As many, I’ve known about the MUT since it hit the market, but being very satisfied with my Leatherman Super Tool 300 (bomb proof), Leatherman Wave (bomb proof & very versatile with the bit kits), and several Gerber MP 600’s (minimally strapped to my field knife sheath or tucked safely away in my Get Home Bag), didn’t give it much thought until I read this post over at Sipsey Street. Reading Vanderbeogh the younger’s take on it whetted my appetite because we agree on the bolt override capability of the tool, along with other neat little AR friendly purposes of the MUT (and, truth be told, I also share a bit of the ‘gear whore’ disease with him).
So, never liking to pay retail, I hit ebay, and found the complete NEW MUT, standard model (meaning not with the EOD set up, which I’m not, so it’s no big deal) for $100 out the door. One of those best offer things that went my way, which isn’t often. That’s a really good deal, too, because these things retail upwards of $150 depending where you go, and especially if you’re shopping at a brick and mortar location.
Received it and was immediately taken by how damn substantial the thing is in your hand! The tool itself is almost a complete field armorer’s kit. I didn’t
steal borrow the video from Sipsey because the video owner didn’t allow embedding, so I got the one below. Just as nice!
This initial review of what came out of the package isn’t all roses, either.
- There are a few issues that begin with the VERY POOR INSTRUCTIONS provided with the tool. Come on, Leatherman, the box is big enough, put a small manual that actually describes what and how the features work rather than a simple graphic for every feature! With as much as your margin is, you can do that, make your customers happier, and most likely enjoy a larger market share. Think about it.
Next not so good things:
- The side retention straps are so strong that if you want to put anything in the additional compartments like say, a bit kit, and get the pouch to close with the MUT in it, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT! I had to very carefully cut the straps out to get it to accommodate the bit kit and the tool itself. Listening Leatherman? If you’re going to provide the additional pouch, make sure you can put everything in it and still get the tool out without emptying the entire pouch, ok?
- NO FILE! Figure it out, Leatherman….the MUT, like any other of your products, is used extensively by the prepping/survival community. A file is an essential sharpening tool in contingency situations. Not seeing a file was the biggest dissapointment, but livable because of the potential the tool has otherwise. Time will tell, as I will take this into survival type classes and training to see how it performs.
- The price: I paid a reasonable amount for it: $100. To see these things marked up to over $200 depending on the retailer is ridiculous! MSRP shouldn’t be anymore than $125, with retailer or sales options being between $80 & $100 (my uneducated opinion) because at full MSRP, it’s just not worth the money when I can get something like this, stick it in my kit, and use my other multi tools mentioned above.
Now the things that impressed me in a very positive manner:
- Overall, if it performs like my other Leatherman tools, this thing is REALLY bombproof. I’ll be taking it to the range for awhile as well as into the bush so I can use it as my ‘pocket toolbox’ for scope adjustments, etc.
- The additional bits held on the side are really nice; kind of negates the need for a bit kit, in that you have basically ‘long reach’ standard and Phillips head bits as well as a couple allen bits, long reach as well.
- The standard small bit doesn’t have to be carried ‘ready’ as it comes in the box. It has it’s own tension slot so you won’t risk getting jabbed with either end of the bit.
- Absolutely LOVE the one handed opening capability of the knife blade and saw! Well done!
- The knife blade itself is a ‘love/hate’ thing, as I am not a huge fan (actually not really a fan at all) of serrated blade sections. What makes up for it is that most of the blade is straight and lends itself to easy honing on my Edge Pro Apex 4 or Razor Edge stones without the serrated portion getting in the way.
- The bottle opener is quite the neat little addition. Heh. Put it to a good initial test with the AI; opened a few bottles (for research, only, of course) and it works without fail.
- The security latch is also nice, but as tight as the tool is (you can’t open it as easily as you might think), it might be a bit overkill.
- The pocket clip is a nice addition if you’re wearing it in a non-field gear set up, say in your jeans pocket.
- The Bolt Override device has yet to be tested, and frankly, the way my MForgery performs, I doubt that I will need it, but it’s one of those, “nice to have” things that if I ever DO need it, I’ll be thanking my lucky stars I’ve got it. I come from the generation that was taught to basically ‘pogo stick’ the M-16 in the dirt until the bolt released and ejected/allowed excess rounds to fall out. That’s ok if you have a solid one piece stock like the old school rifles, but these new fangled ‘space guns’, well, you could really screw up your ability to keep firing if you did that.
- The strap/zip tie cutter is really a useful addition for opening packages, cutting 550 cord in the field, and so forth. It’s a bit small to use in a personal vehicle as an emergency seat belt cutter, but it would be much better than not having anything.
- The threaded hole on the side to take a cleaning rod section is a supberb innovation; I’ll be trying that when I next clean my AR.
- The carbon scraper and pin pushing tool are also a plus. In a pinch, the carbon scraper can be used as an awl, as well.
So, bottom line, out of the box, DTG rates the standard MUT an A-. Get rid of the negative points at the beginning of this post, and you have an A+ tool.