Having spent the last few years focusing mostly on accessories, limited edition tools, and new
colorways on some of their classics, Leatherman closes out 2023 with their most advanced
multitool to date — the Arc.
Leatherman’s current multitool offering is pretty vast. You could set yourself up nicely with a tool
like the Rev for $50, find yourself satisfied with the Free P2 for $130, or take it to the limit with a
tool like the Arc for $229 and have everything you ever wanted. For someone like me, I go back
and forth all the time. I’ve been carrying the Wingman for the last two years and just recently
switched over to the Signal, that’s been sitting in a drawer for the last five years. Leatherman is
timeless and I urge people to own many of them.
But do you need a $230 multitool? Did you need any of their Garage series of tools? There’s no
clear answer to either of those questions. But I can tell you this – if you’re serious about the tools
you carry and you use them all the time, you should consider having the best of the best in your
pocket. Right now, the Leatherman Arc is the best of the best.
Closed Length: 4.25”
Weight: 8.6 oz
Number of Tools: 20
- MagnaCut Knife Blade
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Regular Pliers
- Large Bit Driver
- Diamond-coated File
- Small Bit Driver
- Wood/Metal File
- Pry Tool
- Premium Replaceable Wire Cutters
- Premium Replaceable Hard-wire Cutters
- Impact Surface
- Large Screwdriver
- Bottle Opener
- Can Opener
- Awl- Spring-action Scissors
- Wire Stripper
- Electrical Crimper
- Edge File
- Bit Kit
Additionally, the Arc comes with a nylon sheath and a bit kit that expands the tool’s possibilities.
The tools in the bit kit are:
- Torx #10 & #15
- Torx #20 & #25
- Pozi #2 & #1
- Hex 1.5mm & 2mm
- Hex 2.5mm & 3mm
- Hex 4mm & 5mm
- Screwdriver 3/32″ & 1/8″
- Robertson #1 & 2
- Robertson #2 & 3
For anyone who’s counting, that’s a total of 38 functional tools out of the box.
WHAT IS IT?
The Leatherman Arc features 20 onboard tools with 18 additional tools included. It is built off the
Free platform that Leatherman first introduced in 2019. The foundation for future multitools, the
Free platform utilizes magnets for easy, one-hand opening and closing.
From an informed standpoint, the Arc feels like an amalgamation of the Free P4, Charge TTI,
and maybe a little bit of the Wave. Whether that’s true or not, one thing is for certain – the Arc is
well thought out and there’s no reason to believe it won’t be in Leatherman’s lineup for quite a
That said, the feature of the Arc that stands out the most is the MagnaCut steel knife blade.
MagnaCut is 2023’s EDC knife steel. Nearly every knife company has adopted it in their knife
lineup this year, but Leatherman is the first to include it in a multitool. For a company that’s long
been verbally assaulted for their choice of knife blade steel on their multitools, using MagnaCut
on the Arc isn’t just an upgrade; it’s a statement. Leatherman wants you to know that they’re the
cream of the crop and the Arc is their knight in shining armor.
- MagnaCut Steel Knife Blade
- Free Platform
- 38 Tools out of the Box
- Overall Ease of Use
The Leatherman Arc truly is the most premium multitool that the company has released. Known
for being innovative, it’s obvious that Leatherman left no stone unturned in the research and
development of this tool. That said, if you’re a casual multitool user, the Arc might offer more
than you need. But, by all means – if you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket, the Arc
will not disappoint. In fact, the Arc might keep you from ever needing to buy another multitool
Overall, I see the Arc being used as a premier outdoor tool and blue-collar tool. It’s something
that you can hang off your belt or tuck in your pocket and fix things in your day-to-day life with,
or make a living using. As someone who relies on his multitool, multiple times a day, the Arc has
proven its worth in spades in a very short span of time.
EASE OF USE
Multitools were designed to make things easier for you to fix on the fly. From the premium tool
offering to the premium materials used, and the ability to open and close it with one hand, the
Arc excels in ease of use.
With the option to carry it in a belt sheath with the additional bit kit or by using the pocket clip,
the Arc is easy to travel with. This makes it easy to access. That said, it’s also prime for keeping
in your pack, glovebox, tacklebox, etc. Like all of the premium Leatherman tools, the Arc is
meant to go where you go.
That said, the big deal here, aside from the bit drivers, is the MagnaCut steel knife blade. As
someone who rarely uses his multitool knife, the addition of MagnaCut gives me a reason to
leave my pocket knife behind and just use the Arc. MagnaCut steel is corrosion-resistant and
excels in abrasion resistance. It has good edge retention, but is also very easy to sharpen. In
my opinion, it adds to the ease-of-use benefits of this tool.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Like the Free Series that represents the core that this multitool is based on, the Arc is strong
and can be freely used and abused at will. You can feel that in the heft as there’s no ignoring
that the Arc is a heavier tool. In fact, when you add in the sheath and bit kit, the Arc is one of
Leatherman’s heaviest pocket tools. But that’s the trade-off: you get a tool built like a tank, with
every feature you could imagine that excels in ease of use.
Having all the onboard tools lock isn’t something new, but it is always a welcomed feature on a
multitool. Without fail, these tools end up getting used in the weirdest of places – like tucked up
in the crannies under your truck trying to tighten a clamp. The last thing you want is for that tool
to fold in so you knock your knuckles on something and drop the tool on your face.
Ultimately, I feel as if the Arc is just a natural progression for Leatherman at this point. We’ve
come to expect their tools to be built tough and well-thought-out. If you start with their Wave and
walk your way through their lineup to the Arc, you can see the evolution.
I am not a fan of bit drivers on tools because I like to carry my multitool in my pocket. I don’t
need a bit kit floating around in my pockets. But, when considering the intent of the Arc – the one
tool to rule them all – I have fully embraced the sheath and bit kit combo and carry it on my belt
like an old machinist.
We live in a world where flathead and Phillips screws have taken a back seat to Torx and Hex
screws and bolts. Having the right bits to fit them, on the fly, is nearly a must for anyone taking
fixing things up seriously. With the addition of the square head, Robertson bit, you’re really set
up for darn near anything you come across in the field.
The addition of the mini-bit driver, a call back from the Charge Series, was the right move for
Leatherman to add to the Arc. These drivers work on most modern electronics, as well as the
arms of eyeglasses and sunglasses. Without fail, they are ALWAYS needed when you least
However, yes, again – the big deal with the Arc is the addition of the MagnaCut steel blade. A
quality steel like this would be a shame to ignore because it’s probably made from better steel
than your pocket knife. But, as I said earlier, the MagnaCut steel isn’t just an improvement in
function for this multitool, it’s a statement that Leatherman is still in the survival game at the
I’m not knocking the use of 420HC steel or even 154CM that Leatherman is known to use on
their knives. But when you claim a tool is premium, you need to make sure you’re using the
most premium materials you can. MagnaCut is the most premium EDC knife steel on the market