Interview with Leatherman’s Jennifer Newsome


Summertime is full of adventure. There’s nothing like a solid multitool to get you through the unexpected, whether it be hammering tent stakes, pulling ticks, scaling fish, or simply opening drinks. To help you prepare for your summer, Netrush will be giving away two Skeletools, one of Leatherman’s most popular multitools, along with a bundle of other great products as part of our Good Weather Giveaway.

To see what the multitool brand has planned for the upcoming season, we sat down with Leatherman Sales Manager Jennifer Newsome to ask her some questions about the summer.

Why is summer a great season to own a Leatherman?

Summer? Who limits Leatherman to just the summer months? Realistically our tools are made for doing things. About anything you can think of. We do find that most people are enticed by warmer weather to engage in activities or hobbies. This can be a vast array of things, from fishing, hiking, camping, biking, DIY projects, auto tinkering, and so on. I mean, I don’t know about you, but not many people think about going for a three-day mountain trek or upgrading their lawn sprinkler systems during the snowy or rainy seasons. I find Leathermans are better tuned for making marshmallow sticks and stripping boat trailer wires during sunny months when one might require such things. No matter what time of year though, I would challenge anyone to carry a Leatherman everywhere they go for one week. You’d be surprised how many opportunities will present themselves for you to use it.

Are there any new products, rereleases, or initiatives you’re excited about?

There are always new ideas and products on the horizon. Some I am really looking forward to but I can’t tell you about quite just yet. Others are launching this summer.
This year’s trend is catered towards the minimalist, lightweight gear. We have an auxiliary product to our popular Skeletool for those that just need a blade. The new Skeleknife KB and KBX are about as lightweight as a pocket knife can come. A mere 1.5 ounces, American made with 420 blade steel, bottle opener and a few color options all for around $25, yes please.
The other new line extension is in our Juice family. Leatherman came out with two ultra slim items. The Juice B2 and the Juice CS3. The B2 is another low profile knife like the above Skeleknife, super easy to toss in a pack or tackle box. The Juice CS3 is a TSA-friendly travel tool with scissors, a can opener, and a corkscrew. You never know when one might feel like flying to Costa Rica and having a picnic on Mt. Arenal. And we may or may not have more Tread options coming. That’s it for now, anything more and I’d have to have you sign a nondisclosure.
We also want to make sure people are aware of our award-winning lighting brand, LED Lenser. These flashlights and headlamps are a perfect complement to our Leatherman tools and the activities and customer base they cater to.

We’ve been really enjoying your Tool Tales videos. How did you come up with the concept of featuring everyday heroes?

We must give credit to where credit is due: Tool Tales came from our consumer base. Every day we receive dozens of letters and thanks yous. Some are as simple as “Thanks, I love my Leatherman,” to heroic tales and abnormal situations where a Leatherman played the leading role in the story.
These stories are volunteered up to us without solicitation, and we have collected literally thousands over the years. Some are so great that we were compelled to share them. The question was how. Bringing them to life visually seemed the most compelling, and our marketing team got to work on making that a reality. We really wanted others to connect with us and see the value in a Leatherman product… to share stories of good fortune and triumph so our users can feel connected to the rest of the Leatherman family out there.


Born from necessity.

Tim Leatherman, an Oregon native, received his Mechanical Engineering degree from Oregon State University. While on a budget trip to Europe in 1974, Tim and his wife, Chau, constantly came across leaky hotel plumbing and roadside fixes for their cranky Fiat. Tim realized the need for a pliers-based, multipurpose tool. “I was carrying a scout knife and used it for everything from slicing bread to fixing the car. But I kept wishing I had a pair of pliers!”
When Tim came back to the States, he took his “multi-tool” idea, along with some sketches he made on the trip, and got to work. When he started on the prototype for this new tool, Tim estimated it’d take him a month. Instead, it took the next three years to build the prototype he envisioned and secure a patent. With the newly patented “Mr. Crunch,” the Leatherman legacy was born.
A story of perseverance.
The original Leatherman tool was called the PST, or Pocket Survival Tool. Eight years in the making, the PST comprised thirteen different tools and folded up into a five-ounce, four-inch toolbox. In the first year of business, Tim and his partner, Steve Berliner, hoped to sell 4,000 tools; instead, they sold 30,000. And over the next decade, they would sell over one million PST multi-tools.

The first two stages of Leatherman prototypes