Leatherman Style CS, Squirt PS4 & ES4
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- Last updated: 30/08/2017
Small keychain size multi-tools were once seen as novelties but now there are some that are of use to the hunter. And consider this: there are times when we can take a compact or mid-sized multi tool and choose a model of ‘mini’ to compliment the main one taken. Common-sense really, but some are now so well featured, and the build of such quality, that on very short sessions, airgun hunters can strip kit to the very basics and as long as a folding lock knife is taken, the mini-multi-tool only need have features the hunter feels will be useful for those short forays. In that respect, I reckon it’s worth noting – for night hunting the Squirt ES4 is of particular interest. I’ll expend on that model when I come to detail it, so now, in no particular order of merit are the smallest butterfly openers Leatherman offer.
The Style CS, though classed a ‘keychain tool,’ due to the carabineer clip, measures 3-inches closed and 4½-inches deployed, still very compact but I feel not very usefully featured. This is surprising, as due to the look, being styled (no pun intended), like the company’s minimalistic Skeletool or Freestyle, I feel that they could have given more thought to the main tools it holds. There are no plier heads here, rather a larger than usual pair of strong sprung scissors. Okay, if that’s something you feel handy but the clip-point, fine edge blade I feel could be longer and more versatile, as could the other tool it holds, that being a nail file with small flat head screwdriver at the end! The carabineer ‘belt clip’ having the bottle opener integrated into its build and the now seemingly required ‘hidden’ tweezers are added for good measure. Unfortunately, it’s more a ‘picnic time’ tool rather than having a major ‘hunting’ use.
However, both the ‘Squirt’ models are a whole different ball game. Though holding all the same tools in the handles, you’ll choose one over the other because of the main tool it holds when opened; either a sprung action needlenose plier head on the PS4, or the multiple graduated gauge size wire stripper head, as featured on the ES4.
Besides these major differences, like the ‘CS’, both hold a 420HC Clip Point knife, small strand wire cutters, scissors, medium screwdriver, Flat/Philips Screwdriver, Wood Metal File and Bottle opener. Both share the same dimensions of 2.25-inches closed, have a 1.6-inch blade length and weigh 1.9oz. Both the ‘Squirts’ featured are up-graded models of tools that bore similar denotations in the past. Little wonder the ES4 has morphed from the now defunct E4, which was mainly sold in electronic stores. Knowing its potential, they added scissors and for me it’s the ideal short lamping session accessory, as the dedicated main ‘wire’ stripper tool offers 20GA, 18GA, 16GA, 14GA and 12GA ‘clamp down’ size strip apertures in the head. So, as you can see, if you opt for the PS4, you are choosing a strong, semi-compromise plier head over the ES4, which is a quite unique, specialised and very well-featured ‘small’ electronic repair kit to have on your keychain or in your pocket.
Personally, I feel the Style CS shows just what Leatherman can manufacture by way of build and design, plus those scissors and handle layout do take some beating. When you look to the models of ‘Squirt’ keychain tools then the impetus to buy one over the other is clear cut due to what you want it for and what you will take with it.
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