Leatherman Surge vs Leatherman Super Tool 300

Multi tools are built for versatility, and in many hands-on jobs that’s exactly what you need. Full-sized multi tools, like the Leatherman Wave and Rebar, are fine for moderate daily use, but constant, rugged use requires something that was designed with the job in mind.

Heavy-duty Leathermans are built for when you need a no-compromise tool that you can rely on.

The Leatherman Surge and Super Tool 300 are essentially upgrades to the Wave and Rebar respectively, but they bring new tools and capabilities to the table along with the beefier design.

The Leatherman Surge

The Leatherman Surge is an upgraded version of one of Leatherman’s most iconic multi tools, the Leatherman Wave.

The Surge has several more tools, and many of the similar tools are upgraded versions of the Wave’s. Compared to the Super Tool 300, the Surge is larger, has more tools, and has outside-accessible blades.

The extra, larger tools come at the cost of weight, however, because the Surge is one of the largest multi tools Leatherman makes. It is definitely not for pocket-carry.


  • Folded Length: 4.5” (11.5 cm)
  • Main blade length: 3.1” (7.87cm)
  • Weight: 12.5oz (335g)

Included Bits

  • Philips #1-2 and 3/16” double-sided screwdriver


  1. Pliers
  2. Wire Cutters (replaceable)
  3. Electrical Crimper
  4. Wire Stripper
  5. Straight Blade
  6. Serrated Blade
  7. Wood Saw
  8. Scissors
  9. Awl/Leather Punch
  10. Ruler (8 in 19 cm)
  11. Can/Bottle Opener
  12. Coarse Grit File (removeable)
  13. Fine Grit File (removable)
  14. Blade Exchanger
  15. Large Philips/Flathead Bit Driver
  16. Flathead Screwdriver (Large/Small)

Ideal Uses

This is an all-around comprehensive set of tools for professions and situations where you do not know what you will encounter, but you want to be ready for it regardless.

The Surge’s design is centered on the two knives which can both be opened from the outside with one hand.


  1. Although the knives can be opened with one hand, the other tools that are supposed to be one-handed are awkward at best. This isn’t such a problem for the saw/file, and the scissors since they only have to be opened once, but the pliers are difficult to open with one hand.
  2. The tool is heavy. I personally do not consider this a shortcoming because the Surge’s strength and number of tools are the main selling points. You can’t have a light-weight tool that also never breaks and has a 100% no-compromise toolset.

Smaller Sized/Larger Sized

For a smaller, lighter-weight version of the Leatherman Surge, check out the Leatherman Wave.

The Surge is the largest multi tool that Leatherman makes.

The Leatherman Super Tool 300

The Super Tool 300 is a comprehensive working-man’s tool that has a very similar toolset to the smaller Leatherman Rebar. It is best used on job sites where the pliers, screw drivers, and wire cutters are used the most often. Compared to the Leatherman Surge, the Super Tool 300 is lighter weight, has no interchangeable bits, and has fewer tools.

All of the tools open from the inside, unlike the Surge and the Wave, and its design assumes that the knife will not be the tool used most often since it cannot be opened with one hand.

All the tools on the Super Tool 300 are no-compromise, and there are no removable bits to lose.


  • Closed length: 4.5” (11.5 cm)
  • Weight: 9.6 oz (272.2 g)
  • Main blade length: 3.2” (8.1 cm)


  1. Pliers
  2. Wire Cutters (Replaceable)
  3. Electrical Crimper
  4. Wire Stripper
  5. Straight Blade
  6. Serrated Blade
  7. Wood Saw
  8. Awl/Leather Punch
  9. Ruler
  10. Can/Bottle Opener
  11. Coarse Grit File
  12. Phillips Screwdriver
  13. Flathead Screwdrivers (Sm/Med/Lg)

Ideal Uses

The number and type of tools is almost identical to the Leatherman Rebar, so the reason to purchase the upgrade is exclusively in the longer blades, thicker pliers, and more resilient toolset. The Super Tool 300 doesn’t have the same breadth of tools compared to the Surge, but it is also lighter-weight and more affordable.


  1. Three flathead screwdrivers seems like too many. Instead, they should have added scissors. That would also have helped make the Super Tool 300 more distinct from the Rebar. As it is, the Super Tool 300 is hardly different apart from the size.

Smaller Sized/Larger Sized

For a more compact, lighter version of the Super Tool 300, check out the Leatherman Rebar.

The Super Tool 300 does not have a larger version.

The Bottom Line

For the heaviest, most comprehensive multi tool that Leatherman has to offer, get the Surge.

For a hard-core multi tool with a more limited but no-compromise toolset, get the Super Tool 300.

The biggest difference between the Surge and the Super Tool 300 is that the Surge has two knives, a saw, and a file that open from the outside, while the Super Tool 300 has only inside opening tools. As heavy-duty multi tools, both are best worn on the belt.

P.S. - If you are going to write a review that says “This multi tool is too heavy,” just get a smaller model. These are huge.

Additional Resources

  1. Leatherman Surge User Guide
  2. Leatherman Super Tool 300 User Guide

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Three flathead screwdrivers IS NOT too many

Whoa... Are you crazy? The Super Tool 300 is the most work-oriented collection of actual TOOLS Leatherman makes. The ONLY reason I carry a Surge is because I use the knife more than any other tool and quick one-handed outside access is a must. But if it wasn't for that, the Super Tool 300 would be the hands-down most USEFUL tool Leatherman has ever built. There are definitely cool features on other tools that the Super Tool 300 doesn't have. Yes, occasionally a scissors would be handy. But if you want to take the analogy of putting as many TOOLS into a mutli-tool as possible...and those tools being as absolutely useful as possible, there is no comparison to the Super Tool 300. And specifically speaking to your comment about three flathead screwdrivers being too many...that's just silly. I've used a dozen other multi-tools, and most--although clever--aren't all that useful as a multi-TOOL. And one of the biggest shortcomings is the lack of flathead screwdrivers. Can't tell you how many times there wasn't a large enough flat screwdriver on a lesser tool, or there wasn't a small enough flat screwdriver on a lesser tool, or (sounds weird) but there wasn't a "medium enough" flat screwdriver (the two provided screwdrivers were either too large or too small for a medium-sized slotted screw). When they try to reduce the number screwdrivers, they drastically reduce the usability as a TOOL. In fact, I wish multi-tools had a #1 Phillips (or even a #0/#1 sized Phillips) alongside the #2 because smaller screws are everywhere and just not accessible with a #2 Phillips.

Super Tool 300

If they only had scissors on this, it would have been by ideal tool. The dedicated Philips screwdriver makes it preferable to the more expensive ones with the interchangeable but stubby half-bits, which often can't do the job with recessed screws.

Surge All Day!!

My first leatherman was the Surge. I researched for a long time before making the descision and couldn't be happier. It's still the only leatherman I own because its the best IMHO. I'm a bigger guy so weight doesn't bother me, at the same time I think it's about mindset. I know guys who carry medium to full size pistols and a reload or 2 off the clock, but then say the Surge is too heavy on the clock. I'm not talking about hanging out drinking beers either. I'm talking about packing pistol while hiking to a campsite with gear for the weekend too. The human body can get used to anything within reason. It's all about what's important to you. A good carry belt worn at the proper height is the main thing, mind set is second.
If you don't need bit kits and extender I highly recommend horizontal carry. It carries much better horizontal. On the clock I carry both bit kits extender and a couple extra varios saw blades. Weekends and off days I carry horizontal tool only. The Surge is so good I bought 2 custom sheaths before I bought another edc item. The Victorinox Minichamp complements it extremely well. The 2 things I wish I had on my Surge are eyeglass screwdriver and package opener. The Minichamp has the small peeler I use as a package opener and the small Philips. My only other multi tool is the SwissChamp and I have all my bases covered. My Surge and Buck 110 are on me 80 percent of the time, my SwissChamp and Buck when my Surge is grimy and my SwissChamp only on the rare occasion I dress up or am just making a quick run to the store. Minichamp is on my keys 100 percent of the time. If you catch me in the woods, fishing, hunting or camping I have all 3 plus my pistol! Idc if I look like Batman! I will have what I need! The only other leatherman tool I envy is the Signals "hammer."
More for a blunt self defense option, but a hammer fisted Surge with the thumb bracing the top is nothing to sneeze at in a downward striking motion.
Bottom line, if you can get past the weight, the Surge is the most capable plier based tool out there. I don't think it's even close. Great read!!