Leatherman's rugged new "One Handed Tool" is the bee's knees.

Leatherman OHT. The hunter’s do-it-all

Reviewed by Marcus O’Dean

The company blurb describes the OHT as a heavy-duty multi-tool for tactical users and as it comes packaged from the factory bundled with instructions for the previously reviewed MUT® (Military Utility Tool) and the Super Tool® 300 EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), I am inclined to believe that descriptor.

Finished either entirely in a low sheen black or with black phosphate-coated tools and khaki side panels, the OHT ™ certainly looks the business, while being quite compact in the hand. And “hand” is the operative word with this tool, because every application on this tool is able to be deployed with the one hand that is carrying it. I will say from the outset that you need fairly nimble fingers to be able to do so and turning the tool through 180 degrees is the only way that it can be done so you do not run the risk of cutting yourself on the blade tools. Nevertheless, the OHT is a design triumph and a pious idea that, once you spend ten minutes to familiarize, will reward you in spades.

Durability. The OHT’s blade is forged from 420HC steel, which The American Cutlery Company Buck uses exclusively for its bladeware.

420HC can be sharpened to a very fine cutting edge and a mirror finish. It is becuase of these reasons that 420HC became such a popular grade. 420HC has fair toughness and good corrosion resistance and can be hardened to RC 56-59. Consisting of .45% carbon, .8% manganese, 13% chromium and .8% silicon, it is commonly used in cutlery, custom knives and surgical tools.

I can vouch for the edge taking and holding ability of this steel as, after giving the knife blade’s factory utility edge three or four strokes of my kitchen steel, it became scary sharp and easily shaved my forearm and it did hard duty cutting up heaps of cardboard boxes for recycling at the Yaffa office without need for a touch-up. It is sufficient to say that Leatherman picked one of the best steels for this tool’s intended purpose and it will last years of indiscriminate and hard use, hence Leatherman’s incredible warranty of 25 years on workmanship and materials.

The Tools. Now to the guts of this review, what every tradie, outdoorsman and, let’s face it, technoweenie wants and needs to know. How many tools has the OHT™ got and how good are they? Well, here they are:

  • Spring-action regular and needlenose pliers

  • Replaceable spring-action wire cutters plus hard wire cutters

  • Small flat head screwdriver

  • Large flat head screwdriver

  • Serrated knife (wicked)

  • Saw (aggressive pattern teeth)

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • Can and bottle opener

  • Webbing cutter hook/oxygen tank wrench

  • Drop-point blade knife

In addition, there are what I’d describe as two “facilitators”:

  • A tiny “jaw lockout” lever behind the plier release which can be turned through 90 degrees to lock the pliers inside the tool body and

  • An 8-32 threaded hole to which can be screwed brushes or other firearm cleaning rod attachments

By my count, that makes 16 tools that can get you out of trouble in a multitude of scenarios.

In operation. In addition to the pure usefulness of the list of tools above, the OHT™ features brought about by clever design include the following:

  • All of the edged tools, (saw, knife, serrated knife and web cutter) open from one end; all the other tools open from the opposite end of the tool.

  • Cast into the alloy scales (exterior plates of the handles) are bas-relief diagrams of the tool that is located just below it. Now that is really smart, because even if you are vision-impaired, these Braille-like diagrams show you exactly where every folded-in tool is located at a glance, instead of the user having to open one or two other tools before he gets to the one he really wants. Tim Leatherman is a fair-dinkum genius!

  • With a vigorous flick of the wrist, the pliers deploy automatically, so you do not have to draw them out of the tool with your other hand.

  • All of the tools lock open for use by spring-loaded detents and, with deft manipulation by thumb and index finger, the “Leatherman-eer” (my word, but you can use it, Tim) can depress the detent and fold the tool back inside the handle.

  • In common with many Leatherman multi-tools of the current generation, the OHT can be tightened up with star-shaped and conventional Allen wrenches once a long time of hard use has caused it to rattle a little.

With an all-up weight of 272g and 311g with its black ballistic nylon belt pouch in an overall folded length of 115mm, the OHT™ is a fully functional, rugged, yet very compact and lightweight tool that will serve its owner faithfully for a lifetime.

Ask for the Leatherman OHT at your local gun shop. Leatherman Multi-tools are distributed in Australia by Zen Imports. Check out Leatherman and other great outdoors products on their website at www.zenimports.com.au.




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Marcus O'Dean