Launched this spring, the Leatherman FREE collection has provided a new user experience which redefines the category that the brand created 35 years ago. This collection was five years in the making. And the new technology used in the FREE products challenged the brand to completely rethink how it designs, builds and creates new products.
In 1983 Tim Leatherman launched the first pliers-based multitool, the Pocket Survival Tool or PST. “After the PST launched, my business partner and I knew that in order to become a successful company we would need to launch more than one product,” said founder Tim Leatherman. “We could go bigger or smaller and opted to go smaller.” Three years later the Mini-Tool was born. While beloved by many, the Mini-Tool didn’t sell as well as expected, many suspect due to the lack of a Philips screwdriver. So in 1994, the brand opted to go bigger with the launch of the Super Tool which proved to be quite successful and various iterations are still in the line today. It wasn’t until 1995 that design engineer Ben Rivera, straight out of college, presented a pocket-size tool known as the Micra to Tim Leatherman. “We thought we would sell about 100,000 units of the Micra and in the first year sold over 450,000 units,” said Rivera, now CEO at Leatherman Tool Group. The Micra is one of Leatherman’s best-selling tools to date. Rivera added, “After seeing the Micra’s success, we realized how important it was to offer small, portable options. Leatherman is designed to be there when needed. By offering a lightweight, sleek version of FREE, it’s more likely your tool will be there to save the day.”
ABOUT THE T-SERIES
Perfectly portable, the new T-Series is loaded with features designed to tackle problems big and small. The T2 ($39.95) contains eight tools including a straight blade, package opener, and multiple screwdrivers while the T4($59.95), packed with 12 tools, contains additional implements like scissors, tweezers and a file.
“Leatherman doesn’t design pocket tools for the sake of designing a pocket tool. Our design engineers ensure each implement will function as well as our full-sized Leatherman tools,” said Rivera.
The outside of the T-Series features the eye-catching aesthetic and design of FREE, and the inside features a revolutionary magnetic architecture that allows each tool open and close seamlessly. Leatherman engineers designed the tool so that all implements are easily accessible from the outside, for one-handed opening. Individual implements no longer require a fingernail to access and deploy. Additionally, the new architecture also provides epic haptics and a distinct clicking noise to provide auditory confirmation that the tool is open and ready for use.
We’re very excited to unveil this product and help you tell the story of FREE. We’ve assembled a comprehensive toolkit full of assets to help enrich your stories. Leatherman’s CEO Ben Rivera is available for phone interviews to discuss the T Series and Leatherman’s history with pocket-sized multitools.
ABOUT THE FREE COLLECTION
Leatherman FREE is the brand’s most extensive product launch since the introduction of the PST 35 years ago. The collection features the P-Series, a pliers-based multitool, the T-Series, a pocket tool designed for everyday carry functionality and later this fall, the K-Series, a multipurpose knife.
Leatherman’s design team spent five year developing never-before-used technology with premium materials, creating an entirely new experience for multipurpose users. The team relied on the years and years of customer feedback and insight as a foundation for product innovation. The new collection features multiple design patents, is made in the USA in Leatherman’s factory in Portland, OR, and comes with Leatherman’s industry-leading 25-year guarantee.
WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT?
The Leatherman FREE collection features a first-of-its kind architecture. The key to the new architecture is integrated magnets, making it easier for users to open, handle, and close the tools, eliminating the need for nail nicks. Plus, the internal locking system utilizes an all-new elastomer, reducing wear and tear on the implements, making the tools within the FREE series more durable than ever before.
ABOUT LEATHERMAN TOOL GROUP INC.
Founded in 1983 by Tim Leatherman, Leatherman Tool Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of high quality multipurpose products which are sold in more than 80 countries. The Oregon-based company is built upon three principles: unwavering perseverance, ingenious design, and the ability to save the day. With a Leatherman in hand, people around the world have been enabled and empowered to solve problems, both big and small. The Leatherman factory and company headquarters are located the same building in Portland. It’s distribution center is less than 2 miles away, employing about 500 Oregonians. For more information visit our website or to learn more about the Leatherman story click here.