Leatherman Documentary Celebrates Company Origins and Legacy

Leatherman continues to celebrate its 35th anniversary with the release of Made of Mettle: The Leatherman Documentary. The 16-minute film debuted in July after more than a year of development.

Made of Mettle tells the story of Tim Leatherman’s eight-year struggle to get Mr. Crunch, the original pliers-based multitool prototype, into production. Leatherman built the prototype himself after finding inspiration on a trip to Europe, but the road to success was a long one. “Tim Leatherman’s story is an incredible one,” says Leatherman’s Anthony Perez. “He had an ingenious idea and through years of persistence, relentless improvement and even after experiencing rejection from many of the biggest players of the industry, he persevered.”

Perez tells us that today, because Leatherman is a household name, some don’t realize its history. “While many people know what a Leatherman tool is, very few people actually know that Leatherman is a last name.” He goes on to say that the documentary can be seen as a way of preserving that first story of persistence that lead to the creation of Leatherman. It can also keep new employees connected to that legacy. “As the company gets older and new people join the Leatherman team, we wanted to provide the opportunity to hear Tim’s story directly from him.”

Interspersed throughout the documentary are stories from real-life users of Leatherman tools. Their tales highlight the fact that, in addition to being convenient, a Leatherman multitool can be a constant companion and, in many cases, a lifesaving device. The inclusion of these stories means the documentary is about the customers as well as the company. “Folks seem to really resonate with the film and the larger Leatherman story,” Perez says. “So far, we’ve debuted the film in 6 countries around the world and some of the events have had thousands of people in attendance.”

The documentary was an unprecedented project for Leatherman, and for now there are no other films in the works. But Perez tells us that Made in Mettle did open the door for exploration into other unconventional ways of promoting the Leatherman company and its products. “While there are no larger projects on the books, we’re always looking for ways to create engaging content to illustrate the Leatherman story.”

Featured in image: Leatherman Collector’s Edition PST

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