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Leatherman Tools


The Leatherman Tool Group was founded by Timothy S. Leatherman, a 1970 graduate of Oregon State University who majored in mechanical engineering. According to a December 10, 1981 column written by Bill Monroe in The Oregonian, Leatherman came up with the idea of a "Boy Scout knife with pliers" during a 1975 driving tour of Europe with his wife, when he was unable to use his pocket knife to fix his repeatedly malfunctioning car. Leatherman spent several years perfecting his prototype, getting his first patent in 1980. He also spent those early years refining his sales model. Tim Leatherman formed Leatherman Tool Group to sell his creation in 1983. In 1996 the company expanded its manufacturing facility to 90,000 square feet from 30,000 square feet. In 1998 the Wave Multi-Tool is born to be the first Multi-Tool that is able to open the knife without opening the pliers. In 2007 the company opened its first retail store, located at its manufacturing facility in Portland, Oregon. Tim Leatherman was inducted into the Blade Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame at the 2007 Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia in recognition for the impact that his Multi-Tool design has made upon the cutlery industry.