Saturday, March 11, 2006

New gear II - "craftmanship"

From the beginning, Tim has built the company on a simple philosophy: manufacture product on time, meet specifications, increase value, and provide a pleasant work environment. When asked about the company's devotion to quality, Tim simply replies, "My name is on every tool." Although he no longer spends much time on the manufacturing floor, Tim is known for wearing his signature red shop apron every day to show his willingness to pitch in wherever needed. In the mean time, Tim is very involved in manufacturing and product development issues.
About the founder - Tim Leatherman: original text from

When I went shopping for the drysuit two weeks ago, I did also a rather impulsive and needless buy: a Leatherman Tool. Since a long time I am fascinated by these multitools, but as a matter of fact I don't need one. I am very content with my Swiss army knife and in the past years I have selected a fine assortment of high quality tools for all my outdoor activities. So what can a Leathermann Tool add to this? It doesn't even offer a corkscrew! (Very important for an enthusiast of a good bottle of wine).

Yet the Leatherman Tools kept fascinating me. Just the way all the blades, pliers, knives, saws, screw drivers, bit drivers and cutters match together, the smooth way it folds, opens and closes, the ingenious way the tools are locked automatically: it's great!
I must admit I admire craftmanship and the art of engineering. I enjoy intelligent design and quality in itself. Whether it is of any use (for me) is secondary. So I am delighted with my new tool. Toys for boys.

Somehow I like pseudoromantic marketing stories like above about the man behind the toys. I have never met mr. Leatherman, but I can imagine we share the same passion about craftmanship.

And now to kayaking: two weeks ago I met mr. Klaus Lettmann: the man behind the German Lettmann kayaks. Speaking about craftmanship, engineering art: that's Klaus in person! That morning I learned a lot about kayak constructing, new developments with synthetics, enjoyed discussing with this passionated designer. I don't need a Lettmann kayak, but sure want to try one... "Deutsche Wertarbeit" will be subject of one of the next posts.

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