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Leatherman Skeletool

Leatherman’s new Skeletool is a stripped down, lightweight (five ounces!) multi-tool with all the tools you expect from a Leatherman: a screwdriver, a knife, and pliers.  And unlike with previous Leathermans, the knife and the bottle opener (the hook at the back) are accessible without opening the tool.  Oh yeah — it also looks bad ass.

Just from looking at this tool, I know I’m going to buy one.  Leatherman tells us it’s set for a November release and will MSRP at $72 for the version in the photo and $96 for a “CX” version which includes carbon fiber handle.  But some sites are already taking pre-orders at a lot less than MSRP.

Skeletool Review [Popular Mechanics]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


36 Responses to Preview: Leatherman’s Skeletool

  1. Well, this is definitely going to the top of my gift wishlist!

  2. Fred says:

    Swimming against the tide, I still like some of the Gerber tools better. I also like their motto; “Fend for yourself.”

  3. Chris Byrne says:

    Not only do I like Gerber better, but after TIM Leathermans actions and statements of the past few years, Leatherman isn’t ever going to see another dime from me.

    Normally I don’t much care about the politics of the people who manufacture my tools, but I refuse to give my money to a man who funds 9/11 conspiracy theorists and Moveon.org.

  4. Rob says:

    You can get the knife out of the Wave without opening it up also.

  5. Shannon Lee says:

    Argh — yet another tool from Leatherman that opens one-handed — if you’re right handed. The one-handed access is a truly useful feature — if you can use it.

  6. Hello Moto says:

    To Shannon:

    Is the one-handed opener different from the version used on their knives? I have a knife from them with the quick-open system and it seems like it would work exactly the same with both hands, in fact I can use it with my left hand, though it is harder for me since my left hand is not as strong/quick as my right which is necessary to open it; however, I don’t see this as a problem because if your left handed such hand generally takes on an equal strength to the “normal” right hand strength.

    On the other hand I can see where something like the thumbscrew would be impossible to use on the left hand.

  7. Chris, where did you read/hear the info on Tim Leatherman? I’ve had little luck trying to find further details about his actions and statements.

  8. jbroome says:

    Man, and I just bought the revised Wave (which does allow knife opening when closed).

    Looks really cool.

  9. Old Donn says:

    Aside to Fred & Chris, the Army agrees with you. Gerber muti-tools and Applegate-Fairbairne folding combat knives are standard issue these days. I prefer the Gerber because all the tools lock when opened. On my old Wave, just the outside blades locked.

  10. Chris Byrne says:

    I got my first Gerber multi-tool from the Air Force actually.

    Stuart, a five second google search will give you a list of links as long as your arm. Specifically, Leatherman is a VERY heavy democratic donor, was a big donor to “america coming together”, and moveon.org; and wrote an anti-bush letter, as well as making numerous statements against bush and for Kerry in the 2004 election.

  11. Chris Carver says:

    Tim Leatherman sounds like a smart man to me. I’mma order 5 of these.

  12. mike d says:

    Yup. I think I’ll be giving leatherman’s out as Christmas gifts this year. Thanks for the tip.

  13. GAC says:

    A fool and his money.
    That knife cuts both ways Mr. Leatherman.

    Thanks for the heads up Chris B.

  14. Tom says:

    As far as lefty on handed openers there are three things needed.
    1. a pocket clip that can switch sides so the knife is aligned properly in the pocket.
    2. a way to open it left handed like a stud on both sides of the blade or a hole.
    3. a way to close it left handed.

    For some knives making a lefty version requires a whole other knife. Liner locks are hard to work left handed and they basically have to make a mirror image of the right handed knife. Lockbacks and the AXIS lock from Benchmade work well in both hands though.

    To attempt to stay on topic. A multi-tool has too much going on on to make the knife lefty capable. Some multi tools (like my SOG Paratool) do let you re-arrange the tools and add new ones.

  15. Zathrus says:

    Ok, so instead of supporting a company wholly owned and operated in the US (Leatherman), you’re going to spend your money on a company that is owned and operated by a Finnish conglomerate (Fiskars, which wholly owns Gerber)?

    And this is sensible to you?

    Note that both companies have manufacturing facilities located primarily in Portland, OR, but include parts made both in and out of the US.

    Could we leave the political rhetoric at the door? Instead debate the worthiness of the *tool*, or whether or not you think the design is “cool”.

  16. Brent says:

    As the only bleeding-heart liberal toolmonger reader I’m surprised political decisions are factoring into this one. With Bushes approval rating hovering around 35% your going to have to return a LOT of purchases.

    I have the wave and think its a great tool, though I do wish the interior tools locked out.


  17. Nick Carter says:

    My Kershaw Multi-Tool has a thumb opening blade that works perfectly, granted it’s a little big compared to other tools but I love the ease of opening the knife without needing the instruction manual.

  18. noname says:

    Brent I’m no fan of Bush but congress’s approval rating is even lower than his and they are controlled by the Dems. So what does that tell you?

    I’m glad that the political viewpoints of the company were exposed here. I’m not a fan of either political party right now but until the dems actually get a clue about the second amendment (its a RIGHT get over it!) I won’t spend a dime of my money on them or anyone who supports them.

  19. Bruce says:

    I just got a SOG Powerlock to replace the Wave I lost a couple years back (for the same aforementioned reasons). I use it mostly for the pliers, and the SOG pliers can be flicked open one-handed. I was re-wiring a kitchen today, and was glad to have the SOG on my hip, instead of the Wave.

  20. Ted says:

    It sounds to me like Mr Leatherman was the one to bring politics into the mix. Not so smart; he just alienated more than 50% of his potential customers.

    Politics aside, leatherman tools seem way too expensive for what they are — gloified pocket knifes that don’t really fit in a pocket. I guess you are paying for the “Made in America” sticker.

  21. Old Donn says:

    What is this? The net’s full of political blogs where those so inclined can vent their respective spleens. This isn’t the place for it. It’s supposed to be about tools and how good or bad they are. Your political views, left or right, and a buck, ($4 at Starbucks), will get you a cup of coffee. Let’s get back on point, gents.

  22. T says:

    Huh. All of the tools on my Wave lock. All four exterior and all the interior ones. That’s why I carry it around and throw the Fuse in the car.

    I won’t ever buy a Gerber multi-tool after the plier jaw broke in half on a friend’s. I still like their knives, but that multi-tool was crap. Admittedly, that was when they first came out back in ’91. They may have improved them since then.

  23. Michael says:

    It doesn’t look like this knife has a clip–left or right. I would be buying it for sure if it did.
    For years I kept leaving my knife at home cause with all the stuff in my pocket it took it was just more clutter. Tried one of the small swiss knives. Not bad but now I had to worry about losing it.

    I currently use the Benchmade mini-griptilian and I love it. The clip puts it in my pocket but still accessible and I can still get my big ole hand into the pocket itself.

    But…there are times when I need a screwdriver, maybe pliers, etc.
    How’s come no one puts a clip on the multitools?

    I really like the look of this tool and the carbiner is cool. But how about a side clip too.

  24. Kif says:

    Wow! I just acted on Chris Byrne’s suggestion to do a Google Search. Hiring veterans, contributing to NYC disaster recovery efforts, contributing to local fire and rescue organizations…and what kind of sicko maintains a manufacturing payroll in the U.S.?! Appalling! It’s great that someone as keen as Mr. Byrne is saving people from doing business with people that don’t agree with them on everything. Great for the economy!

  25. Chip says:

    Leatherman’s website states the Skeletool will have a removable pocket clip. “Removable pocket clip means it easily clips onto a belt, pack, or vest—no sheath required.”

    Having said that, its strange that a leftist would manufacture a tool that leaves out lefties.

  26. Henry says:

    The Skeletool and Skeletool CX are turning out to be popular items for pre-order at our store, MySharpKnife. We ship to our soldiers overseas via APO/FPO addresses. Send a gift “for those who serve”. Thank you…

  27. RC says:

    I have been very disappointed with my Wave. Fit and finish is poor.The plier jaws sustained scratches when I merely opened and closed the tool (not actually used it). Moreover I have learned that Leatherman tools may be assembled in the USA, but they are not actually “Made” in the USA. The Wave, in fact, features NO stamps regarding country of origin whatsoever. The sheath (come with the tool) and the bit set (purchased separately) ARE clearly labeled, however: the former made in China and the latter made in Taiwan . . . . I was not surprised to learn, given the above, that Leatherman was recently taken to court in California . . . . google this by entering: leatherman made in the usa

  28. I would not be surprised if Leatherman moved production facilities overseas.

    I purchased 4 Waves last year and 3 Charge ALX tools. One of each for myself and the rest as gifts.

    I have found that the quality control is somewhat poor, with inconsistencies between the tools. Knife locks which don’t fully engage, pliers which only close with a struggle, leather sheaths which feel cheap and ill-fitting, packaging which doesn’t always include instructions, and pivots without adequate lubrication.

    Still, the Skeletool looks hot and I’ll likely still purchase one. Leatherman is still near the top of the multitool brands, and it shouldn’t be surprising if they join nearly everyone else in moving manufacturing overseas.

  29. Norman says:

    As a lifelong gadget lover, I’ve been hearing awesome things about the Leatherman Skeletool, too. And I found another really cool photo to go with the one posted here, at http://www.leathermanskeletool.com. Before I buy one online, though, does anyone have more input on its range of uses vs. multipurpose, compact gadgets like the Swiss Army Knife?

  30. Steve Stochaj says:

    I am starting to get the idea that the Skeletool is a hoax. The original release date was Nov., then Dec., then Jan. then 1 Feb. then 8 Feb and now 15 Feb. Either it is just a PR stunt or they are having huge production problems. Makes makes me wonder if I really want to own one of the “first” ones.


  31. Starchild says:

    I ordered the skeletool in December. Was told it would arrive before January 15. Then arrival date moved to February 2, then to Febraury 18 and now to some time between March 5 and March 18. I agree with Steve–I am beginning to wonder about production problems and quality of tool. ONe more delay and I will cancel.

  32. Capt. A J says:

    I have many Gerber and Leatherman products. All have served & failed for me and both Companies honored their warranties without question. The bottom line, I take care of business as an American to help other Americans!

  33. Brenda says:

    The size and weight of the Leatherman Skeletool makes it easy to carry it with you. Comes with 25 year warranty.

  34. Tim says:

    Check out ExpressBuy123.com

    They sell that Leatherman for $40 brand NEW. They a bunch of Leathermans!

    I am so happy I did my research.

    Happy Hiking,

  35. Shinrai says:

    My Skeletool CX busted after 1 day of what I would call medium duty use. The jaws busted in half. I wouldn’t recommend this tool. Now I have to see how the warranty system works or if it’s even worth my time.

  36. I bought five four waves and one skeletool broke two and found the Leatherman people very good to deal with replaced the knives and put in new cases as well best ever to deal with

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