Leatherman pulls out all stops in creating its "best multitool ever"
It's been 40 years since the introduction of the original Leatherman PST, and the company is looking to raise the bar on pocket tool versatility once again. It doesn't mince words about it, either, introducing the all-new Arc as the "best multitool we've ever made."
Sure, some hyperbole from a company selling a new product, but Leatherman has plenty of other multitools it'd like to sell, too, so declaring one the unqualified all-time best is still quite an endorsement. The Arc brings together some of the most prized features from across the Leatherman tool family, including a MagnaCut steel blade, Free one-handed magnetic operation, and a total of 20 tools ready to handle everyday problems and tasks.
As Leatherman tells it, the Arc has been its ultimate objective since the 2019 launch of the magnetic Free platform. And while the Arc looks at first glance to be quite similar to the P4 it introduced then, the new tool incorporates some serious additions and improvements that incorporate customer feedback to pave the way forward.
It's less the P4 and more the immediately sold-out Garage Batch 005 40th Anniversary Tool that most influences the Arc, starting with the CPM MagnaCut steel blade – not brown this time but a contrast black that matches the trim around the handle edges. The 005 tool was billed as the first-ever multitool to use a MagnaCut blade, making the Arc the first non-special-edition, full-production multitool with that particular distinction.
MagnaCut is designed specifically as a knife steel meant to hold up to harsh, wet conditions. Leatherman promises better edge retention, more resistance against chipping and breaking, and superior corrosion resistance over other knife steels.
Like the 40th Anniversary special, the Arc is built on the Free platform, which pushes fold-out implements to the outside of the chassis where they can be immediately deployed without opening the two sides of the handle. All of the individual tools, including the signature pliers, open with one hand and lock magnetically for fast, confident deployment.
Leatherman has responded to popular demand in making the Arc its first Free-based multitool to integrate a large bit driver, expanding the tool's functionality to near-infinite proportions. Leatherman has included a series of eight double-ended bits with each Arc, and users can easily swap between these and other bits to dial the Arc in for any driving task that needs doing. Leatherman has also included a small bit driver for more delicate jobs.
Further adding to the Arc's versatility, Leatherman has added on another first – a removable pocket clip that can be attached on either side of the tool to personalize tool access and wear. More general Arc features include a saw; diamond-coated, wood/metal and edge files; spring-action scissors; replaceable wire cutters; bottle and can openers; and a pry tool. The tool measures in at 4.3 inches (10.8 cm) when closed and weighs 8.6 oz (244 g).
Leatherman officially launched the Arc on Tuesday for a price of US$229.95. That's steeper than many other Leatherman tools but a $45 break from the 40th Anniversary tool with which the Arc shares much of its design. The new tool includes the eight bit set, a nylon sheath and free shipping.
The short new clip below shows how seriously Leatherman approached the Arc's development, but if you'd prefer more of a feature-by-feature look, you can see that video here.