YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT LEATHERMAN?
We're from Oregon, and you've got to be ready living here. High mountain rescues, sudden blizzards, and back-country adventure. What other people call "Wild." We call "Home."
Hi From Oregon
Being from Portland, Oregon means a lot of things, but ordinary definitely isn't one of them.
Out here, we do it all. And we make tools to help you do it all, too.
The Leatherman headquarters have been located in beautiful Portland, Oregon since our inception more than a quarter-century ago. We think it's a very special place. And it's a big part of what makes us a very special company.
Portland was founded as a frontier town. So we're the sons and daughters of pioneers, as well as transplants drawn here by our own sense of the pioneering spirit. We embody the rugged individualism of those intrepid souls who first pushed our nation west.
Today, instead of pushing geographical frontiers, we're pushing the frontiers of product design. We're pioneers of new and unexpected solutions to make the world around us work the way we want it to.
Our city is nestled on the western edge of the Columbia River Gorge — an 80-mile geological marvel, cut 1,400 feet deep by massive floods at the end of the last ice age.
It's a place of immense beauty, and a paradise for outdoor recreation of every sort. It's a place that gets into your blood, and becomes part of how you define yourself as a person.
That means Leatherman is a company of campers, hunters, fishing fanatics, spelunkers, mountain bikers, boaters, skiers, snow shoers, and participants in pretty much anything that's fun to do outside. And, in keeping with our individualistic spirit, we're also avid do-it-yourselfers.
As a result, our products aren't merely tested in our QC department. They're tested by employees on bike trails, in hunting stands and campsites, on the face of nearby Mt. Hood, and in any number of circumstances within our own homes.
Conditions in Portland are so perfect for gardening that we're called "The City of Roses." So it's only natural that the world's first garden shear / multi-tool was designed here. And when your city is also known as "Beervana," someone's gonna have the bright idea for a carabiner that doubles as a bottle opener.
Out here, there are so many sources of inspiration for our work, and so many ways to test the limits of our tools. So no matter where you are – from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine – from Saskatchewan to Key West – when you have a Leatherman, you'll be ready.
We're proud to be a Portland company. And it shows in every tool we make.
Since 1983, we've been making tools that can endure just about anything and come back to work tomorrow. Here's a look back at how Leatherman got where it is today and how, over the last several years we've helped people answer the question: Are you ready?
Tim Leatherman and his wife travel Europe and the Middle East. Between a cranky Fiat and leaky hotel plumbing, Tim's boy-scout knife leaves him wanting more, like some pliers, and maybe a screwdriver or two. He dreams up a multi-tool.
Tim, a mechanical engineer, goes through several prototypes with cardboard and wood. His brother-in-law, a machinist, teaches him how to work metal and the first steel prototype takes form in Tim's basement the next year.
Tim applies for and receives U.S. Patent 4,238,862 for his first multi-tool prototype, "Mr. Crunch." The New York Times covers the patent, and Tim waits patiently by the phone for the million-dollar call. It doesn't arrive. Tim's new business partner, Steve Berliner, convinces his father to lease them some space in his machine shop.
The prototype is fine-tuned and the Pocket Survival Tool™ (PST®) is born. Knife companies say it's a tool. Tool companies say it's a gadget. And the gadget company can't even bother to spell Steve Berliner's name right, much less place an order. However, Cabela's and Early Winters have better foresight and place small orders for their holiday catalogs. Leatherman Tool Group incorporates in July.
The first week of 1984, right after the holiday catalog from Early Winters, the retailer doubles their order to 500 PSTs. A week later, they call back and order 750 more. Two weeks later, they order another 1,000. The goal for 1984 was 4,000 tools. We sold just shy of 30,000. This is known as "exponential growth," and it happened a lot around Leatherman that year.
Always looking for innovations, we consider, then nix, adding scissors to the PST. However, looking at our shaggier hairstyles from those days, scissors might've been a good idea.
Bigger or smaller? For our second tool, we go smaller. Turns out we are a little ahead of our time. The Mini-Tool® has a small but loyal following we will re-discover in 1996 with the Micra®, and in 2001 with the Juice®.
Turns out, handy people really love Leatherman tools. With sales booming, we build a huge factory with enough capacity to last 5 years on enough land that we can expand over 10 years. After 2 years, we double the factory. And 3 years later, we'd triple it. And buy more land for employee parking. To call our projections merely "conservative" would be like calling our tools merely "useful."
Two firsts: One million Leatherman tools sell in one year, and MacGyver uses a Leatherman. MacGyver! Definitely a banner year.
The original PST saves the passengers of a bus that has a bomb set to explode if the bus goes below 50 MPH. Keanu helps. "Speed" is Leatherman's first blockbuster.
If smaller wasn't the answer for a second tool, then bigger must be. In its second year, the Leatherman Super Tool®—which features our first locking blades—sells nearly 650,000 units, and 1.1 million its third.
We start running our Tool Tales ad campaign. It's Tim's favorite. The campaign featured true stories from real Leatherman users like the bush pilot in Alaska who used his Super Tool to prevent his plane from crashing.
We introduce the Wave®, which is the first multi-tool that allows access to the blade without opening the pliers, and with just one hand. And when you're fighting off mobsters with the other hand, like Jackie Chan in "Rush Hour,"—the Wave's first appearance on the big screen— that can be pretty useful.
Leatherman debuts on the "X-Files." Tim asks, "What's she doing there?" They say, "She is extracting alien flesh." Just when we thought we'd seen our tools do it all, someone finds another use for a Leatherman.
We introduce the Juice, a tool that's "just right" between the super-compact Micra and our full-sized tools. Tremendously popular, the Juice tools must nonetheless be stowed in your checked luggage.
We unveil the Squirt® line. Small enough to be classified as "keychain" tools but handy and tough enough to be called a Leatherman. Three different models boast everything from scissors and mini-pliers to wire strippers, screwdrivers and knives.
Folding knives debut, and Leatherman comes full-circle. Tim's boy scout knife from his trip to Europe is brought up to modern standards with premium steel, screwdrivers, carabiners, bottle openers, and bit drivers.
Leatherman rolls out even more tools and knives, this time built for a specific activity, but with the brand's trademark multi-functionality. Our hunting knives are a field-dressing kits in a sheath—cutting hooks, saws and blades—and the Vista® pruner speeds cleaning a line of shot, building a blind or constructing a tree stand. And our Hybrid® gardening pruners put you in control of your yard and yard equipment.
We take a closer look at our full-sized tools and introduced the Skeletool®, stripping it down for those rugged adventurers who count every ounce and still need the reliability and strength of a Leatherman. And our new Genus® gardening tool features a rotating handle, packed with all the tools a professional gardener needs. And we opened a retail store at our headquarters in Portland, Oregon.
Making good on our promise of preparedness, we introduced our Serac line of lightweight, high-powered LED lights. 2008 was also the year we revised our entire line of pocket knives. After a complete redesign we introduced the new Crater and Expanse lines; lighter, slimmer and much easier to use.
This was the year we added more lights, a new Super Tool 300 and our compact knife/tool hybrid, the Freestyle and Freestyle CX which Field & Stream dubbed the best new fishing tool of the year.
A native Oregonian, Tim received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University in 1970. After that, he held a variety of jobs, including positions as an English teacher and a helicopter mechanic. Time spent traveling abroad ultimately led to the Leatherman multipurpose tool concept.
From the beginning, Tim has built the company on a simple philosophy: manufacture product on time, meet specifications, increase value, and provide a pleasant work environment. When asked about the company's devotion to quality, Tim simply replies, "My name is on every tool."
Although Tim is now retired, he still visits the factory at least every month and plays an active role in the direction the company is going, including many trips abroad to visit with Leatherman's extensive network of international distributors.
Our 25-Year Warranty
Our founder, Tim Leatherman, came up with the 25-year warranty: long enough to prove we stand behind our tools, but short enough to show we're serious.
We take extraordinary measures so your Leatherman product will give you many years of dependable service. If it doesn't, we will gladly repair or replace it, at our discretion, with one of equal or greater value under our 25-year guarantee for tools and 10-year guarantee for lights. This warranty does not cover abuse, alteration, theft, loss, or unauthorized and/or unreasonable use of your Leatherman product. This warranty does not cover sheaths, accessories, imprinting, color finishes, cleaning, or sharpening.
Leatherman Tool Group is not liable for incidental or consequential damages. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above exclusion may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights, which vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Unfortunately, Leatherman cannot be held responsible for tools that never reach us.
Please be sure to send your warranty repair via an insured and trackable service where delivery confirmation can be obtained if necessary.
Do not ship Leatherman your sheath or accessories.
PLEASE NOTE: Sentimental tools MUST be shipped out to our United States Shipping Address in order to be repaired.
Package the Tool Securely
Unfortunately, Leatherman cannot be responsible for tools that never reach us. Please be sure to send your warranty repair via an insured and trackable service where delivery confirmation can be obtained if necessary.
DO NOT SHIP YOUR SHEATH OR ACCESSORIES.
Shipping Address United States
Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
5226 NE 152nd Place
Portland, OR 97230
(800) 847-8665 (ask for Warranty)
Shipping Address Canada
Eastern Outdoor Sales
Attn: Leatherman Warranty
Burlington, Ontario L7M 1A1
Leatherman Does the Rest
Besides fixing your documented problem, Leatherman will ship your product back to you at their expense using a trackable shipping service.