The MUT is a Leatherman Multi-Tool designed primarily for those whose life involves the use and care of weapons on a regular basis, writes Mike Gormley.
It is a lot of years since I last covered a Leatherman MUT and this is the updated version; MUT in this case not being a scruffy little dog but a Military Utility Tool.
A few years back my last MUT ended up with an SF gunsmith who I was working with at the time; which, after a few pointed hints by him, seemed like a worthy home for it. The MUT is significantly aimed (unintentional pun) at those whose daily life brings them in contact with firearms. For sure the MUT has many general purpose features, as other tools do from Leatherman’s extensive range, but the MUT has some quite specific features as well. The armourer and weapons user items on this tool are the likes of bronze carbon scraper, disassembly punch, and bolt override tool. There are also threaded fixing points to accept cleaning rods.
One very handy feature of this tool is the multi-use hammer head. I have to put my hand up and admit using my main Leatherman as a hammer on more than one occasion, which is not ideal; no Leatherman tools were hurt in this, though it really is no way to treat such a valued tool. Part of the MUT hammer head is designated as a ‘bolt override tool, but this also comes in handy as a small hammer for more delicate jobs and a kind of tack hammer for small pins and the like. On the reverse of the hammer head is a replaceable cutter hook for the likes of tie wraps and tapes. Also as part of this assembly it forms a carabineer hook and, importantly for after work, a bottle opener.
As is always the case with a Leatherman, the MUT really lives up to its multi-tool name. As you look at it you will perhaps notice yet another very small feature that has been integrated into the structure of these highly complex tools. They really are a masterpiece of design and engineering precision. The designers have to not only fit all the features in but also keep the weight down and, importantly, make it strong and robust enough to live up to its 25 year quality guarantee. [As owner and regular user of a 26 year old Leatherman Super Tool I can vouch for this longevity, Ed.]
Every feature of a Leatherman works and will do its designed job well. As an example, the Philips screwdriver bits will fit any such screw head in their size rage. The other business end of the MUT is perhaps more conventional, but with a couple of appropriate additional twists. Robust pliers are the key item of a Leatherman in my view. The MUT has replaceable hard-wire cutters, plain wire cutters and stranded wire cutters, as well as needle nose and normal grip pliers plus also features the threaded holes to take the firearms cleaner rods. As ever, a Leatherman’s pliers will deftly remove a small splinter from your finger as well as undo a tight bolt… and on the heel is a crimper.
The MUT has only two conventional stowed blades. The main cutting blade is, in Leatherman terminology, a 420 HC Combo Knife. In my terms, this is an extremely sharp drop point blade with a serrated section at the base. It is possible to deploy this locking blade with a single hand. Leatherman have the ability to put an edge on a blade like no other, in my view. The second blade is a saw, which again Leatherman have refined in design to be a very useable item. The only other ‘blade’ that might be handy, to my mind, would be a file as fitted to some of the range; but you already get a lot packed into a small space here.
As expected, and mandatory in such a tool aimed at the armourer, are the screwdriver and Torx bits. These fit into the end of one of the folding handles for use, lock into position and are dual ended. The long versions of these slide into keepers in the handle and also lock into position. There is a belt / pocket clip which is removable and could be deemed unnecessary if you always use the sheath, therefore could save a small amount of bulk and weight. But do bear in mind the words of wisdom I heard for Tim Leatherman when I last met with him some years ago; he told me a good proportion of company sales were from people that had lost their previous multi-tools, so don’t be one of them.
Many of the hard use or heavy wear items on this tool are replaceable if and when required. The MUT is as, one would expect of a tactical tool, matt black finish. The robust sheath that comes with the tool is suitably featured with a substantial belt loop and MOLLE / PALS loops and has a sizeable hook & loop closure with a quick release tab. There are open pockets on the side for additional tool items. Sand, green, and black sheaths are available.
As ever with a precision-engineered Leatherman tool the MUT is, in the appropriate environment, something you will use every day for some task or other. Indispensable.
[images © Mike Gormley]