Leatherman Skeletool Multitool Review

Last Updated on 06/03/2022

Leatherman Skeletool Multitool M

Outdoor Gear


Leatherman Skeletool Multitool Review

9.6 Total Score
Everyday Use

The Leatherman Skeletool Multitool is a compact and durable pocket multi tool, perfect for everyday use and never fails to come in handy.

A Simplified Pocket Multi-Tool to Take on The Daily Tasks You Are Faced With

The Leatherman Skeletool Multitool is a compact and durable pocket multi-tool that is perfect for everyday use and never fails to come in handy both indoors and outdoors. The lightweight and clever design is unlike most multi-tools in the sense that the pliers and blade feel tough and able to take some serious pressure.

With just the bare essentials, there isn’t a reasonable task I have come across that this little multi-tool can’t handle. With a well-crafted blade lock and robust pliers, you can put your whole weight into the task at hand and not feel like you are going to snap it or lose a finger.

Weighing just 5 oz and measuring only 4″, the Leatherman Skeletool Multitool is designed to be tucked in your pocket, thrown in the backpack, or clipped to just about anywhere without much notice. The blade can be opened and closed with one hand for ease of use and the movements are satisfyingly smooth before clicking firmly into place.

The pliers are really well made and allow you to get a good grip on old bolts as well as nip finer things with the needle-nose tips. The screwdriver and bits are rattle-free with a really nice fit in both the bit holder and the bit storage.

I have had my Leatherman Skeletool Multitool for well over 8 years now and it is my go-to choice for a pocket knife when a full tang blade is unnecessary. When I don’t have this tool in my pocket or in my rucksack then it almost always sitting on my desk at home where I can grab it easily for doing everyday things like opening beers, cracking nuts, and slicing oranges. For anyone who hasn’t held a Leatherman in their hand before, I recommend treating yourself to a gift you will use on a daily basis.

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  • Needle-nose pliers which come to a neat close
  • Regular pliers – tough and grippy for tight bolts
  • Notched hard-wire cutters for extra bite
  • Wire cutters for daily tasks
  • 6.6 cm knife blade made from 420HC stainless steel
  • Screwdriver bit holder with 2 double-sided bits and storage vestibule for an extra bit
  • Carabiner clip and bottle opener
  • Pocket clip

Letherman Skeletool Multitool straight blade 9


  • Closed length: 101.6 mm / 4″
  • Weight: 142 g / 5 oz
  • Blade length: 66 mm / 2.6″
  • Material: Stainless Steel / 420HC Stainless Steel
Outdoor Gear


31 Leatherman Skeletool Multitool


The Leatherman Skeletool Multitool fits nicely in your hand with plenty of control and is no bigger than your average single-blade pocket knife. The clever design has a great size to weight ratio and makes wise use of space, cutting down on rarely used tools to give you a better experience with the tools you do use every day. This practical multi-tool is aptly named the Skeletool, as any dead weight has been stripped down to the bones with a minimalist style not often seen in the world of multi-tools. Sleek holes are placed strategically throughout the framework to provide the best support to weight ratio and look great too.

The openings are satisfyingly good, so much so that you can often find yourself mindlessly fiddling around with the smooth actions and locking mechanisms without even realizing you’re doing it. The blade can be easily opened with just your thumb and is closed using your thumb to release the lock and your forefinger to close the blade. The pliers are stiff to open and click nicely into place, this is a good thing and stops floppy tools from trapping your fingers or worse. The screwdriver and bits make good use of space and can be trusted to force open rusted screws without fear of breakage.

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4 Leatherman Skeletool Multitool


The 420HC stainless steel knife blade is a winner in my book. With a smooth action, single-handed operation, the open and close design locks in and out of place with total control. Some people may snub their nose at 420HC stainless steel but I really don’t mind it all.

However, I do wish they hadn’t changed from the straight edge to a partially serrated edge in the newer models. Now the Skeletool CX has a plain edge option which is a good reason to choose that version over the classic, however, I do prefer the way the classic version feels and it might not be too hard to swap the blades over.

As an EDC the Skeletool is perfect, with a 2.6″ long blade it is legal to carry in many countries and along with the other tools – it is all you’ll ever need (always check with law enforcement if you are unsure). The blade on the standard Leatherman Skeletool Multitool in this review keeps a sharp edge for a long time and is easily sharpened using a sharpening stone or pocket knife sharpener.

I have had mine for 8 or more years now and the blade has been used constantly over that time, the edge is just as clean as the day I got it. The tip has held up incredibly well and is still sharp enough to dig splinters out!

With most pocket knives that are loaded with as many gadgets as possible, you almost always compromise on quality in favor of quantity. I have never thought that to be a wise decision and neither do Leatherman. While the blade can be opened at the flick of your thumb, there is enough resistance to make the movement slightly stiff (again, a good thing) to stop it from ever opening without purposeful user action. Once it is locked into place it is very secure and can be used hard without issue. One thing I would say is that even though this blade feels tough as nails, I do not recommend using it to split wood!

Leatherman Skeletool Multitool L

Pliers and Wire Cutters

The pliers on the Leatherman Skeletool Multitool are extremely durable and have a powerful grip for a fold-out tool that only weighs 5 oz. The fold-out motion is stiff and smooth until fully opened and then the pliers just glide apart using gravity to release grip. Having the needle nose and the regular combination grips give you everything you need from a pair of pliers and I really like the slim profile. The wire cutters are tough with a sharp edge and a hard wire notch making the Skeletool a favorite with electricians.

The needle nose pliers come to a neat tip that is able to fit into tight spaces and is perfect for detailed tasks. The regular pliers have plenty of bite and don’t seem to be affected at all by using on tough bolts and jagged metal. All in all, they are highly functional combination pliers and wire cutters that are a tradesman’s best friend and will not disappoint.

Leatherman Skeletool Multitool pocket


The screwdriver on the Leatherman Skeletool Multitool is great, with a locking bit holder and extra storage you can carry up to 4 different driver heads within the tool at any time. The driver bits included are a double-sided Phillips tip (#1 + #2), and a double-sided flat head screwdriver which sits neatly in the bit holder. To release the bit in use you simply press down on the side button and withdraw the bit, the spare piece can be accessed from a closed or open position.

To use the screwdriver effectively you need to open 1 half of the handle all the way for a straight handle screwdriver, or you can open the handle at a 45º angle and use it like a wrench for some extra torque. Out of all the tools, the screwdriver is the one that can feel slightly awkward to grip at first, but once you get used to the shape it is fine.

I prefer to leave the Large Phillips head on when the screwdriver is not in use as it has the least sharp tip, unlike the flat head which is so precisely molded it can be slightly sharp on the corners. This is only ever an issue when you are using the pliers in an upside down position or if you have very large hands. If you need more than the standard screwdriver heads, Leatherman also has an upgrade pack with multiple driver bits more specialized for tradesmen.

Leatherman Skeletool lightweight

Bottle Opener and Clips

The carabiner style clip/bottle opener is a very nice feature that has a strong spring closing for fast and secure attachments and easy access. You can hook it on your belt clip when on the job or fasten it to your backpack when climbing a steep mountainside. If you like to keep your knife and fire starter in one place then this makes your life easier with a quick release when you need to separate the two.

The bottle opener has a neat little trick of keeping hold of any bottle caps that it removes. The spring carabiner closing grips onto the used bottle caps so that you can dispose of them responsibly without having to pick them up from the floor. I don’t think this was intentional in the design but it is something I almost look forward to using to open a beer with.

If you like to keep your multi-tool in your pocket there is a neat little pocket clip to the back to help keep the tool securely in one place. This can be removed if you wish, however, it weighs so little and never gets in the way so there is really no reason to remove it if you ask me.


After over 8 years of use and abuse, this knife is in about 95% it’s original condition, which is pretty good in my eyes. And it is my own fault for trying to split wood that the knife is not in 100% condition – the locking mechanism is less secure now. The pliers have not frayed, lost alignment or become loose in their movements, nor have the wire cutters been damaged in any way. The screwdrivers never fail and losing the bits has never been an issue with such tightly fitting slots and grips.

When it comes down to it, how often do you use every one of the fold out gadgets on a Swiss army knife? Not very often right?

The Leatherman Skeletool Multitool gets rid of all the bells and whistles to leave you with a stunning and well designed every day carry hand tool. Instead of packing as much into one knife as they can, Leatherman focuses on building quality and durability into the most frequently used features. What you get is a compact and lightweight multi-tool that can be trusted time and time again like a workhorse that doesn’t let you down

How much is the Leatherman Skeletool?

Outdoor Gear


There are now three different models of the Leatherman Skeletool Multitool: this standard or original version, the CX model with carbon fiber, and a new SX version that boasts a diamond-coated file. Like all Leatherman tools, the Skeletools are supported with an excellent 25-year warranty.

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This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

  1. […] Knife or Multi-tool – Your basic Mora bushcraft knife is a great all rounder, and cheap too. The Leatherman Skeletool is a great multi-tool that can handle most outdoor tasks – Read my review of the Skeletool Here. […]

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