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Clash of the keychain multitools

Many years ago, I got a Leatherman Micra for Christmas. I loved it! For years, this was my EDC multitool. Then one day, it was suddenly gone. Lost forever, or so I thought.

Looking for a replacement, I found out that the Style CS was just a little cheaper, so I went for it, and never looked back. Until I found the old Micra wedged between the seat and the wall of my car. This got me thinking: Which of these minuscule multitools is really the best keychain tool out there? It is time for the big showdown on the little keychain!

keychainclash

Leatherman Micra

6.5 cm
51 g

Pros: Lots and lots of quality tools in a small package.
Cons: No outside opening tools

Leatherman Style CS

7.6 cm
41 g
Pros: Outside opening blade, screws instead of rivets, tweezers can be removed entirely
Cons: Only one screwdriver, lousy bottle opener (IMHO)

If you just look at the specs, the Micra is by far the strongest competitor. According to the Leatherman web site, it has ten tools, compared to the six tools of the Style CS. And the three different screw drivers on the Micra really do work a lot better than the single one on the Style CS. Also, the bottle opener on the Micra is much easier to use than the strange bottle opener/carabiner combo on the Style CS. There is no doubt that when it comes to the number and quality of tools, the Micra beats the Style CS hands down.

However, I still find the Style CS better for actual every day carry. How can that be? Well, it’s not just about the tools you have, but the tools you use. And I use the knife blade on my keychain MT a lot. The scissors also see a fair amount of use, but the blade is by far my most frequently used EDC tool. The blade on the Style CS opens from the outside of the tool. To get at the Micra’s blade, I have to open the tool first. This might seem like a minor detail, but when it’s repeated every single day, it actually matters. At least to me.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a true EDC tool, and you don’t carry a dedicated knife, go with the Style CS. If you are building the ultimate keychain, a very small survival/repair kit or if you already EDC another blade, the Micra is for you.
Or, in terms of tools: If you use the screw drivers most, pick the Micra. If you use the blade more, go with the Style CS.

Whatever your preferences, both of these tools are great. Before I got the Micra, I used to EDC a huge VIC Rucksack. The big little Leathermen lets me carry what I actually need every day in just about half the pocket real estate.

Sometimes – most of the time, actually – less really is more.

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