April 13, 2013

Leatherman Juice S2

As I wrote in an earlier post, my first multitool (the Gerber Dime) was a multifail. I returned the Dime the day after I received it, and immediately began the acquisition process to identify a better product. As soon as I returned it, I knew that I would be looking for a Leatherman multitool. I looked at the different Leatherman models and decided to get one of the pocket sized multitools. The Skeletool models look super cool, but they have limited functionality. Ditto for the Freestyle model. After eliminating those models, I was left with the different Juice models. From there it was easy for me to pick the Juice S2 model because it has scissors in lieu of a corkscrew. I don't drink wine, and consider a corkscrew to be a silly addition to a multitool. I decided to acquire the orange version because I thought that it would be distinctive, difficult to lose sight of, and easy to locate.

The orange color is unusual, but not annoying or childish at all. I like it. I also like the awesome fit and finish of the S2, which blows away the fit and finish of the Gerber Dime that I had.

My original intent was to EDC the S2 for a month to see whether or not I would ever need to use any of the tools other than the knife or the scissors. Speaking of EDC, the S2 is small and light enough to EDC, although for me it pushes the envelope of what I would call "comfortable" EDC. Whether or not the S2 is too bulky or bothersome for use as an EDC item will depend on which pocket you use and how it settles into the pocket.

When I hear the word "Leatherman" I immediately envision a set of pliers. The Juice S2, as expected, includes a set of needle nose pliers that also serve as wire cutters. The clamping action and tolerances are very good; I only wish that they were spring loaded.

The above picture is my attempt at showing most of the S2's tools: phillips screwdriver; knife; scissors (look at the size of that thing!); bottle/can opener; and flat screwdrivers. Would it be nice to have some other items? Sure, but then the S2 would become bloated, heavier, and lose its primary selling point (for me at least): EDC functionality. By the way, the S2 can also be configured into a Transformer-like bipedal Edward Scissorhands thing:

This is an unadvertised benefit and function of the S2 that brings the tool count up to thirteen in my book. Anyhow, I got the Juice S2 in early December 2012 and didn't use anything other than the knife and scissors for a good while. Fast forward to Christmas day, and I had an opportunity to deploy the pliers, the phillips driver, and a flathead driver. I also used the scissors and the knife to break down some boxes. To be honest, I could have used a corkscrew to open a bottle of wine for some guests, but whatever.

As mentioned above, my goal was to to EDC the S2 for a month or so to determine whether or not it makes sense to carry all of that functionality around. Well, the S2 didn't last an entire month. The day after Christmas, I needed a phillips screwdriver to install some batteries in my kid's toy. I made a point to announce to all the EDC disbelievers in the house: "it sure would be nice if I had a screwdriver on me . . . wait a second, I DO happen to have one right here in my . . . hey, where's my Leatherman?" It wasn't in my pocket, it wasn't in my EDC valet tray, and it wasn't in the garage near the boxes that I had broken down. I swore that I placed it in an unforgettable place after breaking down the boxes. Where did I put it? Why, on the back bumper of the car! Brilliant.

Unfortunately, my bright orange Juice S2 was not covered with a grippy rubbery exterior coating. Nor was it outfitted with an ultra heavy duty magnet. Accordingly, it fell off the bumper on the way to the local wine shop. I retraced my drive in an attempt to find the S2 in the street, but the distinctive and conspicuous orange sheen did nothing for me. Meh.

Anyway, I really enjoyed and liked the S2 during the few weeks we had together. I'm glad that I captured some pictures of it before I lost it.

PS - I acquired another Juice S2 a couple of months ago. I got the gray colored model and haven't lost it yet.

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