Historic Range: $16.99-$29.99
Reviewers Paid: $19.95-$29.95
The Leatherman Style CS is an inexpensive, good quality basic multi-tool. It comes with a knife, scissors, tweezers, nail file, flat screw driver and bottle opener that fits easily in your pocket or clips onto your pack so you can quickly find it when needed.
- Basic useful tools
- Small knife blade (1.5 inches) has limited uses
- Tweezers initially difficult to remove
A while back I was re-evaluating my gear, looking for ways to reduce what I carry. I came across three pieces (a small folding knife, tweezers and scissors) that I don’t use often and always carry. I wondered if I could find a small multi-tool to replace them.
I already have a Leatherman Charge that is too big and heavy with more tools than I practically need for backpacking; that was out. So being partial to Leatherman, I started with them. I quickly found the Style CS and the Micra. Both are compact and lightweight with minimal tools. Both tools are inexpensive and I could have tested both but, I ended up choosing the Style CS over the Micra.
I really liked that the tweezers are removable and easier to maneuver. The Micra’s tweezers fold out from the handle. I also liked the bottle opener better. Having a Leatherman C303, I was already familiar with the opener design. Other than that, the scissors and knife are the same. I tested each of its components. Each tool performed the tasks I would typically be using the tool for well. So far, I am very happy with my decision.
After initial examination, I decided the knife and scissors needed a little sharpening. This is usually the case with mass produced, inexpensive blades. The knife was easily touched up with a ceramic stone. On the other hand, the opening on the scissors was too small to get my stone into. I decided to use 400 grit sandpaper wrapped around an ID card and that worked great.
The knife blade is small and can be folded out without having to open the whole tool. It doesn’t lock but, snaps solidly in its usable position. Best uses for the blade are cutting small things like cordage and food packaging. Just for fun, I tried it to make feather stick shavings and it worked well for that too.
The scissors are also small but effective. They use lever action to keep tension on the blades and make using them easy. I found they efficiently cut through fishing line, nylon thread and dental floss. They also cut through ¼ inch jute twine with some effort. The knife works better for that. Lastly, I tested the scissors on mole skin and they worked just fine.
For testing the tweezers, I decided to pluck some hairs from my arm (no pictures) which they performed very well. I decided it would be a bad idea to jam a splinter into my skin. The first few times I pulled the tweezers out, it was really difficult and hard on my fingernail. After ten times or so of working them in and out, I was to get them out with little effort. The nice thing is they still seem to lock in place and won’t fall out accidentally. We’ll see if that lasts over time.
Additional tools include a small nail with worked really well to smooth out my nail after fiddling with the tweezers. On the end of the file is a small flat blade screwdriver. I found it is perfectly sized for tightening eyeglass frame screws. Also because of its shape, it can be used on small Philips head screws.
Lastly, the bottle opener, which doubles as a tiny wire gate carabiner for clipping onto your pack belt loop. The opener does what it is supposed to and works well. As I said though, I am familiar with the design and already knew how to use it. I did find though that it works much more effectively with the tool partially opened giving more leverage to pry the cap off.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $19.95
This tool is amazing. For the quality, size, and performance, this tool is worth every cent!
- The quality, just like any other Leatherman I’ve owned, is top notch.
- The scissors are exceptional. They cut right through everything I’ve needed them to, from string to plastic. They stay sharp and haven’t failed me yet. The knife is fantastic. Small and perfect for any tiny task. The nail file is amazing as well. The carabiner is so convenient. It allows me to plop the tool on my keychain and then remove it with ease when I need it again.
- I have not had the opportunity to use the small screwdriver at the tip of the nail file.
- The tweezers are not the best pair of tweezers you’ll ever own, but they do the job.
For when I don’t have a larger multitool (or any other tool for that matter), the Leatherman Style CS does the job. I didn’t realize how much I would use scissors if I had them with me all the time until I purchased this scissor-based multitool. I honestly use them at least once a day. They come in so handy, especially since I never go anywhere without the tool.
I use the carabiner to clip the tool to my keys, which I carry everywhere I go. So even when I’m not carrying a pocket knife or larger multitool, I have the Style CS in my pocket. This little tool has quickly become my favorite. It has all of the tools I need for those small everyday tasks. I’ve used every tool on this product except for the small screwdriver on the tip of the file.
I love this tool, and if anything were to happen to it, Leatherman has got my back with their exceptional 25-Year Warranty and fantastic customer service.
100% positive experience. I’ve had it for three months.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $29.95
Great design, sturdy tools, and very light and compact.
- good design
Very compact (size of a standard cigarette lighter when folded), scissors are very solid and easily cut through seal-a-meal bags (one of my primary reasons for purchase), the blade is accessible when the tool is closed and is sturdy, and the clip works well.
It had exactly the tools I needed. Very pleased with this purchase.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $19.95
I picked up this little multi-tool at REI several months ago. What I was looking for was a small, light little tool with a blade, scissors and tweezers. The Style CS has those things and also includes a nail file, flathead screwdriver, and carabiner clip/bottle opener.
When I am backpacking, I rarely use my knife as it is, and I have found myself needing a pair of scissors far more often than a blade; I thought that the Style CS would be a perfect fit for my needs. It is, in theory.
What I like: As I said before, it is obviously light weight. It fits in your pocket, your pack, or you can clip it anywhere to ensure you don't lose it. It has all the features I wanted in a multi-tool. When you pop open the tool to bust out the scissors, you can get quite a bit of leverage on the handles when cutting, which surprised me considering the size of the tool. The blade opens without having to open the tool up. Also, it never hurts to have an extra biner clip around.
What I dislike: Basically, there is one major flaw in this tool that ruins it. The blade and scissors are so incredibly dull it is not useable straight from the package. This wouldn't be a problem, since it is relatively easy to sharpen a blade. The scissors, however, are so small that it is not possible to sharpen them. Trying to cut a piece of moleskin with the scissors turned into a massive hack job that resulted in me finally just ripping the forlorn chunk the rest of the way off, and moleskin doesn't tear easily. Considering I would really only be taking this thing backpacking, a set of nice sharp scissors could last me quite some time.
One minor caveat is that the "bottle opener" is pretty small and flimsy, and you have to pry several times around the perimeter of the bottle to get it open. Not a big deal for me personally, but there it is anyway.
Yes, the Style CS is very cheap, and there will always be those who love to say "you get what you pay for", and I would be one of them. However, if the scissors don't cut anything more substantial than lined notebook paper, then this thing isn't worth nearly the $20 price tag.
Also, the name "Style CS" has me wondering if Leatherman was intending this to be more of a cutesy glove box accessory/stocking stuffer instead of useable tool. Considering its flaws, it wouldn't surprise me.
Price Paid: $20