The Leatherman “Torture Chamber”

Tuesday 27th February, 2024 - Bruce Sterling

*These various tools for assessing and testing multitools are quite interesting. Some of them are decades old.

Before any Leatherman multi-tool design is put into production, it must run a gauntlet of stress tests. Some engineers call the room housing these machines the Testing Lab. Tim Leatherman himself has dubbed it something more colorful: the Torture Chamber.

In the Torture Chamber, prototypes are twisted, poked, punched, prodded, bent, squeezed, and hammered. The goal? To simulate real-world conditions and see how new tools and their implements will hold up to the abuse.

To learn more about the Torture Chamber, the role it plays in product development, and where some of these specialized testing devices come from, we spoke with Peter Parker, Leatherman’s Product Design Engineering Lead. Here’s what he told us…