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Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.

Chako · 23 · 9352

ca Offline Chako

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Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
on: June 20, 2010, 03:07:24 AM
As a Leatherman collector, I try and get every Leatherman produced (within reason). Thus, I was excited when Leatherman announced a few new keychain multi-tools. Because I collect them, I had to get them. I even try to get every colour now….see how low I have sunk. :D

Well, I took a closer look at the Leatherman Style and I must say, I am mixed about it. Thus what follows are my thoughts and general ramblings on the little Style. By no means am I trying to prevent others from buying this MT, for what I may rumble about may not even be an issue for many in here.

I know have 3 Styles for my collection varying only in colour. The Leatherman Style is a neat minimalist tool in a very tiny package. I dare say the Style is Leatherman’s smallest tool to date. I cannot imagine anything getting any smaller, and still being useful. And therein lies the problem with me, as I will explain my issued with the cute little Style.


(The Style is like having a Squirt sawn in half, or Leatherman’s idea of a Vic Classic or Wenger Esquire…possibly?)

The Style does have good functionality in its tiny form factor. You get a knife blade, a pair of scissors, a combo nail file and cuticle cleaner/flathead driver, and removable tweezers. I sort of think of the Style as a Leatherman Classic or Esquire minus the toothpick.


(Note the tweezers are angled, and the Style does have plenty of style)


(The removable tweezers)

I want to like this tool, but I just can’t. My reasons are many fold, and most of them stem from lack of ergonomics and usability.

The knife blade is rather stylish with all those holes. Mind you, I have some serious issues with where they decided to place the nail nick. It is too close to the rotation point. Its location means you have to use a bit of force to open the blade. Now if they exchanged the location of the nail nick with those holes, all would have gone much better. I read somewhere one here that someone modified their style with a thumb screw through one of those holes in the blade. It gets even more puzzling when you consider that the liner was cut adequately to put that nail nick anywhere on the blade.


(A case of style over function)

Another issue stems from the location and design of the tweezers. Don’t get me wrong, I do like removable tweezers. I had no issues with their implementation in some of their Juice models. On the Style however, it is a different matter. I believe it stems from 3 things that I find annoying.
1.   The tweezers on the style are jammed like an afterthought between two aluminum liners, unlike the smooth as butter plastic holster type found on the older Juices. Metal on metal only serves to increase friction, thereby making them harder to get out then they should be.
2.   The tweezers bent fingernail end fits too tightly to the body of the Style if you jam the tweezers too far, or heaven forbid, have them in your pocket and something hits them home. Once this happens, you will need another tool to get them pulled enough away from the main body to be able to get your finger nail under it. Couple this with item number one, and you can see how attempting to pull out the tweezers can be a fun exercise.
3.   The Style has what would appear at first glance, two places to put the tweezers away. Please don’t laugh, but I managed to jam one of the tweezers into the “other hole” unwittingly while not paying full attention. I only realized what I had done when I couldn’t push the tweezers past the half way mark. Once I looked at the Style, I realized what I had done, gave a silent curse to the designers, and attempted to pull them out again. Another MT came to the rescue with no damage to anything other than my patience .


(This is the right slot or hole for the tweezers)


(On the same side of the Style, but on the opposite end, lies a trap! Only hardy fools should venture forth)

My annoyance didn’t end there. I will admit the tweezers gambit was my fault for not paying attention to the critical operation of ramming those tweezers home in their right spot. But this next one had me further wonder just who designed this tool. The nail file has what I shall call, a fake nail nick on the file side. I figure this was included just so you can hand out the Style at parties and laugh at your friends when they can’t open the tool. Yeah, that must be it. Anyways, the fake nail nick gets me every time. This is probably because the real nail nick on the back is harder to get at then the fake one.


(The arrow shows you the fake nail nick. It even is partly indented enough to fool the eye into thinking your nail has to go there to open the file. Of course, the shallow indent’s file texture only makes you think you have enough grab to open it when you don’t. Now that small indent might make a neat little hook sharpener, but if that was the case, why didn’t they put it somewhere where users won’t think it is what it isn’t)

The nail file isn’t the only tool that causes me grief. The scissors also give me grief. I find the scissors very hard to open. They partially hid the nail nick for this tool under a liner. Why they did this is equally puzzling from the standpoint of ergonomics. Likewise, the real file nail nick is hard to get likewise.


(See 1 above..the liner has that wonderful non cut away section just to make opening your scissors more challenging. 2. Here is the partially hidden scissors nail nick. 3. The equally hard to get nail file nail nick found on the opposite side of the fake nail nick)


(A better look at that protective liner at 1, the real nail file nail nick at 2 which is a bear to get at when the scissors are stored away, and the odd placement of the nail nick on the knife blade at 3)

To wrap this up, I like the direction that Leatherman went with the Style. It definitely looks stylish enough, but here is where I am disappointed with this little tool. I feel that not enough was done to make it an easier to use tool. I have major issues with how I can’t open the blade, the nail file, scissors, or even the tweezers without fidgeting and fighting the tool. I keep trying to open the nail file on the file side even though I know better because it is far easier to access then the back side. I am just not impressed with the usability of this tool.

I would love to hear your opinions. Am I too harsh on the Style? What are your opinions on it. I know for me, they are not going to be fondled much, and shall remain shelf queens ever more.



« Last Edit: June 20, 2010, 03:42:46 AM by Chako »
A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles


england Offline DaveK

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #1 on: June 20, 2010, 03:33:50 AM
Well I just ordered one, so I'll let you know when it arrives.

Tbh, I cant see it replacing my Micra, which isn't so much a criticism of the the new tools, more a love affair with the Micra ;)



us Offline Poncho65

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #2 on: June 20, 2010, 03:35:53 AM
Thanks for the write up Chako :salute: I think that things like this should be written of tools with problems just to get LM attention and maybe they can do a small redesign of the tools problems (ie.. the little tab they kept breaking on some of the earlier Waves :) ) Great pics as always man :tu:


ca Offline Chako

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #3 on: June 20, 2010, 03:58:02 AM
This could never replace the Micra. With the Micra, at least all tools were easily accessible. The Style is aggravation station for me at least.
A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles


england Offline DaveK

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #4 on: June 20, 2010, 04:06:03 AM
Lol - it could just be a personal thing, we'll see!

Just a thought on the file - is the exposed bit enough to file a finger nail or anything without needing to open it up? I'm sure I read something about the curvy handles allowing access for some things - but I may have dreamt it!

At least I'm looking forward to receiving one now, even if it's only to do a critique on it :D


ca Offline Chako

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 04:22:35 AM
I was thinking the same thing Dave after I wrote my feelings about the Style. I still think it is very poor design.
A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles


us Offline turbov21

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 04:35:19 AM
(The Style is like having a Squirt sawn in half, or Leatherman’s idea of a Vic Classic or Wenger Esquire…possibly?)

This is what keeps me from getting one: if I'm going for a 60-ish millimeter tool with no pliers, I might as well get a SAK. That may be a horrible bias, but there you go.


Offline wvucyclist

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 07:42:22 PM
I totally agree!  Though I have been able to use the nail nick on the file side.  The tweezers become useless if you can't get them out, and the scissors don't cut as well as the Micra scissors.  Really, for the Micra being the size it is, the style isn't practical for me, except to put on a keychain, if I carried keys...


us Offline genevabuck

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #8 on: June 20, 2010, 09:48:34 PM
I like the size of my Style.  It's like you don't even know that it is there.  The functionality isn't bad for its size either.  The problem that I have is that the coating is already wearing off and it is beginning to rust.


Offline Ady

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #9 on: June 21, 2010, 04:56:49 PM
Sent mine straight back as the file was 'loose'. Long live the Micra!


us Offline SlackOne

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #10 on: June 21, 2010, 05:41:36 PM
(The Style is like having a Squirt sawn in half, or Leatherman’s idea of a Vic Classic or Wenger Esquire…possibly?)

This is what keeps me from getting one: if I'm going for a 60-ish millimeter tool with no pliers, I might as well get a SAK. That may be a horrible bias, but there you go.

And with the crazy cheap prices the small SAKs go for (wasn't the Catman selling the Esquire for $4 shipped?) why would you go with the Leatherman? Not to mention the fact that the SAK's warranties are better and they come in basically every color. Plus, you lose either a toothpick or a pen.

The Style's biggest improvement on the Classic/Esquire is that all tools open from the same end.  Might make it a tad thicker, but it also means that the keychain isn't in the way of implements.  Also, it allows the implements to be slightly larger.  Too bad the nicks are all screwed up, because it has the potential to be a very handy doodad.

Of course, the price point places it firmly in the range of the Vic Manager, which adds so much functionality that it's sort of a drubbing.
Half-ass done wholeheartedly!


ni-ulster Offline cerbera147

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #11 on: June 21, 2010, 06:07:08 PM
As Ari said the Style is going to find it difficult to go up against the smaller SAK's especially on price. Although I haven't seen one yet so I'll reserve judgement  :-X

Have you got a PS4 yet Chako, can we expect a review soon?  :pok: :D

I think the PS4 will do well  :tu: I hope to get one at some point. Amazon UK have them for £38  :o which appears to the going rate in the UK  ::)

Two weeks ago Amazon UK were selling the Supertool 300 for £39  :ahhh :ahhh
             


ca Offline Chako

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #12 on: June 21, 2010, 11:35:56 PM
Yes I do. Still no ES4 though. I guess I can make a review sometime soon about the PS4.
A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles


england Offline DaveK

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #13 on: June 25, 2010, 01:07:45 AM
Well, I got my Style, and I actually quite like it :tu:

The notch in the file is a 2nd nail-nick is it? It certainly works well as one, otherwise I've no idea what it is for  :think:

I agree about the main blade nail-nick being a bit close to the tang, although it works well enough and I think you'd get used to it pretty quickly.

I'm not getting on with the opening of the scissors though. Similarly frustrating to the little SAKs, but I suppose that's my fault for biting my nails really :-\

On the whole though, I think it's a decent little key-chain tool, and one that I'd definitely carry in preference to a Vic Classic personally. In practice however, I'll probably stick wit the heftier Micra, as it has tons more functions.



us Offline Rhino1227

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #14 on: July 02, 2010, 02:22:44 AM
Well, I just received my new Style in the mail today.  And, well yawwwwwwn.  It's OK.  Everythink Chako spoke of is true.  The nail-nick is not positioned well, the tweezers are very hard to get out, and the scissors are hard to get to.  I'll give it a go and throw it on my work keys.

On another note - I also received a PS4 in the mail as well.  This one I like.  Nice little tool with a good selection of tools.  It's nice having pliers and scissors on such a small tool.  The only thing I miss is the tweezers.  Maybe I can pull out splinters with the pliers?


us Offline sawman

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #15 on: July 09, 2010, 01:19:19 AM
The more I read (and see) of this I think I'll keep my $15. IMO, they're taking some HUGE steps backward from the Micra. LM makes the best multipliers but they do not make SAKs.  :td:
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england Offline DaveK

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #16 on: July 09, 2010, 01:34:24 AM
Well I like it!


ca Offline Chako

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #17 on: July 09, 2010, 02:13:38 AM
It isn't THAT bad. Room for improvement...definitely.
A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles


england Offline DaveK

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #18 on: July 09, 2010, 02:17:32 AM
I think I like it because it's a fresh take on the "Vic Classic" type of tool. We've seen the Micra, Squirt(s), Gerber Clutch, Vise, Shortcut, Splice, Mini Bear Jaws etc, but this is the first thing comparable to the 58mm SAKs that I can think of, and it's good to see soem competition at last/

It's not actually the sort of tool I'd EDC (same goes for the Classic), but I think it's good at what it is, if you see what I mean :)


us Offline Mercury

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #19 on: July 09, 2010, 09:01:11 AM
Well that tears it for me, thanks Chako!  I was on the fence about saving for a style to go on my keys, but it would appear that the Style could never replace my Vic Classic!  All those irritation points hit home with me.  It seems like a very poor response to the Classic, which has endured for years unchanged.  I must agree about the micra though, that is one awesome little MT.


spam Offline Paul

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #20 on: July 18, 2010, 03:34:58 PM
I like mine more than the classic, it has a nice robust feel to it for a keyring. Took me about about a week to find the tweezers though  :doh: 


us Offline BlueDot

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #21 on: October 07, 2010, 04:23:02 AM

Well the mail lady dropped off a blue style Monday, and I mostly agree with Chako.  Perhaps with some tweaking it would make a great keychain tool.  The number of tools is about right, size could be ~15% larger, and the nail nicks!  And why use paint (?) that scratches?

Anyway, it will probably end up in the giveaway box.

Thanks Chacko for a great review, and hope you're feeling better...
There are just 10 types of people in the world:  those who understand binary number systems, and those who don't


ca Offline Chako

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Re: Leatherman Style. Oh how I wish I could like you.
Reply #22 on: October 07, 2010, 04:38:52 AM
You are welcome.

And yes, I am mending ever so slowly. :D
A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles


 

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