Have You Carried the Leatherman Micra?
You probably best recognize Leatherman for their full-sized multi-tools. They pack a whole toolbox worth of functions into a a “butterfly” opening design that you can throw into a bag or desk drawer. Their larger size makes them useful for tasks where you need the grip and leverage, but for everyday carry it's all about the usefulness of a tool you can slip into your pocket. Before one-piece multi-tools grew popular, Leatherman took their iconic build quality and butterfly-opening design and shrunk it down to a keychain-friendly form factor. Thus one of the most popular compact multi-tools in their lineup was born: the Micra.
What Is It? Why Was It Popular?
You can sum up everything that makes the Micra good in one statement: 10 stainless steel tools that fold into a compact 2.5” bundle. Like the larger models in Leatherman's catalog the Micra folds most of its tools into its handles, which meet in the middle to a pair of spring-loaded scissors. These were paired with an excellent selection of tools for everyday tasks, including a 420HC knife, drivers, tweezers, and even notches for a ruler on the handles themselves.
The inclusion of a small split ring and the later addition of colors encouraged the use of the Micra for EDC, and with its rugged construction and Leatherman's lengthy warranty became a mainstay on keychains everywhere.
Should You Still Carry It Today?
While the Micra does boast an impressive pedigree and build quality, stainless steel isn't exactly lightest material to carry if you're trying to minimize your EDC. The choice is whether to pick and choose which tools you really need and opt for something much lighter (like the aforementioned one-piece multi-tools) or commit to a more robust multi-tool like the larger Leatherman products.
The Micra is plenty light and undoubtedly useful, so if you simply prefer its complement of tools and are able to match its colorways to the rest of your aesthetic, then it's still quite a viable carry option. If it isn't what you're looking for (or looking to either trim down or bulk up your tool selection as mentioned above), then you definitely won't run out of options, even from within Leatherman's own catalog. We've listed a few of our favorites below.
- Leatherman Style CS: A lighter keychain option with the same spring-loaded scissors.
- Gerber Dime: A newer, wildly popular pliers-based keychain tool with unique functions like a package cutter and exposed bottle opener.
- Victorinox Signature Lite: All the EDC essentials you need in one of the smallest, non-butterfly folding form factors you can fit on a keychain.
- Leatherman Wingman: The Micra's beefier big brother with pliers and a larger set of tools, for when you need something bigger than a keychain tool.
I'm sure quite a few of you probably bought a Leatherman Micra a while ago and still carry it today. Did you ever carry one? How’d it work out for you? Are you still using it today, and if not, what did you replace it with? Let us know with your comments.