Growing up, my dad always traveled with a Swiss Army Knife. While he wasn’t an outdoor adventure type of man, for some reason it would regularly come in use, whether it be cutting plastic strings or fastening loose screws for unexpected repairs.
So when iconic tool brand Leatherman invited me to their 35th anniversary event held at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, I couldn’t help but think of how much he’d appreciate the craftmanship that goes behind creating a Pocket Survival Tool (PST).
PSTs are essentially multi-tools (think pilers, wire cutters, knife and bottle opener) all in one small, pocket-sized package. Leatherman is the original creator of the PST. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a gadget lover who doesn’t own a Leatherman.
What I was surprised to learn was that the Leatherman brand had come a long way since its humble beginnings.
The idea for an innovative tool brand came about when company founder Tim Leatherman and his wife set off on a road trip throughout Europe more than 30 years ago.
On their trip, the car they bought for $300, perhaps unsurprisingly, required multiple roadside fixes. As an engineering graduate, Tim had the right know-how, but not the right tools, to fix it.
He thus returned home with an idea for a multi-tool to tackle life’s unexpected challenges.
After eight years of toiling in his garage and multiple rejections, the Leatherman Pocket Survival Tool was born.
In their first year of business, Tim and his co-founder hoped to sell 4,000 tools; instead, they sold 30,000. And over the next decade, they would sell over one million PSTs.
The event was an educational look at the history of the Leatherman brand, the enthusiasts who love gadgets and it celebrates the heritage of an iconic tool used by many men and women across the globe.
As part of its 35th anniversary, Leatherman has introduced a limited edition PST made of 100% stainless steel. It has 14-tools-in-one including: Pliers, Wire Cutters, Hard-wire Cutters, 420HC Knife, Wood/Metal File, Screwdrivers, Ruler, Can Opener and Bottle Opener.
As you can see above, the limited edition PST comes in a wonderfully crafted wooden case, portable leather cover and a certificate of authentication. This might just be what I’ll be getting dad this Christmas.