21 Dec Village Praxis: The Leatherman MUT T&E Redux by Bill Buppert
Publisher’s Note: The holidays beckon so this will be a short post this week until after the Christmas holidays. I recently returned from some globetrotting and was able to put the Leatherman MUT through its paces. The following brief review highlights why the tool complements the ubiquitous black rifle so well. The additional blades that have served me well and usually attend to my EDC needs are the Leatherman Wingman (love the weight) and a TOPS Felony Stop worn in a right-handed horizontal cross-draw left of the belt buckle. My belts are cobra buckle variants by John over at Liberty Tree Tactical. I rarely need a larger knife but carry a Becker BK2 with a micarta handle in a sheath that Skip custom fabricated from Kydex if the need arises. Skip is also fabricating a new sheath for the MUT.
My middle son is a wildland firefighter and carries a Becker BK3 as the primary field tool for larger blades.
I have a sizable knife collection but many of the blades rarely leave the safe. That is not the case for the MUT.
In other news. my novel, “The Cancer Club”, goes to the editor in January 2016. I hope to beat “Absolved” to Amazon. And please remember that I wrote a scintillating Foreword for Jim Rawles’ latest release.
And I do hope that everyone is getting their freedom tools and training house in order for the coming festivities in 2016. Sporty times at the sharp end appear to be the global new year’s resolution. -BB
I am a self-confessed geardo, so when Skip and I got a chance to lay hands on the new (for us) Military Utility Tool (MUT) from Leatherman, we went to work. Skip, our Village Armorer penned an excellent review after conducting he and I conducted our evaluation. We are always looking for tools that simply make life better whether for now or in preparation for the massive calamities that the state and government inevitably visit on their inhabitants.
We transitioned the family and Village armories from FAL main battle rifle (MBR) platforms to AR platforms (that post deserves an update) in .223 and .308 for a variety of reasons discussed in an earlier Praxis or two. The MUT was purpose built to serve the AR series of rifles, to include servicing Glocks, our Village standard for sidearms. It also fits a number of other tasks one would expect from a multi-tool.
Skip has done a wonderful appraisal of the tool:
I found the materials used to be above par in comparison to ordinary tools such as wrenches, pliers, and knives, indicating Leatherman researched their materials and even raised their standard as far as the MUT is concerned. The fact that certain parts are user-replaceable demonstrates it is a long-term tool with a lifetime of usage in mind. One of the areas I would suggest to Leatherman is that, like the available bit kit that comes complete with 20 separate bits has a plastic holder, the accessory replacement kit should come in a similar deployable package to make spare stowage simpler for the tactical operator.
He goes on:
Evaluation of the MOLLE sheath is an integral part of the tool for obvious retention and deployment reasons, so I have the most suggestions for both Leatherman and the tactical user in this area. If you added every available option to the Leatherman MUT, even excluding the replacement kit, you will not fit it all in the MOLLE pouch. It would be a waste for the pouch to be expanded to accommodate the options not needed when the immediate action required is the bolt over-ride tool function of the MUT itself. My suggestion is to Leatherman is to encase the replacement kit onto a similar board as the two-part bit kit and making an additional MOLLE pouch available for the three boards for the operator to stow on their three-day pack since these items are normally not needed in an immediate-action bolt over-ride drill. Another option is a tri-wrap pouch that flops down when unlimbered during daily maintenance and cleaning, but is otherwise secured as a support pouch on the three-day pack, similar to some blow-out kits being manufactured today. If Leatherman were really bold, they would get a consensus on the most common cleaning kit carried and incorporate that into their design. My cleaning kits are specific to each gun, so the one in my Bug Out Bag (BOB) has items needed to maintain and clean both my carbine and sidearm. I plan on using a lanyard to secure a spare front sight tool in the small front pouch at some point.
Here is the entire T&E by Skip complete with pretty pictures.
Is it the perfect deployment tool? No, it certainly has its flaws but the combination of rugged construction, thoughtful design and tactical elegance puts it head and shoulders above what little competition there is for the tool in the marketplace. I always have a severe problem with the use of Velcro as a fastening device on any tactical gear and this is no exception.
I just finished spending some quality time in the Hindu Kush and had occasion to use this tool in the field. It served me well and was my go-to tool whenever we were outside the wire. I loved the coyote MOLLE sheath it comes with. I even adapted additional sheaths to wear my CAT tourniquets (configured upside down with blood patch on the upper part of the sheath.
The EOD device option simply allows one to crimp det cord.
It is a bit spendy but you know what they say: if you have a ten dollar head, you buy a ten dollar helmet.