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Leatherman listens when customers speak, even when they just say, “Ow.”

A multitool that doesn’t threaten to rip out your fingernails when you deploy one of its tools? You can go ahead and sign us up for that right now. If you’ve had a hard time opening up the tools in your multitool at one time or another, you’re not alone.

Perhaps the tools’ tolerances were made too finely or its hinges were just synced down a bit too tight. No matter the reason, a multitool that’s tough to manipulate can end up leaving its owner frustrated and with chipped or split fingernails.

Customer Approved Designs

Aiming to solve that problem as well as others, the multitool brain trust at Leatherman set out to develop an entirely new line of multitools called FREE. The launch of the Leatherman FREE Collection is the most extensive in its storied 35-year history. So, yes, you can say it’s a big deal.

The Leatherman team took all the years of Leatherman users’ insight and feedback as a foundation into the development of the FREE line. The new collection features multiple design patents and is American-made in Leatherman’s own factory in Portland, Oregon.

Leatherman FREE multitools

Leatherman’s FREE line of multitools open without using your fingernails.

“Tim Leatherman invented the multipurpose tool in his garage 35 years ago. Soon after, the ‘Leatherman’ tool became synonymous with the multitool category,” said Ben Rivera, president and CEO of Leatherman Tool Group.

“Over the past three and a half decades, we have empowered our customers around the world to solve problems, and in many cases, to save the day. Now, we are reinventing the category Tim invented 35 years ago with the introduction of Leatherman FREE, a collection of tools that will take Leatherman and its users’ experience to the next level.”

Leatherman FREE multitool

The FREE collection is pocket-size so it can be a part of your everyday carry.

Attractive Magnetic Design

Looking to create an easier-to-use multitool, the Leatherman design team implemented a first-of-its-kind magnetic architecture into the FREE collection. This cutting-edge technology integrates magnets into the design, making it easier for users to open, handle and close the tools, all while eliminating the need for the nail torture associated with traditional multitools. Our fingers say thanks for that!

Other improvements include an internal locking system that reduces the wear and tear on individual implements, which makes the FREE tools even more durable than their predecessors. Understanding that touch is just as important as hearing and feel, the FREE tools are designed to also offer an enhanced sensory experience, due to its smooth haptics, as well as the distinct click each tool makes when an implement is locked into place and ready for use. Similar to typing on a keyboard that just sounds and feels right, the click heard and felt when locking a tool in place provides confidence in the tool’s functionality, along with a satisfying feeling.

Each of the tools made on the FREE platform includes access to all implements from the outside of the tool. No more flipping a bunch of tools open, just to access that one you need. As emphasized earlier, FREE does not require fingernails to open any of its tools. Its proprietary magnetic architecture ensures smooth, frictionless deployment of the implements.

FREE P multitool

The FREE P Series tools are pliers-based, lightweight and durable.

Feels (& Sounds) Good, Too

It also features a new locking system that drastically reduces friction coupled with new elastomer springs that make the collection of tools the most durable that Leatherman has ever produced. Purposely built-in haptics allow each tool to open and close seamlessly with a distinct noise, providing confirmation that the tool is open and ready for use.

Aside from all of its functional innovations, FREE tools also feature a textured signature design that provides a distinct look offering an enhanced grip. We think the collection looks quite stylish, too. The tools look perfectly at home in the pocket of a tailored suit as well as in a full-grain leather bag.

P, T & K Series

The FREE line consists of three distinct series of tools, the P Series, T Series, and K Series. Each line is designed for specific missions that take size requirements into consideration.

Tools in the FREE P Series are constructed of 420 steel. The P Series tools are pliers-based multipurpose tools that are light in weight and durable. The FREE P2 and P4 tools feature many of the same implements found within classic Leatherman tools, but with new features and technology.

The FREE T2 and T4 tools feature 8 to 10 tools in a convenient, packable size that makes the tools perfect for your everyday carry setup. The pocket-sized tool features FREE’s signature designs and functionality innovation.

Bringing FREE design elements to the knife world, the K Series is a collection of multipurpose knives. The K Series knives are designed for the folding-knife user who wants multipurpose functionality. The primary implement you’ll find in the K2 and K4 knife collection is a 3.35-inch, high-quality 420 steel blade. The knives also hold additional tools located within their handles.

Finger(nail) Savers

We’re excited to see each of the innovations that Leatherman has developed for this entirely new line of multipurpose tools. Using real-world experience and feedback, it looks like the company that invented the modern multitool has its ear to the ground and is constantly looking to improve their wares. Our time with several FREE tools has yielded nothing but compliments from its users, especially from their fingernails. Starting at $39.95, you can find the FREE Collection at Leatherman’s website, here.


What is your favorite multitool? Let us know in the comments or email us at editor@knivesillustrated.com