Multitool.org Forum
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
+-

Hello Lurker! Remove this ad and much more by logging in.


My take on the Skeletool 5380

Hero Member Posts: 511 The best way to predict the future is to create it
My take on the Skeletool
« on: October 21, 2010, 05:21:36 AM »
Well to start off I want to apologize for the lack of pictures, as my camera has been down for quite a while. I have just been too lazy to fix it. However I am fairly sure most of you have seen the Skeletool already, and if not there are already many pictures available.

On first impression I was surprised by how small the skeletool really is. Leatherman has been pushing the Skeletool as a "full size" multi-tool. However it is clearly not a full size tool, as the pliers have a narrower jaw opening than the jaws on a Juice S2, which is a sold as a smaller tool. Only the carabiner part of the skeletool makes the overall size larger than that of the Juice.

As a result of this I will choose to ignore Leatherman's categorization of the Skeletool as full size and rather will compare it to the pocket tool category. Falling into the pocket tool category, the Skeleool will be reviewed against the benchmark pocket tool (at least my benchmark pocket tool) the Juice S2.

The review will take into account three basic categories:
1. Pliers
2. Drivers
3. Blades and other implements

The pliers as I mentioned earlier are larger on the Juice S2. In terms of overall jaw size and profile the Juice S2 wins. However the ergonomics of the Skeletool beat the Juice as does the precision machining of the pliers head which is tight and comfortable. The Juice which I am comparing to has developed some play in the handles due to the scales loosening. The nature of the Skeletool handle scales leads me to believe that this will not be an issue with the Skeletool. As a result of the superiour handle quality the win for pliers goes to the Skeletool (but its really close).

    While I have heard many complaints about the Skeletool pliers breaking, this has not happened to my tool, despite several attempts to push the tool to its extremes. I will therefore assume that this was a quaility control issue with the earlier castings of the pliers and has been corrected.

An apparant advantage of the Skeletool to the Juice is the addition of the bit driver over the traditional multi-tool drivers. However the Skeletool only has room for a single spare bit to be carried, though it is carried well. I could carry more bits for the tool in a sheath as would be suited for a larger tool, but the way I see it the skeletool is positioned to be carried sans sheath. That being said, the Skeletool bit driver does provide two sizes of Phillips head drivers and two sizes of flatheads.
I for one very rarely encounter any screws which require a Phillips #1 driver. Much more common to me are micro-adjustment screws which are basically small flatheads. However those are rare enough to not be a significant issue. However this does put the skeletool in a close run with the Juice S2 again, as the Juice does not have the Phillips #1 driver, but does have the smaller flathead. However in understanding that many other people may need the smaller Phillips bit, I will hold this at a tie.

On to other implements, the Juice S2 has outside accessible scissors which the Skeletool does not. The blade shape of the Skeletool, a modified clip point, is superior and allows for greater versatility. The main blade on the Skeletool is the same length as the blade of the Juice though it is wider, thicker, and one handed opening. However the blade on the Skeletool is rather tight and is definitely not a comfortable or fast one handed opening blade. I find that the bottle opener on the Juice is quite comfortable, while the bottle opener on the Skeletool will require some practice. The carabiner on the Skeletool however is nearly useless. On climbing gear or D-ring hangers maybe it would work alright, but I have not encountered those situations with it yet. On blade alone the Skeletool wins. However the inclusion of scissors in a smaller, lighter tool, pushes this category in favor of the Juice.

As a multi-tool the Juice is the clear winner. In the end the total valuation between the Juice and Skeletool is pretty even, though the Juice manages to add scissors to the set. The Skeletool simple had no use as an EDC multi-tool.

However one day when I was unable to find my EDC folding knife, I managed to see the Skeletool for what it truly is. The Skeletool is not a multi-tool, and as long as I was thinking of it as one I would never be able to appreciate it. The Skeletool is a knife with pliers.

I did a quick comparison between the Skeletool and my current EDC folder, the K503.

Skeletool:
Knife
Bottle Opener
Carabiner
Bit Driver
Pocket Clip
Pliers

K503:
Knife
Bottle Opener
Carabiner
Bit Driver
Pocket Clip
Can Opener

I will take pliers over the can opener and the lighter weight of the Skeletool helped convince me to replace the K503 with the Skeletool as my EDC folder. While the blade may be smaller, that is more often a plus as it is less intimidating while remaining quite useful.

In conclusion:

Leatherman Skeletool: Terrible Multi-Tool, Incredible Pocket Knife.

(insert witty quote)
No Life Club Posts: 1,615 Colors!
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2010, 05:56:15 AM »
Excellent review. One thing you could add would be a discussion on price. Do you think the Skeletool is worth it's ~$50 price? Do you think the Juice (~$40) is a better deal?
What you could do if you want more flathead drivers is get the Phillips #1-2 and 3/16" Bit from a Wave and then add a Slotted 3/32" and 1/8" from the bit kit. That would give you 3 flatheads (including a very small 3/32") and still a Phillips.
Hero Member Posts: 511 The best way to predict the future is to create it
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2010, 07:07:28 AM »
Excellent review. One thing you could add would be a discussion on price. Do you think the Skeletool is worth it's ~$50 price? Do you think the Juice (~$40) is a better deal?

As currently listed on amazon.com the price difference is only 8 dollars, which I do not feel is a significant enough difference to justify a serious discussion on price. I felt that being fairly similar in both size and price, I would let the tools compare on merit alone.

That being said I want the readers to understand that I do really like the Skeletool. I own one, I carry one, I intend to keep it, and yes I would buy another.
However when I first bought it I was expecting a multi-tool, which the Skeletool is not. When I tried to carry it as a tool I found myself constantly missing several implements I have come to expect on a multi-tool.
However it truly is a fantastic little pocket knife. I actually have the Skeletool CX with the newer straight blade, I am somewhat tempted to buy another. Since I do like partly serrated blades, especially those from Leatherman. Though the blade seems too small to fit serrations.

(insert witty quote)
Chief of the Absolutely No Life Club! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 42,959 Why haven't you got a Farmer yet!
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2010, 07:09:19 AM »
Fine review mate :tu:

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Hero Member Posts: 760
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 11:39:39 AM »
Very good write up. I agree that the Skeletool is not a multitool. It's a pocket knife with extras. I also feel that it's overpriced. Should be around $35.00 IMHO.

Erick
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,733 You're amongst friends.
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2010, 02:53:16 PM »
I disagree with the review.  For one I don't think a Skeletool can be compared to a Juice.  It's like comparing a vacuum cleaner to a leaf blower.  I also disagree that the Skeletool is overpriced.  It is a very well-made tool and who's to say its carabiner is 'useless' - useless to 'you' perhaps?  It's just too biased  :td:

SAW
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,448 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 05:29:14 PM »
Yes and no- a review is supposed to be biased.  It's based on the actual use of a tool, and the results that person has made not of from that use, which is why no two reviews ever come to exactly the same conclusion.  I try to mitigate this somewhat in my reviews by saying something like "while I didn't really find the carabiner useful, I can see how others may appreciate it," or something along those lines.

A review is basically what one person thinks about a product, and it can never be "wrong."  It's their opinion, and if yours differs, well that's why we have the forum- you can discuss it, or write your own review!  :D

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,898
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2010, 05:41:27 PM »
I can see where your coming from. But I for one disagree with your conclusions about the Skeltool.   :)

What? Enablers! Are you serrrrious? Where? I dont see any.
Hold Fast
Newbie Posts: 28
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 06:42:55 PM »
Great review!  I like my Skeletool too but it has become my fishing companion, I like the narrower plier for this very reason and the Carabiner makes clipping it to a belt loop a speedy plus!  I like it over the pocket clip but find myself using both at times.  It is limited and the pliers do seem to be weak.  The screwdrivers get very infrequently used.  But I do tighten up my reels from time to time.   But the bottle opener more than makes up for the screwdriver during a fishing trip!  I really like it for fishing a lot!  Just wish they had one with a plain edge that was a little longer so I could use it for filleting my catches
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,733 You're amongst friends.
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2010, 08:14:38 PM »
Yes and no- a review is supposed to be biased.  It's based on the actual use of a tool, and the results that person has made not of from that use, which is why no two reviews ever come to exactly the same conclusion.  I try to mitigate this somewhat in my reviews by saying something like "while I didn't really find the carabiner useful, I can see how others may appreciate it," or something along those lines.

A review is basically what one person thinks about a product, and it can never be "wrong."  It's their opinion, and if yours differs, well that's why we have the forum- you can discuss it, or write your own review!  :D

Def
I agree Def, but after that recent post on "does Leatherman read the forums...", I wouldn't want them discontinuing a great tool based on one person's opinion.  All is well though  :cheers:

SAW
Hero Member Posts: 511 The best way to predict the future is to create it
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2010, 10:04:52 PM »
I disagree with the review.  For one I don't think a Skeletool can be compared to a Juice.  It's like comparing a vacuum cleaner to a leaf blower.  I also disagree that the Skeletool is overpriced.  It is a very well-made tool and who's to say its carabiner is 'useless' - useless to 'you' perhaps?  It's just too biased  :td:

I compared the Skeletool to the juice because I didn't think it would be fair to compare the Skeletool to one of the larger Leatherman multi-tools. I stated that I did not agree with the classification of the Skeletool as a "full-size" multi-tool.

I believe that the review was quite favorable to the Skeletool, and I did state quite clearly in the immediate follow-up that I do like the Skeletool. I am glad I have one and would readily buy another. Also The wording was "nearly useless" on the carabiner, and I felt that I did clarify that this was in regard to my experience with the carabiner on the K503 knife which allowed for an easier release. In reconsidering the statement I made on the uselessness of the carabiner I will agree that it does sound more critical than I had intended for it to be.

Secondly I never said that the Skeletool was over-priced. I also never said that the Skeletool was not well-made. I did state that dispite many people having had problems with the Skeletool pliers, I did NOT have any problems, even when I was expecting the tool to fail. I pushed the pliers as much as I do to the head on my Charge and they were able to keep up.

Please re-read the review, I do not mind if you disagree with me on my idea about the tool after that, but from your original response I get the impression that you only skimmed through the review and assumed that I was trashing the tool.

(insert witty quote)
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,733 You're amongst friends.
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2010, 10:34:28 PM »
My correction :  It was someone after you who posted it was 'overpriced'. 

Why are you concerned with what size classification the tool was placed in though?  You are welcome to review anything you like - it just didn't make much sense to me is all.   :)

SAW
Hero Member Posts: 511 The best way to predict the future is to create it
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2010, 10:48:24 PM »
Prior to actually receiving the tool, I had envisioned the tool as a stripped down Wave/Charge.
The overall size of the tool is closer to that of the Leatherman pocket line, and the pliers head is much more like the Juice pliers than that of any of the full size tools. The classification as a larger tool led me to buy the Skeletool, and when I found it to be much smaller than I had expected I was a bit disappointed, until I re-evaluated the role of the Skeletool.

The main reason I mention the size is so that other people looking to buy the tool can understand that it is smaller than it is made to appear.

(insert witty quote)
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,733 You're amongst friends.
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2010, 11:16:20 PM »
It sounds like you were expecting something more "MUT" sized and I can see your disapointment in that case.  The Skeletool is a big diversion for Leatherman from what they've done for so many years.  I actually didn't care for it the first time I bought it because I had been comparing it to the Wave and was felt it was mandatory to have the file and saw and can opener, etc.  The first go-around I honestly didn't know if I should take the Skeletool seriously.  It wasn't until I bought/tried/used quite a few different multitools from different manufacturers that I fully appreciated the Skeletool for what it is: A compact tool with a few very useful implements.   :D

SAW
Sr. Member Posts: 481 See Saw Seen
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2010, 09:22:05 PM »
I'd somewhat agree that the Skeletool would probably be better lumped with the pocket tools in general, but the overall length of it ends up kicking it into the Full-Size category.  If you didn't get to handle one before purchase, the smaller plier heads *might* lend to disappointment if all you were going by was Leatherman's website, where the next smallest plier head in Full-Size is the Kick...which is virtually the same size as every other plier head in that category until you get to the Surge.  I've stayed away from the Skeletool for pretty much this exact reason...the size of the tool vs. the size of the plier head is out of whack by my ever-so-fickle guidelines (though I like the Freestyle which doesn't have the onerous "clippy tail" of the Skeletool).

Half-ass done wholeheartedly!
Hero Member Posts: 511 The best way to predict the future is to create it
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2010, 11:44:41 PM »
I actually didn't care for it the first time I bought it because I had been comparing it to the Wave and was felt it was mandatory to have the file and saw and can opener, etc.  The first go-around I honestly didn't know if I should take the Skeletool seriously.  It wasn't until I bought/tried/used quite a few different multitools from different manufacturers that I fully appreciated the Skeletool for what it is: A compact tool with a few very useful implements.   :D

This is exactly the point I was trying to make with the review.

(insert witty quote)
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: My take on the Skeletool
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2010, 04:37:55 AM »
And a fine job you did of it asn. :salute:  :)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools

 

Donations

Operational Funds

Help us keep the Unworkable working!
Donate with PayPal!
October Goal: $300.00
Due Date: Oct 31
Total Receipts: $109.46
PayPal Fees: $6.30
Net Balance: $103.16
Below Goal: $196.84
Site Currency: USD
34% 
October Donations

Community Links


Powered by EzPortal
SMF 2.0.17 | SMF © 2020, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.06 seconds with 33 queries.
© 2018 Defender Web & Tool