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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.

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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!
Anthony Pietracupa ·
No way! This is what I carry. Anyone else? I love my Micra!
I've been carrying a micra for well over a decade now, it's got some very useful tools packed into its tiny size!
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
John ·
I owned and carried one back in the late 90's. Good tool, but not useful enough for me at the time to keep in my rotation. My wife snagged it at it lives in her travel kit.
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.
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.
Mike Renna ·
I've had a micra for years. Really just use the scissors but having all those other tools in 1 package is nice. But am I
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.
David Hopper ·
Carried a Leatherman Micra for years, still have it in the gadget drawer collection. Igave several as gifts to friends and family when they first came out. Have tried many other keychain multitools, but still prefer a Leatherman. Currently doing EDC keychain/keyring duty is a Leatherman PS4.
Max Verellen ·
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.
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.
Coast ·
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.
Paul Tobeck ·
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.
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.
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