Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Knives and MultiTools: Leatherman Squirt E4

No, this is not a vintage knife. But stick with me, and I'll try and justify my posting this. Actually, I will probably follow this post with several more showing the other knives and tools I find useful.

Weekends I can almost always be found at Elle's shop, either moving something heavy (sometimes really heavy, in which case I have usually tricked a friend to come and help me), making deliveries, or pitching in to help with the odd repair or two.

Repairs can run the gamut from simply tightening some screws to rewiring lighting to the less frequent, thankfully, complete refinishing or rebuild. So, and maybe this just serves as a convenient excuse, I always have some kind of knife or multitool in my pocket or on my belt.

Right now, I want to focus on the Leatherman Squirt E4. I've had this one the longest (without losing it) and while it lacks some of the functionality of the larger multitools, I carried it almost exclusively for the first year or so that Elle opened shop. At the time, AFAIK, it was only available at Radio Shack. It wasn't even listed as an option on Leatherman's website.

So, why is it so great? Well, aside from the knife, it's got several things going for it. Spring-loaded wire strippers: not essential, but completely rewire a 12 bulb chandelier, and then tell me that you don't appreciate not having to use a knife blade to strip all the wire ends. Along with the wire strippers, you've got a wire cutter of course, and the tips can perform as needle nose plier tips. A true philips screw driver: not one of those flat screw driver tips that has been shaped into a blunt point, but a real philips head driver. I know this doesn't sound like a big deal, but if you try both types, I think you'll see why I consider it important. 2 screw drivers: one head small enough for eyeglass screws, and small enough to serve as an awl if needed, and one regular sized one that incorporates a bottle opener. A wood and metal file: useful when you have to adjust a drawer runner that's sticking just a bit, or maybe clean off a little rust or corrosion on battery terminals in the odd vintage radio.

The E4 really impresses me more than the other 2 available models (the P4 and S4). "P" is for pliers, "S" is for scissors, and I think the "E" is for electric, or electrician, or electronic, or something like that.

If I'm headed to the shop, and I know Elle needs a couple of lamps rewired, I still make sure this little guy is on my key ring. I've only stopped carrying it all the time because I've started carrying a larger Swiss Army Knife. And hey! I'll probably bore you with the details on it in my next post. You'll just have to wait ... I know it'll be difficult.


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