The Leatherman Micra mini keychain-sized multi-tool has been on my wishlist for 12-15 years now – at least – but I still cannot bring myself to buy one. Help push me off the fence.
The Micra is a mini scissors-based multi-tool, with a small knife blade, nail file, screwdrivers, and tweezers.
It’s worth mentioning that the scissors are spring-action, which definitely pushes me closer to buying one.
Here’s where my hesitation comes in:
I used to own a Gerber Shortcut scissors-based mini tool, and it had outside-accessible tools. The Micra’s tools are all on the inside. I tend to avoid inside-accessible tools on full-size multi-tools, or at least I prefer outside-accessible tools where possible.
Leatherman used to have a scissors-based Squirt mini multi-tool, with outside-accessible tools. The price was a bit high, and so I kept waiting for a good promotion. The scissors-based Leatherman Squirt was eventually discontinued.
I haven’t quite shaken off the idea that the Micra was not my first-choice tool.
I have a Leatherman Style CS multi-tool, or at least it’s around here somewhere. I have this problem with keychain-sized multi-tools.
Looking at Amazon, I actually bought 7 of the Style CS over the years, one for me and the rest for reader giveaways. That’s 7 CS’s and 0 Micras. According to my order history, I also bought a wire stripper-based Squirt ES4 for a reader giveaway in 2013.
This is frustrating. Leatherman still offers the Squirt with pliers, and the Style PS with pliers, but neither tool features scissors as the primary tool anymore.
Because of this, the Micra is then what, my third choice?
$35 isn’t outrageous for a well-regarded multi-tool that’s backed with a 25 year warranty. But it still seems like a lot for what would be my third-choice scissors-based mini Leatherman tool.
It could be argued that plenty of keychain-sized tools have mini scissors, but it has been my experience that primary-function scissors, especially spring-action, perform better than scissors as a secondary fold-out tool.
All this came to mind recently when I saw a mass media website recommend the Leatherman Micra for around $60 at Amazon. That really irked me, as it’s currently retails for $35 at Leatherman, but I suppose that’s the state of the internet these days.
As an aside, it seems that you can only buy the Micra direct from Leatherman right now. I wonder if the cost has risen too much for them to be sell it for a reasonable price at retailers and dealers.
I get good use out of mini Swiss Army Knives, but have wanted to get a good scissors-based tool again.
I have yo-yoed about the Micra for a long time now, which I suppose is telling in itself. It used to be that I didn’t buy a Micra because I had my heart set on other scissors-based tools that were too pricey.
Now, I find myself more interested in the Micra, but I can’t shake the feeling that part of the reason why is because there it’s the only option anymore.
I know that some of you have Leatherman Micras in your pockets or tool kits. Is the traditional inner-tool styling an inconvenience? And I know some of you will certainly be aghast at the idea of a $35 multi-tool.
I’ve been on the fence for a while. What’s your take on the Micra?
Is there a better scissors-based mini tool or multi-tool I should be looking at instead?
I got a Leatherman Micra years ago, and I forget how or why. I have never used it.
Unless you have a specific need for something very compact, I wouldn’t recommend it. Especially if you have large hands or fingers.
I have one and used it for years. Very useful tool
I agree bought over the years 20 I can think of, I have traveled thru lots of airports without a problem. I would gladly surrender my tool if asked. As long as I can get another. Must be the way and where I pack it. The scissors are worth the concern they cut gauze.
everything you mention is mostly why I never bought either of those too. and I have a need/want for a scissor based non plier multitool for work EDC. so what do I have a skeltool at the moment.
and I keep a wave 2 in the car.
and honestly I’m about 3 steps away from carrying the knipex mini cobra, a basic knife, and a multi-bit holder and call it a day.
I say that to say that most often than not I find myself getting my took kit as opposed to using my multitool even when it’s attached to me.
I switched to a dedicated bit holder about a year ago. In my office environment, I haven’t found much need for a knife, and even though I carry a basic knife someone else has one handier. I use a set of Fix-It-Sticks about every day. It takes up about the same space as my multitool would, but is a much more comfortable and capable screwdriver. Just recently added the mini channellocks after needing pliers a few too many times, but will probably switch to the mini knipex for the greater jaw capacity.
I bought one for my wife ages ago and she still carries it — the tradeoff for the inside tools is that it’s clean/neat in a pocket — if your needs fit w/in the tools on it, it’s a great option.
This seems the exact perfect use for this – small enough that the wife can carry it in her purse, for those times she (or you) need it.
I can’t see putting it on an actual keychain (I hate heavy/large keychains), and it doesn’t compare to an actual Wave or similar.
My company gave out Squirts to some customers years ago. It it had wire stripper/cutter instead of pliers (since we are mainly an electrical company) . The tip end of the stripper serves as needle-nose pliers.
I have one and it is my EDC. I have found it indispensable. The blade is very sharp and is just the right size to open boxes and cut para cord. The wire stripper is good from 12-20-gauge. The mini scissors come in handy as well. The tip of the stripper is fine enough that I can grab a splinter or even a hair. The included file works as well to modify small metal parts as filing a fingernail.
A couple of weeks ago, I broke the file. I am really disappointed I cannot get a new one with wire stripper, as I have come tor rely on it. So, would I get a Micra instead? I doubt it. The Micra seems too basic . I have several Swiss army tools that size with the same functionality, but I prefer something like the squirt for the things I run into quite often both at workd and home. The price difference is not that much, although both are expensive. I would get the squirt again without hesitation. I think it’s better suited for a DIYer.
Have you contacted Leatherman to see if they can replace the file? I have seen reports of people getting to keep the broken tool if they have sentimental value.
No I have not yet. Thanks for the suggestion. It has our company logo on it, so it might be worthwhile to do.
My Dad bought me a Micra for my birthday 22+ years ago and, for the most part, I love it.
I work in construction, so this multi-tool is very useful. It seems as if I’m using it constantly. I use the knife and the scissors to cut open material packaging, among other things. The flathead screwdriver has a million uses (mini pry bar, re-installing electrical outlet covers, scraper, etc.), as does the cuticle cleaner/nail file (deburring, cleaning, etc.).
The tweezers are the only problem I have with the Micra. As you can imagine, slivers are an issue in construction. Our hands are under constant threat from lumber, plywood, and everyone’s favorite, drywall and framing screws. No matter what their origin or size, the Micra tweezers haven’t been very useful extracting them. I usually resort to the tweezers on my small Swiss Army knife, which are excellent.
Aside from that minor disappointment, I’ve enjoyed having my Micra within reach for its bazillion different uses for 2+ decades.
I had the Gerber Splice for awhile – well, it’s probably in a drawer somewhere still after I destroyed it using it for some trailside dirt bike repairs it was definitely not intended for.
The scissors worked well, but the other tools weren’t too hot. They were very small – but that’s the nature of the tool I suppose. It is tiny, but that is also its main advantage.
The tools are on the outside, but the whole tool is quite stiff – which kind of defeats the easier access. Not exactly nail-breaking stiff, but much harder than I prefer. Unfolding the tool to use the scissors is also stiff, but I didn’t find that to be an issue since you’re grabbing the handles with your fingers to do that.
Most telling I think, is that despite carrying it somewhat regularly I didn’t replace it after breaking it. I just moved on to a different multitool. However, if you mostly wanted a tiny pair of scissors that works pretty well and also happens to have some other tiny tools, it’s an option.
Another option – what about a pair of Fiskars 5434 “Heritage Folding Scissors”? I have a pair of those and they are surprisingly good. No bonus tools, but if scissors is the primary goal… Plus they’re cheap and compact!
This is what I did. Grabbed a squirt PS4 and a pair of metal folding scissors on Amazon . I do miss the sling loaded part of the scissors
I do have the micra, I’ve had it for years now. It does live on my keychain. In my case, it’s been useful to carry something with a decent enough set of scissors. That is primarily what I use it for. I’ve used the knife once in a while, and maybe the tweezers once, the rest of the tools are waiting for a day when there is a need, and I don’t have a better, proper tool that fills that function, available at the time.
I will say this though, if you’re in a hurry, and decide to use one of the inside tools, without folding the whole thing back up, the scissor end will bite you. Ask me how I know. Only did it once, but once was enough.
I ended up with one that was a Makita promo and it lives on my keychain I have almost always on me.
It comes in handy quite often and not only because I work in construction.
Mainly pulling splinters but scissors and knife get also used frequently.
I would use it for personal hygiene – file, digging crud out of nails, trim an eyebrow or nose hair. In fact I just may get one for on-the -spot personal hygiene. The EDC Wave etc. are too large for these tasks perhaps and on a keychain the micra is super accessible.
I use my Squirt PS4 for exactly that. Overall it’s more of a blunt instrument — the scissors are only good for rogue hairs and threads, the pliers work as tweezers with more strength but less precision, which is the opposite of what you usually want in tweezers.
It’s nice that there are two different grits on the file, but it still leaves nails a little rough. The flathead and the Phillips *work* to clean nails, most of the time, if you’re OK with them getting a *little* janked up.
Also I miss the tiny flathead from my OG Squirt. I might be selling *myself* on a Micra, but unless I’m camping I’m never too far from a real pair of scissors and I get a fair amount of use from the pliers, so the PS4 is still about my speed for EDC
I’ve had one for 4 years or so and it lives in the console of my truck. Kept it on a keychain for a while but it felt like a lead fishing weight, probably doubled the weight of my keys. I keep a little mini pry tool/screwdriver thing that’s the size of a key, and I always have a knife, so between those two the Micra felt heavy and underutilized. I think I picked it up for around $25 and that that price I’m not mad at it but for anything more than about $30, IDK. I think most folks would be better off with a full-size multitool, pocketknife or both.
I had a Micra years ago, and found it to be well-built, basic, and useful. But the tools were small and hard to get out. After it got lost, I got the Squirt with the scissors which is a great little tool and still is in my pocket every day. The Style CS has better scissors and a better knife, but the other tools were better on the Squirt, and the size of the Squirt or Micra fits better on keychains. I’ve often wondered why Leatherman discontinued the scissors options…I rarely need a tiny pocket carry plier but use the scissors at least 3-4 times a week.
I like the Micra, but my preference has always been the Squirt S4. (Which is discontinued)
I’ve hoarded about three backups off eBay for my EDC. 😜
I’ve had one sitting in a drawer unused for years. It’s not as slim as the smallest swiss army knives (which tend to disappear in a pocket) and not as useful as something larger.
The tweezers on mine broke at some point, and Leatherman told me that’s not covered under warranty, so it just kindof annoys me.
I tend to carry a dedicated folding knife as my EDC, and carry a Leatherman Wave in my backpack.
Let me start with the fact that I got my Micra as a gift from a relative (same one who had given me a Victorinox Classic about 5 years prior). Anyway, one realization is that while multitools as a class of tools have to make decisions about what gets kept and what gets excluded keychain tools are even more so; if an average multitool is a “best of” album, then keychain tools have to be an album of “Number 1s”. So you get all the basics and it does them all in as small of a package as possible. It’s got a decent knife that’s ridiculously sharp and the scissors are nicely sprung with a spring that will last a lot longer than the ones on any traditional SAK (I think most folks experience their SAK spring succumbing to metal fatigue after a 2-4 years of use). While the scissors can be a touch gappy (depending on how well they were rivetted together; and how often and what you’ve used them on) they will cut paper, tape, fishing line (they’ll slip a bit on leader line), thread, and twine. They’ll also cut bike brake/shifter cables and you’ll probably damage the scissors, but it’s worth mentioning that they’re strong enough to do that at least a couple of times (I had to do this in a pinch while out riding; I had to free a badly shredded cable on a friend’s bike so that a new one could be installed—would have used a proper wire cutter, but my normal Leatherman had been swiped off a toolbench).
The large flathead works well and the fine-point flathead is usually the tool that gets used the most since it’s works well on sunglasses/eyeglasses with non-recessed fastener heads and is a lot easier to hold with a light fingertip grip than a normal-sized multitool. Also, the fingernail cleaner and file work quite well. The flat philips works “well enough”, but being a flat, piece of metal that tapers in two directions and is meant to take the force meant for a plus-shaped piece of metal I’ve actually managed to put a very slight bend halfway up the tapered part due to a fastener that was stuck and probably needed penetrating oil and a powered drill-driver instead of elbow grease and a keychain tool. The tweezers, well they’re alright, but they’re better at picking up tiny objects that are a bit fidgety to pick up with fingers or tiny objects in inaccessible places (eg. tiny fasteners that have fallen between the case and a circuit board) rather than for pulling splinters.
The tools aren’t as easily accessible as other tools in the range, but it slips in and out of pockets more easily than most tools and it’s exceptionally easy to clean dust/lint out of versus a normal SAK. Also, while it’s not an intentional feature the tool can be stripped by turning the ridged fasteners on the body (I believe this to be the only Leatherman that doesn’t require a special bit to remove the fasteners on)—which leads to being able to clean it more easily, or even reorganizing or replacing tools. One popular mod is shaving down the heads of keys, drilling a hole in them, and then swapping out some or all the tools in a Micra for these shaved-down keys since it’s more compact, less noisy, and less painful.
One change that I really would love to see in an updated version would be to switch to loose tweezers like the Style CS/Style PS. This would free up a slot in the tools so that the bottle opener could be separated from the fine-point flathead. At that point the fine-point could reach a little deeper for recessed fasteners (I’ve encountered a few that were just out of reach) and the bottle opener could be reinforced a bit on the spine and thus the tip could end in a thin, can opener point.
Also, noting your thought about Leatherman proper being the lowest price for purchasing a Micra and seeing them make some strange “Garage” collection of tools recently I can’t help, but get a feeling that they may have cut stock to retailers and to Amazon fulfillment centers in preparation to either introduce a new version of it or retire it with the idea being that a new scissor-centric model will replace it.
I had my first micra in the early 1990’s. I had to clip/cut standard wire ties daily to replace signs in the field I was working in. Yeah a utility knife or pocket knife work but the micra did it quickly and effortlessly. Lost the first one I had in about 6 months. Bought another one immediately and lost it maybe a year from purchase. Than I purchase my 3rd micra and left that industry the same year. Still have my Leatherman micra but haven’t used it in nearly 20+ years!
I’ve had several over the years. Always have this and a squirt with pliers in the coin pocket. Scissors work better than any other fold out ones, which is why i’ve replaced lost or given away. Highly recommend, although it was only $21 the last time i bought one. Still have a spare in its original box, because i didn’t want to be wihout one again
I use two Micras. The ones with the blade is on my car key fobs and the one without a blade I take through airport Precheck security.
And of course I’ve lost several totally legit un-bladed ones to the under-informed pre-boarding “checkers”.
I simply don’t seem to need an everyday carry though I seem to have many suitable Leatherman and Gerber models lying about.
Stuart, I have several of both as I buy and sell tools. Got them for nothing when a guy sold me a bin of Gerbers/LeatherMan’s and a boatload of knives for like $40. Retail of this tub I got had to be around god knows what, but I sold the most popular items (which were about 10-15 regular sized LM. I kept the one I liked the most which I forget the name of it, but it’s got the flint striker and whatever else would have to do with outdoors-just forget) and still have quite a bit.
I do t know if this is within the guidelines, but I’d be happy to mail you one. Hell, I’ve checked into this site at least once daily for years (sometimes I skip the weekends) and toolguyd has saved me a bunch of money and taught me many things over that time. It’s the least I could do. If this is possible, let me know and it’s yours. Thanks for everything, sir.
Thank you very much, I appreciate the offer and sentiment!
ToolGuyd doesn’t have a firm policy about this, but it’s much easier for me to be able to say exactly where and when a tool came from in case there’s any potential for review.
My hesitation about the Micra isn’t at all about the cost, as ToolGuyd has a sample budget for exploring tools like this, but about how I can’t resolve my “this isn’t the tool I wanted” mindset.
I got a Micra years ago- if you want a small scissor-based multitool this is great. Mine has not seen much use because I don’t like having a bulky keychain and I switch key sets often. The inside tool design is nice in that it keeps the tools relatively clean and lint free. For its size, the blade is sturdy and came very sharp. I can’t recall using the tweezers, but I’m glad they’re attached so they won’t fall out like some of my older Victorinox SAKs. My biggest issue is that I keep comparing it to a full size Leatherman, and I get much more use out of pliers than I do scissors.
I’ve had a Micra on my keys practically since they were introduced. It competes with a SAK Soldier/Pioneer (whichever version it is that has the lanyard ring). For normal daily use, the scissors – which are really great – tend to be more useful…but yeah, either will bulk up a keychain quickly!
I have the pioneer without the lanyard hole and I love it. It’s thickness doesn’t bulk up your pocket and it has really useful tools.
+1 on that! I think if you told me I could really, really only have one “multitool,” I’d easily choose the Pioneer/Soldier. Not the Farmer, not even the X. That two-layer build just disappears in a pocket, as you so rightly point out.
I’d pass on this thing and go for the lightest and coolest keychain multi-tool of all time that has both scissors and pliers, the Mini Buck 350. I have several but these are discontinued now, so it’s off to eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/353272880968
The 355 is it’s big brother…
The SOG snippet has better scissors. Normally I don’t go for SOG multitools but I’m this case it’s the superior tool. And it has a pocket clip.
I got my first Micra in the late 1990s as a promo for subscribing to a Canoeing / Kayaking magazine and it has traveled with me in my toiletry bag for years now though I only fly with now it when I check a bag . I don’t remember when I picked the second Micra but it lives in my bike touring tool kit. Having scissors and tweezers, not to mention a knife, is nice while touring on two wheels. I tried a Gerber Centerdrive to replace the Micra on the bike since it will drive 1/4″ bits but the weight and bulk was more than I was willing to tolerate for the minor added utility.
I’m not an EDC person but, in addition to the aforementioned Micras, I have a variety of multitools scattered about around the house, in glove boxes and my computer backpack. The two Micras work well where I have them and I would buy again if they were damaged or misplaced.
I have a CS that I carry on my Keychain. I use the blade, scissor, and file regularly. I wouldn’t bother with another small multi tool. Like everyone else on here.I have have multiple muti tools, Leatherman Original, Wingman, Free P4 (latest & greatest), 2 Leatherman pocket knives and a couple of Swiss Army. Can you ever have to many? 😆
If you want the best keychain (tiny) folding scissors based mini multitool, get the Micra. If you can accept a bit more size, search eBay for a NOS scissor based Squirt. It is better tool in every way but compactness. Back when you could get one on sale for around $20 I’d have said get one. Anymore, I’d say get good folding scissors, and put the money eh towards a bigger tool unless keychain size is paramount.
I received the Micra as a Christmas gift almost 20 years ago. I carry it everyday and use it quite often. My wife liked it so much I bought her one. Very handy tool.
It’s a good multitool for gear repair while backpacking. I don’t know of a good use for it otherwise.
I live in the UK and had mine for decades. It sits in the small pocket of my jeans and I’ve used it a lot over the years. Not as useful as my full size leatherman but as the blade on that locks, uk law says its illegal to carry
I had a Micra in my backpack when I was in college many years ago. In my opinion it fulfills something of a similar role as the small “Classic” model SAKs: it’s not going to cause any alarm in an office or campus setting like a larger knife might, it’s travel-friendly, etc. The scissors are surprisingly good; coming from the usual sorts of scissors in a folding knife these are a huge step up. I still have mine, after carrying it around in my backpack for years I kept it in my office desk and now it resides in my travel toiletries bag.
Given the choice I’d rather EDC a larger knife, and for emergency preparedness like stashing in the car or tossing it in with the camping gear I’d rather have a full-size multi-tool. But for something that’s handy for light duty jobs around the house, office, etc, the Micra is nice.
When I carried mini-tools (the joy of moving from a technical doer who needed a Wave to a leadership role) I started with a Micra-ish equivalent. I found that I preferred the form factor of the Style CS, and got equivalent functionality for the things I did.
My job changed again, and I do even less hands-on work in my day-to-day role. Now I carry a SwissKey for the moments when I need a small blade or screwdriver on short notice, and continue to keep a Wave and a set of screwdrivers with a wide range of bits in a drawer to the amusement of my staff.
All that said: the Micra just isn’t a tool I find compelling. I’d probably choose a Gerber Dime or a Style PS over it, as the travel friendly versions being able to travel on a plane make them doubly useful. In fact, I bought a Dime and now that I’ve seen the Style PS, I think I’ll buy one as I like the Style CS form factor more than the Dime form factor for pocketability.
I’ve had several Micras since forever (they are from the “Pat. Pend.” period). One has lived on a keychain for most of forever.
I also have the scissor-based versions of the Squirt and Style, though none of them have gotten anywhere near the years or miles racked up by one of the Micras.
In general, although only available from the inside, I think the tools on the Micra are better than the equivalents on the Squirt and Style.
I think the Micra has one of the best scissors of any tool in the Leatherman line, regardless of size, and one of the best in the industry, though the 91mm SAK scissors are probably unbeatable.
Most of the time, I either have a better/bigger pair of pliers on me or readily available to me, so the fact that the Micra is scissors-based isn’t often an issue.
I will say, though, that a few years back, on a two-week backpacking trip in a real wilderness out West, I fixed a broken backpack with a Squirt P4. The P4 was all the weight I could justify, and my wife gently mocked me – what could you possibly do with those? Well, they literally saved the day and the trek, but that was an exceptional set of circumstances, and I wouldn’t have taken any scissors-based tool with me there, although one of the P minitools with the accessory scissors would be fine.
As a Leatherman Devotee for many years, my best advice on the Micra is: Don’t.
Make no mistake, it is a fantastic little tool for a keychain. No doubt about it, and it’s the original keychain version from Leatherman, so there are plenty of reasons to want one. Customization options included? This makes a fantastic custom tool to mark graduations, anniversaries, and Thank You Gifts.
That said… You said in the Article yourself, that they make significantly better models for choosing to use for yourself. But the Micra is a difficult sell after 30+ years in production. The Keychain backup has literally evolved at that company, just as it has at Victorinox, where the idea for the Micra was first inspired at Leatheran. The Swiss Army Mini (I think, I don’t recall the name. The 2″ long closed one) was extremely popular in the 80’s and earlier, because it had a little blade for cutting rope or string, a standard bottle opener, because… well, they accepted that it was popular to open both beer and the old fashioned soda/pop bottles on the fly. Back when they still had a majority of pop-off bottle tops, rather than the twist-off ones that would arrive in the late 70’s. The Swiss Army was really popular, and could move a lot of units. Leatherman released the Micra not too long after the original PSTs, in terms of a new company releasing their first of anything.
It sold well, and has continued to sell okay. It has been eclipsed by the Style and Squirt families over the years, leaving the Micra to be more of a Legacy tool, like the Super Tool 300 is to the original PST. They make better customization gifts than they do fully-functional MultiTools. The Super Tool 300 is every bit the full-sized powerhouse it is advertized as, but with no outside-opening blades, it is still locked into the original family. Forgive the language here, but it absolutely will kick ass as a tool, modern design or not. But where it truly shines is in the customization shop, where you can put patterns, engravings, and colours to it as a gift to someone… who will then go on to kick ass with it and potentially start buying tons of newer ones of their own.
I can’t sell you on the Micra, except to say it’s a great gift you can customize for someone who doesn’t have one. I skipped straight to the Style CS and PS when I went for mini tools, instead of getting a Micra. I do love Leatherman tools, but you have to be wise about what models you aim to keep, and what models you aim to gift.
Random thought based on your post – I think the Micra is probably the longest-selling single Leatherman product, by a really big margin. Yes, there are still things like the Wave, but it’s in its third generational iteration. I don’t think the Micra has had any changes other than color and finish variations. That’s remarkable.
The fact that it’s still in the Leatherman lineup means that they sell a lot of them. How many are in sock drawers, I don’t know…but mine isn’t. 😉
I love that random thought!
It makes you think, when you combine the two comments (yours and mine) you get a scenario in your head.
Imagine you’re fred, or someone remarkably like him with a life story that fits this scenario. You’re retired, you’ve seen things that are absolutely invaluable to the next generation of construction, metal work, wood work, and machinist apprentices, one of whom happens to be your own Grandchild. Male, Female who cares, they want to do what Grampa did, with more modern tools. And they just graduated High School, bound, bent, and determined to get that apprenticeship.
Now… Funny story about our Pseudo-fred here. When he was 18, the age of this Grandchild, he got himself a Tribal Tattoo, and it was the biggest regret he had from that age. As a retiree, with so much brilliant work to show for having a good life, you have this one mistake that is unmistakeably offensive to those who see it. You’ve talked to a doctor about whether you can have it safely removed, and are told that, at your age, your skin is too thin for the removal process. The laser would hit muscle and nerves before it’d hit the tattoo.
So. Here you are. Your Grandkid wants to follow in your footsteps. You are so proud of this child that it makes you weep. In a manly way, when you are in private and thinking of them. What a great gift to give them for their 18th birthday, the year they graduate. A tried-and-true long-serving well-known Multi-Tool for a reminder of all that Gramps hopes they learn. But on the tiny scales, there’s an engraving. Of the Tribal Tattoo. And you give it to them with a card that says “I put my one regret on here, so you don’t have to make my mistakes all over again. Love, Gramps.” Or something better written. The Micra won’t necessarily help them, but sentimentally, it says more than one can express in how much faith Gramps has for Grandchild. The sentiment and the Tradition of the Micra match up perfectly!
So, I do love that random thought of yours, J. Newell!
As to “Oldest Continuous Model” for Leatherman… that’s rough. The Micra can be argued to have changed when they started the anodized scales, as well as those times when they changed the fonts on the Leatherman logo. Superficial changes, to be sure. But it existed before 9/11, and when the TSA and Homeland Security beefed up/were formed in response, I’m sure the Micra went through a few double-checks to make sure it complied with the new regulations. Sure, the Wave might take second place for age, but I think we need to look at the Super Tool 300 as the longest serving design. It has evolved significantly from the original PST, the tool that started Leatherman off the bat. In fact, it really only lost the name PST when it varied enough away from the original that it had to be called the Super Tool. The 300 is every bit the same tool as the PST, just beefier, with more tools than the original. Upgraded a few times, but not anywhere near as much as the Wave/Surge/Charge family that came after it. But you have an excellent point that the Micra really is one of the single most purchased Leatherman product of all time, and products like The Wave have a lot to live up to in trying to outlast it. Same with the Surge and Charge… plus the Skeletool family (Of which the Style CS and PS are the Micra tools of that line.) I just don’t see the newer models after that lasting in demand for anywhere near as long as these that were designed under the Tim Leatherman days of the company.
They NEVER should have discontinued the JUICE!
BRING BACK THE JUICE!!
Yes! They don’t have an “Amen” or “Halelujah” button here, but this would be one of those times I’d use it.
I have a female friend who, when having her first child, asked for something called a “Push Gift”… Of which I’m still trying to wrap my head around the term… but I digress, what she Wanted was a Leatherman… She wasn’t specific about the model, she just knew she wanted something that suited her line of work. She’s a Fire and Electrical Safety Inspector. At the time, I was looking through the catalog on the site, and there it was… the Juice line… A very colourful lineup I might add! I had to ask her if there were colours she would prefer, she said “Purple!” …I’m colourblind and can’t see that, so I had to rely on the little colour filter swatches on the page to narrow it down to “Purple”… Turns out… the Squirt ES4 came in Purple in its original form, then they modified the scales the next year to one arm Silver Reflective, the other side “Lightning Purple”… Reasonable price, went to buy it… Out of Stock… 12 other retailers, same thing.
Baby comes, I had to go see her, with my head held low, completely defeated. “They no longer have the Purple Leatherman tool you wanted.” To my surprise, instant forgiveness, because her Husband bought her a MUT. It wasn’t purple, and it made a lot more sense all of a sudden. She was very much an Action-Star-Bombshell type of girl. Loved exotic cars, Shooting Ranges, and Outdoorsy Camping Stuff… Makeup and Nailpolish and a sexy outfit were easy for her as well, but she was a bit of an excitement junkie.
I genuinely wish I could’ve got her the Juice ES4… It was the one with the Electrical Stripper instead of scissors or pliers. The terminal crimper was between the handles, and would have been absolutely perfect for her job… way more than the MUT ever could’ve been.
The Juice and Squirt lines need to return! Like the Micra, they make great specialist gifts!! God… Happy Memories there… Thank You, Sean Downing!
I have one, and I’m never getting rid of it!
• I don’t really use EDC things very often – I’m more likely to go to the toolbox. Occasionally, I’ll go somewhere where I can just see I’m going to be asked to tweak this or fix that, so I’ll take the Micra, and/or a much bigger Gerber, pliers-centered tool. Actually, the combination is pretty good.
• Advantages of the Micra: internal tools mean the outside is smooth, which I like if it’s in my pocket.
• Disadvantages: Everything is tiny.
So why am I so attached to it?
1) My wife gave it to me for one of our earliest wedding anniversaries, and it’s engraved accordingly. I can’t get rid of it.
2) There was a time when I carried it everywhere. I was on a trip to the USA for work, and I accidentally left it in what became my hand–baggage on the way to Philly, IIRC. I travelled from Heathrow, where it was smaller than the maximum size blade I was allowed, so while they saw it on the x-ray, they didn’t mention it. When connecting at PHL, I got to the TSA line and they wouldn’t let me through with it, because their rules were tighter than the UK rules then. Luckily, I had time to nip back across to the airport hotel and ask them for packaging material and paid them to send it back to me at home with FedEx, or whatever. Back then, it still cost me $70 to send it home. Far more than it cost, but not as much as it was worth. I couldn’t go home and say I’d had to throw it away at Philly airport, but on the upside, I still have the Micra, and I didn’t miss the flight.
So now, I only pocket it on special occasions. And I’m not parting with mine!
I’ve carried a Micra for years and have thrown away at least 4 at security checkpoints at various airports around the world. I used to get a package deal that had a Micra and a partially plastic handed basic full sized Leatherman for $25 at Academy sports. I bought a bunch of them when I found this and would give out the big Leatherman and keep the Micra for backups.
I recently lost my last Micra and searching on the internet and in stores, the only place offering them right now is from the factory.
Yes, I found that too, and it’s a little odd? I was toying with getting a gray one to mix into a collection of gray Squirts and basically no one other than Leatherman was selling them. That made me wonder whether it’s on a glide path to being discontinued. (IIRC, there were some for sale on Amazon by scalpers, but the pricing was 2-3x the factory price.)
The ability to have a small scissor handy on my key chain is invaluable. Cutting strings, plastic tag hangers. Open plastic packaging to the errant hang nail, they are very useful. I use them more than a knife. I currently use a Squirt S4 on the Toyota key ring and I had a Micra on the Honda ring. The TSA absconded it a few years back. The S4 is more comfortable to use and the tweezers are better than the Micra. I ended up replacing the Micra with a Victorinox JetSetter which is more compact but just as useful.
Knifeless, very interesting. My carry-on MT is a Style PS4, with pliers and accessory scissors. But the Jetsetter is only one row thick. You could lose it under a couple of sheets of paper!
The Micra is a neat idea but in my opinion completely horrible in execution. Due to poor QC or perhaps just a bad design the scissors develops play and won’t cut many materials. The 2D Phillips is an excellent way to damage your fasteners. The tweezers just doesn’t work very well. The chisel blade is just annoying… why is this a thing?
It’s not a direct competitor but I think the Super Tinker or Explorer are just superior products to the Micra.
Just look on eBay I just got a used one the other day for $11. Try it and if you don’t like it give it away and your only out a couple of bucks
The Micra was my first “pocketknife” ait survived me being a 10 year old, and I still have it after 20 years in my pocket. I actually bought a new one last year after making a new wallet that had its own space for it, and my wife mentioning that I needed to remember to take it out when we went somewhere that does not allow knives so I would not lose it to security.
I always have it on me and while its not the best tool for anything, it woks well enough for everything. Bonus is that no one sees it as a threat so I have even gotten into places where weapons are not allowed as they see it as a tool.
Will it replace your toolbox multitools? No. But its just enough for just enough to be worth it, and they last forever.
I have have two sets of keys and have a micro on one and squirt on the other for years now. They are both great and I’ve zero complaints. Scissors and pliers come in handy for anything small and detailed. Scissors are great for nails cloth and most anything surprisingly functional.
Loved all the comments here. I felt the main article missed on a key point of do you need a keychain doodad at all or just an effective EDC? I got the feeling it was more of “which one should be on my keychain?”
After reading lots of comments and looking at lineups, the only thing I have concluded is that I need something with a scissor in it. I have a Skeletool CX that has become my EDC of sorts – my typical go-to. I love it … The pliers rock, the knife blade works well (wanna get mine sharper but need a better sharpener), and the bit driver is quite handy. Who uses can openers anymore?
That said, and getting back to my original point, I got to wondering what would be the best fit for me between a Micra, a SAK Pioneer, or a Leatherman Free T4 or Squirt PS4? I drool over half the Leatherman lineup but in the interest of compact convenience on everyday usage… I think I’m torn between a T4 and Squirt PS4. A pioneer seems too minimalistic to bee effective and the Micra seems like more of a personal groomer than a utility tool. If going to take on the bloat on my keychain, might as well carry a useful tool, no? I’ll probably have to see them up close to decide but I think that’s the way I’m leaning so, I don’t think I could try to seel you on Micra.
Looking at prices, it seems the Squirt PS4 could be the best of both worlds.
Thanks to this article, I just bought myself a Squirt PS4. Initial impressions are it’s amazing. Build quality is outstanding and probably the best keychain multi I’ve ever owned. That said, I can see how the scissors-based Micra could be appealing as I am wondering about the number of applications for pliers of this size. I’m imagining they will be most ideal for places where my fat fingers can’t get a good hold on something. Given the Squirt has scissors, I don’t feel like I lost this deal but I suspect the Leatherman quality will make both tools equally impressive.
Try eBay, craigslist or FB marketplace. One thing about Leatherman they are built to last, so likely any you find second hand will be in decent shape. I have mine on a keychain. Scissors are better than my charge so they get use when I need to precision cut some paper. As far as a use case, you are right, the style ps was better with the detachable tweezers. But I got Micra s with a kick, or other combos. And I got quite a few , years back, when they were on sale for $8. I wouldn’t pay 35 for one, but I’ve got enough to last this lifetime. I’ve been sending them back to get sharpened or repaired when I send in one of my charges, waves or crunch to get repaired so the ones I have are all in good shape. I did try out a Swiss mini champ to see if it would be better on my keychain but the scissor and knives on the MC are not robust enough for me.
If you’re using a micra a lot, you are probably doing other things wrong, but if you need it once in a great while, it’s going to be better than nothing. This is not really an EDC for people who need and use hand tools on a daily basis or who may need to rely heavily on a few basic tools.
Build quality is fine. My partner had one on her keys and replaced it with a squirt. The micra now lives on a magnet on the minifridge, where it occasionally will open a bottle or a battery compartment. It’s an older micra without the color scales, more like the classic leatherman.
The best feature of the Micra is that the tools are approximately the same size as many standard keys, and so with a jewelers’ saw, a file, and some patience (or a Dremel and significantly less patience), you can replace the useless tiny tools with copies of your keys. No need to attach the Micra to a key ring when it IS your keys…
Hi, I have used my micra about 20 years mainly for manicure. No sign of wear. Would reccomend. Greetings from Estonia.
After carrying a Wenger Army Knife through high school, I decided I wanted something more compact when heading to college.
In deciding what to replace it with, I assessed what I typically used most, and found that it was the scissors, followed by the screwdrivers, with the knife a distant third. So when I saw the Micra, with a pair of real scissors at the center (instead of a mini arm-based flyaway), I was sold.
Over time, there were things I realized could have been done better. While the army knife was bulky, I liked that the tools were on the outside; needing to open the whole thing to use anything was a drag. I also didn’t like the Micra’s implementation of tweezers – the way they’re supposed to sit flush to the side didn’t always work well, and I often found it’s snag on fabric while putting it back in my pocket, or on my hand while going to retrieve it.
Then, Leatherman released the Squirt series, and I discovered that the S4 improved everything I’d disliked about the Micra. The scissors stayed secure on the inside, but all other tools were accessible from the exterior yes closed flush with the body. Additionally, they went with removable tweezers of almost a Wenger style, which were easy to retrieve and use, and had an angled open end making it easier to grab small things with precision. This has now been my EDC tool of choice for 20+ years.
From time to time, Leatherman and others have tried to reinvent the idea, but for my money they’ve only made it less compelling; I want my multitool to be as compact and unobtrusive as possible. Adding a carabiner clip and pointed handle (Style CS) doesn’t do that, nor does a protruding bottle opener (Gerber).