I’m not exactly sure where the dividing line is between some disorders, like genius, driven mad, sheer genius, tortured mind, losing your mind, and other similar diagnoses. There are creative minds, like that of the novelist Stephen King, and I’m not sure if he has creative genius or a very tortured mind, after watching many of the movies that Hollywood created from his novels. I tend to think that, perhaps, just perhaps, he has a tortured mind. In any event, I’m sure I’ve lost my mind many years ago; just ask my own family! LOL
Now, I’m not saying that any of the terms I listed are necessarily something bad; it’s just that many of us think differently about some things and can put this to good use in life. So, I’m not at all sure about the creative minds who work at Leatherman Tool who come up with the different variety of muli-tools and knives. Are they working on the premise of tortured minds or sheer creative genius? I don’t really know, but I do know that we all benefit from what comes from their minds. No one is making more different types of multi-tools that Leatherman. They are the originator of multi-tools, and in my humble opinion they still produce the best products along these lines.
I’ve carried a Leatherman “Blast” multi-tool since they first came out, and I was saddened to learn that this particular multi-tool has been discontinued. I’ve found it to be the perfect compromise between the size and the various tools it has. Still, to each his own, and I’m always open to test something new and different from the good folks at Leatherman. With this goal in mind, I requested the Leatherman Skeletool RX to test for our readers, and to be sure, we have some of the most intelligent readers out there, who want to know about the newest, coolest, and best tools available for survival purposes. Keep in mind that survival covers a lot of different definitions, from surviving on the mean streets of a big city, to wilderness survival, to just making an attempt to get through your daily grind.
The Skeletool RX isn’t the smallest multi-tool that Leatherman produces, and it isn’t one of the largest; Goldilocks might say it is “just right” for many needs. A quick look at what various tools the RX has is in order. We have needlenose pliers, regular pliers, hard wire cutter pliers, and wire cutters, plus a serrated knife blade made out of 154 CM (which is some great knife blade material), a carabiner/bottle opener, and a large bit driver with an added bit with different sizes on it for various screws. The RX handle material is stainless steel and Cerakote coated in blaze orange, so it’s not easy to lose sight of if you lay it down. To be sure, I’m guilty of this– using a knife or other tool on my small homestead and then laying it down in the grass and not being able to find it until I mow the lawn with the riding mower. Yikes!
The Skeletool RX does not come with a carrying pouch or sheath. Instead, it can be clipped to the inside of your pants pocket with the attached pocket/clothing clip, or you can use the carabiner to attach it to a keyring you might have hanging on your pants belt, so it is readily accessible. The knife blade can be accessed and opened without opening the folded multi-tool. I like this feature a lot. You don’t have to go to all the effort to actually unfold the multi-tool in order to quickly, one-handed open the knife blade, and it does lock open, too, with a liner-type lock. Nice!
The various pliers on the main portion of the tool has all the pliers combined into one, including the needlenose, regular, hard wire cutter, and wire cutter. Just move the plier portion up or down on the material you wish to grip or cut, until you find the one you need to use, easy as pie. The bit driver has a bit locked in place, not magnetically; you need to push on a release to remove that bit and exchange it for the other bit, which is stored in one of the handles of the Skeletool RX. This is my only minor complaint. The extra bit is a little bit difficult to access, but it is very secure and won’t fall out of the handle.
Quite often I can be caught carrying two folding knives in my front cargo pants pockets. One knife will most likely be my favorite EDC folder, and a second folder, on that I’m testing and carrying for an article, will be in my left front cargo pants pocket. At times, I leave my favorite EDC folder at home, when I have several new knives I’m testing and carrying. It’s not overkill but just the way I operate, when carrying new products.
I found the Skeletool RX easy to pack, clipped in my left front pocket. The only problem I had was accessing my house and car keys when carrying it in my left front pocket. It’s not a gigantic problem, just a little bitty one. With several vehicles in our family and a couple houses and other things that are locked, I have two keyrings in my left front pocket, so there is always something there.
Almost daily, FedEx, UPS, or the USPS bring me packages that must be opened. Some are cardboard boxes and others are large envelopes that need cutting into, and to be sure I’m one of these people who is always finding a loose screw. I just can’t let it be, so I pull out my Leatherman Blast and tighten it. This is a real “problem” for me, at the gun shop I haunt three or four days per week. It is also a pawn shop, and I’m always finding a loose screw and can’t let it be, especially when I run across a loose grip screw on a handgun or on the stock of a long gun. I gotta pull out the Leatherman and tighten it. So, I found a lot of uses for the Skeletool RX to practice on, mostly tightening loose screws.
Now, the Skeletool RX isn’t a super-heavy duty multi-tool, but it was designed for many of the everyday tasks you might run into. I noted one comment on the Leatherman website with a user complaining that it didn’t have a tool for opening an O2 bottle. In another life, I worked on an ambulance and for the life of me I never had to look for the tool to open an O2 bottle; it was always attached to the bottle, period!
Now, you can find Chinese-made multi-tools all over the Internet for a couple bucks, and when you look at the pics of ‘em they do “look” nice. However, most are pure junk and not worth the shipping to get ‘em, let alone use them. Leatherman is the originator and still the best makers of multi-tools, and they are made in my adopted home state of Oregon, right outside of Portland, OR. I’ve been invited up to Leatherman for a hands-on personal tour numerous times, but I just have a hard time trying to find the time to make the drive up to that part of the state. Oregon is also home to many knife companies. Ditto for them, who are always asking me to come up for a tour of the new plants and/or offices. Sooner or later, I get up that way. I’ve never toured the Leatherman operation, but I will, one of these days. I live a very rural lifestyle and honestly hate going to any big or bigger cities, even though I was born and raised in Chicago, IL. I’ve learned to love rural life and small town life.
The Leatherman Skeletool RX doesn’t come cheap. It retails for $102, and they do produce similar but different models that you might want to check out before laying down your hard-earned cash. Every Leatherman product comes with a 25-year limited warranty, too, which is something to keep in mind as well as the Made In The USA, which counts a lot in my book, too. So, check out the Skeletool RX. It might be exactly what you are looking for, in a light-weight everyday multi-use tool, for most of your daily needs. The sheer genius minds who design the multi-tools at Leatherman are to be congratulated for all their efforts, giving us so many different multi-tools to choose from!
– Senior Product Review Editor, Pat Cascio