it with a larger straight blade.
The lack of scissors is also annoying (first aid, trimming fingernails, etc). A file is also handy occasionally in the woods for repairs.
I like the hammerhead for tent stakes. The attached ferro rod is good as an emergency back up in case you lose your other fire starters. An attached sharpener is nice as well. I don’t get the whistle. Why do you not have one on your neck?
Bit based screwdriver is nice, but the small one for glasses is missing.
And, seriously, why is this not a brighter color?
To get the functionality needed I could get this one and supplement it with a smaller tool with scissors, either one of theirs or a Victorinox Classic, and a large straight edge knife. Or I could get a Wave or Surge and add a whistle, firestarter, and sharpener – all things which I would probably only consider a back up on this tool and carry a real one anyway – and pick up a rock to put in tent stakes.
I guess it would be good as the centerpiece of a survival kit, but I always try to base my survival kit around what else I am carrying, so that would be redundant.
Good idea, poor execution.
Took a while but I just found one , brand new, on Ebay for $75.00 plus shipping. Same post was selling them the other day for that price and I didn’t jump. Then they ran out. This time I vowed if I saw it again I would jump immediately and now its on its way. I can handle $75 a whole lot more than the $120 I see everywhere. Still more available on Ebay.