Quality
Versatility
Materials
Design
Value for $
User rating
Pros: The Leatherman Skeletool is currently the 2nd best-rated multitool on our website. At the moment it is also Amazon's No.1 choice among thousands of multi-tools they sell, which speaks for itself. The 420HC steel used for this tool is the same steel surgical instruments and hunting knives are made of. It's covered by a 25-Year warranty. Solid grip and blade retention.
Cons: We've heard reports of knock-offs so be careful where you order from. In the body of the review you'll find links to the verified authentic Leatherman Skeletool.

You’re not likely to skin a moose with a Leatherman Skeletool, but you are very likely to leave it to your grand kids as a memento.

leatherman-skeletool-vs-freestyle

Two Leatherman Freestyle, Skeletool & Skeletool CX ready for some serious abuse

We could leave it at that, that might be all you need to know. But, let’s get serious and see some numbers from our February update.

The Skeletool is currently sharing the 2nd place on the list of of best-rated multi-tools overall with the Charge TTi (as you can see in the sidebar) – rated at 4.56 / 5.

Yes, you read that right, this little freaky piece is only second in ratings to the Leatherman Wave.

 
 
 

If the multi-tool industry was high school, the Skeletool
would be the rebel kid with the Cherokee haircut and black eye-liner

who doesn’t talk to anybody and nobody pays attention to –
only to discover, years later, that he was, in fact, a genius
and went on to find the cure for polio.

 

leatherman-skeletool

While everybody who reviews multi-tools and their mother are looking into the all-singing-all dancing pieces with zillion accessories the weird-looking Skeletool hasn’t left out top 5 for over a year now and is rated 4.7 in “value for money”, the second highest rating in the category.

 

Let’s get into at what makes it special

To better understand the rest of the review take a minute to watch the demo video of the Skeletool’s features.

 

90 Sec Features Demo

Skeletool after 2 years of use and abuse aka. The Torture Test

Now, that was a useful video to introduce you to the tool, but let’s get real and see how the Skeletool stood up the the pains and tribulations of real-life, every-day use (credit RoyalMarc Reviews).

That’s the “meet” of what we really need to know, we’re sure you’d agree.

 

Skeletool after a year of “torture”

 

See it on Amazon

Read more here

Skeletool vs. the top-rated Leatherman Wave

 
The Skeletool
 
Best Overall
Leatherman Wave
skeletool-vs-wave

wave-vs-skeletool

Closed lenght
(inches):
4
4
Weight (ounces):
5
8.5
Blade lenght
(inches):
2.6
2.9
Durability
& Longevity

(out of 5):
4.6
4.8
Versatility
(out of 5):
4.4
4.7
Materials
(out of 5):
4.5
4.7
Design
(out of 5):
4.6
4.7
Value for $
(out of 5):
4.7
4.7
Overall Rating
(out of 5)
4.56
4.7

Versions of the Skeletool to choose from – fire RX orange is our favorite

3-skeletool-RX-orange

Leatherman Skeletool
RX
1-sksletool-stainless-steel-top-ratings

Leatherman Skeletool
Stainless Steel
3-skeletool-CX

Leatherman Skeletool
CX

check-available

check-available

check-available

Get yourself a cup of coffee before we move on because we are about to get into the nitty-gritty. There’ll be some technical talk, so if you have any questions or dilemmas, use the comments section at the bottom and we’ll clear it all up.

DURABILITY – 4.6/5

 

25 year warranty is not something you see often
in this price range

 

More importantly – Leatherman does honor their warranty policy every time – we’ve seen it.

They’re very efficient and don’t many questions when it comes to claiming your warranty. We won’t name names because we might get into legal trouble but we know a brand or two that will drag you along when you try to claim your warranty until you just give up.

Not Leatherman. You don’t stay in business for over 30 years by falsely advertising…

Having said that, if something does break or becomes loose on this tool, it’s fair to assume that you got a piece that was faulty out-of-factory or you got yourself a knock-off of the real thing.

 

blade of the skeletool

The blade is 3 inches long and the usable cutting surface is somewhat shorter – we measured it at 2.45 inches, it’s half-serrated

 

sturdy pliers

The pliers are not spring-action, but neither are those in the Wave or the Wingman – in our experience, spring-loaded pliers in multi-tools tend to get off-set with prolonged use and not fit together like regular pliers would

 

The 420 High-Carbon (HC) steel was the perfect choice

 

leatherman-skeletool-closeup

Skeletool is made of the same hardened steel most Leathermans are – but the slick polished finish makes it, in our humble opinion, way cooler

 

The 420HC steel is a martensitic steel

This means it can be hardened by heat treatment up the Rc (Rockwell scale) of 56-59. The steel of the Skeletool is hardened past Rc of 55 which is the sweet spot. Hardening steel for tools like this is tricky, because if hardened past Rc 61 and it becomes brittle.

Bottom line – the 420HC is just right for kind of every-day tool.

We wouldn’t assort it as a super-steel (like the 440c) but a super-steel would be an overkill for Skeletool. It would double the price and wouldn’t add anything to this tool simply because it’s not designed for jobs that would call for a super-steel.

The higher carbon levels in the 420HC make for very precise and easy sharpening. The high Chromium content makes it extra strong and impressively resistant to wear and corrosion.

skeletool-midas-touch-edition

The Skeletool was one of the first five pieces we tested and reviewed back in 2012. We initially sent out 7 pieces to our featured testers and got two for ourselves to use and see how they stand the test of time.

Only 1 warranty was claimed because the spring on the handles, where keys are supposed to go, became loose. The warranty was resolved within a week and our friend and featured tester, Bram, got a new tool.

In case you’re wondering about the eye-candy above: It’s the Midas Touch edition of the Skeletool, a limited edition piece modified by the artisans over at TxToolCrafters – the handle are 24-karat gold finished and it’s not available anywhere anymore. Trust us, we looked. It did cost an arm and a leg, so forget about it…moving on…

Not all 420HCs are created equal

 

In our experience, the 420HC steel used for the Skeletool (and in most Leathermans for that matter) is almost as good as those of Buck knives and Buck’s 420HC steel is, in our opinion, without a doubt the best 420HC out there.

 

packaging front back skeletool vs wave

Don’t expect a luxurious packaging with the Skeletool, it’s as simple as the price would suggest – if it’s a gift, you might want to square your shoulders a bit and go with something that comes in a box, like Leatherman Wave Black

 

See it on Amazon

Read more here

 

tools-included-skeletool-by-leatherman

In spite of the minimal design and what you’d might think from looking at it – Leatherman Skeletool is actually a pretty versatile piece

 

The quotes from the PROs our testers shared over the years:

Leatherman Skeletool CX Multitool

  • I wasn’t expecting it, bu it’s ability to keep an edge and remain sharp for a long time is nothing short of amazing…
  • Loving the fact that it is actually made in the US…
  • If you intend to use the tool in moist condition, the tungsten coating will make the world of difference…I use mine on my boat, it’s been two years now and I’ve seen virtually zero corrosion…
  • If it held up my daily abuse with no damage…I doubt anybody can do anything to this tool…great quality…
  • Like how much lighter and portable this tool is compared to it’s bigger and heavier brother…
  • Just the amount of tools one would need for 99% of jobs…
  • Good solid grip, sturdy pliers and screwdrivers…great value for money…
  • I love how I am able to open and close the knife with one hand…
  • Best multi tool on the market…this is my third but just because I gave my previous two away as presents…
  • Great for carrying every day…I’ve never been a knife guy until I got this tool…
  • This tool eliminated the issue I had with my previous one and that is the precision and how well the sides of the pliers meet…
  • It looks so sexy that I carry it on me everyday almost as a fashion accessory…I am loving the comments that I get…
  • Amazing design…looks like a spare part for a Megatron 🙂
  • Functional and light and a real eye candy, too…
  • Includes everything that you need and eliminates anything that you don’t…
  • It is so light that I forget it’s there…
  • Very well made, sturdy material, slim design…perfect for every day use without a bulge in your pocket…
  • My favorite is the screwdriver…very practical and the screwdrivers on multi tools can be tricky to use…
  • Just plainly awesome…worth every dime…

Quotes from less favorable reviews of the Skeletool:

  • It’s not a bad tool, but it’s not really a choice for those who need a multi-tool for more serious jobs
  • I already own a Leatherman Super Tool 300, and the two can’t really compare if you are working construction like I am
  • Tip of my pliers broke…really disappointed, this was supposed to be super durable…

Skeletool review resume

skeletool-blade-in-woodAs we say in many of our reviews the important part here is to be able to filter amongst the negative reviews and look for red flags that are a real quality issue and being able to recognize things that are a matter of taste or pure statistical flaws.

We know how this thing is made and we know the materials used.

This is why when I read that someone broke the pliers after one month of use I know that it is due to the wearing of the material on that particular piece during production. It is a statistical flaw that will happen with any tool that comes to the market. If this happens just return it.

I know for a fact that a normal piece like this is built to last.

As we mentioned – 4.56 out of 5 stars for the Leatherman Skeletool and a well-deserved 2nd place.