Many multi-tools seem to be a flimsy sampling of little knick-knacks. We’ve seen different versions for ages, but they rely on a simple straight-edged pocket knife to do most of the real work. However, Leatherman’s interesting Charge ALX model is a little different. It does away with many of the old issues multi-tools faced, like those Phillips drivers which always seemed to be less than helpful.
They have been replaced by a clever interchangeable bit system, much like what you’d find on an electric screwdriver. There are two of these sockets on the Charge, allowing you to keep multiple common bits ready for immediate use. Extensive kits with drivers for many different head styles are available and store nicely inside the same sheath as the tool itself.
Another interesting touch is one of the tool’s two blades. Serrated on one edge, it has a nasty-looking hook on the other, designed for slicing seat belts in emergencies. I can see it getting hung up during everyday use of the serrated edge, and I can’t imagine that sharpening both sides of a tool designed to be used in close-quarters life-threatening situations is a wise move. However, under exactly the wrong circumstances this little beauty might be exactly what you want on your belt.
Running $130 at full retail, the charge is available for much lower prices from many on-line sources, including Amazon, who has them for around $80 plus shipping.