Micro multi tools are growing in popularity among EDC enthusiasts and everyday people. The Leatherman Micra, one of the earliest micro tools released, has a dedicated following and is still a force to be reckoned with. What many people want to know though, is how the Micra is holding up compared to more modern tools.
Today’s Leatherman Micra review will answer that question and go over the basic design of this tool, as well as it’s different tools, durability, and overall usefulness.
- 1 Leatherman Micra Overview
- 2 Leatherman Micra Tools
- 3 Leatherman Micra Review
- 4 Leatherman Micra accessories and extras
- 5 Leatherman Micra Vs Comparable tools
- 6 Conclusion – Final Thoughts On the Leatherman Micra
Leatherman Micra Overview
The Leatherman Micra was one of the first folding micro multi tools ever made. It was first released in 1996 and has been in continuous production ever since. It’s built around a classic butterfly fold design and packs ten tools into a package just 2.5 in long and an ultralight 1.8 oz. The only major difference other than sizing between the Micra and its larger cousins is that it’s built around a pair of scissors rather than small pliers.
You can really see the Leatherman heritage when you look at the Micra. It’s the spitting image of the original PST shrunken down to keychain size. Since its introduction the Micra has been wildly popular among a wide audience. There are very few multi tools that have been continuously on the market for more than 20 years without having significant modifications made to them. Clearly Leatherman is doing something right with this little tool.
Leatherman Micra Tools
Any micro multi tool will have significant compromises when it comes to both the number of included tools and their usability. The Leatherman Micra, while no exception to this rule, does manage to include more tools than most similarly sized tools. It has ten different tools built around a larger than average pair of scissors.
Just by glancing at the Micra you can see that it’s an older design. There are no outside access or locking tools. The handles lack the cutouts common among other tools to save on materials and have a very uniform design. Each handle has three separate tools that fold out along with a keychain ring attached to one end. The final tool is a 4.7 in or 12 cm ruler running along the spine of both handles.
Spring Action Scissors
The spring action scissors are the central tool of the Micra. They use Leatherman’s standard spring release system and are actually extremely useful. Their central placement allows you to apply more cutting force than you would usually be able to do with multi tool scissors.
We found them to be similar in size to school safety scissors but with a much sharper and more capable blade. They had no problem cutting through heavy paper, plastic packaging, fishing line, and other light to medium materials. The spring system was responsive and definitely improved the usability of the scissors. Many users have reported that the spring arm often breaks with regular use of the scissors but we didn’t personally experience this.
The spring arm is a very common point of failure across all multi tool manufacturers so we can’t really fault Leatherman for it.
The knife on the Micra is just 1.6 inches long and uses a fairly standard straight tip blade style. Like most of Leatherman’s knife blades it’s made from 420HC stainless steel. It came from the factory with a good edge and is easy to sharpen. We’ll be perfectly frank, the knife on a multi tool this small is definitely not going to compare to a full size blade.
A 1.6 in knife just isn’t enough blade to do much more than open envelopes, cut string, and slice open packing tape. The blade itself is very thin and definitely wouldn’t stand up to anything other than light tasks. That being said, the Micra’s knife is as good as any we’ve seen at this size.
There are three screwdrivers on the Leatherman Micra, a cross point/phillips head, a medium flat head, and an extra small flathead. Using a cross point driver on a phillips head screw takes some getting used to. It’s definitely not as functional as a standard phillips head would be at applying torque but on a multi tool as small as the Micra this isn’t really a big issue. The cross point driver will also work as a flat head screwdriver if you can’t get quite the right fit with the other two.
The medium flathead screwdriver works well enough, in that it turns screws without issue but the real winner on the Micra is the extra small flathead. Leatherman really put some thought into this one as it fits perfectly in most small eyeglasses screws. Too many micro multi tools we review have screwdrivers that are just too small or large to work properly in this situation. We applaud Leatherman for getting it right with the Micra.
Nail Cleaner and File
We always find nail files and cleaners to be one of the most useful tools on a micro multi tool. The one on the Leatherman Micra doesn’t disappoint. It does a good job filing down your nails and has a nice hooked end to really get all the dirt, oil, or other grime out from your nail. Word to the wise though, the file will collect dirt like nobody’s business. After just a few weeks in a pocket you can expect to see it darken.
The tweezers on the Micra are hands down one of its best features. On most multi tools of this size you would have a small pair of removable metal tweezers like you’d find in a Swiss army knife. Leatherman understood how frequently we tend to lose things like that and attached the Micra’s tweezers right to the handles.
They fold out just like the other tool arms and actually work very well. You’ll have no problem getting purchase on slick little doodads or a stubborn splinter.
Bottle Opener and Ruler
The last two tools we’ll cover are the ruler and bottle opener on the Micra. Usually on a micro multi tool the ruler feels like an afterthought. Something thrown on to pad the tool list a bit. Thankfully Leatherman still values utility over advertising as the ruler on the Micra has seriously outsized usefulness for the tool’s size. At 4.7 in or 12 cm the ruler really lets you get a useful measurement on everyday items.
The bottle opener works well. Given the size of the Micra it makes sense not to include a standard bottle/can opener combo. It easily pops the cap off of bottles which when you come right down to it is all a bottle opener needs to do.
Leatherman Micra Review
The Leatherman Micra is the earliest true micro multi tool and has been on the market unchanged for more than 20 years. From what we’ve seen there are very good reasons for that kind of longevity. The Micra has weight to it, this despite coming in at less than two ounces. Everything about it speaks to Leatherman’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship. The tools are far sturdier than those found on most other multi tools of this size.
The design is a classic, combining aspects of Leatherman’s original PST with touches that are all Micra. One of the things we love most about the Micra is that all the tools on it are actually tools. Too many manufacturers try to list out things like lanyard/keychain rings or inch long rulers so they can have nine tools instead of eight listed on their product page. Leatherman has kept the faith with their customers through the sturdy utility of the tools on the Micra.
Leatherman Micra Pros – Things We Liked
- Very durable for its size
- Excellent tools
- Larger scissors
- Light and tiny
- Easy to carry
- Really nice tweezers
Leatherman Micra Cons – Things We Didn’t Like
- No outside access tools
- Stainless model can rust without care
- Scissor spring can be prone to breakage
- Easy to lose
Who’s The Leatherman Micra For?
The Leatherman Micra is one of those rare tools that appeals to just about everyone. It’s small enough to be carried anywhere yet has enough useful tools to always come in handy. Fisherman, hobbyists, seamstresses, office workers, and just about everyone else will delight to have this sturdily made little tool in their pockets.
This definitely won’t be the only multi tool you’ll need but it’s absolutely worth adding to your EDC.
Leatherman Micra accessories and extras
No Leatherman Micra review would be complete without talking about the add-ons and accessories. Micro multi tools rarely have many accessories available for them and the Leatherman Micra is no exception to this. The only thing to really consider is the color and repair options available to you.
Replacement Parts – Leatherman offers an industry leading 25 year warranty on all their products. If any part of your Micra breaks due to faulty manufacturing or materials Leatherman will make it right. You have the option of sending your tool off for repair/replacement or getting a gift card from Leatherman to apply towards a different tool.
Different Colors – The Micra has been around for a long time and Leatherman has done everything they can to keep it feeling fresh. You have seven, that’s right, seven color choices available when picking out your Micra. These include black, gray, red, blue, green, pink, and of course classic stainless steel.
Leatherman Micra Vs Comparable tools
As micro multi tools grow in popularity the market for them is only becoming more crowded. Here’s a quick comparison of the Leatherman Micra against a few of its closest competitors.
Micra Vs Squirt PS4
The Squirt PS4 is another micro multi tool from Leatherman and a close competitor of the Micra. It’s very nearly the same size, weight, and form factor of the Micra but wasn’t released until 2010. It has 9 tools including a small pair of standard multi tool scissors. Many people think of the PS4 as a successor of sorts to the Micra but we think there are definite arguments in favor of both tools. The Squirt is also a butterfly fold multi tool but has a small pair of pliers rather than scissors as its primary tool.
Overall the Squirt PS4 is a great little tool but the Leatherman Micra just has that something extra. If you absolutely prefer to have a small set of pliers rather than scissors the Squirt PS4 may be the tool for you. Personally though, we find the larger scissors to be much more useful than pliers at this size.
Micra Vs Style CS and PS
The Style CS and PS are two tools from Leatherman that are built around almost identical tool loadouts. The only difference is that the CS has a pair of scissors and knife blade while the PS is a TSA friendly version with pliers and no knife. The Micra has more tools than either the CS or the PS but the Style multi tools do allow outside access to some of their tools. One thing we definitely prefer about the Micra over the Style is the attached tweezers. If we had a nickel for every pair of tweezers we lost from a multi tool/swiss army knife we wouldn’t even need to write reviews.
The Style CS and PS are both useful little tools and about the same size as the Micra. If you need a tool that can travel with you, the Style PS is an excellent option as the Micra will not pass through security. Overall though, we find the Micra to be sturdier and more useful than the Style CS.
Read our Leatherman Style PS Tool Review
Micra Vs Gerber Dime
The Dime is Gerber’s main entry in the micro multi tool market. It is slightly larger and heavier than the Leatherman Micra but still offers a good mix of tools in a very small package. The biggest difference between the two tools is the substitution of pliers for scissors as the main tool on the Dime. It also offers two more tools than the Micra but as these are a package opener and a lanyard ring we weren’t really impressed with the addition.
We found the Micra to beat out the Dime on build quality, design, and overall appearance. It’s sleeker, sturdier, and generally more useful. This is especially true for the main scissors. At the size of a micro tool scissors just make more sense than pliers.
Read our Gerber Dime Tool Review
Micra Vs Victorinox Classic
Victorinox has a storied history among outdoorsman, hobbyists, and many other tool groups. They’ve been making Swiss army knives since 1891 and they’ve provided a very useful little knife in the Victorinox Classic. As just about the earliest multi tool available this small Swiss army knife includes only a knife, scissors, a nail file with screwdriver head, a toothpick, and a small pair of removable tweezers.
The Victorinox Classic is an excellent tool and is found in lots of tackle boxes, hiking packs, and pockets all over the world. We still have to recommend the Leatherman Micra over it though. The Micra adds in a few extra tools and has superior scissors and tweezers compared to the Victorinox Classic.
Conclusion – Final Thoughts On the Leatherman Micra
The Micra has been in continuous production by Leatherman since 1996. Any tool that’s been selling successfully for over twenty years has to have something going for it, and with the Micra it isn’t hard to see what that is. It’s a well designed tool made with care from quality materials. It provides ten useful and sturdy for their size tools that give you real value on a day to day basis.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Leatherman was still offering the Micra, unchanged, in another twenty years. If you’ve been considering adding a keychain or pocket tool to your EDC you can’t go wrong with this classic from Leatherman.