It’s been a while since I owned a multitool. The first multitool I owned was a SwissTool. I had to sell it when times were tough, and now I regret it. I have not thought about purchasing a multitool in a while, but I’ve been intrigued by the lightweight Leatherman Freestyle. In the end, I decided that the Freestyle was too minimalist for me (being essentially just a pair of pliers with a blade) and went for its older brother, the slightly bigger Skeletool.
Here’s what you get with the Skeletool :
* 420HC Stainless Steel Clip Point Knife (outside accessible, one-hand opening)
* Needlenose Pliers
* Regular Pliers
* Wire Cutters
* Hard-wire Cutters
* Large Bit Driver (with 2 pairs of bits : Phillips #1 and #2 Bit, Screwdriver 3/16″ and 1/4″ Bit)
* Bottle Opener
* Carabiner Clip
All this in a form factor that’s 4 inches (10cm) long when closed, and weighs only 5oz (142g).
This photo shows all the functions of the Skeletool :
More photos of my Leatherman Skeletool :
The belt clip is removable.
Close up of the bit driver. The bits are double-ended, so you get 4 screwdrivers in total. You can purchase an additional Leatherman Bit Kit which adds a total of 42 different bits.
The Skeletool blade comes sharp out of the box. It’s a one-handed opening blade, accessible even when the tool is closed. Even though it’s not made out of the best steel available, the Skeletool blade is easy enough to sharpen and good enough for most cutting tasks. It’s a liner-lock system.
Close up of the blade.
This is where the spare bit is kept.
I’ve handled several Leatherman multi-tools before, but have only owned (and regularly used) the Leatherman Squirt. (Read my Leatherman Squirt multi-tool review). The Squirt was great for occasional light tasks, but was really too small to be really practical for anything else.
The Skeletool certainly has a unique look. While it’s certainly lighter compared to “full-size” multitools, it feels sturdy and strong. All the tools are easy to open — no user manuals needed to learn how to use this tool. I’ve used the blade to cut paper, cardboard, and tape. All were sliced with no problems. The hard wire cutters have cut just about every piece of plastic and metal wire I could find.
There are of course some compromises:
– The ergonomics are not ideal. It’s awkward to hold the knife when cutting.
– The screwdrivers won’t be able to reach deeply recessed screws.
– Some useful tools are not available. However, I do carry a Victorinox Swisscard Lite which adds tweezers and scissors to the mix
Overall, I’m quite satisfied with the Leatherman Skeletool. It now sits in my day bag (carried at work), always close by in case I need it. Here’s my (extended EDC) :
Fenix E01 AAA LED flashlight, Leatherman Skeletool multitool, Victorinox Cadet Swiss Army Knife