The TSA Confiscation Leatherman Juice Xe6 “Clone”

Somewhere in the world, right at this very moment, there is someone sitting around, shaking their head, and holding on tightly to a deep and abiding resentment against the TSA for having taken away their beloved Juice Xe6 clone. They have every right to still be pissed off… It would cost somewhere close to $100 to buy one of the genuine units.

This is the closest reproduction/clone/imitation/knock off… whatever you want to call it, that I have ever seen of a brand-name tool.

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Not having an actual Xe6 in hand to compare, the only differences that I can find at all are the slight change in the shape of the knife blade, and that the scissors on the clone are not as sturdily riveted at the pivot. Every blade is wickedly sharp. Every detail of fit and finish appears to be identical to those on the Leatherman. All the small details that ordinarily would be cheaped-off on a clone are there. Things like the thumb tabs on the smaller tools, the fact that the awl locks down over the top of the sawblade to prevent that reverse point from allowing the blade to be accidentally deployed, having each of the thumb-tab tools “lock” down with a detent into their handle stowage… The only thing that it does not have is the Leatherman® imprint on the plier jaws and litho-ed onto the handle.

Included tools are:

  1. Needlenose Pliers
  2. Regular Pliers
  3. Hard-wire Cutters
  4. Wire Cutters
  5. 420HC Knife
  6. 420HC Serrated Knife
  7. Saw
  8. Spring-action Scissors
  9. Awl
  10. Can Opener
  11. Bottle Opener
  12. Corkscrew w/ Assist
  13. Wood/Metal File
  14. Diamond-coated File
  15. Phillips Screwdriver
  16. Medium/Large Screwdriver
  17. Small Screwdriver
  18. Extra-small Screwdriver

[Taken from the Leatherman site description of the Original Juice Xe6]

Of course, since I have no way of testing the quality of the steel on the unit I got, there is no way of determining whether it actually is, or is even comparable to, Leatherman’s 420HC steel. All I can tell you is that all of the blades are very, very sharp… even the can opener and awl. All of the larger tool blades click back into the handle with a resounding snap. The four small tools with thumb-tabs lock down softly with a thumb press and the handle clips snuggly together over the pliers. There is no wiggle, there is no play, except for the lack of branding there would be no doubt you were holding a Leatherman tool. And holding it is a true pleasure. It is heavy and solid. All of the edges, whether on the blades or on the tool body, are nicely rounded off and comfortable against your fingers. Lastly, the pale metallic-green matte finish on the handle scales is lovely. In fact, I like it better than any of the colors I have seen offered on the original Juice itself. This may be a blatant ripoff, but it is one heckuva nice tool.

I have no idea why it is quite as nice as it is. I have never seen any other kind of knock-off come this close to the original product. Based on my 50/90 philosophy, I buy a lot of small products out of Hong Kong. One thing that I do understand about Chinese outsourced production is that they will quite frequently have production overruns. These are products in excess of the number ordered on contract. Since the only branding that occurs on many, many items is a litho or laser-engravinging of the distributing company’s name/logo on the handle or the like, lots like these overruns can be passed on to a Chinese distributor for a secondary branding or generic resale with the result that you are actually getting the original product… Just without the branding and packaging that might double or triple the sale price once it was here in the States.

This may very well be the case with this “Juice” are. Regardless, it certainly meets the 50/90 criteria. Since my amortized cost against all 15 tools was only two dollars apiece, for all intents and purposes, I have ended up with a $129 [“retail”] Leatherman Juice Xe6 for only a 1/50th of what it would’ve cost me even on Amazon. This easily redeems the entire purchase price of the whole TSA confiscation lot.

[I was also delighted to find out that it would slip snuggly and securely into an old cordura Gerber belt case, because with the weight of this thing there is no way that you’re going to find it to be a comfortable pocket carry.]

 

 

 

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