Not satisfied with the mere five ounce weight of their new Skeletool, Leatherman is planning the release of an even lighter and more stripped-down multi-tool, the Freestyle. The Freestyle is heavily based on the Skeletool, and it’ll feature a 420HC straight blade, lightweight pliers with wire cutters, a combination Phillips/flat driver, and a hybrid bottle opener/carabiner.
In order to shed a few grams, Leatherman built part of the Freestyle handle with Zytel, a high-strength nylon plastic. In comparison, the scales of the Skeletool and Skeletool CX handles are constructed from aluminum and carbon fiber, respectively.
Another big difference: The Freestyle features a combination driver in lieu of a removable bit driver. From the photos, it looks like the Freestyle’s slim driver tip is twisted and tapered for use on both Phillips and flathead fasteners.
Freestyle vs. Skeletool
With a projected street price of $50, the Freestyle will be $10 cheaper than the Skeletool, and one retailer is offering a rough availability estimate of December 2008. Given the heavy delays Leatherman experienced with the Skeletool launch, they’re likely offering a more conservative ETA for the Freestyle, just in case.
It’s possible Leatherman will stockpile the Freestyle strategically for a more profitable holiday-season launch, as they had planned on doing for the Skeletool. It’s also probable that Leatherman could release the Freestyle within the next few months, since its manufacturing process is similar to the Skeletool’s.