One of Leatherman's larger folding knives for the outdoorsman, the Leatherman E55 Expanse takes basic concepts introduced in the Leatherman Crater knife and improves on them. The several models of the Expanse offer choices of edge type and a bit driver blade option.
The Leatherman E55 Expanse is the basic knife in the series, with just one knife blade and a carabiner clip. The steel in the E55's 3.1-inch blade is a much better grade than the tough 440HC used in the Crater. According to Leatherman, the 154CM high carbon stainless steel of the E55's drop point holds an edge roughly three times as long as ordinary stainless steel. Hollow ground with a plain edge, the Expanse still hones easily with ordinary sharpening tools.
The liner lock design carries over basically unchanged from the Crater, but in a more rugged build. Nearly half the handle of the Expanse is stainless steel, and the remainder is weight-saving, glass-filled nylon. In that nylon section, a comfortable groove guides the thumb onto the thumb-stud opening system, reducing the chances of a slip onto the edge. One-handed opening action is smooth after a little practice and use, but keep the bearing clean and oiled.
The Expanse's second blade is a carabiner clip of stainless steel, large enough to hook onto belt loops, rope, gear straps, and pack loops. Fold the carabiner into the handle and use the second option, a strong stainless steel pocket clip -- or remove the pocket clip entirely to save a little weight. The extra size and strength of the Expanse raises the weight to 5.43 ounces.