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Leatherman Skeletool review...

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

  1. misterdirk

    misterdirk Loaded Pockets

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    I used a SOG Paratool for about 10 years and eventually I had to admit to myself that I didn't really like it. It always felt wrong in my hands, just awkward and clunky. So about a year ago I bought myself a LM Charge for a my birthday, and immediately fell in love with it -- solid, precise, plenty of tools. But it was a bit heavy to carry every day, compared to how I used it. And really, 75 percent of what I did was knife/pliers/screwdriver. So I got a Skeletool, and it's with me all the time. It really hits the sweet spot for my daily needs. I still put the Charge on my belt when I'm in a "project mode, " especially if I'm away from my workshop and tools all day. And I just got a Boker SubCom for when I have to put on a suit and do business, but by and large the Skeletool is my EDC mutlitool. I don't think the Freestyle will displace it for me, if it doesn't have the driver bits.
     
  2. yam350

    yam350 Loaded Pockets

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    I just thought I'd resurrect this thread with a warning to any other lefties out there. I have been doing a job on a roof garden which included some chain link fencing on a parapet wall to keep the customer's cats in, I needed to cut a length of 3mm (1/8") galvanised wire, and having left my pliers some distance away used my CK. It cut through the fencing wire with no problem, it also cut a 1/4" circle about an 1/8" deep in the base of my left index finger, at that point I said one or two bad words then went for the FAK. Where the knife blade comes down to the other handle when using the CK as pliers is the point that is used as the stop so there is no gap and no warning when cutting wire this thick, just the pain when it suddenly clicks through and takes a piece of finger at the same time as the wire.
     
  3. parawolfe

    parawolfe Empty Pockets

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    I've never been a big fan of the Skeletool. I own one because I have a bit of a multi-tool addiction. :idiot2: That said, I never really liked the Skeletool. That stupid lanyard/bottle opener extends the length when closed and makes a small sturdy tool feel bigger than need be. What is the purpose of the lanyard when it also has a pocket clip? And if you can't open a bottle with that much metal in your hands then it might be you don't need to open the bottle. :p Heck, I can open a beer with a Bic lighter, I'm sure most everyone can. I recently purchased the Leatherman FreeStyle CX. I really like the FreeStyle. But I feel a better tool would have included the bit driver. It seems that Leatherman could have incorporated the bit driver on the FreeStyle and it would be the perfect EDC multi-tool for most people.

    Parawolfe
     
  4. Chicken714

    Chicken714 Empty Pockets

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    I agree with you kind as far as the freestyle goes. I hadn't seen the skeletool tilll about 2 weeks ago when a buddy of mine brought one to work on his car. I was totally enamored with it because it isn't much heavier or bulkier than my current knife, but quickly adds pliers and screw drivers to being on my person at all times. This is a task I have been trying to do without adding a whole tool (I feel my full size leathermans are to heavy and have things I don't need (and don't have pocket clips is the main reason). The little swiss tool pliers I tried to carry on my keychain where a joke and a half, plus I can't stand having anything on my key chain except keys. This thread is quite old, but thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. I told my wife to pack her things and go if this isn't my father's day gift.
     
  5. parawolfe

    parawolfe Empty Pockets

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    I don't hate the Skeletool, I just hate that stupid lanyard/bottle opener. The FreeStyle is exactly the Skeletool without the lanyard/bottle opener and the bit driver. It has the exact same set of pliers and a blade, nothing else. I would love to see a new model with a bit driver, like on the Skeletool, added to the blade and pliers on the FreeStyle. No lanyard/bottle opener. Basically adding a bit driver to the current FreeStyle layout.

    Get the CX version of the FreeStyle. The CX has better blade steel, 154CM. It also has some Carbon Fiber in the frame but it's more about aesthetics than function. The blade on the CX is a straight blade too, no combo blade.

    Parawolfe
     
  6. jojobos

    jojobos Loaded Pockets

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    Cut the bottle opener! Now you have the Freestyle with a bit driver. And the bit driver is always ready without opening the tool.
    This is not my idea though...
    [​IMG]
     
  7. nbmaine2007

    nbmaine2007 Loaded Pockets

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    That's a neat mod. I finally ordered a Freestyle this morning. The regular one is $30 with free shipping on Amazon. I figured that I'd give it a look. I honestly am not a big fan of Leatherman bits, so while I see the lack of any bits (fixed or changeable) as too bad, it's not like I'd use that function for a whole lot of work.

    I figure I'll rotate the Freestyle through as EDC knife from time to time. There are two ways to look at it. It's a very under-tooled multi-tool, or it's a folder with a bonus. I'll go with the latter and see how it works.
     
  8. parawolfe

    parawolfe Empty Pockets

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    Excellent mod! :roof: As you might have noticed from my earlier post, I'm not a fan of the lanyard/bottle opener. I've been EDCing the Freestyle CX for several weeks now. I don't need all the bells and whistles of a full size multitool on my person. I keep a full size multitool in both my vehicles though. I may have to get the Dremel out and follow your lead. Thanks for the post.

    Parawolfe
     
  9. DemskeetSkeet

    DemskeetSkeet Loaded Pockets

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    Very cool mod, you can leave the bit in there too if you have it clipped to your pocket like I always do!

    May poke ya a few times. :poke:
     
  10. gadgetguy35

    gadgetguy35 Loaded Pockets

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    Close....It actually has to do with the angle of the cutting relief on the wire cutters. The angle of the cutters on the hard cutters is nearly 90 degrees, so it creates more of a sheer break than a cut, whereas the soft cutters actually cut the material because of a much sharper angle on the cutting edge.
     
  11. gadgetguy35

    gadgetguy35 Loaded Pockets

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    You must have gotten a defect or something because the scissors LM produces are flat out the best on any multitool I have ever seen! No SAK or Gerber can come close.
     
  12. gadgetguy35

    gadgetguy35 Loaded Pockets

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    "All in all this is a great product, it just has some limitations and works better for light duty. As long as you keep that in mind it will serve you fine."


    If only everyone would realize this. I read so many posts and reviews where the reviewer is upset that the tool won't drive their truck for them. If people would only realize that tools are built with a certain purpose and tolerance in mind, they would be much happier. The Skeletool is not made to slice through 1/8 inch wire all the time, if you do that with it routinely, it WILL disappoint you because LM didn't make it for that. And it is not a hammer. Moral of the story: Always remember the limitations of your equipment and you will never be disappointed.
     
  13. yam350

    yam350 Loaded Pockets

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    Exactly so! :iagree:
     
  14. ecom

    ecom Empty Pockets

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    I inquired whether Leatherman could sell me a 154CM plain edge blade for my regular Skeletool with 420HC blade since the Skeletool CX now comes with them. Unfortunately their answer was no....

    They will however, do a 1 for 1 swap. I send in my Skeletool with 420HC PE blade and they send me a Skeletool CX with 154CM PE blade. I don't particularly care whether it's black or silver color, but this was a nice surprise. :)
     
  15. gadgetguy35

    gadgetguy35 Loaded Pockets

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    BTW, got my skeletool in yesterday. I am blown away! Exactly what i needed and is now my new edc knife.
     
  16. johnnytest

    johnnytest Loaded Pockets

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    I bought a shackle and some swivels, and use the skeletool to keep track of the other items. This setup works great for underwater work in the pool.
    [img width=640 height=480]http://lh5.ggpht.com/_fIG4SsEXF5M/SpLkc_7DqzI/AAAAAAAAAN0/1gxNJvH1mBI/s800/DSCN6100.JPG[/img]
     
  17. MetalMork

    MetalMork Loaded Pockets

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    Nice!

    What precise size is the shackle you attached to the Leatherman?
     
  18. johnnytest

    johnnytest Loaded Pockets

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    don't remember. Just brought it in to the boat shop, and found one that fit. :shrug:
     
  19. rhicks

    rhicks Loaded Pockets

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    I disagree. I bought the CX model and the plier head snapped while I was trying unscrew a flushed screw from a wooden bed. I wasn't applying that much pressure or force that should have caused the pliers to snap like a twig. Anyway, I took it back to REI and got a replacement. It's interesting because the gentlemen at REI said that one of the employees there had one break on him. After that incident I just had no faith in the tool and it sit for months in the package. I've had my Charge Ti for years and never worried whether or not it would break or let me down. I ended up taking the CX back and am sticking with old faithful. The bottle opener also works great for oysters. :)
     
  20. johnnytest

    johnnytest Loaded Pockets

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    Because of the serrations, I use this CX all the time. The blade is so much more versital. I kind of tried to keep a minimalism black theme with the photon light.
    The pic does not do the combination justice.

    BTW I have a hard time believing you could snap the pliers with normal use. Squeezing this thing kills your hands. ie, you should break before it does.

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/qIzfmQiVsYkVAsDYeRWLaw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_fIG4SsEXF5M/SvmtBKT4VDI/AAAAAAAAASE/Ct09-EexQyM/s800/DSCN6103.JPG" /></a>