First look: Leatherman Skeletool

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If you work with technology you probably occasionally need to unscrew, pry, or snip something. If it's only occasional, the usual approach here is to carry some sort of multitool, and I've been on a years long quest for a capable multitool that isn't a huge brick in your pocket. I already have a Leatherman Wave and a Charge XTi, but they're way too heavy, so I thought I would try the new Skeletool CX. The Skeletool is a stripped down multitool that nominally offers "7 tools":
  • 154CM Stainless Steel Clip Point/Sheepsfoot Combo Knife
  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Regular Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Hard-wire Cutters
  • Large Bit Driver
  • Bottle Opener
  • Carabiner Clip

Yeah, I note that that's 8, but I guess they're not counting the biner.

Really, though, you'll note that four of those tools are part of the pliers, so this is 4 tools: a knife, pliers, screwdriver, and a bottle opener. On the other hand, there are two double-ended screwdriver bits, so you could argue that the screwdriver would count for 4 tools, so maybe this is 7 tools after all.

Anyway, the Skeletool weighs in at 5 ounces and feels pretty slim in your pocket. The first big problem I noticed is that the outer corner of the knife blade is pretty sharp and so every time I jam my hand in my pocket, it scrapes my hand, which is kind of unpleasant. On the suggestion of Kevin Dick, I tried putting it in the change pocket of my 501s, where it just fits and which puts the edge of the knife against the cloth rather than against my hand. This isn't perfect, but it's pretty good and doesn't overweight my pocket and doesn't involve jamming my hand.

This isn't to say that the knife doesn't do a perfectly good job of slicing your hand open, however. I unwisely ignored the advice not to cut towards yourself when cutting apart a pair of socks (you know the little plastic "T" that holds them together? just pulling it out can damage the sock) and managed to slice a cm or so gash in my finger. Some crazy glue on the cut seems to have solved that problem at least temporarily, though. I understand that the ethyl cyanoacrylates sometimes cause irritation, but I haven't found it to be a problem.


Leatherman certainly does produce a nice factory edge. When I first got my Wave, I took some nice scalloped layers of skin off my thumb opening the serrated blade.

Have you tried wearing the Wave in a belt holster? That's how I've always done it (my first one came with a mini-Maglite and a holster for both) and the weight has never seemed excessive, particularly compared to the few occasions when I stick it in a pocket.

I rarely wear a belt.

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