Customer Reviews


1,005 Reviews
5 star:
 (719)
4 star:
 (182)
3 star:
 (53)
2 star:
 (27)
1 star:
 (24)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


807 of 822 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difference Between Stainless and CX Version
I think there is a lot of confusion about what advantages the CX has over the cheaper (-$20) stainless version. I hope this review will clear some of that up. Some reviewers are advising you buy the stainless version because the only difference is a slither of carbon fiber. That is simply not true. The CX has a lot more going on for it than that!

1) The...
Published on June 25, 2008 by P. Tran

versus
77 of 85 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good concept, brittle pliers
I was giddy with geeky exuberance when the Amazon package bearing this tool arrived at my door. I was delighted when I finally got it out of the packaging to check out the various implements--the pliers, the bit driver, the quality blade, not to mention the indispensable bottle opener. My first impression was that this tool is heirloom-grade. Alas, it is not. A month...
Published on October 4, 2009 by adjective


‹ Previous | 1 2101 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

807 of 822 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difference Between Stainless and CX Version, June 25, 2008
By 
P. Tran (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool (Tools & Home Improvement)
I think there is a lot of confusion about what advantages the CX has over the cheaper (-$20) stainless version. I hope this review will clear some of that up. Some reviewers are advising you buy the stainless version because the only difference is a slither of carbon fiber. That is simply not true. The CX has a lot more going on for it than that!

1) The metal used to make the blade in each model is different. The stainless version uses 420HC steel, which is a decent metal with good hardness and good edge retention. The CX version uses 154CM steel, which is considered by many as a "super steel" because of its good corrosion resistance and excellent toughness and edge retention. Imho, this is worth the $20 price difference alone.

2) The blade styles are different. The stainless version has a plain edge whereas the CX has a partially serrated blade. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The plain blade is much easier to sharpen because you dont have to deal with maintaining any serrations (if you dont know what you are doing, serrations tend to get ground away when you do any sharpening). The partially serrated blade, however, is much more versatile in terms of cutting. In a pinch, you can used the serrated part of the knife as a saw or just for more cutting power. Additionally, if you learn the proper technique, sharpening a serrated blade is not that much more difficult, albeit a bit more time consuming. Personally, I like the partially serrated blade.

3) The tungsten coating isnt just for looks. True, it makes this tool even sexier than it would otherwise be, but it also adds a layer of corrosion/oxidation protection. This is a big deal to those of us who intend to use the tool in humid or moist conditions. Natural oxidation isnt always that noticeable and protects the layer of aluminum underneath it. However, it is porous and is not as durable as a coating.

4) Some reviewers have stated that the carbon fiber portion of the scales adds cushioning to the handle, making it more comfortable to hold. I dont know if that is true or not because I have only held the CX. Still, it might be something worth considering.

---------------
UPDATE:

*The 2009 model of the CX has a plain edge blade and the Stainless has a partially serrated blade* Thanks, Poiuyt Man, for the heads up.

After 1 year, I still love this tool. So far, it has held up to daily use and abuse very well. I sharpen it maybe 4-5 times a year and oil the joints once or twice a year. I also gave the pocket clip significantly more tension by removing it, bending it inward, and reattaching it. This keeps the tool firmly in place when I clip it in my pocket. Be careful not to strip the threads by cross-threading or over-torquing if you decide to do this. The pliers have developed a tiny bit of lateral play, but they still work great for anything I throw at them. The spare bit holder still has a lot of bite and holds the spare bit firmly in place. I still lost a bit, however, out of carelessness and had to order a replacement from Leatherman. Although the replacements are pricey, Leatherman got it out to me extremely quickly and customer service seemed very responsive and helpful. The tool's black anodizing has held up remarkably well despite being dropped countless times, used heavily, and tossed around in my pocket with keys.

Overall, I am very happy with this tool and it has been my trusty daily-carry almost every day since I got it. Much more versatile than a pocket knife alone and not much bulkier. You really cant appreciate something like this until you start to carry one and forget it at home one day. You will find yourself constantly reaching for it throughout the day, only to be greeted with an empty pocket and disappointment. I almost feel naked without mine.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


133 of 141 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack of All Trades, Master of None, July 23, 2008
By 
Shane Foster (Baltimore, MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool (Tools & Home Improvement)
To begin with, the positives: I've owned this product for about 4 months now and really do love it (I ordered a second one the day after I thought I had lost my first). I appreciate that this Leatherman has done away with all the extraneous tools that add bulk and weight but are rarely used. I love that instead of needing a holster, I can wear it in my pocket like I would any other knife. At first I was a little leery of the driver bits being removable as I was sure they would fall out (hasn't happened once yet). Now I prefer this as it allows me a more appropriate bit for the situation. I find the blade to be impressive and the opening action fits my hand perfectly.

Now for the negatives: As good as the bits on the screwdriver are, I find the curve of the handle to make screwing anything of substance feel awkward. The pliers, while sufficient for lightweight, emergency applications, should not be expected to perform any real torquing tasks (the first time i tried this, the jaws immediately slipped off and I was left with a good blood-blister in the web of my hand).

All in all, I find it a great tool in a great package. It has the items I need most, fits them into a small form and performs passably. It fits my needs but likely isn't for everyone.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


81 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent EDC (every day carry) tool. "Jack of all trades, master of availibility", April 21, 2010
This review is from: Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool (Tools & Home Improvement)
-Backstory-
One of the criterion for a great multitool is versatility, and for the longest time I thought that meant more blades, attachments, and enhancements. While that's partially true, that also means a bigger, heavier footprint. When I finally upgraded to the heavyweight behemoth that is the Leatherman 830160 Surge Pocket Multitool with Leather Sheath and found myself leaving it at home more and more often because of its weight, I realized something was wrong.

The reality is most blades/tool-blades seldom see the light of day outside of camping, and the added weight and size only serve to discourage daily carry. Barring camping or novelty, when was the last time you used your pocket-knife's can-opener? Wood saw? Awl? Corkscrew?? Is there anything you absolutely need scissors for that can't be accomplished with a blade or wire cutter? Do you unconditionally NEED eyeglass-sized screwdrivers on you 24-7?

Most daily applications can be accomplished with a simple blade, a couple drivers, a good set of pliers, and a bottle opener ;). And that's exactly what the Skeletool standard and CX multitools offer.

-Carryability-
What makes the Skeletool CX great isn't the *number* of tools, it's the *versatility* of its few, well thought out tools, allowing for a 5 ounces overall weight, slim form-factor, and not one but two carry clips. The standard side-clip is removable (thought cannot be installed in any other positions on the tool) while the carabiner turns out to be far more useful than I'd imagined -- I find myself hanging it on my belt loop most of the time, keeping my belt free of pouches and my pockets comfortably empty. This negates the need for a holster, though there are versions of the tool which come with one should you desire it.

-The Blade-
Like most modern multitools, the Blade rotates open easily, one-handed, without having to open the tool itself. This is a MUST HAVE feature for an Every Day Carry tool, and feels right at home on the Skeletool. The 2.5 inch blade is a perfectly functional length for everyday use (again, this is an EDC tool, not a survival knife, and anything longer would only make it heavier). The CX model has an upgraded 154CM steel blade and is *reason enough* to choose the CX over the standard model - 154CM is a far better, more modern steel which holds is edge VERY well while providing moderate corrosion resistance and takes nothing more than a good ceramic stone to sharpen. Over the past year I've used it for everything from prying and scraping to box cutting and (in a pinch) cooking, and despite never having sharpened it once the tip is still there (which is saying a lot for my knives) and it's still plenty sharp. The blade's liner lock does a noticeably firm job of holding the blade in place with NO WOBBLE. Quality! When closed, the blade is held in place via a blade-retention bump on the liner lock that mates with one of the skeletonizing holes near the base of the blade. Both Skeletools I've used had a ramp cut into the base of the blade near the joint, automatically depressing the retention-bump and allowing safe closure of the blade. One reviewer has proven that his Skeletool CX does not have this ramp, forcing him to grind off the bump or risk placing him thumb in danger every time he closed the blade. It is yet unclear as to why his knife didn't get the ramp.

-Half Serrated vs. Full Straight Blade-
NOTE: In mid 2009, Leatherman added half-length blade serrations to standard model and REMOVED them from the CX model. Confusingly, the model numbers were not updated to match the new configurations. Some online retailers may still have the 'old version' still in inventory, but as the model numbers are the same, there's no way of knowing what you'll receive. I contacted Leatherman about this and this is the reply I received:

"Thank you for your email and your interest in Leatherman Tools. Originally our Skeletool had a "straight blade", and the Skeletool CX had a "combo blade". The Skeletool CX has a higher grade of steel in its blade and those in the `knife world' came back to us, and stated that we should not use the combo blade with 154cm material. Therefore, in mid year of last year, we made a design change. ... All Current models of the Skeletool CX now have the straight blade. All current models of the Skeletool have the combo blade. ... There are some retailers out there, who have both in inventory. We did not change the item numbers when we made the blade change. Unfortunately, you will have to just check to see who has what in stock."

-Bit Driver-
This is THE tool to replace them all and one of the reasons the Skeletool can do so much while still being so thin and light. You can carry two double-sided bits with you (one in the driver and one in the spare bit slot). I got the Leatherman 934870 40 Bit Assortment with Nylon Sheath bit kit with my Skeletool and found that the two bits I use most are the [#0 & #3] Philips bit, and the [#1-2 & 3/16] Philips & flat-blade combo bit. I can attack any pretty much any screw-head and pry at anything without risking damage to the blade. The rest of the bits are stowed in my backpack.

One word of warning: make sure your spare bit slot is tight before clipping your Skeletool onto your pack while hiking. A friend of mine had his spare bit fall out! Nothing the aforementioned Leatherman 934870 40 Bit Assortment with Nylon Sheath couldn't replace, but you still might want to bend it a little to tighten it up. Mine was fine, so this may not be a problem for you.

-Pliers-
I admit, the jaws are a little thinner than I'd like, but have so far held up to everything I've thrown at it (including an accident with a Dremmel). It also would have been nice if the integrated wire cutters were a little harder as they developed a little "bump" after nibbling through a particularly tough strip of metal. For a while there was noticeable resistance when closing the pliers, but over time it's worn itself back in. My only lasting complaint is that, despite being so thin (3/16ths" at its widest point) the tip is just a tad too blunt to fit in the AR-15's firing-pin retaining-pin recess. It would have been nice if the "needle-nose" was a bit more "needle" ;)

-Bottle Opener-
A definite nice to have. Am I ashamed to admit this alone gets as much use as the rest of the tools combined? Nah ;)

Also, when I contacted Leatherman about the mid 2009 blade change, I was lucky enough to get a full list of all Skeletool models. Maybe it'll help you, maybe not. Here it is anyway:

Skeletool (Standard) - manufactured with a combo blade after mid '09
830845: 420HC No sheath, box packaging
830846: 420HC No sheath, Clam packaging
830847: 420HC No sheath, Gift Tin packaging
830865: 420HC Nylon sheath, Gift Tin packaging
830948: 420HC Nylon sheath, Box packaging

Skeletool CX - manufactured with a straight blade after mid '09
830849: 154CM No sheath, box packaging
830850: 154CM No sheath, Clam packaging
830851: 154CM No sheath, Gift Tin packaging
830866: 154CM Nylon Sheath, Gift Tin packaging
830950: 154CM Nylon Sheath, box packaging

So that's it. Don't let the Skeletool's small size and feature list deter you; The Skeletool is an extraordinary EDC tool!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


77 of 85 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good concept, brittle pliers, October 4, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool (Tools & Home Improvement)
I was giddy with geeky exuberance when the Amazon package bearing this tool arrived at my door. I was delighted when I finally got it out of the packaging to check out the various implements--the pliers, the bit driver, the quality blade, not to mention the indispensable bottle opener. My first impression was that this tool is heirloom-grade. Alas, it is not. A month or so after getting it, I was in the midst of a small carpentry job when the pliers broke. What happened was that I had grabbed a particularly stubborn, bent nail that had defied my pry bar, gave it a good yank--much as I had done a hundred times before with a pair of discount bin pliers--and POW! One of the jaws simply snapped off under the load.

Fortunately, Leatherman Tool's excellent customer service department handled my problem with astonishing speed, sending a replacement within a few days. But now I am a little reluctant to employ this tool in the capacity I had envisioned because of its apparent delicacy, as the primary tool--the pliers--aren't up to heavier jobs. All this said, the manufacturer does deserve acclaim for their no-hassle warrantee policy; if only everybody else stood behind their products the way Leatherman Tool does.

Now, a little note about customer-submitted photographs... I and another customer had posted a photo of their broken Skeletools. Disappointingly, these photographs have been taken down. Why?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good multi-tool - great knife, December 28, 2008
This review is from: Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool (Tools & Home Improvement)
Length:: 2:35 Mins

The Leatherman Skeletool is an expensive but very usable multi-tool. The Skeletool features a very sharp 154CM stainless steel blade that is often featured on more expensive knives.

Positive Features-

- Super sharp (and durable) 154CM blade
- Solid and functional pliers
- Philips and flat-head attachments are usable - not great but usable.
- Add on features can be seen Leatherman 934870 40 Bit Assortment with Nylon Sheath
- The CX comes with a Tungsten scratch resistant coating
- Lightweight - makes it very easy to carry

Areas for improvement

- Graphite insert is strictly cosmetic
- Screwdriver feature can make the pliers a bit uncomfortable
- Not as many features as other multi-tools
- If you do not need a high quality knife - the Skeletool is a bit pricey for the features

Final verdict - A very solid multitool that may be a little light on features but it makes up for it in quality.

4 1/2 stars
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Leatherman Ever!, May 21, 2008
By 
This review is from: Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool (Tools & Home Improvement)
I've owned practically every Leatherman and SOG multi-tool produced over the past 15 years; a few Gerbers and Swiss Army brands thrown in there as well. And I've got to just jump in and say, this is arguably the best Leatherman ever. Just a perfect combination of quality tools, lightweight and, as practically every reviewer comments, it's just gorgeous!

Multi-tools have been a real growth area in the knife industry over the past few years and most have followed a 'how-much-more-stuff-can-we throw-in here' model...to a point where the bigger Leathermans and SOGS weigh as much as the toolbox they replace. Not a gripe, I'm sure many use them effectively; I know I do my bigger ones as well. It's just gotten to where the 'convenience' factor seems to have been lost. Witness the amazing array of smaller keychain tools and you can easily see that Leatherman wisely went for the middle ground in this design: just enough tools to get you by and light enough to make certain it's not a burden in your pocket. It's really a home run on being the perfect size.

Out of the deal you get a great set of pliers, interchangeable screw-driver bits (philips and flat-head included) a knife and a bottle opener that doubles as a carbiner.

The bits are interchangeable with other Leatherman tools using the same bits, though Leatherman amped up this design to include a 'locking' feature on the bits; a much needed touch with bits this small. Since I already own a Leatherman Charge Ti, I have a bunch of bits at hand and you can buy bit kits from Leatherman. The bottle opener is just flat-out perfect and in the best place possible; no unfolding the tool and then another unfold to open a bottle opener; just hanging out at the rear where it should be. The knife blade is perhaps the best shaped knife Leatherman has produced; partially serrated and made of 154CM which is an uncharacteristically great steel for a multi-tool blade. And finally, the pliers...this is one area that Leatherman stands completely alone in quality in (sorry SOG and Gerber)...close the pliers and look at them from the end; the jaws mate perfectly. They mate so fine you can use them as tweezers; try it sometime, I have and they work! Other manufacturers pliers work fine as pliers, but none have the alignment that Leathermans do.

The carbon fiber insert is trick for sure but you don't gain anything other than the 'wow' factor.

So, all in all almost perfect; it IS perfect for me, though your mileage may vary. If I had any 'one' thing I'd like to see included it would be scissors but that's just wishful thinking on my part...I honestly don't know how they could pack it in to such a minimalist tool.

One last note: If you pocket carry, as I do, you will need to be aware that the pocket clip is small (it has to be)...and it's also very, very tight. Meaning, you WILL wear an area out on your pockets; just no way around it on this model. Some I've seen have put heat-shrink tubing on their clips to help alleviate this, but I haven't tried it yet.

Great tool, does its intended function. Superb quality. Wow factor off the charts.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


74 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skeletool CX, April 1, 2008
By 
C. Dana (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool (Tools & Home Improvement)
Finally received my CX. Removing it from the package I was very pleased with the overall feel of the tool, the fit and finishes are excellent and there are no immediately noticeable sharp edges. It was slightly heavier than I thought it would be, a little heavier than my usual EDC pocket knife, but not bad. Like other reviewers before me I noticed that the carbon fiber may reduce the weight very slightly, however I think it mostly serves to make the tool more aesthetically pleasing. I don't have the problems with the bits that another review had, the bit in the bit holder is held in by a catch that has to be depressed to remove the bit, The other bit is very secure in the handle, although it may get loose once there is some wear on the bit. The bottle opener works and now I'll carry it around for a while and see how it feels in the pocket. All in all I'm very happy with the tool, it has most of the tools I use the most, lacking only the scissors, in a smaller lighter package.

Update - carried it around all day in business casual dress, the position of the pocket clip and the slim profile allow it to ride unobtrusively and comfortably in my pocket.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very fragile, September 22, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool (Tools & Home Improvement)
I have had the Skeletool Cx for a very short time and have broken the pliers in light weight tasks twice. Obviously has a design flaw and needs to be recalled.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good design, good build quality, July 17, 2008
This review is from: Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool (Tools & Home Improvement)
The Skeletool is an excellent niche tool that falls comfortably between Leatherman's larger outings and simple folding knives. At 5 oz., it is not exactly featherweight, but it is considerably less bulky and less heavy than most other multi-tools.

It has a couple of downsides which are immediately apparent or become apparent quickly. 1) No saw. Although the blade is 50/50 smooth/serrated, the serrations would be a poor saw substitute. 2) The "extra bit" slot in the handle is not secure enough. In my first week, I lost the stored bit in the handle. I've been more careful in how I handle it, but I think they could have tightened up the tolerances a little. 3) Bad initial bit selection. My Charge TTi came with a reversible phillips/flathead bit in the kit. The Skeletool comes with a phillips/phillips and flat/flat. I generally find the mixed phillips/flat bits to be useful because then I can carry an allen bit as well. Finally, 4) bad for lefties. Unfortunately, as a conscious design decision, the tool is not reversible for lefties, in particular this means that you have to open the knife blade by flicking it out with your middle finger instead of your thumb (and close the lever lock the same way). This is neither as safe or as comfortable as thumb operation. But, if you're used to left-handed opening of folding knives, then it's nothing new to you. As I rightie, it doesn't matter to much to me, so I'm just putting this issue out there.

One the plus side: everything else. Good ergonomic design for such a lightweight and minimalist tool. The build quality is high, with steel support bands and brass bearings for smooth action. Probably the best pliers you will find in a multitool of this size/wight, and a well designed blade. Lightweight package, but still sturdy enough to see some serious duty, and a good selection of tools (pliers, wirecutter, knife, bit driver, bottlecap lifter, and carabiner tool).

I would point out tool two issues in particular. 1) The "carabiner/bottlecap lifter" is really mislabeled and should be just called a tension clasp. While it has the limited functionality of being able to attach your Skeletook to a belt or gear loop, you should not overlook the fact that it can assist you one-handed openings. I found it to be very difficult to open the pliers with one hand (after a lot of practice I found an unintuitive way of doing pretty consistently), until I realized that if I snapped the clasp to my belt loop, I could use that as an extra hand of sorts. Also, while the bottlecap lifter is neat, it can also operate as a parcel hook.

2) The knife blade on the CX model is 154CM stainless. I believe the blade on the other model is 420HC stainless. I've had great luck with the 154CM steel, and I think it is a worthwhile upgrade for the relatively modest difference in cost. 420HC is more of a tool grade steel. Easier to sharpen, but it won't hold an edge as long.

All in all, a great multitool if weight and size are an issue.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wow... what a piece of crap., June 24, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool (Tools & Home Improvement)
Today is June 24th 2011. I purchased this on May 26th 2011.

I really love the way this multi-tool looks and how compact it is compared to a couple other I've owned.

Granted, in the less than a month I owned it there was a tool I needed more than once that wasn't on it and would have been on a larger multi-tool but the blade can open one handed and that's a huge plus for me.

Anyway, so I'd read about the tool breaking on the plyer jaws but chalked that up to a lemon in the manufacturing process. Since these have been out for a solid couple years now I was sure Leatherman would have fixed whatever defective process had allowed that to happen.... Wrong.

So the antenna for a toy remote control helicopter I bought for my son got bent and the little aluminum nob in the top wouldn't sit in it very snugly.

I thought I'd just give it a good crimp with the pliers and make it tight. I was worried about breaking the antenna, and when the thing popped in my hand I thought that's what had happened. But lo and behold one full end of the plyer jaws had popped off and gone flying across the room (there's a picture of the exact same breakage in the Amazon customer photos already.) Now I'll grant that I did give it a pretty decent squeeze after it taking more force than I initially expected to make the nob stay in place.. but the antenna was aluminum and I NEVER would have expected the tool to fail under such light use.

I understand that Leatherman has a good warranty and that Amazon would even let me return it since it hasn't been 30 days... except I'm now out of the country and have no easy way to send it to either of them for the foreseeable future.

They say the best camera is the one that you'll actually carry with you. After leaving behind my bigger, better tools too many times I thought the same would be true for this tool, but no matter how light or convenient the tool is, it's a waste of space if it's going to fail on you when you really need it.

I don't think I'll be buying another Leatherman, I'd consider it unacceptable if I had paid $3 for a pair of plyers that broke so easily, but I paid a premium price for an unusable poorly made product. I should have paid more attention to the other customers who had the same problem. Lesson learned, buyer beware.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2101 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool
$102.00 $61.64
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.