Monday, July 27, 2009

A Real Multitool for the Pocket

This Father's Day my family gave me a great gift, a Skeletool. The Skeletool is the visually confusing next-generation multitool from Leatherman.


"Ooo... what is it? I mean, how do you open it?"


I already owned a Leatherman Wave and like it as much as I can like any multitool (which is limited, since they are never quite right). But the Wave is big and heavy and is definitely not comfortable in the pocket. The sheath has a nice horizontal carry option but it is still a burden and frankly rather geeky for EDC (Every Day Carry).


Enter Skeletool. Here's a minimalist multitool: knife, screwdriver(s), pliers, cutters (hard and soft wire), and the very important bottle opener which doubles as a 'biner to clip the tool to a convenient loop. (Or maybe the carabiner is the doubling as a bottle opener, this may remain an eternal debate...) In any case, here's a tool with the essentials that weighs in about about five ounces, is geek-sexy as all get out, and made very nicely. It's belt clip holds it nicely in the pocket, and while it is decidedly thicker and heavier than my 3" single-bladed folder, it is also has decidedly more utility.

The blade is beefy, and has a nice profile that provides a working point and a tip that works very well for things like package opening, and a broad body that does well on cutting line and straps. The screwdriver uses Leatherman's machined down 1/4 hex bits and offers two choices (two phillips and two straight edge) with spare bit storage in the handle that works well. The pliers/cutters benefit from the lessons Leatherman has learned from previous versions and feature a strong box joint and excellent fit and finish. The bottle opener works reasonably well, and the carabiner clip retains the cap, whether by serendipity or design I don't know.

So, bottom line, if you want a pocket-sized multitool that is eminently carry-able while providing genuine utility, take a look at a Skeletool. The price is reasonable for the quality, or, you can have six kids and wait a few years until they buy you one.

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