You have to love the ingenuity and drive that Leatherman keeps demonstrating with their vast array of products. It wasn’t too long ago that Leatherman branched out into the folding knife market. After a short time, they’ve learned a lot about what the customers want and have tuned their products to meet the market needs. That responsiveness is demonstrated by their new offerings in their folding line known as the Crater and the Expanse. Both are folding knives, but their are multiple variants of each. Different models have different tools and applications. After a little bit, it gets confusing. I’ll make it simple first by telling you that the Expanse is the higher end of the two, using 154CM for the blades instead of the 420HC found in the Crater line. From there, you’re on your own. You’ll have to do the research to find which variant is best for you. The following links are to the spec sheets with exact model numbers to narrow down the right variant for your own needs.
The following is Leatherman’s press release on these new lines of knives to give you an idea of what’s coming down the pike. Hopefully, we’ll have a chance to review these models in the early spring to give you an inside look at their ergonomics, aesthetics, and performance.
New Leatherman knife lines loose the weight and keep the muscle
Portland, OR, January 2009—Leatherman Tool Group has recently introduce two new folding knife lines, Crater™ and Expanse™. These new knives — 10 models in all —feature updates to weight and volume as well as overall series design.
Handles, Weight and Size
The most noticeable difference with the new knives are the handles, and not just cosmetically. “We had great features in our old knives, but the handles were so thick and bulky just to house them”, says Product Manager, Jason Carpenter. “Our goal was to lighten up and slim down these new knives while keeping the existing functionality. We also wanted to make sure that they could be more easily indentified as being a part of a family.”
The new handles on the Crater knives are solid black, 60% glass-filled nylon. Expanse knives feature a combination black and silver handle made from 60% glass-filled nylon and reinforced with stainless steel. By improving the handle scale/frame design, engineers were able to make them about 30% lighter and slimmer than their original counterparts.
Both the series feature 2.6-inch blades, (33-models) and 3.1-inch blades (55-models). Crater series blades are cut from 420HC stainless steel and Expanse series from 154CM. Each knife comes with the option of a straight blade or a combination straight/serrated blade. The combination blade is indicated by an “x” in the model name.
Crater and Expanse series 33-models are all locking liner knives with improved Blade Launcher® technology for quick deployment. The 55-models are all lockback knives with thumb stud deployment. Across both series users will find features like bit drivers, fixed screwdrivers, bit storage in the handle and carabiners that fold away in the handle. All the knives feature a removable pocket clip.
Crater and Expanse knives are available nationwide and online. MSRP for the Crater knives ranges from $24.00 to $70.00 and Expanse from $44.00 to $87.00. For more information on these and other Leatherman products, please contact Juli Warner at the information above.
Founded in 1983, Portland, Oregon-based Leatherman Tool Group is known for producing the world’s most precisely engineered multi-tools, knives, pruners and lights. Leatherman’s engineering standards remain unmatched in the industry today. With new products for hunting, outdoor, fishing, gardening and general purpose, the Leatherman tradition of innovation, tight specifications and premium materials continues to endure.