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Leatherman Rebar vs Leatherman Wave: Showdown Time


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Last Updated: January 9, 2021

Ever tried unscrewing a Philips head with your pocket knife? We all have, and it sucks. Leatherman has brought us the multi-tool that saves us from frustration and broken knife blades.

Let’s unfold all the ways that the Leatherman Rebar and Wave will expand your ability to survive when put to the test.

Leatherman Wave vs Rebar

Both of these multi-tools are based on the original PST crafted over thirty years ago. Ever since Tim Leatherman found a pocket knife to lack in too many areas on a trip through Europe, he has designed multi-tools that store easily and work for a lifetime.

Years of fighting for a patent and further years of designing the perfect product brought Leatherman to where they are today, at the top of the game.

Leatherman Wave Features

Leatherman Wave

The Wave has been the top choice for those looking to get it all when buying a single product. It covers just about every need imaginable with 18 tools folded into one compact space.

Several of the tools are accessible without having to open the pliers, making this multi tool super easy to use.

This is one of Leatherman’s full-sized multi-tools that stands out as the best choice for people that want a jack of all trades.

Tech Specs

  • Folded Dimensions: 4” x .75” x 1.25”
  • Main Blade Length: 2.9”
  • Weight: 8.5 oz
  • Material: 420HC Stainless Steel, Black Oxide
  • Number of Tools: 18

Pros

  • Has all of the common tools you are looking for
  • Covers all bases
  • Many tools accessible from the outside
  • Helps you learn what tools you use the most

Cons

  • Has a higher price tag than other products
  • Not specifically for any purpose and misses certain specialized tools

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Leatherman Rebar

Leatherman rebar

While the Wave does it all, the Leatherman Rebar was designed for the rugged outdoorsman looking for a set of pliers that comes with attached tools.

The pliers are easily the headliner of this act. The replaceable wire/hard-wire cutters are a clever innovation and they’ll stay with you for life.

This heavy-duty performance doesn’t stop at the pliers and is found in each and every tool in this slimmer designed multi-tool.

Tech Specs

  • Folded Dimensions: 4” x 1.5” x 1”
  • Main Blade Length: 2.9”
  • Weight: 6.7 oz
  • Materials: 420HC Stainless Steel, 154CM Stainless Steel, Black Oxide
  • Number of Tools: 17

Pros

  • Reinforced pliers with replaceable wire/hard-wire cutters
  • Designed to be compact and lightweight
  • Full-length tools that don’t compromise
  • Less expensive than the Wave

Cons

  • Less variety in tools due to focus on pliers
  • Tools all unfold from inside

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Face to Face

Versatility

While the Rebar was made with a very specific focus on the pliers, the Wave was made for it all. The Wave features one more tool, and many of the more common tools looked for in day-to-day operations.

Leatherman Wave open
The Wave, fully expanded

The Rebar truly focuses on its pliers but comes with some more unusual tools like a leather awl with a thread loop. It isn’t a particularly versatile multi-tool, more a set of pliers with a lot of add-ons.

Latherman Rebar Fully Expanded
The Rebar, fully expanded

When looking for versatility, the Wave is what you want. If you want something that is specialized in that one area, the Rebar will cover those specific needs but may come up short in other areas.

Accessibility and Operation

The Leatherman Wave is built for easy accessibility and has easier one-handed use. This exterior accessibility for tools is extremely useful when grabbing and reaching with your other hand.

The Rebar is only accessible from the inside, which can get annoying with cold or gloved hands. The pliers themselves are not locking or spring-loaded, meaning two hands are absolutely essential to the entire operation of this multi-tool.

In the end, the fact that the Wave was built for accessibility makes it the winner in this arena. Multi-tools, in general, can be difficult to manage, but the Wave is up there on the list of easier ones to operate.

Build Quality

Leatherman simply doesn’t build bad tools. Every single tool they have to offer is a quality-tested product that will last a lifetime.

The Rebar may focus on their pliers, but each other tool is still incredibly durable and reliable. The Wave focuses on everything but doesn’t make sacrifices to do so.

Cranking hard on either of these multi-tools is comfortable and doesn’t leave you stressed about breaking your lifeline.

Warranty

Leatherman knows that they have solid products. A 25-year warranty is in place in order to help each customer feel confident that they will be backed for what is near a lifetime (when it comes to knives).

It’s simple to start a claim online and have your problem fixed in no time.

Price and Value

The Wave comes at a higher price looking at most of the multi-tools Leatherman has to offer.

To be honest, the price tag made me hesitate before purchasing the Wave. When you look at all the options, it seems excessive to have to spend an extra 20 or 30 dollars on what seems so similar.

It’s not. The price matched with quality is outstanding.

The Rebar is a cheaper option and is appropriately priced for what it has to offer. It will help you save a few bucks when making the initial purchase and will definitely last you a long time.

Stand-Out Features

Leatherman Wave

  • The exterior accessibility is a huge plus with the Wave. It just makes things that much easier when you are in a pinch.

Leatherman Rebar

  • Reinforced pliers and replaceable wire/hard-wire cutters aren’t found on any other multi-tool that is this compact and lightweight. The pliers are as strong as they come and perform better than any other set out there.

Conclusion

A Leatherman Wave has spent years strapped to my vest while guiding for months on end in the difficulties of Alaskan Wilderness and the Pacific Ocean.

There hasn’t been a single time that I have regretted reaching for it, and I know it will continue to give me everything I need for the next season and those to come.

Use a Leatherman Wave if you:

  • Are looking for an all-around durable and reliable multi-tool
  • Don’t mind spending some extra money
  • Want easy access in the palm of your hand

Use a Leatherman Rebar if you:

  • Really want a solid set of pliers
  • Want to save a few bucks

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