Thu Nov 18th 2004 20:47:01: Leatherman Wave 2004 compared with the original Wave

Today I received my new Leatherman Wave 2004, and here are some photos of it compared to an old Wave (which I'm about to sell!).

The Wave 2004 is on the left in all photos

Firstly the leather pouches:

The Leather pouches

The two tools together:

The two tools closed

The two tools open:

The two tools open

The scissors and screw drivers. The 2004 Version has a screwdriver bit, which you can swap round. One end has a small flat head and the other has a small crosshead.

One side of tools

The cross head driver and can opener. Again the 2004 has a reversable bit. This one has a crosshead one end and a medium flat head the other end.

The other side of tools

On the 2004 all the screwdrivers etc lock. Here is a closeup of the locking mechanism:

The locking mechanism for the screwdrivers etc on the Wave 2004

The blades on the tools:

The Blades

In summary:

  • All the blades/drivers on the 2004 lock open
  • The one handed blade opening on the 2004 is smoother
  • The 2004 has one extra screwdriver over the original (the small crosshead) and it has a ruler on it, however it doesn't have a lanyard attachment. It seems this is something you have to pay extra to buy which then clips on.
  • Judging from the instructions (which covers the Wave, Charge XT and Charge XTi) the Wave 2004 is the same as the Charge XT, except for the material used for the handle.

Which do I perfer? The Wave 2004 of course ;-)


As requested below, here is a photo of the ruler on the 2004:

The ruler on the Wave 2004 - it's 200mm (8") long

You can just about make out the graduations along the edge of the tool - inches on one side and cm on the other. It's 200mm (8") long


I have been contemplating the very same switch from original Wave to wave 2004 that you have. One thing i cannot seem to find any info on though is the Ruler. I cannot find pics of it anywhere! would you be kind enough to post or email me a pic of the ruler on the 2004?

Thanks! Chris.

Comment by Chris at 23:37 on Sat 20 November 2004

The differences between the '04 Wave and Charge Ti:

1. Ti=titanium handles, Wave=stainless steel

2. Ti=harder main blade (154CM), Wave=same as old Wave

3. Six additional two-sided (total of twelve) bits, plus plastic bit holder, included with the Charge. These bits and holder are an extra cost accessory on the '04 Wave.

4. Charge has larger holster with two elastic sides for holding additional items (small pen, Maglite Solitaire flashlight, etc.). '04 Wave has similiar redesigned holster, but without additional side pouches.

I'm not sure these differences are worth the $30 premium for the Charge Ti.

However, the changes from the old Wave to the new '04 version all seem to make it worth the effort to upgrade, esp if you have a well-used Wave that needed replacing, anyway.

In fact, if it weren't for the popularity of the old Wave, the new '04 Wave would have been more accurately named as some sort of Charge model, since it is new enough to be considered a 'decontented' version of the Charge Ti, rather than an upgraded version of the old Wave.

I suspect this was the original plan because of the 'Ti' suffix to the Charge name. My guess is that the 'T' stands for the titanium handles, implying that there is a non-titanium version (which is essentially what the '04 Wave is).

Comment by rudiger at 18:10 on Fri 3 December 2004

I own an old Wave and I definitely like its one-piece handle construction as opposed to Charge with Titanium side plates attached, of which I do not have any feedback yet. However, the 154CM blade tips the scales in favor of the Charge and I think it will be my choice this time. Were there a 154CM version of the Wave I would give my preference to it.

Comment by Victor (Ukraine) at 9:25 on Wed 22 December 2004

Do you think you could send me a photo of the bottom? All of the photos i have seen are of the top side with the blade. Is the label "leatherman wave" on the bottom, with the otherside blank (ie like the top?)

Comment by dave at 15:32 on Wed 11 May 2005

The new Wave does in fact have a lanyard attatchment. It slides out with the use of a key as per the instruction manual. The lanyard ring that can be purchased separately is a quick release ring. (now I just need to figure out if I can fit a 154CM blade to my Wave....)

Comment by Stephen at 7:54 on Thu 12 May 2005

Purchased the New Wave (from Sears) along with the Swiss Army knife- Swiss Champ.I guess going by the first rushes of performance/s the Swiss knife would be a cute addition to the show case and the Leatherman wave would be in the field doing all the tough jobs...somehow inspires all the confidence.

Some folks don't like it compared to the old wave firstly because it is made in China and secondly because of the lack of a shiny blade etc and the rather (is it I don't have the old Wave) shoddy sheath...Comments please - doest it matter ? Pity the manufacturing went to China though...but then as long as we are getting good products and our economy is rolling...

Anyway it looks as though the New Wave is here to stay and do all the dirty jobs...happy working with the new tool !!!

Comment by Harry Boy at 21:06 on Mon 22 August 2005

I quite like the new Wave's sheath. It can hold extra bits and also allows you to carry the tool in the open state. Not found a need for that yet, but it's possible! I had a nice solid leather one for my original wave and I noticed that people who brought original waves after me got not as nice sheaths... the leather was softer and I didn't like them (like the one in the photo above).

Comment by Gary at 18:52 on Fri 26 August 2005

Thank you for the information. Old Wave hasn't got lock for inner tools. Is it a real problem? I mean, when you use the screwdriver does it go back to its place?

Comment by B.A. at 22:59 on Thu 23 March 2006

Just bought the new wave after losing my original Wave.

Miss the purpose pillips head, it was long enought to fit into deep crevices (radio backs). Also miss the long, narrow flat head - very handy as an awl and for tightening glasses etc. New wave is a bit too bulky.

Comment by Neil at 15:08 on Fri 6 October 2006

Three words... Made In China

There is no way in heck I am replacing my original Wave with the Asian Wave2.

Comment by Mike at 15:14 on Sat 4 April 2009

On my old pre 2004 Wave I have never figured out where the ruler is!! any one can tell me?? Thanks

Comment by Happy at 22:31 on Wed 19 August 2009

"Also miss the long, narrow flat head - very handy as an awl" agreed!! Yep, that little bit of steel,as a matter of fact there were 3 diff. sizes as I remember. Flip-bits are not a suitable sub. Like the one hand. Haven't tested yet but am mighty pleased with the warranty. Sent mine in as a basket case, third sheath, tools mostly broken, now I'm off to a new start.

Comment by Used it to death at 0:53 on Sun 30 May 2010

I bought my Wave in Atlanta GA, 1998 for $85+tax because I could not find the SuperTool in the mall. Served me very well since. I resented much that I got the nylon webbing sheath and not the stylish leather. Now I realize that it is rot proof. (My Victorinox Climber has leather pouch and I have to ensure dryness before resheathing)

The Wave does not have any scale/ruler.

Now, made in China, what a climb down.

Comment by S. I. Hasan at 11:44 on Thu 30 June 2011

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