Value for $
User rating
Pros: The Leatherman Wave Black Oxide is hands-down the best value for money on the multi-tool market. Surgical grade 420HC steel. All blades and saws outside accessible and longer compared to similar tools. 17 tools covered by a 25 Year Warranty.

Cons: Black Oxide can leave marks if not wiped down on arrival. Often goes out of stock.

This month’s review update of the Leatherman Wave Black brings no significant change – it is still the king of the hill rated at 4.7/5. The results you are about to see are fruit of over 4 years of daily use by our featured testers.

So, the Wave Black  is currently top ranked multi-tool, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.

If there’s an issue with the Wave Black it’s the fact that it often goes out of stock, which is strange for a company of Leatherman’s reputation.

Anyway, back to our products – the clearance between the two tools is a hefty 0.14 points and the first thing we’ll do is compare them side by side.


Wave Black Compared to the runner-up

Best Overall

The Leatherman Wave

The Skeletool
10 x 6.5 x 4.5
1 x 4 x 1
Weight (ounces):
(out of 5):
(out of 5):
(out of 5):
(out of 5):
Value for $
(out of 5):
Overall Rating
(out of 5)
top rated and best value
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Before we move on, watch a short video digest of the Wave’s features:



Choices available

Wave Black

with pouch

Wave Black

with pouch and 42
assorted bits



PROs of the Wave Black:

green-check-prosDesign and tool placement is well thought-through and practical
green-check-prosMost commonly used tools are outside-accessible - this makes it much easier to use
green-check-prosSturdy body made of heat-hardened steel - covered by 25 Year Warranty
green-check-pros420HC, surgical grade steel used for the blades
green-check-prosBecause they are placed on the outer side of the tool, the blades and the saws are longer compared to similar tools (about half an inch)
green-check-prosNo need to unfold to use the blades (straight and serrated) and saws (for metal and wood)
green-check-prosEasy to operate using one hand - you can one-hand open both blades, which is essential for a good multi-tool and, yet, not at all common
green-check-prosSmooth handle surface provides a solid grip, which makes for better leverage and better use of the force excerted
green-check-prosBest value for money on the market - similar quality to multi-tools that cost twice as much

CONS of the Wave:

red-check-consThe oxide leaves black marks if not wiped down on arrival
red-check-consGoes out of stock
red-check-consWe've seen report of counterfeit tools sold - that's why we take precautions to make sure the links on this page are reliable and link to the original product


Click below to see the Wave Black on Amazon

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Leatherman Wave Black Oxide Finish Multi Tool with Nylon Molle Sheath

Quick tip from Saker Racing: If you can use the blade and tools to easily install various electric car equipment such as speakers or subwoofers. Installation can be tricky, but a solid multitool like the Leatherman Wave can help pry things open and make installation easier.

In the rest of the text you’ll read:

  1. What’s Leatherman officially saying about the tool
  2. All relevant positives people said about this product, the people who owned or used it – PROs
  3. What are the main turn-offs and disappointments – CONs
  4. I will try to sum up in my own words based on all of those experiences I collected

The fact sheet – what Leatherman is saying about the multi tool:

  • A multi tool made out of stainless steel with an oxide black finish
  • Two files: one for wood and metal and the other diamond-coated
  • Large screwdriver and two more: Large bit and a small bit
  • Quality scissors
  • Long nose pliers and regular ones
  • Ruler (8”/19cm)
  • Bottle and can opener
  • Wire cutters

Here are some nice things users had to say about this Leatherman:

Leatherman Wave Black Oxide Finish Multi Tool with Nylon MOLLE SheathThe PROs:

  • This is a fantastic tool, it just doesn’t get better in this price range
  • I was so happy with it that I had to get a belt clip as well. Then I got a bit set and driver extensions. Guess what, they all fit in the sheath…
  • I consider it a tool box around my waist…
  • It looks so sexy! Maybe I’m a sucker for design, but this is an eye candy
  • You may find a cheaper one, but not in this quality. This is the third multi tool I own, so I kind of know what I’m talking about
  • I love the variety of this one, everything works as it’s supposed to
  • I used the file for wood, and as it turns out it’s not there just for show
  • All the tools are easy accessible, but more importantly, once you access them they get the job done
  • I was ashamed when I got it because it seemed like my girlfriend spent so much more money on my Christmas gift than I spent on hers. I turns out she just got a great deal. It looks and works great, and it’s not that expensive (I had to go online and check the price, sorry babe)
  • Love the knives and a saw, they came quite sharp
  • I feel like I won’t be disappointed in the next 25 years for how long this product is guaranteed…had it for a year and so far so good…
  • TSA had a problem with it, I found absolutely none. They can keep taking it away; I will keep buying a new one…
  • It will last you a lifetime, and not because it will be left unused somewhere in your garage, but because it’s evidently made to last that long even if you use if on a daily basis…taken aback by the quality after 6 months of use…
  • I don’t leave my house without it, swear to God
  • I fixed zippers with it, a loose screw, I resolve a missing switch with it in a matter of seconds
  • This one is considered to be a small tool, but make no mistake, it’s heavy duty one
  • Really pleased with this buy
  • One handed access to the blades is a dream come true for me
  • This is not a tool, it’s a weapon!
  • It is incredible how strong locking the tools are. Remember, we are talking about a small multi tool
  • I’m a firefighter, and I just got myself another Leatherman Wave. The one I owned, I left with the boy whose life I saved, not bragging, just telling it as it is…

As we mentioned, the king of the hill and best rated multi-tool is the Skeletool, so it’s important to understand the main fortes and shortcomings of the two pieces. We’ll do that concisely in the PROs and CONs table:

And now, let’s go through some things users don’t like:

  • Black oxide coating does come off on the hands, but boy it can be irritating for at least a few days until that top layer of paint is gone
  • It was hard to open some of the tools before I used penetrating lubricate oil


See its Amazon ratings & compare prices

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Final thoughts

Leatherman Wave Black Oxide Finish Best Multi Tool with Nylon MOLLE Sheath

The Wave is the most “beloved” multi purpose tool ever made and it continues to dominate the industry. Since this website put together the first guide on top multi-tools back in 2012, the Wave has been king of the hill in 90% of our updates and in a range of categories.

That sums up all one needs to know about the quality of the tool.

The complaints

Without being blunt, we are not even going to get into the main complaints about the Wave Black and that’s the oxide leaving marks on users hands for the first few weeks.

It’s a non-issue and can be solved in 5 minutes by just wiping the excess oxide off the tool with a soft cotton cloth.

Warning: take it easy on the time scrubbing and start from 20-30 seconds. If it still looks good but still releases paint, clean it one more time.

The Black Oxide is what makes this version of the Wave appealing – in our opinion much more so than the regular Stainless Steel.

Considering the quality and the pricing, the Wave (Black or not) remains the best choice for 95% of  people.

Once you get this multi-tool, you might get some add-ons and an anodized finish so you can protect it against rust.

It will last you a lifetime and if it doesn’t, you can always claim your 25 years warranty.