Leatherman Skeletool KBx

8.5
8.5 score
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Leatherman Skeletool KBx Review Facts

There are too many choices when one is looking for a knife. When you have two knives you are looking at with a letter difference, you may wonder why one might be better than the other. So did we. Well, we do what we always do here at Gear Hunt and took a deeper look to see if the KB and KBX were really that much different where one was deserving more attention than the other.

What did we find? Well for one, there really seemed to only be one difference: options. Otherwise, if you have researched one you have the information on both to make a good choice on if you want either one. We also discovered that beyond being a little sharper along the back than some liked, no one had anything bad to say. This lightweight pocket knife is a great tool!

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Lightweight

Small

Built on belt clip

More handle colors than KB

Cons

Possibly need smoother back

Primary Use

Primary Use

The interesting part of this named multi-tool is that it really only has two tools in total. The primary focus was on its main use as a knife, and not much extra was put in to take away from that quality. They focused on the quality of its metal and the sharpness of the blade over everything else.

This was intended to be a lightweight and easy to use pocket-knife, and for its size, it met those requirements with the easy grace of something royal. We like this blade, and it definitely holds its edge and won’t end up letting you down with its primary function. Sturdy build and easy to use functionality make this one of the best knives on the market in its category.

Then again, this is a Leatherman, and anyone who knows pocket knives knows they are the go-to company when it comes to picking something you can rely on. We have covered so many of their products in so little time that we know that when we come across one of their knives we need to think about bringing you all the nitty-gritty because they simply are one of the best on reputation alone. This knife just adds to it.
Blade

Blade

We like to cover everything about a blade, from its color to what it is made of when we present it to you. Most companies offer a variety of metals to choose from when it comes to their knives, and this one has fewer choices, but there are choices. They offer both 420HC stainless steel and type 2 anodized aluminum for this blade.

While we could leave you with just the types, we like to know what each entails when it comes to a quality build, and we are sure you do too. So, what are the pluses and minuses to each metal? First, let us find out what they are, we’ll start with the 420HC.

420HC is a much softer, higher carbon content steel than others, which makes it the go-to for outdoor enthusiasts such as hunters and campers. It is easier to sharpen, and it is easy to care for. The metal is much more resistant to rust and can be taken care of on the trail with little effort.

However, there is a downside to this metal according to those who are wanting something day-to-day. Because it is a softer metal, it does require more frequent sharpening than other daily use pocket knives would which can be frustrating. The blade itself may also simply be too flexible for some jobs. That said, if what you need is a reliable trail knife for smaller jobs, this one definitely performs.

What about the aluminum style metal for this knife? Is it any better than to go with the off the shelf 420HC or is it worse?

Well, for starters, this particular metal is used in regard to medical equipment. It is durable, holds form, edge, and is resistant to most forms of corrosion. If you are wanting something for daily use that would not require much attention to keeping the edge sharp this is probably the metal to go with. The downside is they may be harder to sharpen later.

In the end, it depends on what you want this knife to do for you that makes one metal better than another. Both are useful, but for different applications. Which is probably why we could not find anyone who actually had something they could name as a firm con for this particular knife when they used it.
Accessories

Accessories

Truthfully, when we cover a pocket knife, we really don’t find a lot of useful accessories that can be gotten. We suppose you could consider the different colors for the handle options as such, but that is a permanent fixture, not really something that is an add on. They do offer sheaths for their knives as well, but again, like a pocket knife, this one has a belt clip directly on it.

The only real accessories you could consider for this blade is exactly what you could get for any knife. You likely have them if you own other knives and use them frequently. A good sharpening tool, some oil and a polishing cloth are great things to assure you can maintain any knife- including this one.

Why are these important? Well, if you do go for the 420HC, having the proper tools to sharpen, clean and care for your blade will become vital to making sure it does not corrode. The correct cleaner is important as well, and oil after it keeps the blade from becoming too brittle over time.
Durability

Durability

Durability depends on which metal you choose in the long run, however, no matter which you choose to take, this knife is sturdy, and its build makes it hard to find a flaw. This knife won’t end up falling apart or letting you down if you go with the right material for your intended use. That said, we can assure that it isn’t very hard to know which to go with.

There are plenty of people out there who have provided information on both types of metal and what you can count on from it depending on your desires and choices. Even those who gave it some rather harsh criticisms admitted it was because they had the wrong metal and were picky on the final appearance. Nothing bad could truly be said about how well it handled in durability or use.

The knife even has a replaceable belt clip, which the only reason you may decide to replace it is due to the fact the bottle opener aspect is part of the clip itself. Strangely, though, most have noted this does not affect how good it is when used. Another curiosity is whether it would cause a problem with grip, but it doesn’t even register when held, making it a part that simply would be hard to require a replacement for.
Weight

Weight

This is one of the lightest blades you could decide to pick up, making it easy to carry and easy as well as quick to use. It is very well balanced according to those who have had the pleasure to own the knife. Most knives, even lightweight ones, will have some sort of drag or drawback to them, and this company has taken the time to prove it isn’t necessary.

At only 1.3 ounces this knife is likely to be one of the lightest you will ever own. At the same time, the metal options mean you still have a reliable blade that you can use on the go. It also won’t fall apart on you because the design itself holds true to the construction quality of the rest of their products.
Finish

Finish

This is the only complaint, and it is completely based on opinion. Some people simply prefer their knife to shine like the surface of a mirror, and when its finish is just a little more gritty they find themselves disappointed. When it comes to the 420HC metal, this knife has a grittier look to its surface that may cause some to look at them and not enjoy its appearance.

While this does not speak to the actual use of the blade, it can deter a few from wanting to own it. We don’t feel that this is a true drawback, however, since it doesn’t affect how it works. This knife was meant to be used, not put onto a display for admiring like other decoratively designed pieces.

They also offer a variety of finished colors for your handle with the KBx that the KB did not have. When we looked over the two blades to find out what was different, this was really the only spec that changed. The rest of the information was the same. So, if you want options for appearance sake, you at least get more options with this particular model.
Safety

Safety

This knife does have a safety lock to prevent an open blade from closing on its user that must be manually be unlocked before it can be closed. This means it is much safer and more comfortable in a user’s hand as they do not have to worry about an accidental close while they are using it. So what type of locking mechanism does the knife use?

It uses one of the most simple and sturdy types of locking mechanisms, a frame lock. This is a semi-thick piece of metal that sits on one side of the blade until it is fully into open position. Once it is opened, this piece clicks to the opposing side which blocks the blade from moving. The only way to close the knife at this point is to apply pressure onto the frame piece and slip it passed the edge of the lock and close it.

Unless you apply the right amount of pressure and press it far enough out of the way, it cannot close again. This is illegal in some countries and states, so you may want to check your local ordinances before purchasing it. Otherwise, this is touted to be one of the best on the market.
Price

Price

This is one of the most amazing aspects of such quality and lightweight knife. One would expect it to be rather pricey between reputation and quality, surprisingly its only $25USD. This makes it a knife worth going for because you get quality without the extreme price tag most demand for such a build.

If you go even further, however, you find that you not only get quality and a low price for a blade you can automatically trust to be there when you need it, you also get their warranty. Having a warranty as part of your purchase is a huge deal when you want to know you can trust the company. However, some warranties are better than others, so what does this one cover?

This comes with a 25-year limited warranty from a company that has proven time and again to be a reliable resource for all kinds of bladed tools. As long as you don’t attempt to alter or fix the blade yourself, and the issue is a defect that is caused by the manufacturing process. This includes the blade being brittle or otherwise defective, or a piece breaking that wasn’t due to weak parts and not because of misuse.
Key Features

Key Features

-Frame lock
-Great metal quality
-Easy to care for
-Cheap price
-Handle color options

Bottom Line

If what you want a blade you can rely on and use without it falling apart, this is definitely a company that makes sure that is what you get when you buy from them. There are not many companies that can lay claim to as great a reputation as this one, and with how well the blade is spoken about, can’t find any true negatives, the knife itself is reputable among those it is owned by.

This is a blade that whether you are wanting to go hunting, or just need to use it for life obstacles.