Leatherman Skeletool: CX or no CX (154cm blade or 420HC blade)?

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by flybri, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. flybri


    Nov 4, 2005
    I picked up a leatherman skeletool today, and i really like the fit and finish. I already have a SOG Powertool, SOG Paratool, and Vic Swisstool, but this Skeletool has a certain quality to it. It fits just right in a pocket with a clip (no belt holster required), and the one-handed opening blade is making me think of carrying this as my EDC instead of one of my Benchmade or SOG folding pocket knives.

    So here's my question to you: should I keep this Skeletool (with a 420HC blade), or is it worth it to upgrade to the CX (with a 154 cm blade) for around $15 more?

    I plan to use this as my EDC, and probably, when I carry it, I won't be carrying another blade. At the same time, I want this to be my light and inexpensive beater set of pliers. That means low-maintenance (little to no oiling), even if I bring it into wet environments (e.g. sweaty hands, sweaty pockets (!), and the occasional salt water kayaking trip), it shouldn't rust easily.

    Which would you choose as a tool that can be both a "main EDC blade" and low-maintenance, rust-free? Skeletool, or its CX variant?
  2. Iyonk


    Jan 29, 2010
    I got a leatherman crater c33L pocket knife with 420HC blade... its not hard to sharpen and use it as EDC cutting tools without any problem... i dont know how it compared with buck 420HC... but I prefer easier to sharpen blade since i can touch up in the field... and 420HC is excellent in rust resistance...

    the 154CM marketed to be 3 times better in holding its edge than 420HC... dont know how they compared in daily cutting task... but if you got the budget i'll say go for it... dont know how the 154CM of leatherman compared to benchmade or others... since heat treatment and blade geometry play very important rule in blade...

    if you really like this one, why bother upgrading?
    but if you really curious, go for it... you'll know how different 420HC and 154CM behave in your cutting needs...

    sorry cant help you further buddy.... Goodluck.
  3. freedoom


    Jan 31, 2010
    don't forget that the CX also has a carbon fiber insert and is anodized. There is also the fact that the CX has a plain edge blade and the regular has a combo edge. I carried the original CX, with the combo edge blade, for ages. I don't even consider the regular skeletool because i don't like the look of the non-anodized metal.
  4. molly's survival

    molly's survival Banned BANNED

    Aug 28, 2009
    Id go with the carbon fiber but thats just cause i like cf... and prefer a plain edge on smaller blades
  5. Sep


    Mar 14, 2009
    I would go for the CX simply because I don't like partial serration in such a short blade.

    In my mind the Skeletool is designed to be your sole lightweight EDC. If you still carry a separate folder, it's not a good fit because you have a redundant piece of one-hand opening blade while getting a smallish set of pliers.

    Now, if you make it your sole EDC, it's worth getting the 154CM blade.
  6. flybri


    Nov 4, 2005
    yea... the carbon fibre and the plain edge are definitely pluses for the CX over the non-CX. i was just concerned about how much more maintenance 154cm might be over 420HC for what I want to be a 'beater' knife that's suitable for the occasional foray into salt water kayaking (which I only do once or twice a year).

    I have 1095, S30v, and ATS-34 blades and haven't ever had major problems with rust, but I do keep my blades well maintained. Do I need to do the same with the 154cm?
  7. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod

    Apr 6, 2000
    It's a good idea to rub it down good with oil before going into a rough environment.
    But either of those two stainless steels won't rust from moisture all that quickly.
  8. ricklee4570


    Aug 12, 2010
    They make both of them in plain blade now.
  9. ricklee4570


    Aug 12, 2010
    I had the 420HC, it didnt hold an edge very long. With that said, it was very very easy to sharpen. I could strop it on a cardboard box and bring the edge back.

    I just recently bought the CX in plain blade. When I get a chance to use it I will report back with a review.
  10. umberto00


    Jun 25, 2004
    I have the CX with the combo blade, never handled the regular skeletool. I say upgrade. Plus, if you do upgrade, you'll have the CX to carry around and the regular one to keep as a beater/practice sharpening/loaner.

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