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Hands-On: Leatherman’s 12+ Tool FREE T4 Is A DIY EDC Powerhouse

All Photos: HiConsumption

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For each and every individual, everyday carry means something different. However, there are some basic tenets that most people share. You see, the ethos is primarily centered around making the most of what little you’re willing and/or able to carry. For some, that means making peace with a minimal set of gear and/or making sacrifices to ensure that your daily loadout isn’t too cumbersome, even if it doesn’t quite manage everything you’d like it to. But if you dig a little deeper, you might find that — even with pocketable tools — you don’t really have to make quite such drastic compromises.

For nearly four decades, the folks at Leatherman have been crafting some of the most useful, clever pocket- and EDC-friendly multi-tools around. In fact, they were largely responsible for shaping the gear category as we’ve come to know and love it to this day. But, as constant innovators, the brand has never been satisfied to rest on its laurels. And that dedication to constantly being better has led them to craft the FREE T4 multi-tool knife you see here — and it might be Leatherman’s most universally versatile pocket tool to date.

Pocketable Powerhouse

Measuring up at just 3.6″ in total when closed — about the width of a palm — the Leatherman FREE T4 is truly suited for pocketability. In fact, it takes up roughly the same amount of room — or even less — as the average urban-friendly EDC knife. Truly, if you were to look at the list of specs that this multi-tool knife has to offer, you’d almost certainly expect it to be a good deal larger than it actually is. And that makes for a pleasing surprise once you actually get to wrap your hands around this compact powerhouse.

Exceptional Exterior

The small stature of the FREE T4 is complemented by a clean exterior design that’s measurably less busy than similarly-featured folding multi-tools. That includes a duo of subtly-branded textured scales — stainless steel in the case of the silver colorway and glass-filled nylon for the crimson, navy, and evergreen options — that help ensure a steady grip when in-use, as well as a sturdy tip-down stainless steel pocket clip for simple carry and easy access in a pinch. Admittedly, the 4.3-ounce weight (when paired with its small stature) is a little intimidating initially, but it’s hardly an imposition once you get down to the nitty-gritty of all this device has to offer.

Fully-Loaded Functionality

All told, the FREE T4 comes loaded with a whopping 12 built-in stainless steel tools — which is undoubtedly an impressive achievement when one considers just how compact it is. That includes, but is not limited to, a 2.2″ 420HC drop point knife blade, spring-loaded scissors, bottle opener, heavy duty file, removable tweezers, and a suite of screwdrivers. Better still, every single one of them can be accessed and operated one-handed and — with the exception of the tweezers — they all lock when in the open position for added security in use.

A Bevy Of Bonuses

One of the best things about buying from Leatherman — besides the obvious quality of and history behind the brand’s impressive catalog of offerings — is that they stand behind their products. Proudly built in Portland, Oregon, the FREE T4 EDC multi-tool knife is certainly no exception to that rule. You see, along with its spectacular construction and list of features, it also comes with a 25-year warranty to ensure you’ll get the most out of this tool throughout its functional lifespan.

Everyday Toolbox

There are a lot of exceptional folding multi-tools out there — a huge number of which are actually made by Leatherman. But the FREE T4 stands apart for a number of reasons. For starters, its palm-sized format and sleek appearance both scream everyday carry — meaning it was built specifically for users to carry it day-in and day-out. And while its compact nature makes it easy to slip into even the most crowded of pockets, the 12+ built-in functions are sure to please even the most discerning of DIY enthusiasts. For $50, we’re not sure you could find a more compact, reliable, and functional folding multi-tool knife anywhere.

Purchase: $50