Charge's pliers have been redesigned to handle
133% more squeezing load.
Charge locks are 50% stronger than
Leatherman's original tools.
Bronze bushings make the interior tools smooth
and quick to open.
Each Charge tool has multiple bit drivers, and the
Charge sheath allows you to carry the additional bits
anywhere you go.
The Charge ALX and TTi are the first multitools with a
cutting hook that slices through seat belts and linoleum
just as easily as leather or canvas
When it comes to multitools, there’s one brand that stands out from the rest: Leatherman. The name is synonymous with quality and innovation, and each successive generation of Leatherman tools improves upon the last. Sticking with its tradition of pushing the design envelope, Leatherman introduces the Charge ALX, a high-end, ultra-compact multitool featuring aerospace aluminum handles. If you’re looking to carry the best of what Leatherman has to offer, the ALX could be for you.
The Charge Family
The Charge ALX is part of a broader line of Leatherman multitools bearing the Charge name. Originally, the Charge line consisted of the Ti and the XTi, two high-end tools whose major distinguishing characteristic was having handles made from titanium. For 2007, Leatherman has added three new members to the Charge family: the TTi, the ALX, and the AL. As you might expect, the TTi is an upgraded version of the Ti and XTi. The AL and ALX, meanwhile, come with handles made from 6061 T6 aluminum, an ultra-light and super-strong material used in aircraft construction. There are also minor variations among the tools included in each unit. We’ll discuss those shortly.
Leatherman has added several key design elements to all of these gorgeous new Charge tools. For instance, the knife blades are bigger and wider to give you more cutting edge. The pliers can withstand 133% higher squeezing load than Leatherman’s original tools, enabling a tighter hold for tough jobs. You’ll never have to worry about the Charge coming unhinged, either, thanks to a 50% increase in lock strength. Multiple bit drivers also are a standard feature, and each tool has bronze bushings at the hinges to make opening components a snap.
Titanium vs. Aluminum
You may be asking whether you want to buy titanium, or if you’d be better off with aluminum. Although both offer superior durability and strength, titanium has an edge in both departments. Titanium is also slightly lighter than aluminum, so it would be a good choice if weight is a major concern. However, titanium also costs more, which is something to factor in if saving .2 ounces doesn’t matter.
The Charge ALX
In the Charge food chain, the ALX ranks a tiny notch below the TTi. One reason for this is the TTi’s S30V stainless steel knife, which the best blade Leatherman offers. The ALX’s blade is made from 154CM stainless steel, a slightly less sophisticated grade of steel (note: 154CM was Leatherman’s premium choice until S30V came along). Although most users won’t notice much of difference, the S30V might offer better performance over the long haul. The other reason is the TTi’s titanium handles. They make a small difference in terms of weight – the TTi weighs 8.2 ounces and the aluminum ALX weighs 8.3 ounces – and they're also stronger.
Like the TTi, the ALX has a crimper and a cutting hook. The crimper is an ideal accessory for anyone working with electrical wires or metals, while the hook is a fantastic addition for those who need to be ready for emergency situations. What the ALX has that the TTi doesn’t is two large drill bit drivers (the TTi has only one), so the ALX would be a good choice if your screw driving needs go above and beyond the norm.
If you’re looking at the ALX you’re probably looking at the AL, too. The AL is very similar to the ALX but it has scissors instead of a cutting hook. The AL also lacks a crimper and is the heaviest of the three at 8.4 ounces.
To sum up, the ALX is definitely a good choice for demanding users who don’t feel like they need titanium. Hunters, public safety professionals and military personnel will love it. Full product specs:
- Hard-anodized aluminum handles
- Needlenose pliers
- Regular pliers
- Wire cutters
- Hard-wire cutters
- Clip-point knife
- Serrated knife
- Wood/metal file
- Diamond-coated file
- 2 large bit drivers
- Small bit driver
- 9 double-end bits
- Ruler (8 inch)
- Bottle/can opener
- wire stripper
- fixed lanyard ring
- Quick-release lanyard ring
- Removable pocket clip
Leather or Nylon Carrying Case
All three Charge iterations come with a premium leather or nylon sheath. Both versions will carry the tools in their open or closed position and two side pockets hold your extra necessities—even a mini-flashlight. An inside back pocket holds Charge's included bits and has room for a full Bit Kit (sold separately) giving you up to 42 bits to choose from. Don't want to wear a sheath? Then clip your Charge to your jacket, backpack or car's visor with the removable pocket clip. Or, choose the quick-release lanyard ring. With it, you're able to safely keep the tool on any lanyard and detach it quickly when you need it.
What's in the Box
Leatherman Charge ALX multitool, leather carrying case, 9 drill bits, removable pocket clip, quick-release lanyard ring.
The Leatherman Story
The Leatherman phenomenon began in 1975 when founder Tim Leatherman embarked on a trip across Europe and the Middle East in a cranky Fiat. Leatherman, an engineer by training, became so fed up with breakdowns and other hassles that he fashioned a prototype of what he called a Pocket Survival Tool out of cardboard. Two years later the first PST was born in his basement, and the rest is history. Today the Leatherman company produces dozens of different multitools, knives, pruners, and accessories, and is recognized across the world for its cutting edge designs and superior quality.