We got a lot of tools for review – some more complex than others. While we love playing around with big saws and drills, and get really excited about testing cordless and corded power tools, the bottom line is that there is a tool for everyone. A tool everyone should have. Sure, they might not be as glamorous as the best reciprocating saws, but they work for more of our readers, too. Leatherman is synonymous with multitool, but the Leatherman Super Tool 300 Multitool remains one of our all-time favorites.
You may or may not own a real Leatherman, but if someone asked you if that thing on your belt was a Leatherman, you'd probably say yes. One of our favorite products is the Leatherman Super Tool 300 Multi-Tool. It has 19 different functions.
Leatherman Super Tool 300 Specifications
- 420HC Straight Edge Pinch Knife
- 420HC sheep's hoof serrated knife
- Needle nose pliers
- ordinary pliers
- 154CM detachable wire cutter
- 154CM Detachable Hard Wire Cutter
- Strand cutting machine
- Wire strippers
- Electrical crimper
- 5/16″ screwdriver
- 7/32″ screwdriver
- 1/8″ screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- Wood/Metal Files
- bottle opener
- can opener
- 9 in | 22 cm ruler
- Awl with threaded ring
It's often said that you may not need all the features of the Super Tool 300, but you won't regret having it. I found this to be very true. When the Leatherman Super Tool 300 multi-tool first came out, I took a few photos, tried out a few tools, and decided to start a review. Well, as often happens, life was interrupted and reviews were put on hold.
Well, the Super Tool 300 has been fishing since then, it fixed some cables in my living room, it photographed model rockets with my son, and it disassembled countless toys and devices around the house for repairs/battery replacements . It wasn't until I had a Super Tool 300 handy that I realized how much I'd be using it.
Like Leatherman multi-tools, the Super Tool 300 is made of stainless steel. While this offers great protection from almost every use and abuse, remember that regular cleaning and oiling will do your tools a lot of good.
At 9.6 ounces, the tool is heavier in the hand than you might initially expect, but not bulky. This is because you look at the size and expect one thing, but then realize how much power (and hardware) they cram into a single device. After the first few uses of the tool, you won't notice the weight anymore.
The Leatherman Super Tool 300 multi-tool has cutouts in the handle for easy gloved operation, but I've found the cutouts to be useful even without gloves. The handle has rounded corners and edges for comfortable use without gloves, even when applying maximum pressure. While not as comfortable as the round rubber-coated handles, you might be surprised how comfortable the tool is.
When I first started using the Super Tool 300, I found it difficult to close it when it was fully opened. While I feel like I can fix this with a drop or two of penetrating oil, I want to see if it "breaks in" on its own.
I spent a few days with it on and off, and it didn't feel like much of a difference in difficulty. In the end, I put it on hold for a few days. When I picked it up, it was like butter. My guess is that the oil on my hands lubricates the mechanism. Either way, once the tool is loose, it's a joy to open and close.
I use most everything on the Super Tool 300 in some form. The saw blade does an excellent job of cutting through wood. While you wouldn't want to try and chop down a small tree with it, it's great for chopping firewood on a camping trip. Only one Phillips head screwdriver with three (5/16", 7/32", 1/8") flat heads. Personally I might prefer a flat head and two Phillips, but I appreciate the lack of a mechanism for switching bits.
With kids around, bits tend to get lost and I'd rather use less permanent screwdrivers. The knife is very sharp and durable, and the pliers are very useful. I checked the measurements on a 9 inch ruler. As you might expect, it all depends on how well you put the two handles together. On our test tool, I could only get true to 1/16" on the second handle. Obviously, you won't be using the Leatherman Super Tool 300 for critical measurements anyway.
Two things I really want to point out about the Super Tool 300 are the removable knife and the tool lock. The knives located under the pliers are secured with hexagon socket screws. This enables you to remove or replace them if you wish. Second, and more importantly, the tool lock. The handle contains most of the tools. One thing you don't want is the tool moving while you are using it. The Super Tool 300 has a system that locks the tool in place. Then press the button on the handle to release it. While these are important for knives, they apply to all other tools as well.
But that's not the coolest part. What I really like is that you can't lock the tool in one handle if you have a second tool partially sticking out. A partially extended tool blocks the locking mechanism. This means you can flip through your tools without worrying about accidentally locking them. While you can lock multiple tools in the fully extended position, it is often difficult to fully open more than one tool. The release button is easy to press.
The Leatherman Super Tool 300 multi-tool is a great entry into the Leatherman line. While Leatherman is known for their high prices, they are also known for their quality. With an MSRP of $84, it's not the cheapest multitool on the block (street prices are often well below MSRP). The question is, should you buy the Super Tool 300?
While the tools themselves are great, we think multitools are a very personal thing. Make sure that whatever you buy has tools you use regularly. If the Super Tool 300 fits this description, you'll be very happy with your purchase, and if you're anything like us, you'll find that you use your multitool a lot more than you expected. We certainly thought the build quality, locking mechanism, and usability of the tool were excellent. However, you can find quality competitors in the market that make similar products for less.