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Leatherman Wave or Skeletool

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
To deal with the ever present realization that "shit happens", I would like to get a leatherman in my backpack (in which I usually pack water, some food, extra layers, glasses, etc), just for the good feeling of being prepared.

Purpose is just to be able to deal with frozen locks, emergency binding adjustments and these kind of things that might happen in a ski day

I'm not touring or doing anything extreme, and after some research my feeling is that it has to be the Leatherman Wave or the Skeletool. Basically because of the removable bit drivers, in which one would be able to put the philips #3 for binding adjusting (it should be compatible with opzidriv #3, right?).

I do carry some generic leatherman imitation today, but its really not quality and I dont trust it. I did use the pliers once to fix a helmet strap, so hey, its useful

Of course it all comes down to 2 points (as they are in similar price range):
1) Is the Wave too heavy?
2) Is the skeletool too light on features? is the grip sturdy enough to torque the bit driver (the way you hold it to use the bit driver is a bit odd, half closed, half opened)

So impressions, past experiences, general speculation in hypothetical highly unlikely situations are welcome
post #2 of 17

I have a skeletool, but it stays in the car with the tire chains for whatever emergency use that comes up.


Both these tools are focused on the pliers and to a lesser degree a blade.  

If you really see yourself mainly only using the bits, then maybe just get a bit tool instead.  (usually under snowboard tool, as riders are always changing around their angles).

post #3 of 17

I brought a Leatherman Wave the other day from LD Mountain Centre with a 20% Discount Code, think it was ICE20 or ICE21 advertised as 20% off RRP on new season kit I think so worth a look... 

post #4 of 17

I don't carry anything. Most mountains have a tool board or two in different places if needed. I have not needed one in the last 25 years anyway. I am not a pack mule when resort skiing. Backcountry is entirely different.

post #5 of 17

I use a skeletool. its lightweight, I throw it in my pack with just the bit that fit my buckles. I have used it to cut off P-tex shavings, fix ski poles and retighten buckles. 

post #6 of 17
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

I don't carry anything. Most mountains have a tool board or two in different places if needed. I have not needed one in the last 25 years anyway. I am not a pack mule when resort skiing. Backcountry is entirely different.

Yes, most resorts have a bench out front of the lodge, usually near the rental shop with tools chained to it for public use.  As for pack mule and resort skiing it pretty much depends on where the vehicle is with regards to the base lodge in my decision to load up the pockets or not.  If I end up in a satellite lot and have to ride a shuttle or walk a mile I'm going the pack mule route.  If I'm parked a few hundred feet from the base lodge then I travel as light as possible leaving the just in case stuff in the car.


Oh and for the tool of choice, most of my bindings screw gaps are so huge and buried in the toe pieces that few multi tools are sufficient to really do anything with them except adjusting DIN or forward pressure.. things you really should have right before putting the gear in the car. If not, a coin or small knife blade will do for snake screws or heel piece locks in a pinch.

post #7 of 17

I have a Wave, never used it on the mountain but I think it could come in handy for most situations. The skeletool looks much lighter though, if that influences your decision.

post #8 of 17

I have a Wave and the pliers are bomber, the blades are very good and lock in place: very aggressive saw, ultra sharp serrated blade, two coarseness file. All stand up to heavy use. The screw drivers (both philips #2 and wide range of straight) don't lock so you run the risk of them folding under pressure. Scissors get a workout and cut well; they are a bit small, though. Can opener doubles as bottle opener, a key tool at times.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies. I knew it was going to be like this :)
I'm usually skiing with my pack and I do have an impression that I carry way too much stuff in it. Maybe I will review my plan in the future, but I'm for the mules right now, I guess.
For the skeletool geeks, is the use of the bit driver good or awful? Reason I ask is that apparently you need to half fold it like this to use the bit driver:
Although I can see with the extender its possible ot use with the tool completely closed:
I think the current incarnation of the Wave is all locking. But I saw there is an old wave (without bit driver) that has non locking parts.
post #10 of 17

I have a collection of knives and utility scissors that I've bought on ski trips because I /didn't/ have tools enough, so no argument from me. 

post #11 of 17


post #12 of 17

I would suggest go with the multitool that doesn't require you to fiddle with bits for the snow.  If the bit falls out (or goes missing randomly) or you got to hold it in to make it work, it's not very useful.


I have a skeletool, and for me the biggest difference of this tool is the quality of the blade for the particular version i got.   

As for the bit tool itself, actually it's a bit of a hassle as the bit doesn't stay locked in it's slot, and less then ideal.  I actually keep it store it with a piece of tape to make sure it doesn't fall out.


I've also had a standard leatherman as well as a "generic" Gerber (made in china) , and the models I got had blades are serviceable, they are relatively "standard" steel.  

The leatherman came sharp, the cheap gerber came from the factory dull (at least to my eyes).  The leatherman's steel was midtier and better than the gerber.


There's nothing explicitly wrong with even these, you can make cheap steel extremely sharp, it just won't hold that edge for long.   (Disposable razors are sharp enough to shave with).   

If you were Aron ralston, you would have wished you had either spent the time to check and sharpen your cheap multitool knife, or gotten a better tool that came with a better factory edge, or better steel that would've kept the edge longer. 


All the other tools aren't necessary too different to write home about in my opinion


For your particular quandry, I would go with the wave because it at least has the fixed "large" flathead tool.


But in reality, on the slopes, as echoed above, I would opt first for the free "Tools" setup that the resorts kindly have available for me to use.

post #13 of 17

I'm glad to hear the Wave has all locking tools now. Mine is probably 4 - 5 years old at least. I do use it all the time on my job (SOHO computer services) and like it despite the non-locking tools. I also like it in my pack for skiing and touring as it can handle lots of situations well.

post #14 of 17

Yep, the Wave is sure all locking now, and the screwdriver bit stays in place pretty well, definitely need to pull on it to get it out.

post #15 of 17

hmm, my bits don't fall out of my Skeletool. I need to go dig it out.  Thanks!

post #16 of 17

hijack2.gif what's a good place to find leatherman for cheap? They are expensive stuff, so good deals are always welcome! :-)

post #17 of 17

amazon.com on sale usually has a very fair price.

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