Gear review – Leatherman Surge Multitool

Gear review – Leatherman Surge Multi-tool
I love the Leatherman line of products, they are made in the USA and have a well-deserved steller reputation. I have had my surge for about a year and have used it on more occasions than I thought I might. It is a solid piece of gear that will compliment any EDC, camping, fishing, hunting, bugout, emergency or disaster gear you already own. Below I have my list of Pros and Cons on the Leatherman Surge multi-tool

Leatherman Surge -1

Product Pros:

This is a BEAST of a Multi-tool with a Sturdy design that really has not been rivaled. It has no “Flop” in it, the pliers, blades and tools are in place for the log haul and so far there have no issues with the structural integrity of the product
Your daily use items are on the exterior of the multi-tool, making them much easier to access. The 2 knife blades are one had open with a liner lock design that makes then a one handed close as well. Scissors and saw blade can be done with one had if you practice but are still simple to get to. This feature makes this an EDC worthy pocket knife.

The Pliers are your standard needle nose design with a larger opening for nuts and bolts toward the back of the assembly. They work well for the standard sizes most commonly used on automotive and household needs. The wire cutters work just fine for metal coat hangers, electrical wire and just about any standard household wires you may deal with. I would also like to note that they are replaceable, but I don’t use them enough to warrant it.
The interior tools, Awl, can opener, small and large flat head screwdriver and the bit driver that comes with a Phillips and flat head all work as expected. The surge has a locking mechanism for these tools as well to keep them from moving on you while in use.

Leatherman Surge Multitool - Blade

There are 2 distinctly different blades for your use, a straight and a serrated edge. I have been told on many occasions that a knife, unless used for cutting meet is to be a straight edge, if it has serrations it should just be a saw. I don’t agree with this logic, I personally believe the serrated blades come in the handiest cutting rope, or a small piece of wood, really anything that can fit in the divits between the peaks of the blades.

Leatherman Surge Multitool Saw file
The saw blade can be swapped out for the file they provide in the factory package. It is an easy exchange between the 2, also note you can order replacement saws and files from the Leatherman website. I had to replace my saw after it was chewed up by some concrete rock board I cut during my shower remodel project.

You have read all the good up to this point, now let me tell you a few of the things I don’t really care for.

Product Cons:

At 14.4 ounces, it is a heavy tool, if you wear it on your belt in the sheath they provided it is not too bad to carry, if it is in your pocket, be sure to have a belt on to keep your britches up! This is definitely a better pack item in my opinion.
This is a Multitool not just a pocket knife, so keep that in when you are using it as one. The next statement holds true for the vast majority of multitools, so I don’t hold it against Leatherman. When using the blades the bulk of the tool can get in the way of what you are trying to cut, especially if you are in a tight space or up against another object. It can make it more difficult than it needs to be and this is when you just want to go with a standard pocket or utility knife.

Leatherman Surge Multitool open

Here is my big complaint, the bit driver is proprietary, yes you have to buy your bits from Leatherman. I understand because of the design and function of the tool you were cutting down on the thickness of the bit driver and bits, but this really limits the size of hex or star heads you can use in the driver.

In Conclusion:

All in all, I like my Surge enough if it were ever stolen or lost I would replace it. The cons on this do not outweigh the pros by a longshot. This piece of gear has traveled with me on several campouts, fishing trips and has never failed me. I have used it camp cooking, getting the hook out of fish and even wrapping gifts at Christmas (Yes, I used the scissors, not the knife). For the foreseeable future the Leatherman Surge Multitool will have a place in my Everyday Carry bag.

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Gear Review – Browning Microblast 72 Lumen Flashlight

The Browning Microblast 72 Lumen flashlight has become one of my favorite EDC light. Below is a list of my pros and cons on the features and a little about how I use it in my daily life.

The Pros:

This light weighs in at around 3 ounces, that includes  the battery. It is so lite you may forget you have it in your pocket. But seriously, it makes this flashlight more desirable to carry everyday

One Triple A battery is all that is required to power this bad boy. it is an easy battery to stock or find in any local retailer when it needs replacing.

This is a bright 72 lumens and is enough for any close range task. Typically I use it for searching in my backpack, car, under the couch or behind the TV.

I have had issues in the past with lights getting turned on in my pocket. Browning has created this with the Twist-Style On/Off Switch, so far I have not had it come on unexpectedly

The pocket / hat clip makes it a good hands free option (as long as you wear a hat) it is even lite enough to clip on the collar of your shirt in a pinch.

The Cons:

This little guy  is easy to misplace! I have lost this light on 3 different occasions, it is so small that it can get lost in the cracks of a couch or in the car vary easily.

the single Triple A battery has a standard run time of only about 2 hours. This is not a long use light. Best for daily task but not so great for overnight adventures or as a primary emergency flashlight

With only 72 lumens the range is limited to about 15′-20′ of useable light. Depending on where you are using it, it may not be enough.

The twist style on/off switch is difficult to manage one handed. This is really due to its small stature, no where to grip when you twist.

The pocket/ hat clip is a little small and needs to be forced on the brim of most hats the first time. Typically I hold the light with my mouth for a quick hands free application.

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Thanks, and remember, it’s your life, Prepare for it!

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Everyday Carry (EDC) Part 3

A good Pen is priceless, no not a $300 pen that an executive would have, just a solid ball point or gel pen that is dependable. Great for everyday use and has replicable ink. I like the Zebra stainless steel series, it is solid and has easy to find ink refills. For those that don’t know, this is often your first best self defense weapon!

Now we come to what may be to some a very sensitive subject. To some this could can be perceived as a weapon, for others it is just another tool, the pocket knife! If you can carry one do so. First of all this is not a plea to get you to carry a self-defense weapon, this is a box/letter opener, cutting tags off clothes, and general use tool. You are welcome to carry 2 if you so choose. I do! My basic tool is the Leatherman Style SC. Super small with scissors, tweezers, file, screwdriver, bottle opener and knife blade. Roughly the size of my index finger closed. It is perfect for cutting oranges and apples, snipping wild hairs, quick wrapping gifts and pulling splinters. I also carry a Kershaw folding knife with a 3-1/2″ blade, I carry it for peace of mind and larger task that the little one wont handle. Feel free to select any knife you would like, just make sure it is appropriate for the daily life you live and conforms to your state and local laws.

I personally carry a very small True Utility Lighter – I don’t smoke, so you are thinking why carry one? I carry one for emergencies only. We do lots of camping, have birthday parties with candles that need lighting, sometimes the stove wont lite with the built in ignition or I need to fuse the end of a rope or straw for a project. There are many uses for a lighter, this is something you need to decide for yourself.

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Thanks, and remember, it’s your life, prepare for it!

Your Everyday Carry (EDC) Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of our pocket carry needs that help us Men prepare for our day. The Flash Light, Smart Phone and Ear Buds are all a mans best friend!

small Pocket Flashlight is never a bad thing to carry, I carry the Browning Microblast ANSI 72L. Why? Because it gets dark! Drive home at night, porch light is out… it’s dark, looking under the couch for the remote, it’s dark, in the trunk of your car, in your garage, your attic, under the desk, you guessed it… it’s dark. If you have kids it is just a bonus to shine it at them from the dark chair in the corner when they come home after curfew. It also has good self-preservation benefits!

 

Browning MicroBlast ANSI 72LThe majority of us carry a Smart Phone with all the bells and whistles and they can be a great tool and entertainment device. First of all, keep it charged! I typically don’t endorse any one program on any platform but if you are married and have a BUSY life I highly recommend using Google Calendar (create an e-mail address (Example: Family name calendar@Gmail.com) and log into the Calendar only on all family devices and make it the default. This way when you add something everyone that is in the family can see it and knows something is going on. It also keeps you from double booking a time. If you are single, the Operating System calendar you have on your phone is just fine. Just remember to set notification reminders. Program all numbers with the persons first and or last name. Don’t put Mom, Dad or any relational clues, this may be used by scammers if they get your phone. Al the other fun stuff on the phone you can figure out!

Use Ear Buds, So you don’t bother others  and to keep others from bothering you. But know when to take them out. Survey your area, if you are at home or at the office everything is good. If you just went shopping, and have bags in hand walking to the car, take them out and pay attention to your surroundings, don’t let someone take advantage of you because you were bee-bopping to your favorite jam from the store to the car or from your car to your front door. The song can wait. If you are talking on the phone, ask the other person to hang on and keep one in until you are in the place you were going. Ear buds are great but undesirable people may try to take advantage of you if they know you are distracted.

if you enjoy this series be sure to subscribe! And leave a comment with your thoughts on the EDC items we have discussed here today!

Thanks, and remember, it’s your life, prepare for it!

Your Everyday Carry (EDC) Part 1

First and foremost, you need a Wallet / ID holder (RFID) – every day I carry my wallet, it has the most important things you need throughout your day. In it you should have a state issued ID. By law in all 50 states you need to have this on your person at all times. Next is your medical insurance card ( if you have a family, you should have a card for every member with you) if you own a car have your vehicle insurance card with you at all times. It is ok to keep a copy in your car as well. Try to carry emergency Cash, $10 can get you home from the gas station or a meal or drinks if needed in a pinch, keep your Bank Card in there as well for your everyday needs. If you have credit cards, just keep one with you ( not all of them) Below is the Fossil 2 in 1 Slider Wallet

Next is a Watch. It can be a smart watch, digital watch or a standard watch. It needs to have the date and time on the face if it is a digital watch. Your phone has a clock but it also has distractions so get a watch! Here’s why when you pull out your phone to look at the time it is not discrete, it is obvious especially when talking with someone and you may come off as uninterested or distracted and it looks bad on you. Your watch is a tool to make sure you are on time for the events you have planned for the day. Keep up with your I phone on the Apple Series 3 Smart Watch

Your Keys, If you drive or have a home you have keys. Keep them on you at all times when you are away from home. If you carry a back pack you can put them in there when you get settled where you are going. You don’t want to spend extra time digging them out and have a distracted moment where someone can take advantage of you. Do not put them in your wallet! If someone takes your wallet they take your keys. Shown below Niteize Bigfoot Key Locker

Every Day Carry (EDC) Wallet Watch and Keys

if you enjoy this series be sure to subscribe! And leave a comment with your thoughts on the EDC items we have discussed here today!

Thanks, and remember, it’s your life, prepare for it!

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