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Leatherman Skeletool review...

Discussion in 'MultiTools and Other Pocket Tools' started by polak187, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. polak187

    polak187 Loaded Pockets

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    Skeletool is a new addition to Leatherman’s full size tool family. At just 5 ounces it is stripped to bare minimum. I guess if you are a person who cuts of the handle of your toothbrush in order to save the weight when traveling than this tool is for you. In order to slim the tool down so Leatherman had to sacrifice few features. Things that are gone but not forgotten (or missed): can opener, serrated blade, file, saw, small screwdriver, and scissors. It’s really up to you to decide which feature you are going to miss the most. Skeletool has only few functions: pliers, wire cutters, screwdriver, bottle opener and of course a knife (plain blade for stainless steal model and partially serrated for carbon version).

    [img width=640 height=480]http://brunerdog.tripod.com/skeletool/1.jpg[/img]

    [img width=640 height=480]http://brunerdog.tripod.com/skeletool/2.jpg[/img]

    [img width=640 height=480]http://brunerdog.tripod.com/skeletool/3.jpg[/img]

    [img width=640 height=480]http://brunerdog.tripod.com/skeletool/4.jpg[/img]

    It can be worn in a provided sheath, clipped to a pocket/belt with removable clip or using build-in carabineer hanged off loops/buckles/straps. Tool saves about 3 ounces over typical multitool like Charge. Tool is slimmer and feels lighter but seems bigger. Carabineer attachment makes a tool longer.

    [​IMG]

    Screwdriver function can accept interchangeable bits from Charge line. It also features new way of securing the bits for use. Tension spring is used to secure the bit in place but in order to change it you have to press down on the lever to remove the bit. With older tools you just “yanked” the bit out. I guess this prevents the notch on the bit from wearing out. I’ve started to see this on bits I use and change quite frequently on my Charge multitool. Screwdriver on Skeletool can only be used in handles open position not giving you the best grip. One extra bit can be stored in the handle. Bit is held inside by friction and even after banging the tool on the table I couldn’t get it out but simple push with the thumb slides it right out.

    [img width=640 height=480]http://brunerdog.tripod.com/skeletool/5.jpg[/img]

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    For a slim tool, Skeletool is pretty comfortable. You will not get the “pinch” effect found with earlier Leathermans but with high pressure handles start to feel weird.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bottle opener works in reverse way but it works. It also doubles as a carabineer. Now what I’m really missing from this tool is can opener. I guess all this weight saving was aimed at hikers, backpackers, kayakers, hunters or whoever has to hump their stuff on their back. Pretty good assumption could be made that most of those people will be using caned food at one point or another. Taking out the can opener made this tool little inconvenient but than again GI can openers don’t really weight that much either.

    [​IMG]

    Tool carries easily by pocket clip and sits flat against the body. Clip can be removed if needed. Carbineer is a totally different story. Since the inside of the carabineer is flat (because it also serves as bottle opener) it doesn’t sit well with straps or fatter rings. It constantly rotates into vertical position causing obstruction. If the strap has little bit of slack and is made out of soft material than the tool will lie flat against the surface. Also using a small loop out of paracord, zip pulls or extra clip works just fine. I tried attachments to bunker gear, packs, med bags, pants, belts and it works. You just need to be creative about it.


    Some examples:
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    Case that comes with Skeletool is big. On the left you see a Charge with 2 sets of bits and Arc AAA on the right you see Skeletool. My guess is to ditch the case for Skeletool.

    [​IMG]

    In the end it is a decent tool that I’m planning to keep. It is light and comfortable but lacking some features than you may find important. Again missing features can be improvised if needed so it might not be a big deal for some. Personally I see use of this tool in little different spotlight that Leatherman intended. It would be emergency work and it’s only due to its accessibility. Right now in emergency situation I might have to reach for a pouch to grab my tool but if stuff was hanging right of my turn out coat or vest I would have a tendency to use it more. One hand access plus if you get creative one hand opening can be accomplished if needed. But for outdoorsmen Skeletool saves weight but is not much change on the volume. If I needed one and only tool than I would carry extra 4 ounces of Charge and have everything I need. Cs4 at almost the same weight has 3 times the amount the tools that Skeletool has but is smaller and may not have the grip you want for your pliers and definitely coolness factor is not there either. Another option is Buck’s X-Track tool that for 1 ounce of weight extra might have extra function that you need. I would give Skeletool a 3.5 star rating out of 5. My dog gives it 1 and you go figure why.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. pnslts

    pnslts Empty Pockets

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    nice review thank's :luck:
     
  3. Bolster

    Bolster Loaded Pockets

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    Great review, very funny ending! I don't blame your dog for not liking it.
     
  4. NeonLights

    NeonLights Loaded Pockets

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    Nice review and pictures. I've had my Skeletool for several weeks, and at first I was very underwhelmed, but it has started growing on me a little bit. I still prefer my old Leatherman Sideclip to the Skeletool though. The Sideclip has a bigger pliers, more tools, weighs the same, and is smaller than the Skeletool. Two of the biggest features of the Skeletool don't appeal that much to me, namely the bottle opener/carabiner clip (I maybe use a bottle opener once or twice a year, and always carry inside a pocket) and the beefier, locking, outside opening knife blade, since I always carry another knife with me. For my uses I even find myself preferring the Kick at 1/3 the price (and roughly the same size and weight), but the Skeletool definitely has a "cool" factor to it that the more traditional Leatherman tools lack. In general it is a high quality multi-tool with a distinct appearance and unique, minimalistic feature set that will appeal to some people.
     
  5. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

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    Great review!

    I really appreciate a review with lots of photos. Pictures can say a lot.

    Thanks,
    Dan

    :)
     
  6. cerbie

    cerbie Loaded Pockets

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    I think the outdoorsy bit is pure marketing. The tools included are a perfect minimal urbanite set.
     
  7. bquinlan

    bquinlan Loaded Pockets

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    My dog just bites the ends off of cans, so that wasn't so much of a problem. However, he did complain about the lack of the scissors he needs to keep his fur from getting matted. :idiot2:

    --Bob Q
     
  8. Styerman

    Styerman Empty Pockets

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    Very nice pics , you are or were a semi pro type photographer !I find the lack of a saw a tipoff , the Skeletool was designed for the urban types . I still want one , kinda like an off duty multitool .

    Chris

    PS , like the dogs input to the review .
     
  9. Bolster

    Bolster Loaded Pockets

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    By the way, what is "tactical diaper exchange" as per the patch in the photos above?

    When my wife calls me and hands me a hot steaming one from my toddler, telling me to dispose of it, is that a tactical diaper exchange? Can I argue I need a Skeletool if that's one of my fatherly duties?
    :lolhammer:
     
  10. Sharpy_swe

    Sharpy_swe Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for a great review with great pictures!!

    O0
     
  11. EDCPHREAK

    EDCPHREAK Empty Pockets

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    Just got my stainless Skeletool today. Like I really needed another multitool..... Not sure if I like it or not yet...

    Quality is good, but would be really thrilled if it had scissors and a saw !!!!!
     
  12. grox

    grox Loaded Pockets

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    Great review, and illustrative photos too!
     
  13. Ken C.

    Ken C. Loaded Pockets

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    I should have my Carbon Skeletool in a few weeks. I am a minimalist when it comes to carrying gear on or in my turnout gear so the Skeletool should fit the bill. Less is more in my book. Great review, btw. It answered some questions I had regarding the carabiner.
     
  14. MetalMork

    MetalMork Loaded Pockets

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    Just received my Skeletool from the U.S.A. (thanks to the now excellent usd->euro rate).

    Bought it for collection purposes, since my Leatherman Pulse packs a lot of functions
    into a rather small tool and I find it much much more useful for everyday usage
    than the Skeletool.

    What I like about the skeletool is the coolness factor though :p

    ^M^
     
  15. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    I stopped by my favorite store at Southcoast Mall in Costa Mesa, CA: Plaza Cutlery. I handled the Skeletool. While I was impressed with the lightweight and shape of the blade, I was underwhelmed by that large clip.

    To me it looks like an afterthought; a mere contrivance not unlike the design of the crenelated bezel of certain flashlights as buttressed by the false sense of utility as a self-defense device that in reality serves no more usefulness than a gaggle of mono-syllabic sophomores attempting a critique of the selected works of a erudite.

    But, that's just my opinion and I could be wrong. :p :winkwink:
     
  16. idoru45

    idoru45 Empty Pockets

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    Ding Dong! :roof:

    My skeletool arrived today (the non-CX version). Despite having to come into work it's already a firm pocket favorite and I can't see anything to complain about so far. I've been offering myself out as odd-job man this morning looking for opportunities to fire it up. Looks like it will be very handy and a real eye-catcher. Plus, it's tucked in the back pocket of my work trousers and I hardly know it's there, so should feel even better in jeans / cargo pants.

    Worth the wait for us UK users!
     
  17. Bolster

    Bolster Loaded Pockets

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    Dang, I likes the way what you slings them airudite words around. You must be a eddycated man, what with to use such a artikulite mettyfore.

    :thumbsup:

    P.S.: Ain't I seen you on the Spyderco forums?
     
  18. temujin

    temujin Uber Prepared

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    He’s got a real purty mouth on him, ain’t he?
     
  19. flashlight

    flashlight Empty Pockets

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    Great review! O0
    Looks like the blade is right-handed opening only unless there's a ninja-flick technique to opening it! :green:

    polak187, will it fit the Charge sheath or any of the other Leatherman sheaths since the sheath that comes with it looks a bit too big.Does anyone know if it will fit the sheath for the Surge? :shrug:
     
  20. DB

    DB Kilted Moderator

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    So, I went out and picked up a Skeletool for myself the other day. I'm liking it alot, however I really want a belt sheath for it other than the one it came with. Are there any custom makers out there that could make one for it that wouldn't cost more than the tool itself?