Saturday, April 07, 2012

Miscellany: Leatherman MUT review

There's no shortage of multitools designed for the AR-15 rifle, but only a handful are worth considering. One of them is the Leatherman MUT:


Leatherman bills the MUT as a multitool for military and civilian shooters, since there are a number of included tools (carbon scraper, cleaning rod adapter) that have little or no function outside the firearms world.

The MUT is a big tool, about the same size and weight as the Leatherman Super Tool 300. It comes with a bit driver, two extra-long bits (including a Torx bit for adjusting scope rings), and a normal sized flathead/Phillips bit. All driver bits store inside the tool.


The MUT's pliers are useful no matter who you are or what you do with the tool. The pliers are plenty tough, but also fine enough to yank the cotter pin out of your bolt carrier group. To the lower right of the picture, you can see the MUT has replaceable wire cutters - another incredibly practical feature.

Here's the MUT in comparison with the Skeletool I typically carry. The MUT's longer, wider, and about twice as thick and heavy. The MUT's knife and saw blades aren't really that big, considering the sheer bulk of the tool - definitely something to consider when comparing with other multitools.

The MUT's replaceable cutter zips through paracord, cloth (great for making field dressings), and seatbelts. The screwdriver bit cleverly protects you from the cutter edge when the cutter is not in use. There's a hammer here too, for pounding in stakes and driving punches. In this picture, you can see the MUT's locking latch, which I highly recommend engaging if you're using the carabiner to carry the MUT:



If you've ever had a "hard" malfunction in your AR (see Viking Tactics "3 Little Kittens Drill"), you know that conventional clearance drills can sometimes be as helpful as bailing water on the Titanic. The MUT's cutter/hammer arm fits into the AR bolt, enabling you to brute force a bolt override malfunction. You just insert the tool into the gun, and pull:


One of the main drawbacks to the AR's direct gas impingement system is all the carbon fouling that gets blown back into the action. This stuff usually gets pretty baked on after repeated shots, and soldiers have resorted to carrying dentists' tools in order to get it off the bolt and bolt carrier group. If you're fresh out of scalers or sickle probes, the MUT's replaceable bronze carbon scraper works pretty well for getting the black gunk off your black rifle:


The MUT comes with a MOLLE-compatible sheath and a separate wrench for more optics adjustment options. They're good accessories, though I wish Leatherman threw in an extra bit kit considering the MUT's $120-ish asking price.

The MUT is exactly what Leatherman says it is - a multitool for maintaining, cleaning, and adjusting your firearm and its optics mounts in the field, as well as a general purpose device. I'm not sure whether the included features are worth the considerable expense, size and weight of the tool, though (compared to the Leatherman Wave or Charge, the MUT is positively porky).

In other words, I like the MUT, but probably won't carry it anywhere but my range bag; if I were hoofing it through the mountains in Kandahar Province, I might opt for something lighter. That being said, you'll be hard-pressed to find something better made and thought out than the Leatherman MUT, and it's well worth a look if it has the tools you need.

1 Comments:

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Jointsy said...

I have to Agree about the MUT. I have the Leatherman MUT EOD and find it extremely useful in the field. There's been plenty of other tools over the years, and all have played their part, however from the c4 Punch to oxide finish the Leatherman has been the superior choice.

 

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