For a long time, Leatherman Tools made a few multi-tools and gained a great reputation from its customers. In the new millennium though, they have introduced a wide range of new tools, knives, and accessories. Some of the classics like the PST have been retired and replaced with newer versions. They also introduced a host of smaller ones like the Leatherman Style PS, which I am going to review now.
Leatherman Style PS Review
The Style PS is one of Leatherman’s newer tools and certainly lives up to it’s name. It is similar to other newer tools in that is a bit more rounded and curved than traditional Leatherman’s. Plus, you can get this one in several different colors. It is surprisingly small too, less than 3” when folded, and weighs less than 2 ounces.
In many respects, the Style PS shares attributes with the more traditional Swiss Army Knife. It is light, easy to carry, and looks cool. The Style PS has the more modern, industrial/tactical look, but the rounded and curved parts of it remind me of pocket knives by Victorinox. This is a good move by Leatherman because it makes their multi-tools even easier to carry than before when most users (myself included) used a leather sheath. Very elegant design and useful format.
Where the Style PS comes up short though is with the tool selection. It has the following ones:
- Needlenose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Flat-head screwdriver/nail file
- Carabiner/bottle opener
Of these, the first four use a spring action to operate them. This is one area where Leatherman does an outstanding job, much better than Gerber and lower end multi-tools. That said, the Style PS doesn’t give you a lot of tools to work with.
MSRP on the Style PS is around $25, although you can sometimes get it for a few bucks less if you shop around.
There is no doubt the Style PS is a cool-looking tool that is easy to carry around. The catch is that it doesn’t actually do much. Part of this is because it is designed to be TSA-compliant, meaning you can take it through airport security in the USA. This means that you can have a multi-tool on your person when you travel, which is good. The catch is that if you need a blade or knife of any sort, this one doesn’t offer one.
When I got mine, I was thinking about replacing my Leatherman Micra as a part of my EDC. I tried to do it for a week, but within a few days, I began to miss my Micra so much I abandoned my experiment. Even in an office environment, having a small blade of some sort comes in handy more than you would think. Plus, the scissors on the Style PS are a bit too small for regular use by me. They will do in a pinch, but that is about it.
If you need pliers with a wire cutter though, the Style PS may be a good choice. The spring mechanism is smooth and even, making it easy to use. Every time I use it around the house, it has worked well and I feel confident handling it. However, I don’t use it that much because it doesn’t have a blade of any kind. For the most part, my Style PS sits in my office and mostly serves as a conversation piece, which as a Leatherman fan makes me a bit sad.
Outstanding quality and sleek design. The spring action on the pliers is smooth.
Limited tools based upon design constraints (TSA-compliance).
I wanted to become a fan of this small tool just like I did with the Micra years ago. Sadly, the TSA-compliance cuts both ways since you can take it with you when you travel…but you won’t have many of the tools you will actually need. If you don’t need a multi-tool with a blade, this one may be worth buying. But for most of us, I would only recommend it if you like collecting cool-looking tools with limited functionality.
Overall Rating 6/10
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My EDC is a Victorinox Classic and a Leatherman Squirt. Between the two, I don’t lack for much on the side of having emergency tools. I’ve been carrying a Classic for more than 40 years. I think the one in my pocket is the 4th one. The Squirt is an awesome mini-multitool. I doubt that I would buy the Style PS just to be able to carry it on a plane. Looks pretty limited to me.
I travel frequently and purchased the PS just for this reason. If you are trying to compare to other non-TSA compliant or for EDC, this is an apples to oranges comparison. Yes, it does NOT have a blade but try getting anything with a blade through TSA – most of the time the TSA agent will spend 5 min looking at the PS, completely baffled that it doesn’t have a blade and trying to find a reason to NOT allow it through.
During my travels, the PS becomes my EDC and works great. Although it doesn’t have a blade the mini scissors or nail file can open packages, etc. It’s great to be able to have some basic (all be it small) tools with you when travelling by air.
My one complaint is, I would like to have it in a full sized version instead of the small footprint.
I prefer the original Gerber Multiplier for a multitool, but also carry a buck knife.
I’ve carried a Gerber 400 compact multi-plier for years and have been very pleased with it. It is a real working tool that I have done many jobs with and they author’s bias against Gerber is wholly his own. My multi-plier has never failed to get the job done, is always ready and capable, and it fits in my pocket and does not weigh me down. About the only thing it won’t do is hammer nails. All of the screwdriver tools work and they are still in like new shape despite being used for nearly ten years – no bent/broken or twisted parts, the finish still looks new and the locks work great. Even the knife blade is still extremely sharp and easy to keep an edge on. The scissors even work well because they are made of heavy enough gauge material not to bend or break when cutting even Zip ties.
Leatherman may have invented the plier type multi tool, but Gerber quality by far exceeds anything Leatherman has ever made – it took them years to make the handles user friendly and to put the tools on the inside of the handles – something Gerber did from the very beginning.
Gerber produces a superior quality product and they started out making quality knives and axes, where strength, durability and sharpness with easy maintenance is of primary importance. I have only had one Leatherman product and it hurt my hands when using the pliers to apply pressure on crimp on wiring terminals. That is why I gave the Leatherman away.
I have a couple of the Hoffman-Richter EDC Mini-Multi Tools which do have a small blade…curious as to why the lead picture shows a semi-serrated blade if it doesn’t have one…