Gear Snapshot: Leatherman PST

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Today’s snapshot brings us the venerable Leatherman PST. This was the first product offered by Leatherman, and is still one of my favorite multitools.

My particular copy was received as a gift in the mid-1990s. It has seen thousands of miles by plane, train, and automobile and is still going strong. Just recently I touched up the blade with a sharpener, and oiled up the PST, and it reminded me of why I like it so much. The answer… it is simple.

There are no fancy buttons, no locking mechanisms, no thumb studs, and no ergonomic handles. While the lack of these newer features might seem like a downside, there’s an upshot; the multitool’s lightness, with it coming in at a weight of only 5 oz. (142 g). That’s pretty impressive for something that sports a pair of pliers and 14 tools in total!

Personally, I think everyone should own at least one multitool. They will never replace a full-sized tool, but can be worth their weight in gold. And if you carry it with you, I guarantee you will always find a use for it.

Getting back to the name of the PST, it is shorthand for “Pocket Survival Tool”, and I don’t think that choice was by accident. There seems to be a trend lately in survival and bushcraft circles to try to exist and survive with the bare minimums, usually involving just a fixed blade. My humble opinion is that while these are great skills to have, such an approach is missing something for day-to-day use… a good multitool.

It’s hard to improvise a pair of pliers or a screwdriver in the field. And having speedy access to take things apart (or put them back together) is not just a time-saver, it can be a life-saver. Additionally, being able to use something else for utility and camp tasks helps to preserve the edge of your main blade for when you truly need it.

Coming back to the weight issue — if something it too heavy, it will be left behind. The beauty of the PST is that it’s barely noticeable, even when stored in a small belt pouch (note: shown in the photo with a Triple Aught Design S2 pouch). While it isn’t likely to happen, it sure would be nice if Leatherman would bring back this model!