Sunday, June 10, 2012

Miscellany: Leatherman Style PS review - Fly the (knife un)friendly skies

Nowadays, passing by airport security is like going through intake at Folsom. You take off your belt and shoes, put your belongings in a bin, and await your turn to get sniffed, millimeter-wave radar-ed, or probulated by the TSA.

All that's bad enough, but it gets worse if someone decides to confiscate the Swiss Army Knife on your keychain in the name of "passenger safety." Do you argue? Make a scene? Try to ditch the knife in a remote corner of the airport, so you can retrieve it on your return? The Leatherman Style PS is a keychain multitool designed to avoid this whole dilemma:

The main selling point on the Style PS is what it doesn't have - a knife blade. It's not foolproof, of course (the TSA even warns you that an officer "may determine that an item not on the Prohibited Items List is prohibited"), but the PS is much less likely to get taken by airport security or courthouse guards.

The Style PS has the same general layout of one of my favorite EDC multitools, the Skeletool, albeit shrunken down to keychain size. Without opening the tool, you have access a carabiner clip/bottle opener that attaches to any key ring (pictured above), a decent nail file/screwdriver, and a pair of scissors:

The scissors are a bit on the small side (unless you glide them through paper like a razor, you'll be doing a lot of 1/4" snipping), but they work and look about as innocuous as possible.

The last item you can access without opening up the tool is a pair of tweezers. I actually like these better than standard Swiss Army knife tweezers - they terminate in a point, making it easier to grab very tiny things:

Opening up the tool gives you a small but effective pair of pliers and wire cutters. You obviously won't be pulling nails or cutting pennies with these, but they can remove staples and cut paper clip wire pretty easily:

All in all, the Leatherman Style PS is a well-thought out, useful set of tools. It's a bit big and heavy, especially when you consider that there's no knife, but there really aren't too many other knifeless keychain multitools (and almost none that have scissors and pliers). So, the next time you brave modern air travel, do it in style with the PS.

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