True story: Leatherman multi-tools are go-to gear for the editors of Sunset. We value their compact size, beautiful construction, and versatility. And as a Western company, we absolutely love the fact that Leatherman has true Western roots and builds each of its tools in its factory in Portland, Oregon, as they have since 1983. Rarely does a week go by when we don’t pull out one of their multi-tools at photoshoots, in the garden, the kitchen, workshop, or our very own homes. And now we have a new favorite Leatherman that improves on the company’s winning formula: The ARC, the brand-new top-of-the-line model in their extensive line. It’s ridiculously sturdily built, boasts some 20 uses, and is one of the best-looking tools we’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for a gift for someone who values great design, exquisite quality, and high function, and who also appreciates best-in-class products, it’s the perfect fit. Here are six reasons why the Leatherman ARC is an instant icon and the ultimate holiday gift. 

It’s the Best Leatherman Yet

Leatherman ARC Blade

Courtesy of Leatherman

Back in 1983, the first Leatherman was released and single-handedly created the category of super sturdy multi-tools that included pliers in addition to blades and other fold-out tools. The ARC carries on that tradition and evolves it, offering the best knife blade they’ve ever included in a tool. The primary blade is made of MagnaCut steel, widely considered the best modern metal for blades due to its exceptional toughness, high wear resistance, and high corrosion resistance, too. The thing has just the right amount of heft to it and just looks and feels sturdy. It’s tough to imagine you’ll need to take advantage of Leatherman’s famous 25-year warranty. 

It’s Simply Beautiful

Leatherman ARC Unfolded

Courtesy of Leatherman

The design of the Leatherman ARC is elegant despite the extreme durability of the tool. The two-tone steel and charcoal gray design of the ARC strikes the perfect balance between stealth and sleek. The MagnaCut blade is a deep gray. Even the nylon sheath is handsome. It comes in yet another shade of subdued gray, has multiple pockets, includes a belt loop, tidily carries the accompanying Bit Kit, and closes with an authoritative snap. 

You Can Open the Pliers with One Hand

Leatherman ARC Pliers

Courtesy of Leatherman

Not only can you open the primary blade with one hand, but you can also open the pliers that way, which makes them easy to pull out and use while you’re stabilizing or gripping whatever you’re working on in your other hand. As with the blade, you use your thumb to unlock the handle, and with a flick of the wrist the pliers can be deployed. The hinges on the ARC are calibrated to swing freely and then lock into place when you need them, thanks to the company’s excellent magnet-based FREE platform. It’s a game changer for solo DIYers who need to keep one hand free mid-job. 

It has the Best Bit Kit

Leatherman ARC Bit Kit

Courtesy of Leatherman

The Leatherman ARC’s driver comes with an array of double-ended bits that give you a full 20 options for driving: Of course there’s the handy reversible flathead/Phillips bit that you’ll probably use the most, but it also has Torx, Pozi, and Robertson heads. That variety and specificity is unparalleled in the category and makes this an extremely nuanced tool. Not only can it handle jobs that require serious torque, but it also has that thing you can never find when you need it most: an eyeglass screwdriver so you can tighten up those readers or sunnies anytime!

It’s a Home Improvement Hero

Home-Improvement Hero

Courtesy of Leatherman

We recently put the ARC to the test around the house on various tasks we’d been putting off. An outdoor shower had been leaking and we used the pliers to tighten up the valve. A vintage Eames fiberglass shell rocking chair had loosened up over time, so we used both the pliers and the driver to make it stable again. We used a hex head to adjust and align a squeaky brake caliper on a bicycle before going for a ride. The other potential uses are infinite: We love that there’s a sturdy pry bar, an awl that we can imagine using to punch holes in leather, scissors for trimming parchment paper in the kitchen, a diamond file to smooth out rough edges on metal trim, a can opener to use in a pinch, replaceable wire cutters, a burly impact surface for hammering, and the list goes on. 

It’s Great in the Garden Too

Leatherman: ARC: Cutting Twine

Courtesy of Leatherman

The outdoors welcomes the ARC, too. Whether you’re opening bags of mulch, sawing small branches, or clipping wire for the chicken coop or raised bed critter cage, you’ll find the ARC an indispensable garden shed regular. We recently fashioned a sturdy stake to hold up a leaning acacia in our container garden and the ARC helped us cut the stake to size and tie the tree up with twine. And at the end of a long day, you can use that indispensable tool that every DIYer can put to good use: the bottle opener, which can deftly open up a beer or a soda, depending on how you want to toast yourself for any number of jobs well done using the Leatherman ARC. 

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