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USER POLL: What’s Your Favorite Piece of Time-Tested Gear?

by Anthony Sculimbrene

Bernard Capulong

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USER POLL: What’s Your Favorite Piece of Time-Tested Gear?

There is a part of this site that is about showing off.  We like to find that rare or exotic piece of kit, pair it with other cool stuff, and show it off to our fellow gear addicts.  It is the same impulse that drives Jay Leno to collect cars or rich CEOs to collect art work.  All too often though, this impulse results in tools that live a sheltered existence, used for nothing more taxing than slicing open an envelope.  Even worse, some of this gear become shelf queens, lubed, sharpened, and dusted, but never put to work. 
Collecting isn’t a bad thing, but these are tools after all. 

So here is the question, which of your tools are truly time tested?  What part of your EDC kit has been with you forever?  What part of your EDC would you buy again without question if you lost it?  For me the answer comes down to three items: my 1st Gen Leatherman Skeletool CX (purchase and review), my Muyshondt Aeon flashlight, and my Tuff Writer Ultimate Clicky pen. 

Each has the battle scares to prove their usefulness, but it is the Skeletool CX that I want to focus on here.  The Skeletool is one of the three or four items I recommend the most.  Not only is it easy to carry and damn useful, its design is so unique and innovative that it is hard not to be taken in by its curves, holes, and splendid asymmetry.  The Skeletool is proof that innovation, even in a well-trodden space, is worth the effort.

I got my Skeletool in 2009 as a Christmas present from my wonderful sister.  I wasn’t really into gear then like I am now, but I always had a thing for multitools and the Skeletool was relatively new.  Instantly I was taken.  For many folks the Skeletool is a dud.  It lacks so many tools and implements that it can’t really compete with the likes of the Wave.  But those people are looking at it all wrong.  The Skeletool is not a slimmed multitool but a beefed up knife.  The knife is so good on the Skeletool that I’d have no problem EDCing it as a blade only.  The weight and the pocket clip mean that this thing is very competitive with not multitools, but KNIVES, in terms of easy of carry.  At under 5 ounces the Skeletool weighs less than the ZT0560 and the Lionsteel SR1 and it hits the same weight as the Spyderco Military. 

The tool selection is also top notch.  It has everything you need (pliers, a blade, a pair of drivers, a bottle opener) and nothing you don’t (a can opener).  As an around the house, suburban, going-to-Lowes-to-buy-insulation, it has what you need.  I like the blade steel, which is the big difference between the CX and the regular model (154CM v. 420HC).  I also like the carabiner clip.  Not only does it open bottles cleanly, it also allows you to clip the tool to a belt loop in pliers mode.  The blade shape is simply marvelous and while I don’t like serrations (something done away with in the 2nd Gen Skeletool CX), here, on a tool that is as likely to cut rope as it is to cut paper, I don’t mind.  As far as minimalist EDC goes, you’re hard pressed to find a better full sized tool than the Skeletool.

But looking at the specs would tell you all of this.  One of the reasons I recommend the Skeletool so much is the fact that it has proven itself time and again in the shop, around the house, or out on the go.  For five years, the Skeletool CX has been my pocket companion on the weekends.  In the shop I use it to scribe lines, save me steps going to hunt down that driver or pliers, and when the work is finished, popping open a brew.  Outside I have used it to strip bark, make fuzz stick fire starters, pull out a thorn stuck in my palm, and a host of other things.  Around the house it a huge help.  I have cut the aforementioned insulation with the Skeletool (yowza that killed the edge).  I installed a light fixture with nothing more than the Skeletool (continuing this line of silliness, I fixed the switch in a ceiling fan with my PS4…).  I scrapped out glue from a bad glue up in my workshop.  I have fixed innumerable kids tools.  It tightens the knobs on my chest of drawers or fixes that wiggling door knob.  I can change an outlet with one in about 5 minutes flat now, curse you old house with funny outlets.  I have done almost every minor fix it job with the Skeletool.   

Because it is so small, so light and so capable I carry the Skeletool with me all of the time.  Its worn.  I lost a bit (and found again a year later).  The blade is scratched up, but razor sharp.  There is some rust in the thumb hole.  The pliers have some dings.  But this thing won’t quit.  Its so good, even with virtually an endless selection of mutltiools, I’d buy the Skeletool again in a second (probably opting for the CX again because of the better blade steel, not the carbon fiber, which doesn’t save any weight in this design).  

So that’s it, that’s my time-tested tool.  What’s the time-tested tool in your EDC?  It could be a knife or a multitool or a flashlight—anything.  Hell, my Ultimate Clicky pen has outlasted any other pen I have carried by a factor of five.  I’m not looking for your grail piece, but the thing that you’d take with you without a second thought or that tool that you put on your nightstand during a storm that could rob your house of power.  Comment below.  A week from the date of this piece being published, I’ll pick a winner and that person will receive a Spyderco Chaparral in CF, a knife with a design so good its a better than even bet to become a time-tested tool.   

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