Introduction & Purpose
Having a Multitool or at least a swiss pocket knife at the ready has become a staple for members of the military, police and also for outdoorsman. Its no surprise that the market offers almost uncountable options when it comes to multifunctional, compact tools. As we already showed you the smallest possible option in our Review of the Gerber Dime, we decided that it is now time to show the complete opposite with the Leatherman One Hand Tool (OHT).
The Leatherman OHT is a very specialized tool, its main feature is -as its name implies the ability to access all tools with one hand. We also talk about not less than 16 functions, placing all those functions in one tool and keeping them accessible with one hand of course comes with a toll. In this case the toll is bulk and weight. I can tell in advance, that the Leatherman OHT feels like a brick and is bigger than a 9mm G17 magazine while weighting as heavy as 280g.
So, this is definitely not your average EDC tool, but a heavy-duty option for those that find themselves climbing or working in confined spaces a lot of their time. I use the Leatherman OHT for over four years now and I didn’t really care about maintenance and cleaning of the tool as you might see on the pictures.
FEATURES & CONSTRUCTION
The Leatherman OHT is made of 420HC and 154CM stainless steel. The outer case measures 11,5cm in length and 4cm in width, while being 2cm thick. The case is also coated in an either black, coyote brown or foliage green colorway. Both sides of the case also feature stamped icons, depicting the different functions. This is not only a cosmetic feature, but really helps you finding the right tool, as all stamped icons are in the respective position of the tool they represent.
The most interesting feature are of course the pliers. Leatherman found an interesting way to give the user quick, one handed access to those. The OHT uses a mechanism, comparable to the gravity knives issued to paratroopers.
You just have to squeeze both release buttons on the left and the right side of the OHT while holding it upright and gravity will expose the top of the pliers.
There is also a safety switch that enables you to lock the pliers in the closed position.
As all parts of the OHT the pliers are heavy duty and exposing them the first time will give you the feeling that you can really handle any task with them. I actually never found a proper sized item that was a real challenge for the pliers.
Same goes for the integrated wire cutters which are replaceable and feature a segment for regular wires and a segment for cutting hard wires. The impressive size of the OHT isn’t a disadvantage here as the dimensions will enable you to create an impressive amount of leverage. Last but not least the action of the Leatherman OHT pliers is completely spring loaded which makes all kinds of plying tasks much more comfortable.
All other tools are accessed by one hand are locking, just like you may be used to from folding knives. This feature -again, underlines the intended purpose of the OHT as a heavy-duty tool as non-locking tools can become really dangerous when working on tasks where some brute force is required.
Talking of knives, the Leatherman OHT features three different blades.One being a rough teethed saw which works great on dry wood. One being a non-serrated blade with a pointed tip for GP use and last but not least a serrated blade which works awesome in cutting ropes and cordage. The shape of the Leatherman OHT enables the user to have a really good grip while working with the very sharp blades.
Other tools include a small, a medium and a large flat head screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, a bottle opener, a can opener and a cleaning rod adapter which is located right beneath the left safety mechanism.
The OHT also includes a strap cutter with an integrated oxygen bottle wrench. Sadly, the strap cutter broke some months ago – but more on this later.
The OHT also comes with its own nylon sheath which is no special affair and features a Velcro closure, MOLLE tabs and an elastic sleeve for additional bits. As said before, the OHT is almost twice as big as most common multi-tools and wont fit a pistol mag pouch. So you have to be aware of this when you want to buy a new pouch for the OHT. Qualitywise the pouch slowly disassembles at its bottom but really is up to the job
The Leatherman One Hand Tool really does it job on a level I wasn’t familiar with when I used other multitools. Its not my EDC multitool, as I don’t need even half of the function during my everyday tasks. But it hast its place either on the second or third line of my kit.
As I said before my OHT gets used and abused pretty often. The pinnacle of abuse happened when I tried to pry something with the included strap cutter, which seemed like a good idea. In fact it wasn’t a good idea and after using brute force several times the strap cutter broke into two pieces. I cant say enough that I don’t see this as a failure of the device, but a user produced failure. Also Leatherman offers a limited lifetime warranty on all its products, so I could totally get it replaced if I wanted to.
In over four years of semi-constant use the Leatherman OHT was up to every intended task I confronted It with which is the upside of its robust manufacturing and robust weight. The OHT also works great if you have problems on your weapon, like a stuck muzzle device as you access your pliers while holding your rifle.
Talking about maintenance, the OHT needs almost the same level of maintenance as a weapon.
Our constant readers may know that Iam not that much into maintaining my kit -weapons excluded, but the thing you have to do with the OHT is keeping its plier lock clean to maintain the gravity-based mechanism.
You will recognize its need for maintenance when you need to shake the tool to expose the pliers. In this case a cloth and a drip of lubricant will work.
Regarding its weight and dimensions the OHT is, unless you want to go full Mall Ninja, not your choice for an EDC multitool.
It also doesn’t feature a wide range of EDC functions like scissors, pincers or box openers.
So, if you are looking for something that you want to use every day, I would not get you into buying the OHT as it will be a heavy brick with oversized pliers in daily live.
But when you are tasked with casual, but heavy-duty applications during your duty, on the range or during outdoor trips from time to time it’s a great addition to have.
The Leatherman OHT might not be the best everyday companion for your city explorations. But it is a great addition for those who need a tool for demanding tasks.