Leatherman Returns to Its Roots with PST Rerelease

Leatherman is celebrating 35 years in the multitool business by bringing out a Collector’s Edition of the tool that started it all – the PST.

For many, the multitool has always been a part of the lexicon. These days, even people who don’t know anything about knives know what a multitool is. But according to Tim Leatherman, inventor of the PST, getting to this point wasn’t easy. Even he didn’t think of Mr. Crunch (the original name for the PST prototype) as a multitool at first. “I thought I had a multifunction pocket knife which included a pair of pliers.”

So he pitched it to knife manufacturers, and the Leatherman company may not have existed at all if one had picked up the design. “[They] said my product was not a knife but a tool, and thus they were not interested,” Tim Leatherman recalls. “When I went to the tool companies, they said the tool was a gadget, and gadgets don’t sell. It became apparent the only choice left was to manufacture the tool ourselves.”

Can the 35-year old PST design compare to the Leatherman products of today? “With the PST, all the tool implements are accessible only from the inside,” Tim Leatherman says. “Our new styles have several tools, such as the knife blades, accessible from the exterior, and accessible with one hand.”

Leatherman PST Sheath

The PST comes with 11 different functions – pretty impressive in 1983 but less so today. The Wave, Leatherman’s current best-selling product, packs in 18 tools, and the Surge goes over 20. But the old standard does pull ahead when it comes to weight. At 5.4 oz., it’s almost as light as the Skeletool, but with nearly double the number of implements.

Most buyers won’t be paying the premium price the Collector’s Edition PST commands to use it, though. Multitool collections aren’t as prevalent as knife collections. True custom multitools are virtually unknown, and multitools aren’t obsessively graded along as many non-performance-related criteria as knives. But collectors do exist, and for them, Tim Leatherman says the revived PST may be hard to resist. “A multi-tool collector might want [it] instead of another style in our line for the nostalgia that it offers and the story it tells.”

He also tells us that despite this retrospective, Leatherman continues moving forward. The knife industry has seen with breakout hits like the Bugout or Homefront that it pays to specialize, and Leatherman has adopted this strategy as well. “We’ve seen success … with other styles like the Tread or the Signal, that were intentionally designed to provide specific benefits to a particular group of consumers,” Tim Leatherman explains. “We’re continuing to build upon this in future product launches.”

Knife featured in image: Leatherman Collector’s Edition PST