While on a budget trip to Europe in 1975, Tim Leatherman and his wife Chau constantly came across leaky hotel plumbing and roadside fixes for their cranky Fiat. Tim realized there was a need for a pliers-based multipurpose tool. He recalled carrying a scout knife and using it for everything from slicing bread to fixing the car, but he kept wishing he had a pair of pliers.
When Tim started on the prototype for his new tool, he estimated it would take him a month. Instead, it took him three years to build the prototype he envisioned and file for a patent. With the patent application and prototype in hand, he set off to sell his idea. Unfortunately, the companies he approached didn't show interest. For another three and a half years, Tim faced one rejection letter after another.
From Tim's prototype to their latest multi-tool innovation, the company has been building its tools in Portland, Oregon. And when it's time to put their devices through their paces, they test them in the great Pacific Northwest. From hiking in the rugged Cascade Mountains, fishing off the beautiful Oregon coast, or exploring the high desert in the east, they ensure their tools are reliable for any adventure or task, big or small.