Wave or Supertool?

                         Wave or Supertool

                                                   Written By William Myers

 Christmas morning 1992 I opened a small box and inside was my first leatherman! I was 12 years old and as I started flipping up all the tools and knifes, I imagined all the different tasks they each could be used for. Back then1 I could not even imagine going fishing or hunting without it. Leatherman has been a constant companion of mine ever since.

In 2004 Leatherman introduced the improved wave.

As I looked at it in a catalog, I saw a great number of features that impressed me. Being able to access the blades, saw and file  without opening the tool itself was the one feature that intrigued me the most. The other tools on the inside were a bonus to me, The scissors were a huge seller to me at the time.

I was so impressed than as soon as I could I ordered one.

I can say that tool served me well for many years, so many in fact that when leatherman introduced the supertool 300 in 2009 I was still carrying the same wave so I passed on purchasing a supertool  for a number of years.

In 2013 I headed up to Port Huron, MI. to hunt with a friend of mine Jamie Burleigh. We were very successful that day so we were busy in the garage skinning the days harvest. When I saw That Jamie had a suppertool 300, I asked to check it out (I had never  even held one till this point).

I was very impressed with the robustness of the tool. The wire cutters being as strong as they are, really impressed me. The fact that they are replaceable really got me thinking this may be something I was going to purchase soon. I started weighing the pluses and minuses id be losing scissors (hmm… I use them a lot), but I’d gain an awl (well the awl I have now needs replaced). I’d have to open the tool every time I need to use it, but it has some extra features and its a very sturdy tool.

I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to get a supertool 300 as soon as I could. Shortly after I received a phone call from a trapper friend of mine. He was on his way from upstate New York to Arkansas and would be driving right through my city and would like to stop and hang out for a while. After eating some dinner and exchanging stories, he told me that he was going to have to get a new multi-tool because he lost his. Well I started thinking and proposed a trade with him. My multi-tool (wave) for some traps and snares. So deal being done and friends parting ways I found my self in a rather new situation I DID NOT HAVE A MULTI-TOOL!!!!!!!! The next day I ordered a new supertool 300.

The three days I had to wait for my new multi-tool to arrive was not fun. I must have reached in my pocket 30 times only to find it empty. You really never know how much you use a tool till you don’t have it. At last my tool arrived, I am whole again!

I have been using the supertool 300 for over 6 months now, and I can say there are some give and take when it comes to the wave vs the supertool 300.

They both have a saw, straight blade, serrated blade, can opener, file,  a few screwdrivers philips and flat head, and of course pliers. All the tools and blades on the supertool 300 seem to be a bit larger and the pliers are way more robust,  plus the addition of an awl. The wave has a great pair of scissors that come in handy for a lot of odd jobs at home,and in the field. A big plus of the wave is that the tools  being on the outside lends itself to a more speedy deployment of the blades, saw, and file.

So after years of carrying a wave and only 6 months of carrying a supertool 300, I can say that I am happy I switched to the supertool 300. Having to open the tool to access the blades and other tools really is not that big of a deal to me. In fact, I am now so used to the tool that I can do so one-handed. The bulletproof construction and stoutness of the pliers puts the supertool 300 an inch or to ahead of the wave in my honest opinion. The awl that comes with the supertool 300 is a great useful tool, and something that gets used a lot if I need to carve a hole in wood or leather.

If the loss of the scissors is whats stopping you from buying a supertool 300,  I suggest the addition of a leatherman micra.  A rather small tool that can be very useful as a companion to the supertool 300. I have a leatherman micra on my key chain on a quick release it is incredibly useful and does not get in the way.

 

As far as wave vs. supertool 300, I’d have to say supertool 300 gets the win. That being said it’s not the perfect tool. If I could visit leatherman and make my own tool, I would start with a supertool 300, take out the serrated blade and add a good pair of scissors. I would take the two straight screwdrivers that sit side by side out to make room for a hook knife for spoon and bowl carving and call it the leatherman bushcrafter.

Hope this article helps make your decision between a leatherman wave and a supertool 300 a little easier. They both are really great tools, with only some pluses and minuses between the two.

 

Why Baton I Carry An Axe!!!

 Why Baton I Carry An Axe!!!

         Written by William Myers

This is a subject that comes up a lot especially in the comment section on YouTube videos. I’ve seen comments that range from (batoning should not be done, there’s no reason to ever baton, its unsafe your going to get hurt, and if you have an axe why are you batoning with your knife.)

The simple fact is that they both have their place in the woods. When I need a controlled cut out of a log say for a bow drill hearth board or if I want to cut a block of wood out to carve a spoon ect ect… I will baton the wood with my knife so I know I am getting the cut I desire. I can process small pieces of wood down faster and more efficient with my knife if I need to make kindling for my fire. I can do the same job with my axe but IMHO I can do the job with a good knife faster and more efficient. I also believe that an axe is one of my best tools in the woods and hardly ever am I in the woods without one. I am just addressing the fact that batoning with you knife is something that has its place in the woods.

This all being said the knife that you choose to bring with you may not be the one you want to baton with. I tell all my students that im not here to badger them about their gear but there are  few that do come to my classes that have knives that WILL NOT last long doing heavy-duty chores. First off for a main knife (the one that’s going to be on my body if something bad happens) should be a full tang knife. what this means is the blade continues all the way to the bottom of the handle.  Next I would look at the thickness of the blade. I would suggest a blade at least 3/16 thick at a minimum I also suggest that the spine have no notches in it there are some knife makers that do this for good reason but for me it’s just a weak point in the blade.

Something some people need to realize is that when you see a YouTube video and that person is batoning through a huge hard wood that person is testing the blade and he or she is doing that for your benefit. Testing the blade in this way will reveal any weak spots in the blade IMHO that video is not showing you a real world task it is an abuse test to see what that blade can take I.E. if it can stand up to this it can stand up to years of normal use.

Using a baton is better than using an axe in certain situations like crafting in the woods. When I need to make a controlled cut on a log I will baton with my knife that way I can see what way the split is running and if I need to make adjustments. Its easier to torque my knife one way or the other to control the way a log is splitting than a one time high-speed whack with an axe. When I am looking to get very small sticks for fire kindling it is far easier to baton with my knife than work with an axe at that moment.

I hope this article may help answer any questions that you may have and help some to understand the reasons that some grab a knife not an axe to process or craft wood…..

Thank you and hopefully we will see you in the woods.

                                            William Myers