So, once and for all, can I carry a Leatherman Wave multi-tool on my belt without fear of being nicked?

Shooting legal advice


Small wonder even the policeman is baffled as the law is not easy to understand.

I’m not familiar with this particular tool but provided it has a folding blade less than three inches long there is no problem.

If the blade is more than three inches long you must be able to show a good reason for having the tool with you.

Good reason includes paunching rabbits, gralloching deer, gutting fish and all the odd cutting jobs on the shoot.

Any knife with a blade longer than three inches should be removed from your belt or the car when you don’t actually need to use it.

  • Peter House

    It is LEGAL to carry a folding pocket knife (such as a Swiss Army Knife) in public, if the blade is less that 3in or 7.62cm long. Any blade longer than that is ILLEGAL. Furthermore, if you carry a multi-tool or knife in a public place which has a locking blade of ANY length (literally any length) then you are liable to have it confiscated and/or face a fine or imprisonment (S139 Criminal Justice Act 1988).

    For the record, it is NEVER legal to have a locking knife in a public place; even if it’s for work, as part of a national costume or for religious reasons. These are known as Statutory defences, however, an offence will still have occured and you will still be liable to prosecution. The decision whether or not to prosecute is made by the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and a jury will decide if you have “good reason” or “lawful authority”.

    In summary, you are not, at any time, permitted to carry a Leatherman Wave, which has a fixed blade, in a public place.

    I hope this helps. Oh, and I’m a new Police Officer and this offence is freshly embedded in my brain.

  • Malcolm Fuller

    Re Leatherman multi-tool,the law regarding the carrying of a multi tool not only depends the lenth of the blade but more importantly that the blade is lockable as most Leatherman are.thus being in a public place with a lock knife without good reason or resnoble excuse would leave you open to prosacution,
    also in your car is still regarded as a public place if you get stoped by the cops and are not going to or from your shoot i e driving past your house on the way home from your shoot and popping into tescos could be unlawfull.