Leatherman Skeletool

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

Most multi-tools are chock full with functions, though they’re often too heavy to conveniently carry in a pocket. Conversely, pocket knives are light and streamlined but not applicable to circumstances where you need a pliers or wire clipper.

That’s the logic Leatherman (www.leatherman.com) puts forth when introducing its Skeletool, a light and compact multitool with just the basics — a stainless steel blade, pliers, a bit driver and a carabiner clip. That’s it.

Leatherman-Skeletool 2 .jpg

This setup creates a solid little tool that weighs 5 ounces. It slides easily in a pocket or clips securely to a belt loop.

An outside-accessible knife blade opens just like on a pocket knife, and you can flick it open with one hand. The tool’s screwdriver bit switches flat or Philips tips in a second.

The newly-designed pliers includes a wire cutter.

Leatherman-Skeletool - W.jpg

But that’s about it. A simple and straightforward tool, but one I’ve found useful for most tasks.

Backpackers may want more options, especially a can opener. No corkscrew here, either, in case you brought wine (though the carabiner clip doubles as a bottle opener for beer).

And that little plastic Swiss Army toothpick we all love? Not on this tool’s frame.

Price is $72 retail, though it goes for less online.

Stephen Regenold writes a daily blog on outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.

Posted by Steve Bottorff - 11/07/2008 12:40 PM

For another 3/4 oz. you can carry the smallest Swiss Army knife and have your toothpick, as well as tweezers, scissors and a nail file. The only duplication would be the small blade which is handy for small tasks.

Posted by Gear Junkie - 11/07/2008 09:11 PM

But no pliers!

Posted by jp - 11/10/2008 11:02 AM

Biggest bonus to having a leatherman… pliers :)

Posted by Mike - 11/14/2008 11:37 AM

As I shop around for a Skeletool deal I notice several different model numbers for these…are there different Skeletools available?
Thanks,
Mike

Posted by John T. Hoffoss - 09/23/2009 03:53 PM

The skeletool was fabulous for its light weight. I bought one and lost the screwdriver bit installed in the end of the handle within a week. My other gripe I had before returning it was that the design makes it difficult to carry in a pocket with anything else like a cell phone, for fear of scratching it, or getting it tangled in keys.

I miss my old Wave without scissors, which I had on my Micra, both of which were confiscated (a week before I lost my 8-yr old Spyderco Delica) when I absentmindedly left for a flight. Stupid TSA. The new Wave (New Wave, I should work in Leatherman’s marketing!) has this style screwdriver in it now too. Though the screwdriver bit isn’t exposed like it is on the skeletool, so perhaps that’s not so bad.

I’m making due with a Juice S2 for now, but the design of the scissors leaves a bit to be desired. To make matters worse, I haven’t been able to find a plain stainless Micra, only the color ones, which are heavier and bulkier. Argh!

Posted by Patrick Herman - 11/04/2009 07:51 PM

Good weight and strong design. Missing a can opener. When you come in from the backcountry and hit you vehicle and all you got are canned goods to get refueled, what good is it. Another hyped gadget you can do without. Gave mine away. Also, Phillips Head screen driver bit feel out. Which can happen to anyone who is rough on gear.

Posted by Matt - 01/21/2014 12:38 AM

Those who have used them can tell you the leatherman skeletool is a pretty awesome little multitool. All the necessary functions without any of the ones you’ll never use.

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