|Item Weight||12 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||5.38 x 7 x 1.25 inches|
|Item model number||1233443|
|Item Package Quantity||1|
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LEATHERMAN, FREE P4 Multitool with Magnetic Locking, One Size Hand Accessible Tools and Premium Nylon Sheath and Pocket Clip, Built in the USA
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||5.38 x 7 x 1.25 inches|
|Item Weight||12 Ounces|
About this item
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- PREMIUM MULTITOOL EXPERIENCE: Introducing the FREE P-Series, our most advanced multipurpose plier experience to date; A brand-new platform, magnetic closing and outside-accessible tools
- 21 TOOLS in 1: Includes all the essentials, from replaceable wire cutters to spring-action scissors to 2 knives for ambidextrous use; Ideal for EDC, home, work and everything else
- OUR GUARANTEE: We’re proud to stand behind every product that leaves our factory in Portland, Oregon; That’s why we offer our 25-year warranty, so you can be confident your Leatherman lasts a lifetime
- MAGNETIC LOCKING: Reduces friction and provides haptic feedback; Newly designed cam locks secure open tools in place; Unwavering reliability for a lifetime of use
- ONE-HAND OPENING: Every implement is on the outside of the tool; Quickly open and close every tool with a simple push of your thumb; Removable pocket clip so it's always ready
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Leatherman FREE P4 represents years of consumer feedback and engineering testing, giving you the best multipurpose plier experience to date. Each of its 21 tools is held closed by FREE’s magnetic architecture and opens with a push of the thumb (goodbye broken fingernails). Weight: 8.6 oz (243.8 g). Blade length: 2.76 in (7.02 cm). Closed length: 4.25 in (10.78 cm).
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Top reviews from the United States
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The grey nylon sheath that is included is, unfortunately, Chinese-made, but definitely an improvement over their other nylon sheaths. The material is plenty thick, it holds the tool firmly in place, and I really appreciate that it uses a button clasp instead of velcro. It doesn't have extra pockets for driver extenders or bitkits, but since this multi-tool doesn't use those accessories, it makes sense that they wouldn't include it, even though I made thorough use of the side holder for my pen.
The FREE P4, by far, the most handy and clever tool Leatherman has ever made, accomplishing what the OHT did with significantly more tools, less weight, and fewer moving parts. You can, quite literally, open and close every single tool with only one hand. The pliers are admittedly tricky to close without using your torso or leg, so your mileage may vary, but it's an otherwise flawless execution of its design concept. If we were to take into account the intended purpose of a multi-tool as being a compact and quick solution to common problems that you can carry on your person with little burden, the magnetic locking system and outward tool access is a titanic step towards multi-tool perfection.
Leatherman's choice of tools and the design of said tools, however, is in need of some critique. The forward-cutting can opener, the kind that Victorinox uses in their Swiss Army Knives, is an improvement from the traditional claw-shaped one. I like that they then incorporated the bottle opener into the Phillips screwdriver, as it makes it easier to hook under the cap and it doesn't mangle the cap as much. These aforementioned changes are examples of excellent ingenuity.
In comes Leatherman's bizarre and endlessly frustrating habit of including a ridiculous number of flathead screwdrivers in their tools. This one has three (four if you count the prying tool as a large one, but Leatherman doesn't consider it such in their tool list). This is especially problematic when you consider that the extra-small screwdriver is supposed to double as the tip of the awl. I haven't had a chance to use that tool yet, but I would imagine it would diminish the effectiveness significantly. I could have lived with one or two fewer flathead drivers, and would have instead opted for the package opener tool used on their Wingman and Sidekick tools. That was an extremely effective tool for cutting tape and obnoxious blister packs and I haven't seen it used in any other tool besides those budget options. They claim the pry tool doubles as a "package opener," but I can't, for the life of me, see how it could even come close to being as good as the aforementioned hook-shaped opener.
As mentioned before, I've bought a fair handful of Leatherman products and loved them all, so I was very reluctant to give this such an average rating. In fairness, with this tool being priced at $140, making this one of their most expensive tools behind heavy-duty multi-tools such as the MUT and the Charge+, I expected far more thought to be put into the choices for some of the tools. Consider it a 3.5-star rating with the caveat that I may update this review in the future.
The P4 is a great set of pliers with a unique and satisfying opening system. The externally, and easily deployable, tools are fantastic, but they're limited in range compared to comparable Leatherman tools with a more diverse bit selection. Also, the decision to make all tools external means the ergonomics aren't as comfortable for prolonged use of those tools. Disappointingly, although the P4 is longer, the main straight and serrated blades are actually shorter and skimpier than comparable models. While this is a great tool, there are serious design compromises that should guide whether it's the tool for you.
*Update* As the end of April, Leatherman is now putting a pocket clip in each new Free P4 (see the end of my review for my complaint about this). If you bought one that doesn't have a pocket clip, you can email Leatherman and they'll send you pocket clip for free.
The new Free P4 sits between the traditional Wave and Charge TTi in terms of price, but since it's closer to the Charge, I'm going to compare it to that model. I have an older model Charge (without the replaceable wire cutter bits), but I believe this review holds up with the new one.
Ergonomics closed: The P4 is about a 1cm longer than the Charge, maybe 2mms thinner. Leatherman's official stat sheets say that the P4 is lighter, but this didn't check out on my scale: my charge is 8.5 oz, and the P4 is 8.7oz. Both feel good in the hand, but I'd say the Charge feels a little nicer. The Charge feels a little more rounded in the hand than the P4. Also, although the P4 scale design has an interesting new aesthetic, it's not as grippy as the old Charge.
Pliers: The P4's are great. Absolutely great. The whole magnetic opening thing--which I thought looked gimmicky--is legitimately pretty awesome. A gentle push of the fingertips pushes the handles apart, and from there they swing freely into an open position. Once the handles are fully rotated, they "lock" into place with a satisfying click, and they will stay in pliers-mode until you put a good bit of pressure on them. This is an amazing contrast to the Charge which can be too stiff or too loose, depending on how much you use it.
Unlike the Charge, the P4 is not as prone to pinching when using the pliers. Because of where Leatherman positioned the blade-bumps for the Charge (that is: the side closest to the pivot), it was very each to get your palm caught between them, which has led to many a blood blister for me. The P4 swaps the blade swells to the opposite end of the handles, giving more room between the handles. Also, the handles are longer, which means you get can more leverage when you need it. The new pliers on the P4 are wider and beefier. These are simply fantastic pliers.
Blades and deployment: The biggest con in my book of the P4 are the pretty crappy blades. Although they're coming out of a longer handle, the P4 blades are shorter and have less depth. In particular, the main cutting blade (which is a wharncliffe style instead of the Charge's droppoint) is really puny. Also, because all the P4's tools are external, when the blades are deployed your ring and pinkie finger will be digging into the "empty" sides of the P4, rather than the Charge's covered sides. If you're going to be using the P4 blades for any extended period of time, you're almost certainly going to want gloves, whereas I've used the Charge blades for quite a while without getting any hotspots.
Tools: The Charge has a great file, but terrible scissors. The P4 has great scissors, but a terrible file. The Charge comes with a pocket clip or lanyard loop, the P4 only has a (awful) lanyard loop. The Charge is a true multitool that can equip dozens of different driver bits. The P4 has a limited selection of flat and phillips screwdrivers. The Charge has to be opened to access most of it's tools, and it relies on a fingernail destroying grab system. The P4 allows you to deploy any tool while the unit is open with basically just a roll of the thumb. The Charge has an enscribed ruler, the "ruler" on the P4 is a laughable joke.
This is a hard one to call because it really comes down to use. If you never find yourself needing your multitool to drive a hex screw, you probably won't miss the Charge's versatility. I will say this, I think Leatherman sat down and said, "What tools do we think most people will use *most* of the time," and they did a great job with that process.
I think it about this way: the everyday person needs a good pair of scissors more than they need a nice diamond file or a hex driver. So, you really need to think about your use case before you buy one or the other (personally, I'm keeping both). The one-handed convenience of the P4 is its indisputable killer feature, but I do think some people will regret its limited scope of available tools.
I will say that the I think the P4 will become my new camping/hiking multi-tool. It's not like I find myself in the woods thinking, "My god, where is my T6 Torx wrench bit!!!" that often; but the Charge will almost certainly remain my toolbox multi-tool.
As a final aside, the Charge comes with a lanyard loop and pocket clip. The P4 only comes with a lanyard loop, and it's awful. I've heard they're going to sell the pocket clip later, but they *really* should have included it.
After using this tool for a few weeks I can say that personally I find this a suitable replacement from my TTi Charge. I really don't miss the bit kit and the screwdriver here is sufficient. I am a person who appreciates symmetry and the fact that the knife is the only tool that sticks out, slightly bothers me. I understand why they did it, but I'd rather the tool be perfectly square on all sides. Aside from this OCD related gripe, this is a legitimate multitool worthy of any tool lover's collection.