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Since I’m the father of two young boys, this is one of the coolest things I saw at SHOT Show 2014. Leatherman rolled out its new Leap – a multi-tool with extra safety features for junior outdoor enthusiasts.

“It’s designed for the younger crowd, probably 8, 10, 12-year-old range,” said Scott Boatman, demand planning manager for Leatherman Tool Group Inc.

I think I was 9 when I got my first Swiss Army Knife, but I think I would have been just as happy with a Leap. It’s lightweight and smaller than traditional multi-tools. It has the classic tools such as pliers, scissors, flathead bits and one phillips-head screwdriver bit, tweezers and a not-too-aggressive saw blade.

DSC_0504It also comes with a smart feature for the youngster that’s not quite ready for a sharp blade.

“The knife blade actually comes unassembled, so the knife blade is not installed when you buy the tool, so that when you decide that the kid is ready, you install the knife blade,” Boatman said. “It’s one-time install and it’s in forever.”

The knife blade also features a rounded tip, making it less of a weapon than just a cutting tool.

The Leap also has new safety locks. “The other big thing is where we put the locks,” Boatman said. “We moved the lock to the back side of the blade so you will never have to put your fingers in the travel of the blade.”

The Leap will be available this August for $50. It comes in blue, green or red.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

wtpworrier January 24, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Good, at least they know not to make one for kids with a sharp blade, because I would hate it if I bought my grand kid one, and he cut himself with it.

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Mateo January 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm

When I was a kid I made dozens of wood bows and scores of arrows with my multi-tool…it's definitely a good gift and gets kids excited to go outside. Also cheaper and more productive than an xbox game.

Still looks pretty heavy duty for it to be marketed to kids, but nothing wrong with that.

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JTMedic January 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm

So I don’t install the “sharp blade” and hand this to my kid thinking it’s a safer option? Glad he won’t cut himself on the saw, scissors, or other tools factory attached.

Seems too gimmicky and not actually accomplishing anything… especially for the price

If you’re going to give the kid a knife give him a knife and teach him responsibility… If he’s not ready then just wait a little longer.

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Mateo January 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I agree, but honestly the tool I've used the least on all my multi-tools is the blade – but that's because I always had another dedicated blade on hand.

The "safer" blade is probably more for the buying adults false sense of security than that of the end user, kid or not.

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Lee January 25, 2014 at 12:06 pm

So I give it to the kid, and it is his, but will it pass the TSA challenge?

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BLACK January 27, 2014 at 1:03 pm

There is no substitute for learning to be responsible and to have respect for things that can cause harm or bodily injury. This gimmick misses the mark considerably.

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John D January 29, 2014 at 9:00 am

If a kid can't handle the sharp knife, what is to say the he won't cause harm with the other tools? Very PC. very impractical. I had a cub scout knife when I was very young and was taught safety, I handled firearms when 12 and was taught safety by my Dad. If you teach them right, you can give them a nuke to have and it won't go off!! Just another sales gimmick.

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@TopSpecUS February 5, 2014 at 5:34 pm

I know "mainstream" America might hate the idea of a knife being marketed to children, but I am a fan. In some cultures, toddlers use knives and machetes. The product aside, I think it is a good thing to remind parents to take their kids outdoors and away from the violent video games and mindless TV.

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Chris May 11, 2014 at 10:33 am

For all of you out there poopooing this thing, I think it's a wonderful idea. Your supposed to teach your children to live and survive and thrive in this world, not completely insulate them from every possible injury, scratch, or hurt feelings. If you can't trust your child to handle something like this, then don't give it to them. I received a pocket knife at about 6 or 7. And yep, I managed to cut myself with it once or twice. You know what I learned? How to handle a sharp instrument, and have respect for blades. My family pointed out what i did wrong, and how not to have it happen again. I learned. This seems to be a very nice idea and well built, something that wont fall apart the first time it gets used and hurt you like so many cheap tools tend to do when they fail. Better to buy a quality item for your kid than some chintzy thing that will snap and bite them, especially in new, unskilled hands. Bravo to Leatherman.

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Coho January 28, 2014 at 9:28 am

I received my first jack Knife on my 7th Birthday. At that time the grade school I attended had a place in the play yard where kids could whittle. WE also would bring our Jack knives to school for show and tell. How times have changed! I wish my great grand son was a little older, I would by him one of these knives.

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