Review: Leatherman Skeletool

Some marketing exec at Leatherman is sitting around one Saturday morning, probably stoned, watching Masters of the Universe and eating his third El Capitan-sized bowl of Crunchberries. "Skeletor," he thinks after watching the evil villain be defeated by yet another dumb do-gooder trick, "is a Skeletool!" Hmm, he thinks, I could use that...

Luckily the product engineers are able to convert, and the result is one the best backcountry multitools available. At 4.9 ounces, the Skeletool is light and efficient, with just what you need: blade, needlenose/regular pliers, wire cutters, four double-sided bits (Phillips #1 and #2, flathead 3/16 in. and 1/4 in.), removable pocket clip and wiregate carabiner clip that doubles as a bottle-opener. A separate $20 bit kit gives you a chromosome's worth more double bits (42 total) including Pozi #1 and #2.

The feature set is impeccable; the quality typical Leatherman high-bar stuff; the usability top notch. The fine blade is a versatile drop-point with a thumb-hole for one-hand opening. The CX version costs a worthwhile $20 more over the full stainless version and adds four things: a scratch-resistant coating (nice), a 154CM blade (very nice), a piece of carbon fiber in the handle (um, OK, subtract 1 gram in weight – no, I'm not kidding), and a serrated bottom half of the blade (best for cutting cord and webbing). Kudos to Leatherman, this is the perfect backcountry companion.

Hits: Wicked cool design, with all the tools you need, almost weightless, with optional bit kits to boot.
Misses: Umm... carbon fiber scales look cool but don't shave the weight.
MSRP: $70
Buy It ($46 at Home Depot)

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