I have been using a Leatherman® MUT® (Military Utility Tool) for close to a decade now. It has become my go-to multt-tool tool for in-the-field firearm maintenance. Although there are now other excellent multi-tools designed for this purpose, the MUT was the first and remains one of the best.
The MUT was designed to be the ultimate multi-tool for military and law enforcement professionals, as well as civilian shooters. It was the first multi-tool to combine Leatherman’s most used utility tool features with essential firearms maintenance tools. The MUT was specifically designed with the maintenance requirements of the AR-15/M16 family of firearms in mind.
The MUT was developed over a period of two years. SFC Aaron Hampton and SFC Robbie Johnson of the US Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning consulted in its development. The MUT was tested and refined in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as military bases.
The MUT has a number of unique features that make it ideal for the armed professional. These include a bolt override tool for clearing bolt override malfunctions, removable 1/8-inch firearm disassembly punch, bronze carbon scraper that won’t scar weapon components, threaded cleaning rod and brush adapters for all standard 8/32-inch threaded rods and brushes, screwdriver bits sized for sighting adjustment work, a front sight adjustment tool and 3/8-inch wrench, hammer and a shrouded replaceable cutting hook. A 3/32-inch GLOCK® and handgun firearm disassembly punch is available as an optional accessory.
Other MUT tools include needle nose pliers; regular pliers; premium replaceable wire cutters, premium replaceable hard-wire cutters; stranded-wire cutters; electrical crimper; 420HC combo knife; saw; carabiner/bottle opener; and large bit driver. There are 16 tools total.
The MUT lacks a dedicated tool to tighten the castle nut on an AR. Although in all fairness, I have never had a properly staked castle nut loosen on me. And should the latter happen, the included screwdriver bit and the MUT hammer could be employed in a pinch.
Founded by Tim Leatherman and his business partner Steve Berliner in 1983, Leatherman Tool Group literally wrote the book on modern multi-tools. The MUT is no exception. The MUT is an exceptional heavy-duty multi-tool for all-around use. It will perform virtually any task in which a standard Leatherman multi-tool would be expected to perform.
The MUT is constructed of stainless steel with 420HC blades and 154CM cutters. All of the blades and tools lock into place. The MUT features outside accessible blades for one-handed employment. It additional to the carabiner it also has a removable titanium pocket clip. It weighs in at 11.2 ounces (317.5 g), which is less than a loaded 30-round 5.56 magazine.
The 420HC stainless steel blades on the MUT has good toughness and very good corrosion resistance. The HC in 420HC stands for “high carbon.” This means it can be brought to a higher hardness than 420. Popular with commercial knife makers, it can be sharpened to a very fine cutting edge, good edge retention, and is easily re-sharpened. Even with its lower chromium content, 420HC is much tougher and more corrosion resistant than 440C, the benchmark of a generation ago. The 420HC alloy is a good general-purpose knife steel with proper heat treating.
As mentioned, the replaceable cutters are 154CM stainless steel. The 154CM alloy is a Crucible Metals, premium-grade, high-carbon stainless steel that is virtually identical to the Hitachi ATS-34. The 154CM stainless is a high-molybdenum modification of 440C that offers improved wear resistance and better corrosion resistance. The 154CM alloy has an extremely fine grain structure and is known for its toughness. It gives you approximately twice the edge retention of the 420HC.
Most of the commonly used components on the MUT can be quickly replaced in the field using a TORX® #8. This is a big plus since the entire tool need not be replaced if a component becomes worn or broken.
Although Leatherman uses a proprietary bit driver, the included tool steel bits will take care of most of the tasks in which the MUT may be expected to perform. If additional bits are necessary, an accessory bit kit is available from Leatherman that includes 21 bits. The MUT features handle bit storage which allows you to conveniently store Leatherman tool bits in the handle for safe keeping and easy access on the job.
An EOD model of the MUT is also available. Designed for EOD technicians, the MUT EOD has a mil-spec cap crimper built into the pliers and a replaceable C4 punch instead of the firearm disassembly punch of the standard MUT.
Black oxide versions of the MUT and MUT EOD are available. The only real advantage to black oxide is reduced visual signature (decreased reflectivity). Black oxide adds only mild additional corrosion resistance.
The Leatherman MUT has a MSRP of $159.95 and comes with a MOLLE sheath in coyote or black and a combo 3/8-inch wrench and front sight adjustment accessory. As with all Leatherman tools, the MUT is made in the USA and has a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty. It’s an ideal multi-tool for anyone who carries rifle or carbine based on the AR-15/M16 platform.
Model: Leatherman MUT
Manufacturer: Leatherman Tool Group
Closed Length: 5 in | 12.7 cm
Primary Blade Length: 3 in | 7.6 cm
Weight:11.2 oz | 317.5 g
Number of Tools: 16
Includes: 3/8” Wrench and Front-Sight Adjustment Accessory, MOLLE Pouch
Materials: 420HC Stainless Steel, 154CM Stainless Steel, Bronze, Black Oxide
Included Bits: Torx #15 & Hex 7/64″, Phillips #1-2 & 3/16″ Screwdriver, Phillips #2 & 1/4″ Screwdriver
Country of Origin: USA
Leatherman Tool Group
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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Photos courtesy Leatherman Tool Group.