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.
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.