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My Leatherman Micra review sparked some pretty excellent responses in the comments section. Great points were made about how much utility is packed into some of Leatherman’s smallest offerings, and how it’s sometimes more acceptable to whip out a multi-tool than a pocket knife. Knives will always be my first love (and main focal point of the website), but you can’t deny the practicality of a multi-tool.
While the Micra is a great tool, it is based around scissors. I think most people associate multi-tools with pliers-centric designs. Enter the Leatherman Squirt PS4. It’s roughly the same footprint as the Micra, but based around a small set of spring loaded pliers rather than scissors. It seemed like a natural succession to my review of the Micra so I decided to pick one up along with a Gerber Dime to test out this segment of the multi-tool market.
General Dimensions and Pliers
The Squirt has an overall length of 2.25″ (closed), weighs 2.1 ounces, and is made in the USA. This tool is similar in size to the Micra. The Squirt is a little thicker, but the Micra is a little longer. The PS4 is advertised as a “keychain multi-tool”, and while technically you could carry this on your keychain, I’m not sure if you would want to.
This is a small tool and can be easily stowed in a pocket, or strategically tucked away in a tool kit, vehicle, or tackle box. That is primarily how I like to use these small multi-tools. They may not be a true “EDC” piece for me, but for around $25 most can afford to have this be a dedicated tool for their car, as part of a little tool kit, survival kit etc. Of course there is nothing wrong if you want to make this a daily carry object as well.
And on the subject of price, I still can’t believe how nicely made these small Leatherman tools are for the money. The pieces all line up nicely. There are no unintentional sharp edges. The action of the springs are all high quality. The tools themselves are all nicely finished. There are no stray tooling marks and everything goes where it should. The handle scales are hard anodized aluminum. The pliers close neatly together. This is a quality tool that is satisfying to articulate. It’s not a disposable object, and it feels like you actually get something for your money.
At the center of the Squirt is a small set of stainless steel pliers. The pliers come to a nice tip and are almost fine enough to be used as tweezers. They can certainly pluck hair, and could probably pull a splinter in a pinch, but they are strong enough to be used to pull staples and manipulate small bolts. The jaws open to over an inch wide but are better for smaller tasks. In fact, these pliers are great for getting into places that are too tight for my fat fingers.
The Squirt comes with an assortment of 7 additional tools to the pliers. The toolset includes:
- Bottle Opener
- Flathead Driver
- Phillips Driver (small flathead driver)
This is a nice list of commonly used tools. All but the wire cutter can be accessed from the outside without opening up the tool. That may seem like a small detail in theory, but in practice being able to access the tools without opening up the pliers is huge. I think that feature is right up there with spring loaded pliers.
The scissors are very small. They cut, and can work for delicate tasks, but I wouldn’t want to use them for a lot of cutting. That said they are sharp, spring loaded, and certainly cut. They can be great for when you need to trim something small or make a delicate cut, like trimming away heat shrink from a wire.
The knife blade is small but serviceable. It is flat ground with a chisel edge, and comes sharp out of the box. It’s made from 420HC steel. It won’t win and edge retention competitions but in a pinch it will open a piece of mail or shave down a piece of wood. It’s a slip joint, but if you are smart with it you will be fine.
The file is possibly my favorite tool on the Squirt. It’s over an inch long and is double sided. One side is a single cut file, the other is double cut. Both sides are abrasive and work great for small jobs.
The screw drivers are adequate. The “Phillips” driver is not a true 3-D driver, but it can work in a pinch. The flat head driver is about a quarter of an inch wide and works well.
The bottle opener is small and shallow. It will get a bottle opened, but takes some work and is a far cry from the bottle opener on the Alox Cadet.
Leatherman Squirt vs. Gerber Dime
As I mentioned in the intro, I bought this along with the Gerber Dime. I think the build quality of this Leatherman blows the Dime out of the water. The Dime isn’t a bad tool, and it’s anywhere from $5-15 cheaper than the PS4, but I prefer the PS4.
I mostly prefer the PS4 for it’s slightly better build quality, and the bottle opener jutting out of the back of the dime turns me off, even if it’s a more successful bottle opener than the one on the Squirt.
That said, others have had great luck with the Dime, so if you are torn you can buy them both for under $50 like I did. If I could only keep one I like the PS4 more.
Leatherman Squirt PS4 – Final Thoughts
They say the best tool is the one you have on you. The Squirt isn’t going to replace a tool box, or even a full size multi-tool, but it’s handy in a pinch for small jobs. Given the size constraints I think it’s a great little multi-tool, and you get a lot for your money. That said, I prefer a full size multi-tool for working on bigger projects. The problem with a full size multi-tool is that they are tough to carry unless you can get away with a belt sheath.
I continue to be impressed with the fit, and finish of these inexpensive Leatherman tools. The stellar build quality combined with how they are legitimately useful, make this one a win for me. The fact that the Squirt is made in the USA is icing on the cake.
This is a great back up or EDC item. Even if it doesn’t get tons of use, at around $25 you can’t go wrong with it.
- LITTLE LIFESAVER: A colorful, keychain-size multitool with durable aluminum handles, spring-action pliers and more
- 9 TOOLS IN 1: With a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, scissors & a bottle opener, this lightweight mini-tool handles everything from snipping fishing line to wrapping birthday gifts
- 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
- ONE-HAND ACCESS: For those moments when you only have one hand to spare, the Squirt PS4 only requires one hand to open and use all the tools
- ALWAYS ON HAND: The Squirt PS4 weighs just 2 ounces and is equipped with a key ring so it's always within reach and ready to work
I recommend purchasing the Leatherman PS4 Squirt 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.
Thank you for a very good review.
As an older guy who used to be a knife dealer, the two Leatherman models reviewed fit a niche. I want to give practical gifts to the younger relatives, many of whom have not camped/walked in the woods/accumulated a lifetime of tools, but who have a car. I also wanted trading goods. So, I purchase used, refurbish and give them away. You can put one in the travel suitcase, the Go To Bag, the office desk, the windbreaker, the walking shorts and if you lose it, no great pain. The old rule is that if a tool is too bulky, too expensive or too heavy, you aren’t going to have it with you in a minor emergency. Of course, “the Wave” outperforms both. However, you can obtain multiples of those two models for the price of a Wave.
My pleasure as always. Thank you for reading.
I did not mention the “gift” nature of the Squirt, as for review purposes I think it’s a little of an easy out to simply suggest a given tool is a good idea for a gift (rather than examine it purely on the merits), but I totally agree that this makes a great gift. The price is right, it has universal appeal to regular people and EDC enthusiasts, and it’s a great size. I think most people would appreciate something like the Squirt.
R. D. says
This review is really dialed in. The Squirt is surprisingly well made and this combines with its cute, compact looks to give it an outsized personality. It is a strong contender in the “B tool” category — dropped in an offside pocket as a companion to a full sized, clipped folding knife on the strong side.
The pliers are definitely the standout tool. They are convenient to use, nimble and punch well above their weight. If you use EDC pliers a lot it is going to be hard to beat the Squirt PS4 as your B tool. (I don’t find much use for the tiny PS4 scissors. If you want a scissors-centric B tool, I’d go with the Leatherman Style CS all day. Those are stout, agile and as good as the pliers are here.
It’s fitting that the Victorinox Alox Cadet keeps popping up in the size comparison photos, because man, the Cadet just haunts this entire category, you can’t escape it. I EDc’d a Squirt for several months and loved it before I discovered the joys of the Cadet … now I rarely carry the Squirt and feel a twinge of guilt when I see the little Leatherman folded neatly in my gear chest. I don’t use pliers much day to day and the Cadet’s SO strong as a PC backup knife, an exemplary cap lifter, great drivers and it’s slim and….
Basically there are times when the Cadet’s superlative utility becomes almost oppressive, wiping out tons of lovable alternatives from my B tool rotation. I rarely carry my nice little Case traditionals anymore for the same reason.
Darn it, I’m gonna carry the Squirt today. B Tool Liberation!
Thank you for the very kind words. The Cadet still strikes me as a the gold standard in micro multi-tools. Of course if you need something with pliers you are out of luck with a Cadet, but if you need to use pliers a lot you can probably get away with a full size multi-tool on a belt sheath. Also, most people have a Cadet so at it makes for a good size comparison.
Still, there is something so satisfying about the Squirt. It’s built phenomenally well. I’m glad I have one.
It is a great gift (esp to a college kid if blue or red are school colors) and as you pointed out, what make it so are the build quality and ingenious design. Has “wow” factor for non enthusiasts once they see all that this tiny thing can do. Cheers!
What do you see as being mor functional, the micra or the squirt?
Probably the Squirt because you can access the tools without opening up the handle, but I think it depends on whether you have a greater use for scissors or mini pliers. I am guessing most people will have a greater use for the mini pliers, but that’s a “Your Mileage May Vary” kind of thing.
I’ve been EDCing a PS4 for a couple of years now, and while I don’t need it every day, the pliers do regularly come in handy. The scissors are the weak link here. Mine broke after only occasional use. Leatherman honored the warranty and replaced it for free when I sent it in, but the replacement scissors soon broke also. Aside from the scissors, it is a really nice tool.
Thanks for taking the time out to comment. It’s nice to hear from someone who has used the PS4 for an extended period of time. I’ve only had mine for a couple months, so it’s great to get your perspective.
I agree that the Scissors and the little bottle opener seem like the weakest links on this tool. Glad Leatherman stands by their warranty. They seem like a stand up company. I am glad to hear the reputation is well deserved.
I love this tool! I have carried one in my wallet for many years and had countless of uses. I have frequent visits to government institutions including court, which makes carrying other larger tools very inconvenient. I sharpened the end of the file on mine and converted it into a chisel. Your review is accurate.
ML, Thanks for checking out the review! Glad you are enjoying your PS4 as well. Carry yours in good health!
Marianne Plunkett says
Hi Dan, Excellent review! TSA Nashville is now the proud owner, of my 3 month old Squirt PS4. Sigh. But it is a great tool I will buy again. Only complaint is that they should have designed the bottle opener a smidge deeper.
Damn! Another tool claimed by TSA… hate it when that happens. Glad you have been enjoying your PS4. This little tool continues to surprise me with its versatility. I agree, a deeper bottle opener would not be a bad thing.
P C USER says
— TERRIFIC YEARS of Every Day Carry & Use !!
PS4 to TSA
Thousands Standing Around
Taking Stuff Away
Travel Slowed Again
Total Sarcasm Acknowledged
… yes, they have my miniature manicure kit & pen knife… and my PS4 :-/
After buying and selling to find the best tools over some
three or so years experimenting I have decided to re buy the squirt PS4. Not perfect in every way but it’s the best 2 oz of metal you can attach to a keychain. I have had the multitude of tools available and some no longer in production ranging from all of the manufacturers. I just went fishing and had only my gerber dime on me- well it let me down as the pliers collapsed during light use on a split sinker. Had to run home for a needle nose and it didn’t do much for my confidence of carrying it. Also the screwdriver broke , cap lifter loosened up and scissors had play so they chewed up material. Anyway I thought the middle of the road cost wise getting the gerber would be a good idea: wrong! I am confident the leatherman would have provided reliable service and also tighter tolerance therefore longevity would be greater. The dime was a solid six months of so so performance and I got it to save a few bucks. You get what you pay for no doubt. Truth is you should buy the best you can so you don’t have to buy it again. I am sold on leatherman from here on out- no reason to search around- they are in fact the best of the best.