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I have never been able to consistently Every Day Carry (EDC) a full size multi-tool. I have a couple, and they have come in handy, but I don’t regularly EDC them. They are great to have in a car tool kit, a tackle box, for camping, or possibly if you work a physical job. But as a desk jockey I get way more mileage out of a Victorinox Pioneer than with your standard multi-tool.
And then there is the Leatherman Micra. I have owned one for a few years now. My father has one, and I picked one up on a whim after checking out his. There is something extremely satisfying about this little tool. The spring loaded scissors are unlike anything else in my gear collection. I thought it might be fun to switch things up and offer a review of my Micra.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The Micra has a closed length of 2.5 inches, a 1.6″ blade, weighs 1.8 ounces, and is made in the USA. Closed it’s about the size of my thumb. An easy enough option to EDC. Some people carry this on a keychain, and there is a lanyard loop that you can fold away if you don’t want to use it. I already have enough on my keychain, plus as a lawyer it would quickly get confiscated if I forgot to remove it before going through court security. It is slightly thicker than an Alox Cadet and much shorter. It truly is a micro piece of EDC gear.
The main attraction to this tool is the spring loaded scissors, and man are they sweet. First of all, the spring loaded aspect of this tool is extremely satisfying. The fidget factor is off the charts, and I regularly find myself absentmindedly opening and closing the tool. The spring loaded aspect alone is worth the price of admission.
But what puts things over the top is how sharp and useful the scissors are: they are indeed sharp and useful. And strong. They are so strong that I think calling them “scissors” is not giving them enough credit. They are almost shear like in their capabilities. I regularly use them to trim my fingernails. Hopefully that wasn’t too much information, but it goes to show that these aren’t the little scissors that come on the Swiss Army Knives or full size multi-tools. These are several steps above.
If you aren’t into using the scissors on the Micra as an impromptu grooming tool, then they can easily cut zip ties and plastic packaging. I could see them cutting through a shoe in a pinch (in a first aid situation), but ideally you would want something bigger. They don’t replace full size scissors if you have to cut a lot of cloth or paper, but they are stout, tough, and sharp.
Obviously, the scissors aren’t the only tool on the Micra. You also get a penknife, a large flathead driver, a small flathead driver with a cap lifter built in, a “Phillips” driver, tweezers, and a combination nail file and nail cleaner.
The knife blade is a small clip point that is flat ground with a chisel edge. It’s sharp and serviceable, even if it’s about 1-5/8″ long. This isn’t going to perform like a full size knife, but you can cut stuff with it in a pinch. The blade doesn’t lock open, but there is a backspring and it snaps in place. The spring is weaker than a Swiss Army Knife, but this is not a knife you are going to want to use heavily any ways. It can open a box in a pinch, but probably the biggest draw to the knife is its needle fine tip.
Leatherman actually includes 420HC blade steel on the Micra. On a regular pocket knife 420HC is pretty ho-hum, but for a ~$20 multi-tool I think this is an outstanding choice. 420HC lacks the edge retention of higher end steels, but I think it’s a fine choice for the small blade on the Micra.
On the subject of steel, the steel that Leatherman has used here is pretty good. Mine occasionally spots with rust, but it cleans off easily and has never been a serious problem. Leatherman has been at this for over 30 years, so I imagine they have given the steel they use a healthy amount of consideration.
The 2 flat head drivers are nice enough. I can’t say either has gotten a ton of use, but the fine one is also integrated into a bottle opener. You can never have too many bottle openers, and the screwdrivers can be used in a pinch.
The Phillips driver is more of 2 dimensional driver, rather than a true “3-D” Phillips driver. It’s not perfect, but better than nothing. On a tool of this size and at this price point there will be compromises, and the lack of a true Phillips driver is one of them. There is no way you are going to replace a full tool kit with a Micra.
The file is really just a nail file. You won’t be able to use it for much more than that. With that said, I think including a nail file is nice, and it compliments the scissors. It has good abrasiveness and has held up well after several years of occasional use. No complaints here.
The tweezers are probably the tool I have used the least. I prefer the tweezers on my Swiss Army Knives. The tweezers on the Micra are kind of blunt, and I have never used them on a splinter, but they are fine enough to pluck hair.
Rounding things out is a ruler. It has been integrated into the back of the handle like most multi-tools. It’s awkward to use, but it doesn’t take up any additional space.
All told, I think the feature set on the Micra is robust given the size and price restraints. This is a nice assortment of common tools. You need to open the scissors to access the tools, but a small multi-tool like this is going to require some fidgeting.
Leatherman Micra Review – Final Thoughts
What impresses me most about the Micra is how nicely it is made. It’s a sturdy tool, but it is also nicely finished. There are no sharp edges (besides the blades of course), no tooling marks, the grinds are nice on the scissors and knife, and everything fits together as it should. The pivot is riveted, and my Micra has a small amount of play in it, but beyond that everything reeks of quality. It’s hard to believe that they make these in America and offer them at the price that they do.
For under $25, this is a multi-tool that I think pretty much anyone would enjoy. Sometimes mine ends up in the medicine cabinet, but it’s good for a tackle box, first aid kit, the car, or small tool kit. They manage to cram a lot of utility into a small package. This is the kind of tool where you can buy a couple and keep them stashed strategically, or have one that is part of your EDC. They also make great gifts.
As a knife guy this Micra won’t replace my Swiss Army Knives, but the spring loaded scissors are great, and the Micra is one of the more endearing pieces of EDC gear that I own. If you have never been able to justify a full size multi-tool then you may enjoy a Micra. If you already are a multi-tool guy then odds are you already own one. Either way I highly recommend it.
- READY FOR ANYTHING: Our most popular mini-tool with anglers, hobbyists and anyone who appreciates the best spring-action scissors around; Perfect for tackle boxes, pockets, fanny packs and keychains
- 10 TOOLS IN 1: A knife, tweezers, file, spring-action scissors and more packed into a 1.8-ounce-keychain-sized multitool that never gives up
- OUR GUARANTEE: We’re proud to stand behind every product that leaves our factory in Portland, Oregon; That’s why we offer our 25-year warranty, so you can be confident your Leatherman lasts a lifetime
- TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: Equipped with a variety of personal care tools, including a nail file and tweezers, you can take care of broken nails and splinters in a pinch
- ALWAYS ON HAND: The Micra is equipped with a key ring attachment so that it doesn’t get lost and is always within reach and ready to work
I recommend purchasing the Leatherman Micra at Amazon. Please consider that purchasing anything through any of the links on this website helps support BladeReviews.com, and keeps the site going. As always, any and all support is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
Awesome review on a neat little tool. Leatherman actually makes quite a few great multitools. I think too many “knife people” overlook how useful something like this simple device can be. Most places where a knife could be considered inappropriate are welcome ground for a multitool. After all, it’s just a took kit right? My last job strictly prohibited so much as bringing a knife into the building, but my Wave (or whatever other multitool I chose on a given day) was perfectly fine. I’d love to see more reviews on tools like this when you have the time or opportunity.
Thank you very much, Justin! I agree that in the right application a multi-tool can be excellent. I have a rental property, and find that a full size multi-tool is great to have when fixing it up after the tenants leave. I always bring a tool kit when I do that, but you never know when you need a pair of pliers, or an extra driver, or a file or something. It adds great redundancy in that situation. If you can carry one at work, then I think you can add a lot of functionality to your carry.
And you make a great point about it being more socially appropriate in some situations. No one looks at a multi-tool and thinks it is a weapon. I can see how you could get away with carrying it where a full size pocket knife would not be appropriate.
I have collected a few multi-tools over the years and will plan on penning a few more reviews. It’s outside my wheelhouse, but I am always impressed by the quality and value for money Leatherman provides. Plus they are just cool. So yes, I’ll definitely write some more in the future.
Thanks again for stopping by.
An excellent review!
I come from a time when there were no Leatherman type tools. Unless you carried a tool box in the car, your choice was limited to a Victorinox knife/tool.
In those days, my mentor, Ron Hood, recommended a folder that had a saw blade. I thought that having a pair of scissors was better. The compromise was the Huntsman model which had both.
Fast forward, the Wave became the tool to carry in the car. However, it is too much to regularly carry, just as you observed. Now, with the increased selections available, I will need to acquire a Micra! It is one thing to have a large tool when undertaking a major construction project. It is another situation to have a small multi-tool in your pocket as one walks around and observes something that needs a quick tightening or to be trimmed.
Thank you very much for taking the time out to leave a comment. They say that the best ___ is the one that you have on your person. Whether that is a gun, pocket knife, camera, or anything else. I think that definitely holds true for multi-tools as well.
As you point out, while a full size multi-tool is a great piece of gear, unless you can get away with a belt sheath odds or a fanny pack or somethings, odds are slim that you will actually carry it. A tool like the Micra can get a lot done in a pinch. Certainly more than not carrying any multi-tool at all.
Patrick L says
I have two keychains; one is just my car key, but the other is keys, a Griffin pocket tool, and a Style PS. And that Style is something I use on a pretty regular basis, mostly for the pliers. It’s so nice to be able to enhance one’s grip with something so small, and the other tools on it are nice as well. Small multi-tools like the Micra, Style family, PS4, Gerber Dime, and the SAKs are great tools to have for a lot of tasks without resorting to specialized tools and/or a full-sized MT.
Great review Dan. I’ve been wanting to grab a Micra to keep in my bag for use as full-sized scissors. And I’d rather have the Micra for that than a Style CS for the tool variety, especially since it won’t be on my keychain.
Thank you very much. The Style, and Gerber Dime interest me as well. I agree that they pack a lot of utility, but aren’t so bulky that you can’t practically carry them.
I think I am going to venture further into the world of multi-tools. Seems like I am getting some good feedback on the review. I appreciate the support.
I’m not sure if they still make it, but at one time Leatherman did make a larger tool that included a pocket clip. It was about the size of the old PST, maybe about as big as a larger folding knife. Might be a be a good option for someone who needs or wants a larger multitool with more gadgets, but doesn’t want to wear it on a belt.
I believe the Wingman has a pocket clip. I have one on order and look forward to checking it out. I am curious to see how a tool like that carries with a pocket clip. Expect a review in the next few months.
Patrick L says
If I wanted to carry a bigger MT with a great but minimal set of tools and have a pocket clip, I’d grab a Skeletool, and I’d probably get the Skeletool CX for the upgraded blade steel.