Review: Leatherman Skeletool CX

DLF_9358Short version: The Leatherman Skeletool is a lightweight, high quality multi-tool that combines striking industrial design with excellent functionality.

Full review:

I love multi-tools. I had an original Leatherman tool back in the day, and used to carry a Leatherman Wave will me all the time until it was stolen. I’ve carried other brands from time to time, but I also end up going back to a Leatherman. When Leatherman sent me the Skeletool, I was a little hesitant about it. Honestly, I wasn’t overly fond of the styling, as I usually prefer the ergonomics of the “old school” multi-tool. I will admit however, that I like the curved handle and carbon fiber feel of the Skeletool.

Putting the “multi” in multi-tool:
So what does the Skeletool include as far as accessories? Pliers, a knife blade that locks open, bottle opener, and two sizes of standard and Philips screwdrivers. The screwdriver bits are interchangeable, and the one that is not in use is stored in the handle. The Skeletool doesn’t come with a nylon sheath, but it does have a carabiner style clip to attach it to your gear. The carabiner clip doubles as a bottle opener for emergencies.
There are a few optional accessories available from Leatherman’s website – you can add a “Bit Kit” which contains 42 additonal bits, or a bit driver extension.

Final thoughts:
The Skeletool CX is a nice piece of kit. While I was somewhat dubious about the design, I’ve grown to appreciate the light weight and carbon fiber look. I do have a minor concern; with the Wave, the screwdriver parts were permanently attached to the tool. I’m worried about the possibility of losing the bits over the long term, or the possibility of wear on the slot that holds the additional bit causing said bit to fall out.

Leatherman’s latest multi-tool is available at most major retailers and their website. MSRP is about $100, but I was able to find them for almost half that by shopping around a bit.