Patent number, hollow rivets, left-hand can opener
Reg'd TM trademark text with Leatherman Japan on blade tang
US Reg'd TM trademark text with Japan on blade tang
US Reg'd TM trademark text
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Sales of the Leatherman Personal Survival Tool grew very rapidly after its introduction in 1983. They outstripped the production capacity of the initial Leatherman Tool Group facility in Portland OR, so some had to be manufactured with parts made in Japan. All these tools have "Leatherman" stamped in much larger letters on the handles. They all have the original awl with ragged mill marks, pliers that are squared at the base, and handles with rules marked only in inches (metric markings were added in the early 1990s). Based on tool details and handle markings, it appears that the Big Letter PSTs were sold in parallel with the first Pocket Survival Tool and the small-letter PST, throughout the mid- and late-1980s.
The Big Letter PST evolved through six variations, with the following chronology:
- US Pat 4238862 Rivets: Like the first Pocket Survival Tool, the earliest big-letter PSTs were stamped with the 1980 patent number. The had four hollow rivets holding the tool together, and an "outie" can opener bevel.
- US Pat 4238862: In later tools, the rivets were replaced by hollow screws with flat, knurled heads, the same as all later PSTs. It allowed for easier tool disassembly, but only with a special tool. The can opener switched to an "innie" bevel.
- US Reg'd TM 1325473: The Leatherman trademark was issued in March 1985. Starting some time after that date, it was stamped on the handles instead of the patent number.
- US Reg'd TM, Japan on Blade: Early "big letter" PSTs only had "Leatherman" stamped on the blade tang, but later ones added "Japan" in smaller letters beneath it.
- Reg'd TM: During or shortly before 1988, the handle stamp switched from "US Reg'd TM" to just "Reg'd TM". We have not found any documented reason for the change, but international sales may have started, with additional registrations in other countries.
- Rounded Pliers: The final big-letter PSTs switched to a slightly different pliers design, with a more tapered profile.
Size & Weight: The Leatherman Japan PST tool is 101mm (4") long, 26.5mm (1") wide, and 12.6mm (1/2") thick. It weighs about 146 grams (5.2 oz).
Colors: The Original PST comes in
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