Leatherman Freestyle


In the march toward making the world’s most minimal multi-tool, Leatherman last year unveiled its Skeletool, a compact model with just three implements: A blade, a pliers, and a bit driver. This spring, the company will unveil a tool even more pared-down.

The Leatherman Freestyle includes a blade and a pliers — and nothing else. It is slightly smaller and lighter than the Skeletool, and it has a similar look. But the handle has been changed and the company removed the screwdriver feature and the carabiner clip.

Leatherman - Freestyle - small photo.jpg

Leatherman Freestyle Multi-Tool

The result is the industry’s “lightest multi-tool with a full-size pliers,” according to Leatherman. It will weigh a mere 4.5 ounces and sit at just 3.45 inches long when closed up and in a pocket. When it comes out this spring, the Freestyle will cost $40 — almost half the price of the Skeletool, which retails for $72.

Leatherman (www.leatherman.com) touts the two-function Freestyle as an everyday tool used in situations where you need to cut, yank, grip, or pry. Additionally, the company offers that it may supplement an activity-specific tool that doesn’t have a strong pliers or a knife.

The Freestyle’s blade is 2.5 inches long and made of stainless steel. It is on the outside of the tool, meaning you can leave the handles closed to access the blade, which flicks open with one hand.

Leatherman - Freestyle photo 2 - small.jpg

Freestyle Multi-Tool folded up

The tool’s body and handle combine stainless steel with a Zytel plastic hybrid insert for comfort. The pliers have a regular grip area and a needle-nose plus a wire cutter.

A second iteration — the Freestyle CX — uses “premium materials,” including carbon fiber instead of Zytel on the handle. It will cost $60.

Both knives will ship to stores in May 2009.

—Stephen Regenold writes the weekly Gear Junkie Scoop for Outsidemag.com and TheGearJunkie.com.

Posted by suburban bushwacker - 03/06/2009 04:21 PM

For me this is a minimalism too far, loved the Skeletool, but now we’ve arrived at ‘pliers with blade’ I’m not so keen.

Posted by Andrew - 03/13/2009 06:05 PM

That’s a pretty tight-looking tool, but you can barely call it a tool. As far as I’m concerned, my fancy (if a bit old) Kershaw doesn’t even have enough tools. A multi-tool, in my estimation, is a “just in case” tool, as in “just in case I need to do X,” and for that it ought to have lots and lots of things so you can do lots and lots of X.

Posted by ITrekker - 03/14/2009 12:06 PM

I have an old Leatherman Sideclip that I can’t seem to abandon for this reason: recent multi-tools don’t have a clip for the pocket and usually have too many tools or not enough. For me the pocket clip is very important; I neither want a tool weighing my pocket down nor do I care to have one dangling off my belt in a case. The Sideclip is perfect for me, sadly it is out of production and probably never will be made again. The carabiner on the Skeletool was a nice idea, but it doesn’t carry the same functionality for me.

Posted by MR EM - 07/09/2009 01:45 PM

For me the knife and pliers are the most used day in and day out, so the Freestyle is the tool I will carry!!

Posted by tablerock - 03/02/2012 05:17 AM

Pliers are designed according to the principle of the two-armed lever which makes it possible to convert lower force (e.g. manual force on the shanks of the pliers) into a greater force which in the case of pliers is effective in the gripping jaws or in the cutting edge.
<a href=“http://www.tablerockoutdoors.com/”>Cutter Products</a>
<a href=“http://www.tablerockoutdoors.com/”>Braided Line Cutters</a>

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