Leatherman’s new Freestyle is due to be released in May, and we are very excited. Leatherman’s Freestyle is based off of their Skeletool design, but whereas the Skeletool is a full-size tool, the Freestyle is slightly smaller and lighter, making it a more pocket-friendly tool. Full-size knife? Check. Full-size pliers? Check. “I want one now” factor? Check.
A little over a year ago, we saw photos of the soon to be released Leatherman Freestyle. At the time, the Freestyle was intended to be a lower cost version of the Skeletool, replacing the bit holder with a single screwdriver tip, with Zytel used in the handle instead of aluminum or carbon fiber.
Freestyle, Knife Extended
Suddenly, however, news and images of the Freestyle disappeared. After a few months, it appeared as though Leatherman abandoned the Freestyle concept completely. Much to our surprise, the Freestyle design has recently reappeared, and it looks as if it underwent some drastic design changes.
Original Freestyle Concept vs. New Freestyle Design
The new Freestyle is a smaller and lighter adaptation of the popular Skeletool design. Rather than just being a lower cost Skeletool variant, the new Freestyle looks like it can hold its own as either a “companion” or stand-alone tool.
As you can see, the new Freestyle does away with the carabiner clip/bottle opener, as well as the screwdriver bit. I carry a Skeletool clipped to my pocket six days a week, and can confirm that the carabiner clip is bulky, and won’t be missed.
Freestyle (top) vs. Skeletool (bottom) Size Comparison
The absence of a screwdriver or bit holder will take some getting used to, but considering that I mostly use my Skeletool’s pliers and knife, I’ll surely get over it. Besides, when I know I’ll need a portable screwdriver, I carry my PB Swiss Insider anyways.
The Freestyle will be available in two versions – standard and CX. The standard version will come with a stainless steel body, combination plain and serrated edge knife, zytel insert, and kick-ass pliers. The CX version will come with a DLC-coated stainless steel body, plain edge knife made from a higher grade of steel, carbon fiber insert, and the same kick-ass pliers. The MSRP is set at $48 and $72, respectively.
Street Price: $30 for the standard model; the Freestyle CX has been discontinued.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
(There are rumors that Skeletool prices may drop when the Freestyle is released, but we doubt it – the current prices are the absolute lowest that we’ve ever seen for these tools.)