Leatherman has a reputation to keep up in this world, they’ve been making multi-tools since 1983 when Timothy Leatherman and Steve Berliner out of Portland Oregon had an idea of a highly portable tool with multiple functions. They’ve come out with many models since the very first Leatherman was produced, but today we’re here to talk a bit about the Leatherman Skeletool CX Multitool!
Now just as a preface, we’re talking about the Skeletool CX for no apparent reason, as the Skeletool is the same as the Skeletool CX with one difference…a Carbon Fiber handle insert. Notice on the picture of the open Skeletool that there’s a carbon fiber insert in the handle above the carabiner. Also important to note that the knife blades are different on the two models, in that the CX offers a straight edge blade where the non CX is a partial serrated blade.
Leatherman includes 7 tools and 2 screwdriver bits in this model, including the following:
- 2.6″ (6.6cm) Straight Edge 154cm steel Knife Blade (non-CX models have a partial serrated 420hc steel blade)
- Needlenose Pliers
- Wire Cutters
- Hard-Wire Cutters
- Bit Driver (with regular and phillips interchangeable bits)
- Carabiner (which obviously doubles as a bottle opener, why not, right?)
Practical uses? You name it. Just last night I had a new Pelican case I was customizing, and all of the foam that needed trimmed up the 154cm knife blade sliced through without any problem. The pliers came in handy when pulling out the individual strips that needed trimmed, though that’s not really testing the pliers much! Who could do this without a bottle of bee….you get the hint, the bottle opener came in handy and the cap came off in such a way I could save it for my collection of caps that some day will be made into something very interesting!
Opening the Skeletool offers about the right amount of resistance, the tool won’t flip open when clipped to your belt or pocket with the replaceable clip on the side, yet isn’t so hard that you need another pair of pliers to help open it. Once open you’ll see the screwdriver bit, which by default has the phillips bit in it, though you’ll see the double sided regular screwdriver bit in the opposite handle. Leatherman creatively (and smartly) cut an opening in the side of the handle to help get the screwdriver bit out of it’s hiding place. The bit is held into that resting place with pressure, so it takes a little finger power to get it out of there, but there’s less chance of loosing it that way! Though if you do loose them, fear not, you can get replacements through Amazon, maybe this Leatherman 40-Bit Assortment will stike your fancy? Also to note, when trying to change out the screwdriver bits there’s a release latch on the inside portion of the Skeletool which allows the double-sided bits to be freed from the handle, without using that latch you’ll likely never get the thing out of there.
The weight of the Skeletool and the Skeletool CX are the same, weighing in at 5oz (142 grams). Why on earth get the CX then? Well, carbon fiber is cool, isn’t it? Oh yeah, the knife blade material too! The CX upgrades to the 154cm Stainless Steel in the blade, making it harder steel to sharpen, but it sure does hold an edge longer than the 420hc Steel in the non-CX model. The better blade material is offset by weight with the carbon fiber insert to save weight, adding to the price of the CX version. Worth it? Totally…if you can afford it.
Other questions? Comments? I’d love to hear!