Have You Carried the Leatherman Micra?

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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.

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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.

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Discussion (37 total)

I loved my Micra until I had to donate it to the TSA after they said you could carry a small blade on the plane. The stewardess union sued and said no blades. Hence the donation. I miss it, so small, so useful. I cannot count how many times I tightened someone's glasses for them with the screwdriver, or used the tweezers. I love my Wave and I now carry the S2 which is great. Half the weight of the Wave, good scissors, really useful and nice. But I still miss the Micra, I'll have to get another one.
I've never owned a Micra, I "only" got a Squirt PS4. I guess I don't like the fact, that you have to open the Micra to get to its tools.
I'd definitely recommend anyone looking for a pliers-centric tool in this form factor to get a Leatherman Squirt instead of the Gerber Dime. The Dime I bought has terrible fit and finish, questionable tool selection, awkward tool deployment because of that weird bottle opener, and the knife was so dull they might as well have not beveled it at all.
Everyday for years, it stays in my pants pocket while my Super Tool is in my messenger bag.
I have one. Sits in my tool box and never use it.But hey I have one..lol
The Micra is a great little tool. I rotate mine into my carry frequently.

The one thing I really like about the Micra is the ease of customization. You can readily take it apart and reassemble, unlike Swiss Army knives. This allows for modification. So in my instance I removed some unused tools and modified a key to fit on my Micra. I removed the tweezers and flat head, cut the base of the key off, rounded the corners of the remaining nub and drilled a hole on the back end to mount it. Works like a charm. I don't use the key every day, as my electronic lock has a PIN, however I keep the key as backup should the digital lock ever fail. With no other reason to carry a key, this completely eliminates the need to pocket a separate key ring. Your imagination is the limit to other small tools you could modify to adapt to the Micra. You just couldn't do that readily with a Swiss Army Knife.
I love my Micra. Got it for Christmas a couple of years ago and haven't been without it since.
The Micra is my favorite multi-tool. I've owned and used one for at least a decade, maybe longer. I use the scissors and bottle opener the most, but I like the screwdrivers and the tiny knife too. While I carry a Spyderco Ladybug as my primary folder, it is nice to have that little backup. I don't keep the Micra on a keychain. I have a small Kipling coin purse that I use to hold all my EDC tools A folder, small flashlight, Pico prybar and the Micra. I like to keep my tools out of sight. For some unknown reason, people freak out when they see a woman pull out a tool and use it to fix something. The pouch keeps the questions down.
I've carried the Micra before. I've since dropped it from carry altogether. I found I don't use scissors enough to need them as the main tool and use pliers much more. Great tool, I just don't use it anymore.
Carried a Micra for years until I started flying more often. When I am traveling or when I only need my house key, I currently have a Style PS with a Gerber Shard and Big Idea Design Titanium Pocket Bit (round body). When I need to carry more keys and am not traveling, I have another keyring with a Squirt PS4.

While I have never had a problem getting the Style PS through security checkpoints in North America, Europe, and the Middle East, I have had them confiscated in Beijing and Cape Town, as Chinese and South African law prohibit having any tools as carry-on items. (The Shard was no problem, but I wouldn't push it with the Ti screwdriver bits.)
I have both the Leatherman Wave and Micra. In spite of the greater number of uses for the Wave, the Micra is my go to tool. The small size and the scissors are its best features.
Well, I carry pretty much the same setup. The scissors are very useful, my biggest mistake was lending them to a friend as he need it to cut something, didn't know what it was and the scissors became dull, and it was a pain to sharpen the inner part of the scissor.
I carry the Style CS, just wish they made a bladeless one for travel that retained the full size scissors (or release a full size Wingman without a blade). Pliers on the PS and Dime are too small to be really useful.
I carry the SAK Rambler on my keychain. IMHO I think it's better than the Micra.
I think both have their merits. I carry the Micra for some occasions but also favor a SAK Manager for most others-- same as the Rambler but with a pen. Though one thing I think the Micra is better at is customization (as in you can take it apart and add your own mods). But it is more bulky in the pocket and unlike SAKs there is no enhanced options out there OFF THE SHELF for a similar tool-- it is a one size fits all solution. Unlike the SAK which as we just proved have many options right for the shelf for a similar sized product-- The Rambler with no pen & no light, the Manager with pen & no light, and the Midnite Manager with both, for example. With the Micra, you get what you get, off-the-shelf.
Sorry, but to me having to open the main part of the tool to access all of the tools in the handles is an ergonomics flaw. I'll stick with my Gerber Dime, where I can access everything while it hangs on my key chain. I would have a package open and be inspecting the contents while you folks are unfolding and flipping and such. ;-)
Love mine. I keep it on a separate chain though, with the key to my fishing buddy's house, and is part of my gone-fishin' load out.
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