Everyday Carry

Have You Carried the Leatherman Micra?

Mikey Bautista
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.

Our Recommendation

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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 (41 total)

Mike ·
One upon a time I carried a Leatherman Micra then I made that big mistake all husbands eventually make. When my wife asked to borrow it I said sure and handed it over. That was around seven years ago and I haven't seen it since. To say this tool is useful is a big understatement. Once it was the mainstay of my EDC for all those little jobs from opening envelops and cutting bandages to fixing eyeglasses. After I lost mine to the dark forces I was never the same go to guy at the office that I once was. Sigh...
Mikey Bautista ·
"Big mistake all husbands eventually make." Tell me about it. Wife was enamored by my Victorinox keychain tool, carried it for years, then got so comfortable with it that she forgot she took it with her to the airport once where it got promptly confiscated. :(
This is a real bummer. On the flip side of that coin-- eBay is littered with cheaply sold TSA confiscated pocket knives and multi-tools. I don't know if this breaks some unspoken code of the EDC fraternity, but I am not ashamed to admit I picked up my Micra and also a Leatherman PST for dirt cheap this way.

They were used but reconditioned with the blades sharpened. Buying them this way is a great option for someone on a budget or who wants a cheap quasi-disposable backup. For example I threw my PST in the glove box of my Jeep Wrangler-- a vehicle prone to plundering, and if anyone ever steals it I am not out so much.
Efrain Suarez II ·
Digging that early USMC emblem. Semper Fidelis!
rah devil!
Craig ·
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.
Mahrezza F ·
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.
Zebadiah Ritselaar ·
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. ;-)
Heather Ayers ·
Love my Dime too. But still, there’s something so beautiful about the Micra design. And I think the scissors on the Micra are waaay more functional.
Wendy Van Camp ·
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.
Heather Ayers ·
I know the feeling! I freak my friends out from time to time when I whip out my Kershaw! 🤣
Mike Renna ·
Oops. Am I the only one that's frustrated & unable to keep up with all the variations of leather man products? Cute names but can't really tell what's in there. And under each cute name there's several models that are very different from others with the same name. Give it a different cute name? Like juice s2 vs cs4 vs sx vs xe6 vs c2!!!! Wtf?
Mikey Bautista ·
You're not alone, and the fact that a few older models are still in rotation, just in new colors, is another layer to the confusion, haha.
Johan Bertilsson ·
I have never carried one, or owned one. But it has been on my buy list for several years, but i have always let that buy slide down for other things. I will probably buy one.
Jeremy Cotton ·
The micra is a great EDC tool - I use it daily. It's a great selection of tools that is compact and easy to carry - if it's too heavy you probably need to hit the gym.
theboardedone ·
I just prefer to not have my pockets weighted down so I don't use it for EDC, but I do have some kind of multi tool within arms reach most of the time.
Chris ·
In the top photo, what is the make/model of the flashlight? And the keyring clip?
Mikey Bautista ·
That's an older EDC carried by our EIC, Bernard. I'll pass along the message and get him to reply soon!
3 more comments
SleepsonCouch ·
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.
James ·
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.
Brad Clarkston ·
Everyday for years, it stays in my pants pocket while my Super Tool is in my messenger bag.
Scott Hicks ·
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.
Daniel Griffin ·
I love my Micra. Got it for Christmas a couple of years ago and haven't been without it since.
Drew ·
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.
John Wilde ·
I used to carry a micra, (lost it) a Leatherman ES4, (wire strippers as primary tool) and a Leatherman PS4 (small pliers as primary tool).
I also have a Leatherman Raptor.
11 more comments