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Old 08-19-06, 12:58 AM   #1
avatarworf
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Leatherman vs just wire cutters?

Hi all --

hope I am not driving you mad with my questions! We are doing a final gear check and discovered we haven't got anything to cut gear/brake cables with if we need to replace them. I know people have recommended the Leatherman tools for this but are there other reasons we should get one or are we better off with just a wire cutter on its own? I think Shimano does a light weight one. We already have a multitool, bottle opener, scissors etc...

Thanks!
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Old 08-19-06, 03:27 AM   #2
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The needle-nosed pliers are useful on their own and the cable cutter is quite good for inners. I use the mini version which has a 1/2 length folding handle.
4oz/114g Length: closed = 7cm, open=15cm

Dont confuse the tool for the outer cable cutter: these are specialized tools that you dont need to carry.

Last edited by MichaelW; 08-19-06 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 08-19-06, 08:50 AM   #3
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I've never had a cable fail on a tour, but I always have them checked and replaced before I leave and my longest tour was 3 weeks. I do carry cables with me and have a needle nose pliers with a small wire cutting insert. I always figured that if I had to replace a cable, that I would just roll up the end of the cable and wait until I got to a bike store to have it trimmed.

I try to keep the weight I am hauling to a minimum and have rejected metal tools I am unlikely to need. I'd forget the Leatherman (they aren't light!) and go with a small needle nose with cable cutter.

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Old 08-19-06, 09:16 AM   #4
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If you precut your cables to make sure they have the correct end on them (many come with an swag on each end for different shifters or brakes) and you are not touring in total isolation you can skip the wire cutters. Just coil up the excess wire when you install it and borrow a pair of pliers or side cutters when you run into someone - it is a pretty common tool.
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Old 08-19-06, 12:16 PM   #5
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I asked a similar question. My idea (and most thought it was the right one) was to loop up the excess and tie it to your frame. The next bike store can cut the cable to fit for you.

A lot better then hacking up a cable.
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Old 08-19-06, 04:34 PM   #6
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I don't think the leatherman steel is hard enough to cleanly cut the cable, you will either have a nasty looking cable end or a damaged cutter on your plier.
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Old 08-19-06, 05:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a77impala
I don't think the leatherman steel is hard enough to cleanly cut the cable, you will either have a nasty looking cable end or a damaged cutter on your plier.
Mine does cable just fine. It has a special notch that is apparently hardened steel. Mine is the PST which they don't make anymore I used the first one for over 15 years before it disappeared. Got the second one on clearance sale In response to the OP I wouldn't worry too much about carrying the Leatherman, if you have a multi tool that will cover everything else. I would make sure you have the right cables with the correct ends on them tho.

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Last edited by wahoonc; 08-19-06 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 08-19-06, 05:16 PM   #8
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I have own 2 leathermans, a wave and a charge, and neither are suitable for cutting cabels.
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Old 08-19-06, 11:53 PM   #9
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I know from experience that cutting wire with a leatherman DOES damage the tool.
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Old 08-20-06, 12:27 AM   #10
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Thanks all, will go to the LBS today and see what they recommend. We will be in some pretty remote places but not immediately so we may get the tool mailed out to us a bit later in the trip.
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