When Tim Leatherman developed his first prototype multitool in 1975, there was no such thing as a multi-tool—he invented the category. Innovation has been at the heart of his namesake company ever since, and is perhaps best exemplified by the brand’s in-house skunkworks unit called The Garage. Launched earlier this year, The Garage is a dedicated team within Leatherman focused on pushing the bounds of design, materials, and, with its latest release, called PARTS, sustainability.
PARTS is a pocket knife, and it's the third release from The Garage, preceded by Mr. Crunch (an updated version of Tim Leatherman’s original prototype) and The Darkside (a G10-handled and PVD-coated version of the Charge tool). With a quick glance, you’d be forgiven for assuming PARTS is just like any other EDC knife but the reality is far from it.
The flagship feature of PARTS is its interchangeable blade. Users have the option of switching between a “work blade” in a sheepsfoot shape and an “EDC blade,” which has a drop-point design, using the included bit driver (a must-have mini multi-tool in its own right). Each blade is 3.2 inches in length, and slots nicely between the G10 handle scales for a slender closed length of 4.3 inches. Beyond that, PARTS features a few touches you would expect from a high-end EDC blade like a lanyard hole, a removable and reversible pocket clip, and dual-sided thumb studs for easy opening with either hand.
But the most interesting feature of PARTS is the sustainable process with which it was developed. Instead of custom making tons of unique tiny parts, the design engineers at The Garage looked around them for what was already available. PARTS utilizes 26 spare parts from other tools in Leatherman’s lineup, cutting down on the need to open new molds, make new screws, go through countless prototypes for a new pocket clip—you get the idea. In that sense, PARTS is an experiment in in-house upcycling.
None of that is to mention the aesthetics, which are decidedly modern. PARTS features white handle scales and a pop of lime green on the spine of the handle inscribed with the pocket knife’s serial number and “Leatherman Garage.” Leatherman makes few knife-only tools, too.
If you’re interested in a PARTS knife of your own, act quickly. Previous Garage releases have sold out in minutes, and Leatherman made less than 1,000 of these.