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them’s fightin’ words

Thanks to the magic that is TiVo, we do not watch commercials, but this one popped up before I could snag my remote, and being only 15 seconds long, we went ahead and sat through it:

Now, I am fairly certain I know that font and I know those instructions and I know the look of the pieces scattered around our protagonist, and speaking personally, I have never once had a problem with the pictures-only documentation Ikea includes with their flat-pack furniture, so I have to ask – is Leatherman implying that their customers are stupider than average, are they attempting to cater to the "stupider-than-average" consumer segment, or are they just being xenophobic?

If you want a multitool from a company that does not assume you are an idiot, I have heard good things about CRKT’s offerings (they even make one specifically for Picatinny-rail-equipped firearms), and I hear Gerber and SOG make a few, too.

12 comments to them’s fightin’ words

  • I have both the SOG PowerLock and the CRKT Zilla-Tool. The SOG PowerLock is more robust but the Zilla-Tool has its place. You can’t go wrong with either of them.

    I will note that I gave a SOG EOD PowerLock to a young friend who was headed to Afghanistan back in 2009. I wanted him to have the strongest one available.

  • Monte

    I’ve been happy with the SOG PowerLock, too. It has a nice, sharp saw on it that’s come in handy a few times.

  • I’ve heard that Leatherman is a bit anti-gun, as well.

  • @ John Richardson: Despite having no experience with any of the ones mentioned above, I always regarded SOG as being pretty much the cream of the crop (with the associated price tag, of course). Good to hear that my assumptions were not entirely inaccurate ;).

    @ Monte: I keep waffling on the utilities of multitools for carry purposes… I have a few cheapies laying around the house, but have not done much with them.

    @ bluesun: Not sure about their firearm-related proclivities, but they did donate money to Kerry back when he thought he mattered…

  • Or, and more likely they could just be riffing on the old “incomprehensible instructions” joke that’s been around since the first time someone bought something that was “assembly required.”

    Take a chill pill, bro. Not everything is the end of western civilization.

  • Gotta admit that I rolled my eyes at most of Leatherman’s commercials. I think they they either hired the same folks as do the big home improvement store commercials or someone at Leatherman decided that was the look they wanted, except it doesn’t seem to work as well for them.

    Can’t speak for the other multi-tools, the only one I’ve ever used is a 15yr old Leatherman I that I don’t even know the name of anymore. It doesn’t have all the extras that so many multi’s have these days, which makes it perfect for stashing in pocket or purse cause its not bulky, and its held up to the various abuses I’ve put it through.

    Edited to add: gotta add that I took it as a riff off the “directions written in chinese and translated to English by someone who doesn’t speak the language” thing myself, but it wouldn’t be the first time someone spotted nuances I didn’t.

  • @ Caleb: And, their “joke”, much like almost every one of yours, successfully fell on its proverbial face. Bravo, and all that.

    @ Ruth: Unfortunately, the rest of their bevy of commercials are just as… odd, including the “biker saved by scooterers wielding Leathermen”. Er… hm.

    So far as I can tell, their choice of manufacturers to go after was pretty deliberate; anyone who is familiar with Ikea products would be able to pick out the details in about a heartbeat (not saying you suck for not being able to, but it was a pretty bald-faced, ham-handed jab at an organization that makes some of the most easily understandable instructions out there). Now, if the instructions were just gibberish, and the parts just some random collection, I could definitely see that particular angle of the commercial, but they were not, and I did not.

  • See, never bought from Ikea, so no real reference, plus the last piece of furniture I had to put together did have directions like the stereotype……

    But yes, odd is a good way to put it. Not sure what they were aiming for at all.

  • weambulance

    I took a completely different thing away from this one man. “Designed to be understood by everyone. In other words, noone.” Or something to that effect, as they show the dude sitting there confused, holding his Leatherman. Seems to me that they’re suggesting the Leatherman wielding dude is mechanically capable (obviously, because he owns a Leatherman after all, right?) and if he can’t figure it out, who the hell can? That makes little sense as a commercial designed to get me to buy their stuff, but that’s what I got out of it. And that was going into it biased, looking to be offended, because I already read your post. Shrug.

    I don’t know about their politics, but I’ve owned three Leathermans: one is like 15 years old and in my truck toolbox; I had a Charge Ti for awhile that I gave to my sister for EMT/rescue work; and I carry a Skeletool daily now and use it all the time. My Leathermans were uniformly well made, and the Skeletool offers everything I need without extra bulk while being extremely comfortable in the hand. On the other hand, the Gerbers I’ve used (they handed them out like candy in the army) were chintzy, flimsy pieces of shit made of inferior materials that would jam up when they got dirty.

    If Leatherman actually is anti-gun I’d be willing to look at CRKT and SOG for my future multitool needs (and let Leatherman know why), as I like their products in general. I’ll never buy a Gerber multitool though. I’ll never buy another Gerber blade of any kind, either. I like my Gerber entrenching tool and collapsible saw, though replacement blades seem to be in short supply. Anything that doesn’t require a good heat treat is probably good to go, based on my experiences.

  • @ Ruth: Pretty much our entire kitchen, along with a sizeable fraction of our other furniture came from Ikea. I will certainly not deny that unpacking the boxes can present a somewhat… daunting… pile of parts (especially when you are building your own kitchen cabinet boxes), but, really, they just are not that hard.

    @ weambulance: Or, on the flip side, despite owning a Leatherman, he still is not able to complete the task. Because that encourages someone to buy their products as well.

    *shrug* Neither way makes me particularly encouraged to purchase their products, all things considered. And I will certainly grant that Gerber is not top of the line, but it, too, serves a purpose.

  • I believe Leatherman is the only manufacturer of those you listed that is making their products here in the US.