Harbor Freight Multi Tool

Harbor Freight Multi Tool

Harbor Freight Multitool

Harbor Freight Multi Tool

I am a lover of Multi tools.  For years I have kept various types of Leatherman or Gerber’s nearby.  Currently the most popular Multi tool in the world is the Leatherman Wave+.  I actually own two of those.  Imagine my surprise when the Harbor Freight Multi Tool was released and priced at $39.99!

Can this $40 tool really compare to a $119.95 Wave +?

If so, this is going to be an amazing bargain.  Also, that would make it a perfect addition to your tool bag or center console in your vehicle.

Let’s find out if this thing stacks up to the Wave+.

Gordon 20 In 1 Harbor Freight Multi Tool

Even though it is sold by Harbor Freight it is branded as a Gordon 20 in 1 Multi Tool.  There is no indication of who the manufacturer is.  The packaging just says “Made in China”.  I can’t find any information on the internet about Gordon other than Harbor Freight sells various items branded as that.

Setting the Gordon tool next to the Leatherman Wave+ shows that they look pretty similar.  Even the pouch is very similar.

Side By Side Comparison (click pics to enlarge)

As you can see my Leatherman has some gentle use and I have laser-ed my name on it.   The Wave+ is a great tool.

One of the first differences that jumps out at me is that the wire cutters in the pliers on the Harbor Freight tool are not replaceable.  Also the tip of the pliers on the Wave+ seem to come to a smaller point.  But the difference is subtle.

Pliers Differences (click pics to enlarge)

The tool compliment between both are dangerously similar.  The most notable difference is the serrated blade on the Gordon has a hook on it.

Tool Comparison (click pics to enlarge)

I guess what I don’t really know is the quality of steel used on the Gordon.   Leatherman lists their materials clearly on their site:

  • MATERIALS:  420HC Stainless Steel, 440C Stainless Steel, Black Oxide

Conversely, the Gordon tool is only described as being “stainless steel”.  I guess the real difference, if any, would be revealed under heavy use.

Gordon Specs

They both feel similar in hand and the Leatherman tools seem to be a bit snappier.  Having said that the Gordon tools seem smoother to open.  Some folks love that “snap” and some do not.  Your mileage may vary here.

Should You Buy One?

Let’s assume the steel used in the Leatherman is superior.  I don’t know that to be true but let’s assume it.

When I know I’m working I carry all the appropriate tools with me I might need.  If I had a Gordon and used it sporadically as I would, I would say YES, buy one.   If you use your Multi Tool all day, every day it might pay to buy the Leatherman or even a Victorinox Multi Tool.

It is entirely possible though that the Gordon will match or even exceed under heavy usage conditions.  I simply don’t know yet as I haven’t had mine long enough.

I’ll update here if I find out one way or another.

As a final statement I would say that it looks like a solid tool and any man would love to see this in his Christmas stocking or birthday or anniversary present.  I got mine for Father’s Day and I have to say my wife hit it out of the park.  I loved receiving this as a gift.   So yes, you should buy one.

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