Durability
Versatility
Materials
Design
Value for $
User rating
Pros: Most complete, most-versatile and best-crafted multi-tool on the market.

Only high-end materials used - Titanium handles, one 420HC blade and a top-of-the line powder-made S30V blade (holds edge approx. 600% longer than 420HC). 19 Tools and 43 features.
Cons: Price.

leatherman-charge-tti-review-updateThe review of the Leatherman Charge TTI was one of the first reviews we complied back when we were starting the website (about 5 years ago).

We started with it because the Charge was always going to be one of the favorites for top spots. It’s current rating is 4.56/5, which puts it in top 3 pieces out of the 200+ we “follow”.

So, the ratings and impressions you are about to see are a result of just under 5 years of testing and re-testing, reviewing and re-reviewing (if that’s a word).
 
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90 sec Features Demo of the Charge TTI

 

Charge TTI in action

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Let’s move on to see how the Charge TTI behaves in real life, faced with a range of obstacles (credit Gear Nut).

Here’s what you’ see:

  • regular blade against bank line cordage and paracord
  • serrated blade against 1/5-nylon strap, 3/8-inch thick natural rope, 1/2-inch nylon rope
  • hook blade against a zip-tie
  • saw of the Charge cutting solid wood
  • wire-cutters cutting thick aluminum wire
  • …and many more tests of every tool in the Charge TTI…

“Obstacle” test of the Charge TTI

 

See the Ratings & Compare prices
of the Charge TTI on Amazon below

 
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Charge TTI vs. currently top-rated multi-tool

 
Leatherman
Charge TTi
 
Leatherman
Wave
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leatherman-wave-vs-charge-tti
 
Specs:
 
Number
of tools
 
19
 
17
Closed length
(inches):
 
4
 
4
Blade length
(inches):
 
2.9
 
2.9
Weight (ounces): 
8.89
 
8.5
 
All category ratings:
 
Durability
& Longevity

(out of 5):
 
4.9
 
4.8
 
Versatility
(out of 5):
 
4.7
 
4.7
 
Materials
(out of 5):
 
4.7
 
4.7
 
Design
(out of 5):
 
4.7
 
4.6
Value for $
(out of 5):
 
3.8
 
4.7
 
Overall Rating
(out of 5)
 
4.56
 
4.7
 
See their ratings & compare prices on Amazon
 
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See the
Charge TTi
on Amazon here >>
See the
Wave
on Amazon here >>

See its ratings & compare prices
on Amazon below

 
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Charge TTI – testing and review summary

After Leatherman discontinued the Charge TI and the XTI in 2007, the market gap among high-end multi-tools and collection pieces was filled by the Charge TTI.

As we said, we believe it top be the top dog among multi-tools if price is a non-issue. Let’s get into a bit more depth about why that is.

 

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Versatility – 5/5

If you look at the tools listed, the Charge TTI features 19 tools but the tally adds up if you include added bits that come with it, making it the by far the most versatile multi-tool on the market.

Leatherman took their time planning the placement of the tools and added features so the versatility doesn’t come through sacrificing ease-of-use, size or weight.

Apart from the pliers, all the tools look into place.

 

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The 4-in-1 pliers

The pliers are, in fact, 4 tools:

  1. tapered needle-nose
  2. inset crimper
  3. serrated section for bolts and nuts
  4. heavy-duty wire-cutters
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Pliers of the Charge TTI (left) and the Wave

 

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Main tools live on the outer handle corners

The tools you’ll find yourself using the most live on the outer corners of the handles.

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THE BLADES

The thumb notch is big and well-placed for one-hand opening, which is an issue with some Leatherman models (like the Rev). Both regular and serrated blade are razor-sharp on arrival and cut through cords, nylon straps, plastic, wood…all with a buttery smoothness.

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Serrated blades of the Charge and the Wave – the hook-cutter is great for tied zip-lines and close knot

 

The patented S30V blade is probably the best blade you’ll see in a multi-tool. It can only be compared to dedicated high-end knives. The powder-made steel used for the blade holds edge 6 times as long as the 420HC steel used in most multi-tools.

They cut with a laser-like precision.

 

scrutiny-of-thes30v-blades

The powder-made steel of the S30V blade of the Charge TTI (top) holds edge 6 times as long as regular 420HC steel used in other multi-tools, Wave included

 

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The Saw

The heat-hardened steel of the saw cuts through wood with agility that can only be compared to standalone saws (the better ones).

On the other hand, the metal saw is also a standard file on one edge of the piece and a diamond file on the other, hardened enough to sharpen carbide steel.

 

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Inner tools

By “inner” we mean the tools you can only access when you open the multi-tool and deploy the pliers.

The scissors are as sharp and well made as any we’ve seen in a multi-tool. Seamlessly placed, right next to the scissors is the small screwdriver that is placed securely into it’s own tiny holder.

This little guy is great for precision tasks, it’s double ended (flat and Phillips) and perfect for those tiny bolts on your glasses or on your tech gadgets.

 

file-diamond-and-regular-side

 

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Ergonomics, design, portability, leather pouch audit
*hard to find a flaw*

The Charge TTI sits in hand perfectly. The curvy handles are so in all the right places for optimal grip…very easy on the hands. The leather of the pouch that comes with the tool is just as high-end, study and well made like the rest of the Leatherman Charge TTI.

As we already said a few times, the features listed are true-to-number.

It’s not uncommon in the industry to inflate the number of tool or things you can do with them.

The Charge is not one of those tools – if it’s listed you’ll use it.

We’re repeating ourselves, but the Charge deserves it – it is THE most complete and best-made multi-tool in existence. It’s not the best rated here because the category of “Value for money” brought the ratings down a peg. This is not a cheap tool.

See the Ratings or Compare prices
of the Charge TTI on Amazon below

 
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The only real question & why it’s relative

The only substantial question about the Charge TTI was always how much the hefty price will affect the ratings.

It turns out, very much so. The Charge TTI has not awarded the title of the best multi-tool for almost a year now and we know it’s all because of the “Value for money” category, which is one of the categories we rate the tools in.

We are aware that the Charge is one of the TOP 3 multi-tools on the market in terms of sheer quality.

It’s the one piece that makes our rating system seem broken

Currently top rated multi-tool – the Leatherman Wave is rated at 4.7 with the same rating in the category of value for money, while the charge is rated at 4.56 with a 3.8 rating in “Value for $”.

What this means is that, if you exclude the category, this brings the rating of the Charge to 4.75/5 making it the TOP RATED piece if price not an issue.

 

Charge TTi – Tools included

Leatherman Charge TTI

See the Ratings & Compare prices
of the Charge TTIon Amazon below

 
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Some quotes from the Charge TTI reviews our testers shared over the years.

Specs of the Charge TTI:
  • the weight of the tool is 9.6 ounces
  • the dimensions are 5.2 x3.4 x 2.6 inches
  • weight when shipped is 3 pounds
  • some of the tools included: needle nose and regular pliers, scissors, regular and hard wire cutters, large and small bit driver, clip-point and serrated knife, wire stripper, saw, bottle and can opener, pocket clip, leather sheath…these are just few of the tools. As the name says, Leatherman Charge TTI packs 26 tools.
The PROs from our tester reviews of the Charge:

Leatherman Charge TTI Review

  • very good, solid and sturdy, still holds perfectly after 2 years
  • started using it from the first day and never stopped…
  • amazing design and brilliant finish…
  • the design is very clever, the tool is very strong and well made…
  • the best Leatherman I ever owned, and I owned quite a few…
  • the titanium they used on this one is a nice twist to the whole theme they got going on…
  • the needle nose pliers are the best I have ever seen…
  • not just a multi tool, it’s a big boy’s game-changer tool…
  • I was reading reviews of the Leatherman Sidekick and had my eyes set on it when you guys offered to send the Charge TTI over for testing. I am blown away, I’ve been using multi-tools for two decades now but never pulled the trigger and decided to splurge on the charge. Man, was I wrong…
  • I have a friend who swore by his Swiss army knife. I bought this as a gift for him and I never seen him with the old knife again or hear him talk about it…
  • Very easy to use, perfectly made, the pieces slide in and out perfectly…
  • Probably the sturdiest and the most solid multi tool I’ve used…
  • If I was to be trapped in the woods and had one tool of choice it would be the Charge TTI
  • Amazed at how much power a light tool can pack…titanium for a multi tool is a great idea…hew, so much relief after carrying the “surge” that was sooo heavy…
CONs from the reviews of the Charge TTI:
  • it was clanking in the box as it arrived and when I got it out it was scratched all around…
  • the tools are rigid and hard to open for a few days…
  • had to clean the tool when it arrived dirty in some mixture of some sandy stuff and oil…

 

See what users are saying about it
and compare prices of the Charge TTI on Amazon below

 
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Conclusions of the Leatherman Charge TTI review

Personally, I can say that you really get a new-found admiration for the Charge if you do a review update of it right after writing about a multi-tool that’s inferior to the Charge, like some of the Gerber or Sog pieces, which is what I was doing just yesterday.

There’s nothing more to say, the admiration we have for the Charge probably came through well-enough.

Morry Banes

 

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