TOOLS: The Leatherman PST – The Original Multi-Tool

Multi-tools come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common – you should never leave home without one.

Though there are many brands, types, sizes, and shapes of them, when I think of multi-tool, the first one  I think of is my everyday carry (EDC) multi-tool, the original Leatherman, also known as the Leatherman PST.


The PST is now considered a retired tool from Leatherman. “PST” apparently stands for the Pocket Survival Tool and it is not only the tool that made the company a household name, but it is also the first multi-tool I ever owned, and I still carry it everywhere in its little leather pouch.

Tim Leatherman prototyped the tool in the late 1970’s, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that he was able to mass produce it. Early on, Tim tried to get several major large knife manufacturers to buy his design, but he was rejected.

The PST is smooth, and sleek with straight edges and rounded corners; one might think Steve Jobs had a hand in its design. The PST has 11 (website lists 14, but I’m counting 11) of only the most essential tools making this EDC a powerhouse in a small package:

The tools include:

  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Locking blade
  • Metal file
  • Bottle/can opener
  • Awl
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Large flathead screwdriver
  • Medium flathead screwdriver
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Ruler

Currently, Leatherman is still one of the top names in the multi-tool business. However, it seems to me they have lost their sense of simplified design and have opted for a philosophy of “the more tools, the better.” Not being a current user of their new models, I cannot say if they have sacrificed quality for quantity, but I am going to stick to my original PST for life. I hope to one day pass it down as an antique to my son. If it were ever to break, I’d be on eBay hunting for a new one.