General Purpose Tools

Leatherman Skeletool

Lightweight, heavy-duty multi-tool

A Leatherman is one of those tools you will use if you have it with you; and with the thinner, lighter Skeletool, you will always have it with you. I carried the Wave for years. In fact, I’ve carried many of the Leatherman’s since the original. Each new model was always bigger and heavier than the previous, especially my most recent, the Charge Ti. Since I wear business casual clothes most days, a belt-mounted case wasn’t an option. I always keep mine in my pocket. The Skeletool is small enough for your pocket, but retains the best features of the Wave and Charge Ti: externally-accessible blade for one-handed operation, built-in interchangeable bit driver with spare bit holder, and of course, the pliers. But it’s lighter and slimmer. Its reduced size is the result of eliminating what many people find to be the marginally-useful tools (second blade, saw, file). It also has a convenient carabiner/bottle opener! I now keep my Wave in my car, and my Charge Ti stays in my computer bag (just in case!). For the last six months, I’ve kept the Skeletool in my pocket for daily use: opening boxes/envelopes/packaging, removing splinters from kids fingers, cutting everything from rope to stray threads on my wife’s clothes. Having multiple screwdrivers comes in handy when opening the case on a computer — the pliers are great for reaching in a tight spot to grab something. They also sell a more expensive CX model of Skeletool. According to the specs, the CX adds carbon fiber, but the weight doesn’t change. Since it’s not lighter, I’m less inclined to try to justify the additional money.

(also recommended by Cormac Eubanks)

-- Todd Seaborn 06/13/08

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