Leatherman Style CS Review

Alejandro Medellin

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Enjoying the cool, refreshing taste of a Topo Chico. Photo Credit: Alejandro Medellin

I drink a lot of mineral water—Topo Chico if we’re being exact—and beer too, but they both require me to pry off their bottle caps. Somewhere along the way, I learned to pry off bottle caps with spoons, forks, and anything with a hard edge including my knif found myself in the empty aisles of Academy looking for a tool that could help open my precious bottles and maybe even take care of some other stuff too. There were keychain doodads and all kinds of useless novelty tools that are usually built poorly and stuffed into Christmas stockingse, the CRKT M-21. Usually, when I am drinking these bottles I don’t have a spoon on my person, so I use the back of the blade, but after hundreds of bottles the blade has begun to lose its coating, which protects the stainless steel from rusting or corroding.

I. I saw a few multi-tools that I liked, but ultimately they were way too big for my pockets because of the aforementioned CRKT knife that I already carry. I was getting a bit lost looking through all these knives, and tools to be honest.

I needed something small and capable of doing certain tasks that my knife couldn’t do, but I was lost in the swamp of survival and tactical gear. As if I really need a ferro rod everyday or a saw blade that I would probably use only once. Finally, I homed in on the perfect little tool, the Leatherman Style CS.

multi-tool with scissorsThe scissors of the Leatherman Style CS are small but efficient. Photo Credit: Alejandro Medellin

undefinedThe tweezers were an unexpected surprise but I have used them more times than I care to admit. Photo Credit: Alejandro Medellin

The tiny multi-tool comes with a bottle opener, which is what I mainly needed, but it also doubles as a carabiner to attach to a set of keys. It also came with the standard file/screwdriver, a small blade, and most surprisingly, a pair of tweezers for pulling splinters out, I assume. When opened, the multi-tool turns into a pair of scissors that might come in handy to cut open some tough packaging or those unrequested credit cards that come in the mail. The tool’s sibling, the TSA-safe Leatherman Style PS lacks the blade, and it comes with needle nose pliers instead of the scissors.  The Style PS still comes with scissors, though, as a replacement for the blade on the Style CS, but these scissors are smaller—way smaller.

Having used the tool these past few days has been great. It’s been in my pocket since I bought it and it’s so small and lightweight it can be easy to forget it’s there at all. I have opened multiple bottles hassle-free without the cap flying off as I am used to with the knife. Aside from the bottles, I have used it to tighten the screws on my glasses, cut open mail with the blade, and used the scissors to tear through one of those tough plastic packages. So far, I have not used the file or tweezers, but I am sure the day will come, and if it doesn’t it was still $20 well spent.

Personally, I think the scissors and the blade are unnecessary because I always have my knife on me if I really need to cut something open. Honestly, I would prefer the Style PS because I can see myself using the pliers to tighten things, and I can take it on an airplane since it lacks a blade. Unfortunately, Academy only carried the model I bought so until then it will be in my pocket because it is still a great tool. Maybe this Christmas you can put this in someone’s stocking and gift them something they will actually use.

4-month update:

When I originally wrote this article, it was the end of October, and I was still getting used to having it in my pocket, but it has become an indispensable, albeit minimal, tool. Since then, I have come to terms with the notion that less is more, and while I could buy a much fancier multi-tool with many more features, this little Style CS is perfect for everyday carry.

This tool has been in my pocket since day one, and I use it multiple times a day. I have used it for all sorts of things, especially opening bottles, which it does with the clinical accuracy of a dedicated bottle-opener. Alone, this tool is lacking, but paired with a quality knife like my Spyderco Delica 4, the multi-tool punches above its weight. My everyday carry has dramatically improved since my days of carrying around a gigantic 9-inch folding knife.  I even added a three-inch-long piece of woven paracord to it so I could pull it out easily. I still wish I had pliers, but I will just have to live with it.