Gear Reviews

Leatherman FREE T4

This problem-solving multitool is small enough to fit in your pocket.

Brand: Gear 360 Reviews

Model: Product feedback from every angle



Specs

Gear 360 gives consumers the best available product information all in one place, through independent editorial and reader reviews, and verified consumer ratings. Brands pay a fee to be included in the Gear 360 program but have no influence over the reviews or scores we publish. We may earn a commission on purchases made through our site.

BACKPACKER Gear 360 Review

The Leatherman FREE T4 bridges the gap between ultralight backpacking knives and heavy around-the-house multitools. It packs an average hiker’s everyday carry needs into a compact and lightweight seven-tool package that looks and feels much like a traditional Swiss Army knife. Most of the tools are designed to be multifunctional: The FREE T4 contains a medium screwdriver (which has a slightly-sharpened lower edge to open packages), a small screwdriver (the sides are cut into two kinds of file), an extra-small screwdriver/awl, a Phillips-head screwdriver (with a bottle opener built into the base), and a pair of scissors. A pair of tweezers, small enough to handle splinters and insect stingers, is also built into the handle. Internal magnets hold the tools solidly in place when closed, while a thumb-operated latch keeps them from folding accidentally while in use. The FREE T4’s 2.2-inch high-carbon blade—harder and stronger than stainless steel, but also slightly more prone to chipping—smoothly sliced up a grilled cheese sandwich for a fussy toddler on a family day hike in Nebraska’s Platte River State Park. Note: While we were able to flip the blade and the tools out one-handed, we sometimes found it difficult to access just a single tool without a few others activating as well.

Uwe Satori
I had the pleasure of putting the FREE T4 through its paces on the road, in the woods, and in the mountains of Colorado’s Front Range. It has a minimalist style, functional tools, quality carbon steel materials, and neat color options for an elevated “cool” factor. A magnetic locking mechanism means no more tool collapses, and an innovative approach to opening the tools meant I was able to operate it one-handed. I had a chance to use most of the tools. A ramen seasoning package was no match for the sharp scissors, and the screwdrivers came in handy when I adjusted my walking poles without losing any fingernails. The knife kept its edge. I’ve cut fruit, rope, plastic, and wood, and have yet to sharpen it. I also put the awl to work on a carpentry project. It is just the right tool for backpackers, hikers, climbers, and bikers; it’s even nice to keep in the truck and around the house.