Having used various multitools over the years in the army and civy side I have always been wanting more. There were always bits and pieces about the tools that I didn’t like or thought were unnecessary for what I required in the military. Thankfully I managed to grab one of these gems and couldn’t be happier. It has all the tools I require and a few that have proved more useful than I thought.
-Knife comes shaving sharp and the combo serrated and plain edge is a perfect balance
-The wire cutters are replaceable so no more ruining a multi-tool cutting something you shouldn’t
-Multi-tool doubles as a handle for cleaning staves
-Strap cutter works well on straps and zip ties and can be replaced when worn out
-Bolt override tool is useful for the range but not as practical for military use
-Military designation might scare users who don’t have a firearm away from the usefulness of this tool
-Combo edge knife
-Replaceable wire cutters
-Replaceable strap cutter
-Replaceable bronze carbon scraper
-Needle nose pliers
-Screw drivers (Philips bits, Torx #15, bladed, Hex 7/64
-Bolt override tool
-1/2” and 3/8” wrench is included and goes in the sheath
The MUT or Military Utility Tool is designed for a person using an AR but isn’t necessarily only good for that purpose. The screwdrivers and wrenches are the ones commonly found on rifles and the various mounts they use. The pin punch is also made to be used to punch receiver pins out. The carbon scraper is made to get stuck on carbon off but not damage the steel of the rifle. The bolt override tool is used to pull the bolt of your rifle back if it were to malfunction and jam and could not be cleared by pulling the cocking handle. The only other specific item on the tool itself is the cleaning rod screw on mount. Now saying these were designed for a rifle most of them have other uses besides that. I will now go over the MUT from top to bottom talking about what I liked and did not like about each tool and part of the MUT.
The needle nose pliers of the MUT are nice and do not have any wobble in them. The needle part is small enough to go in and do jobs in space constricted areas while the rear pliers jaws can grip something well to give it a twist. The part of the plier’s head I was most happy to see was the wire cutters. The wire cutters were made replaceable and are made of carbide it seems. They cut the various gauges of wire both comms and full copper I had around as well as some small steel cables. I wouldn’t want to try and cut a chain link fence with these though. The stripper section of the MUT worked very well and allowed me to make a splice exceptionally fast in the comms wire I was working with.
The knife on the MUT is a combo edge knife that comes to you razor sharp out of the box. I was very pleased at the sharpness of the knife and that the serrations were not over board. They cut things that need a bit more of a sawing action like a thick rope and are not too deep which would cause them to catch. The blade is accessible while the MUT is closed and is locked into place when open by a frame lock of sorts. The lock is sturdy and easy to operate with gloves on.
The other blade like item on that side of the handle is the saw. It works like a small multitool saw should and makes short work of small wood or other material cutting you may do. I cut a small piece of pvc pipe and a 2” branch with mine easily. I wouldn’t want to do it all day but it will work in a pinch. A multitool is not meant to do one job really well it’s meant to do many jobs passably well if the proper tool is not at hand. Most complaints I hear from multitool users are that it doesn’t work as well as the stand alone tool. That said so far the MUT is as good as you can get without the real tools.
In between the saw and knife is a plastic bit holder. It holds your bits you may be using and want to keep close at hand if you are using two of the three included bits at a time or carry a spare. I usually use it to store the smaller of the three bits when I am using the longer far more efficient bits.
At the tip of this handle is the bit driver. The driver is a simple rectangular hole that the bit slides in with a pressure lock to make sure it doesn’t fall out of the driver. To remove the bit push down on the metal flap that goes along the inside section of the handle and pull the bit out. It should be fairly easy to pull out but the smaller bit can be a bit hard at first if you are wearing gloves. It will work itself in a bit once it’s been removed a few times. The screwdriver is only accessible by the handles being open as the strap cutter covers the driver when closed.
The other two bits are stored on the other handle. They are accessible by a metal toggle that you push to the opposite side of the knife as the bit you require. This moves it out of the way and allows the bit to slide out. The bit on the clip side can be a bit sticky to get out and isn’t as easy to push out with your fingers if it gets caught.
These two bits are nice and long compared to what you would normally find in a multitool and are actually useful. The bits included work well for the various common mounts you will find though which is nice. If you require more screwdriver bits you can get the bit driver extender http://www.leatherman.com/accessories/product/Bit_Driver_Extender and use any of your normal hex bits. You can also pick up the bit kit http://www.leatherman.com/accessories/product/Bit_Kit which provides a good selection of the small bits.
The two tools that pivot outwards when the knife is closed on the strap cutter side of the handle is the pin punch and the carbon scraper. The carbon scraper works as described and helps pick at the hard to get carbon especially useful when working with the gas regulators on our machine guns. It allows you to pick the stuck on carbon and copper in that case in the various grooves with ease. I also found it really good at the carbon that builds up on the rear of the bolt on the curved surface. The brass makes sure you pull the carbon off and not the steel stopping you from damaging your rifle. The other item the brass scraper works well for is an awl or scribe depending on what surface you are marking or punching a hole in. I used the scraper to punch a hole in some Cordura to make a field expedient repair on a friends pack. I didn’t want to use my knife in case it made too big of a hole.
The pin punch works great to push the pins out if they are a bit sticky. They also work well if you have one of those acuwedge rubber bits by the rear pin as it makes the pin a bit annoying to pop out. I recently read that Leatherman will be making a replacement pin punch with a smaller diameter so that it can be used to punch the Glock pins. This is pretty good if you own both systems and want to be able to quickly service them in the field. The punch is screwed onto the pivot and at this time no other tools appear to be made to attach to it at this time. The pin punch will work with almost every rifle as they all have a receiver pin of some sort.
When the multitool is closed the side of the pliers pokes through the side of the handle with the strap cutter allowing you to use the threaded hole in it to attach a cleaning rod. This provides a much more comfortable handle when doing pull throughs and means you can shed a tiny bit of weight from your cleaning kit.
At the tip of the handle is the replaceable strap cutter. I have used it to cut several hundred zip ties and pieces of paracord. It has worked very well in this use and has not steered me wrong. It cut through a piece of 1” strap with only minimal effort. In an emergency situation this should be able to get through a seatbelt or harness with only a bit of jiggling. I don’t have seatbelt on hand and am basing this on the other things I have cut with it.
The carabiner section of the handle works to clip it to D-rings or paracord loops. The hidden function of the carabiner is that it is also a bottle opener for the metal capped beverage of choice. Not that useful in a military sense but a good use of space for the non military tasks this tool can be used for. It came in handy when I bought one of those glass bottled pops and forgot it didn’t twist off on the way to a range. I could have used the base of a lighter to open it but that mangles the lighter up.
Right in front of the strap cutter is a small latch. This is used to secure your MUT in the closed position when in your pocket. If you have ever had a multitool annoyingly open in your pocket as you pulled it out this is for you.
The top of the handle is the hammer section of the tool. I don’t really like hammering with the MUT as I would prefer the real tool a million times over but it gets the job done. I used it to hammer a roll pin back into something I was working on and it saved me the walk to my truck. It’s nice to have it there for those people who tend to use tools for purposes they are not intended for. The titanium pocket clip is by far the sturdiest pocket clip I have ever used. It has no play and holds on for dear life to my pocket. No worry of it ever letting my multitool slide out.
The bolt override tool is one of the few items on the rifle I am not a huge fan of. The only real time I could see it being of any use in the bolt override capacity is if you had the world’s worst cocking handle and it managed to snap with a round jammed making it so you can’t make the weapon safe. I have never ever heard of this happening. The intended purpose of the override is clear a jam if a round gets stuck holding the bolt forward and cocking the weapon to remove this jam. Now the way I would clear the jam is how many other users would by mortaring the rifle. You do this by collapsing your stock, removing the magazine and placing the weapon on safe. With one hand you grab the handguard and the other you grab the cocking handle. With the barrel moved so it’s not going to be aimed anywhere near your face or in an unsafe direction you slam the butt of the rifle into the ground while pulling down on the cocking handle. If you do this a couple of times the momentum of the rifle jarring the ground and you pulling on the cocking handle should make the bolt slide back and eject the jam or at least move the bolt back so you can lock it in place and use cleaning rods or other tools to extract the jammed rounds. That is what I would do in a war time environment however at a range I guess the override tool would work well. Pretty much any hooked piece of metal works for this job. However while installing HSGI Taco pouches on my belt I found a far better purpose for the bolt override tool. The tool makes threading Malice clips not be as much of a bane on my existence. You pop the override hook into the notch in the part you’re threading and it allows a solid handle to pull the plastic strap through. I was overjoyed at how well this worked as the Taco pouches were very very tight to thread.
If you choose to not wear the MUT in your pocket and want to wear it on a belt or your plate carrier the MUT comes with a sheath that is MOLLE compatible. The sheath is made of Cordura and is built with the same quality any pouch you would wear to war is made of. The one I got was made of coyote brown Cordura. The sheath is also where you store the wrench and any other small parts you may need to keep in there. I store the wrench in the small channel in the Molle strap. It gives the pouch great rigidity on the belt and is easy to pull out. There is a separate area in the pouch you can store it or any other accessory in.
I now no longer own my Gerber multitools. They have found homes with friends and relatives to be put in their cars in case they need them. My MUT is the new standard at which I will judge any new multitool I get in the future. It is well thought out, over built and has all the tools I need. I believe it also works well in a non firearm owners pocket or pack as the tools it holds are useful in more than one capacity. If you are looking for something a little more specialized for you EOD folks Leatherman makes a MUT specifically for you that has a blasting cap crimper and a C4 punch. Not only do I like my multitool a lot so do the movers because they walked away with it. The photos that will be with this article will be of the one I get to replace my old one. With the range of replaceable parts combined with Leatherman’s 25 year warranty this multitool is bound to be around with you for a good many years.