Leatherman Skeletool Cx Multitool - Leatherman Skeletool Carbon Fiber

Leatherman Skeletool CX: All You Need to Know About This Multitool

Jan 19, 2021

A multitool is one of the essential components of your everyday arsenal. Whether outdoors or indoors, you may find yourself in positions where you need to cut and bend stuff, and generally fiddle around with odd jobs. A multitool will be your companion during day and night, but you need the support of a reliable product.

In this Leatherman Skeletool CX review, we feature one of Leatherman's most reliable products. This multitool has a long-standing track record, and whatever multitool you already possess, perhaps it's time for an upgrade. If you are looking for something that combines style and functionality, you may get it through this product.

Leatherman was first conceived in 1975 and received its first order in 1983. The company has been around for quite a long time. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention, and it was the invention of a lifetime for Tim Leatherman when he conceived the idea of a portable multitool in 1975.


Value for money

Today, operating out of Portland, Oregon, Leatherman produces some of the most sought-after multitools in the world. In this post, we delve into the Leatherman CX Skeletool multitool and what it has to offer. But first, here's a brief history of the company and its humble beginnings almost four decades ago:

The Leatherman Story

Leatherman is an American company based in Portland, Oregon and founded by Timothy S Leatherman in 1983 along with his partner Steve Berliner, in a bid to produce a portable but efficient hand tool with several functions. The first product to be sold by Leatherman was the Pocket Survival Tool (PST).

While traveling with his wife in Europe and the Middle East in 1975, Leatherman frequently needed to repair their car and faulty hotel plumbing. He found the existing hand tools that he carried about to be pathetically inadequate. As he was an engineer, Leatherman used his technical know how to develop a suitable tool.

Leatherman developed his prototype, Mr. Crunch and got it patented in 1980. Then, in association with Steve Berliner, he formed the Leatherman Company and the rest, as the cliché goes, is history. By 2001, the company crossed $100 million in sales.

Today, Leatherman is a well-known name in the US and across the world. Users come from a diverse range of areas like the military, handy people, artisans, farmers and EMT personnel and first responders. With so much said about the company, let's take a closer look at one of their products, the Leatherman Skeletool CX.

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Introducing the Leatherman Skeletool CX

The Multitool is Ultra-Light but Compact

The Multitool is Ultra-Light but Compact

This multitool by Leatherman is ultra-light but big enough for you to carry out essential functions that you might expect from a multitool. The knife blade consists of 154 cm of steel. You get needlenose and regular pliers, and the wire cutters are rigid and stable. The carabiner/bottle opener and large bit driver are also useful features.

A significant advantage of using this Leatherman product is that you can access all the tools using one hand – even the ones that are on the inside of the multitool. The blade locks firmly while cutting so you can cut without the knife slipping and causing damage or injury. There is even a space to store an extra bit in the handle.

The multitool comes with a clip, enabling you to clip it securely to your belt. But if you want it out of sight and tucked away, you can easily carry it in your pocket, because it is neither too bulky, nor too heavy. In case of any technical snags in operation or manufacturing defects, this product comes with a 25-year warranty.


  • Lightweight construction
  • Sleek and smart design
  • Compact for carrying in your pocket
  • Convenient clip for carrying on a belt
  • Strong and durable product
  • Best-quality steel and carbon fiber used
  • Large driver and storage space for an extra bit


  • Expensive product
  • Flimsy pocket clip
  • Not as many functions as other multitools

Leatherman Skeletool CX Multitool: Key Features

  • Functions

The Leatherman Skeletool CX has Minimalistic Functions

The Leatherman Skeletool CX has Minimalistic Functions

The functions are the critical aspect of any multitool. The Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX multitool has fewer parts than other multitools in its category. However, the number of tools has been carefully selected to get the best out of this minimalistic tool. Hence, you will probably find you have everything you need.

At first glance, you will probably notice the pliers, the blade and the bit driver. But if you look closer, you will see some more functions that are worth mentioning. For instance, the wire cutters are quite useful, and so are the key/lanyard clip and bottle opener. Whatever your beverage is, you are going to be thankful for this multitool.

Coming to the finer details, the bit driver allows for fitting practically unlimited accessories. The bit driver has a proprietary squashed driver of 1/4, and you will find the double-ended screwdriver bits of two sizes useful as well. 

And the best part is that you can get an upgrade pack which includes even more bits like Torx and Hex drivers which fit in the Leatherman CX Skeletool. However, be warned that these bits need an adaptor, but once you set it up, you will have a practically unlimited choice of bits to use for every imaginable job.

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  • Durability

A Durable Product That Will Be with You for Years

A Durable Product That Will Be with You for Years

The fact that we are reviewing this product at all testifies to its durability. We would not be reviewing a product that does not have a reputation for being durable. With this product from Leatherman, you don't have too much to worry about. Leatherman has been around since 1983, so in almost 40 years, we can expect something robust.

The carbon fiber multi tool handle and other parts bear testimony to the company's commitment to providing a product that you can use for years to come. The CX in the product's name signifies the use of CX in the blade, which is a corrosion-resistant iron-based powder. 

It is the CX element of the knife blade in the Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX multitool that makes it durable but practical. In combination with extensive use of durable Leatherman Skeletool carbon fiber parts, you've got an extremely long-lasting product. 

  • Portability

Carry Your Leatherman Multitool Wherever You Go

Another essential aspect of everyday carry (EDC) tools is portability. Since the Leatherman CX Skeletool is among the lightest multitools in the market tipping the scale at just 5 oz, it becomes exceptionally portable. It is also not as bulky as other multitools in its category.

The fact that this multitool from Leatherman has a smooth profile also adds to the portability factor. Why? You may wonder. The truth is that many people prefer to carry the tool around in their pocket. It helps to get quick access whenever required if the product has a smooth profile.

But you need to check that your multitool comes with a sheath because many do not. So, what you need to look for is a convenient button-down sheath, which should be mentioned in the product details and the packaging.

If you prefer to clip the multitool to your pocket, so be it. The conveniently-placed clip allows you to clip it to the inside of your pants pocket. If you want to attach it to your belt or your keys, the handy carabiner lets you do just that. All these factors contribute to making the Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX multitool quite portable.

  • Ergonomics

The sleek, lightweight construction of the Leatherman CX Skeletool, gives you a highly ergonomic and well-balanced tool. It is among the best multi tool in the market because of its ergonomically-sound design. Let's consider all the parts one-by-one to assess the ergonomic aspect of each one. 

Beginning with the blade, it is large but well-oriented, smooth and well-balanced, to enable you to make a one-thumb swipe. Coming to the pliers, they are well-rounded and consist of smooth, high-quality carbon fiber. You can also opt for the plastic handle or metallic handle versions if you so prefer. But all enable smooth handling.

All the other tools are smooth and well-rounded to enable comfortable handling at all times. Last but not least, the bit driver is located at the end of a handle that is narrow and long giving you a sufficient reach, but easy to grab when you are working in a restricted space. All these factors contribute to a highly-ergonomic design.

  • Price

At almost $80.00, the Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX multitool is not cheap. It isn't something that you would leave behind without any second thoughts. Although there are cheaper versions, there are also models by Leatherman and other brands as well that are far more expensive than this carbon fiber multi tool.

We have gone over the various aspects of this product in as much detail as we could. In terms of durability, portability, and ergonomics, you are getting good value for the price. You may feel that perhaps it could have a few more functions, but as   we pointed out, Leatherman has included all the vital ones that you may require. 

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Judging from what these verified customers had to say, the consensus seems to be that this multitool is sleek, comfortable to use, effective, and durable. Customers who used the product felt that after using it for some time, there were little signs of wear and tear and in fact, the multitool broke in quite nicely.

Overall, most users were delighted with the efficiency of the multitool, mostly the sharpness of the knife. Some customers had issues with the pliers which tend to snap easily, but as one user pointed out, you need to use the plier function a bit lightly to avoid this sort of breakage for your multitool to last longer.

Most reviewers seemed to be happy with the good looks of the product but felt that due to the limited functions, it is a bit overpriced. One customer even went as far as to say that he would buy another model or brand in preference to the Leatherman Skeletool CX only because of the price of this particular model.

And finally, some customers had an issue with opening the attachments. They found them altogether too stiff even after adding a few drops of WD-40. But in all fairness, that particular issue wasn't a recurring one, so perhaps it is just an occasional problem, but the manufacturer should coordinate with these users for rectification.

Overall, most verified customers who used the product were satisfied. Although there were a few cases of dissatisfied customers, the majority of them seem to be quite pleased with the performance of the Leatherman Skeletool CX.  

Leatherman Skeletool CX Multitool: Alternative Options

Leatherman, Skeletool RX Multitool (Similar Alternative)

The Leatherman, Skeletool RX Multitool

The Leatherman, Skeletool RX Multitool

No task is too complicated for the Leatherman Skeletool RX that is equipped with a 154 cm serrated blade knife and a carbide bit that breaks glass. If you are a first responder or an EMT, this multitool will help you do your job. It allows you to open it with even one hand and access the tools that are inside. The carbide glass breaker is pretty basic and is capable of getting the job done.

You also get pliers, wire cutters, a bottle opener, and a large bit driver, ensuring that you are not short on functions with this multitool. It is lightweight and secure with a locking blade that won't open unexpectedly and cause damage or injury. The pocket clip allows you to clip this carbon fiber multi tool to the inside of your pocket or belt.

Another useful feature is the extra bit located in the handle which you could probably replace with one of your choices to keep it at the ready at all times. If you compare the Leatherman Skeletool CX Vs RX, there isn't much difference so that you can consider the RX as a viable alternative to the CX.

However, one last thing worth mentioning is that the orange Cerakote finish. Cerakote is a combination of ceramic and polymer which is supposed to provide added protection for the surface it coats. This coating looks good on the Leatherman RX, but there is a tendency for it to chip off, but it should not affect the functionality.

As with the Leatherman CX, this multitool has a 25-year warranty against manufacturing defects, and all repairs will be done in the US. Hence, you can go in for the Leatherman Skeletool RX if you are not able to lay your hands on the CX version.

Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool (Alternative Upgrade)

The Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool

The Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool

Are you ready to spend some more money for an upgrade on the Leatherman 830850 Skeletool CX Multitool or the Leatherman RX, for that matter? If so, then the Leatherman Wave may just be the right choice for you. Although you will be spending considerably more for this multitool, you are getting more as well.

With a total of 18 tools, you get pliers, replaceable wire cutters, bottle openers, files, screwdrivers, a saw, a ruler and of course, a variety of knives. A useful feature of the Leatherman Wave is the replaceable wire cutters which other models of this brand or even other brands do not offer. 

You can open this multitool using one hand even to get access to the tools that aren't accessible from the outside. All the blades are equipped with locking features to eliminate the possibility of the blade opening accidentally or slipping shut when you apply pressure.

The Leatherman Wave comes with a 25-year warranty, so cut with confidence and the assurance that you will get help whenever you need it for years to come. For more information on this multitool, you can read more Leatherman Wave reviews that populate the internet thanks to this product by Leatherman.  

SOG EDC Pocket Multitool (Budget Pick)

The SOG EDC Pocket Multitool

The SOG EDC Pocket Multitool

Last on our list of multitool alternatives is the SOG EDC pocket multitool. We have included this product in our EDC multitool roundup so that even if you are on a tight budget, you can get yourself a reasonably good multitool to use on an everyday basis. It may not be the best multi tool, but it contains enough features to get the job done.

You get 17 EDC pocket tools with this multitool, which is made of industrial-grade stainless-steel for strength and durability. The functions include scissors, a knife, pliers, a corkscrew, and a magnetic ¼ hex bit holder. The multitool is lightweight and only weighs 4.6 ounces, and not too bulky to enable you to carry it about easily.

Another thing worth mentioning about the SOG EDC pocket multitool is the pocket clip that lets you clip it to the inside of your pocket. It is extremely portable thanks to the lightweight design as we mentioned above and the fact that it's not too bulky at just five inches long.

An interesting fact about this product by SOG is that many of the tools it provides are patented so that you can expect a good, trouble-free performance.  SOG products are manufactured by AFB International, an all-American company and the brand SOG, is an acronym for Special Operations Group. This select command group served in the Vietnam war in 1969.

Leatherman Skeletool CX Multitool - An Essential Part of Your Everyday Carry Arsenal

Coming to the end of our Leatherman Skeletool CX review, we hope that you have a clearer picture of what Leatherman has to offer here. Initially, you may be put off with a limited number of tools. But once you start using it, you will realize the elegance and sophistication that makes it such a versatile and popular multitool.

If you can carry your Leatherman Skeletool CX around with you every day, you will feel the benefit of its portability, ease of use and sleek looks. The fact that you can buy additional bits as add-ons is also a useful feature. With this multitool, you will find a reliable companion for your EDC needs to help you with various daily tasks.

And, if you are not entirely convinced, or if this particular model isn't available at the time, you have the option of going in for the Leatherman Skeletool RX. This alternative model will perform as well as the CX, but it looks a little different – perhaps a bit sleeker for almost the same cost.

Furthermore, if you are looking for an upgrade, you can get the Leatherman Wave which has many more features but is a bit more expensive. Finally, if you are on a tight budget, then the SOG EDC pocket multitool may match your requirements – another great all-American product that serves well as an EDC multitool.

Ultimately, it would be best if you decided on what you feel will be a good fit for yourself. We have highlighted all the main features of these multitools. Hopefully, you will be able to find a good one for yourself.

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