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The 5 Best Mini Multi-Tools of 2017


November 28, 2017 Sports and Outdoors By

Last Updated November 21, 2017: We’ve added new picks and insights. Prices and links have also been updated.

Editor’s Choice: Leatherman Micra


In the same way that Kleenex is associated with tissues, the name Leatherman is inextricably linked with excellent multi-tools. No one makes ’em better. The Micra is arguably Leatherman’s greatest mini multi-tool. It’s no bigger than a disposable lighter, yet functions (and looks) much like Leatherman’s larger multi-tools. The opening action is clean and satisfying; the scissors are sharp and spring-loaded; the nine other tools are useful for most peoples’ everyday needs. If we were to pick one standout feature, though, it’s the Micra’s simple shape. Perfect rectangles are meant for keychains. And they’ll never go out of style.

Weight: 1.8 ounces
Tools: 10
Closed length: 2.5 inches

Introduction

Carrying a full-sized multi-tool every day might work if you’re a forest ranger, a tradesman or a full-time fly fisherman, but for the rest of us who have to get at least a little gussied up for work, it’s just impractical — adding unnecessary weight with something you’ll rarely get full use out of during the workday. That said, you don’t want to be completely unprepared for the unexpected inconvenience or repair that requires a bit more than good intentions. For those people, there are compact multi-tools, which provide excellent utility with significantly minimized size. We’ve selected a handful of great compact multi-tools that are convenient for everyday carry.

Additional contribution by Michael Finn and Amos Kwon.

The 5 Best Mini Multi-Tools of 2017

Leatherman Juice XE6


Most Robust Mini Multi-Tool: Somewhere in between Leatherman’s traditonal Wave multi-tool and the Micra is the Juice XE6. It’s a perfect middle ground — powerful, yet pocketable. With 18 tools, the Juice XE6 is best suited for those who demand greater versaility than a simple keychain multi-tool, but still need something that doesn’t take up too much pocket space. The tools feel incredibly sturdy when locked in place, and the pliers have a moderate amount of grip strength. If you squeeze hard enough, you can feel the whole multi-tool bend, and that might cause problems for some; but for most, the Juice XE6 remains an excellent mid-level multi-tool that perfectly balances versatility and inconspicousness.

Weight: 6.9 ounces
Tools: 18
Closed Length: 3.25 inches

SOG Baton Q4


Most Innovative Mini Multi-Tool: At nearly six inches when closed, the Baton Q4 isn’t completely bound by the word mini; the next largest multi-tool on this list (Leatherman Juice XE6) is nearly half as long. But we still don’t consider the Baton Q4 a traditional multi-tool, and here’s why: its opening mechanism and overall design is unlike anything else on the market. When closed, the Baton Q4 is essentially a chunky, metallic rod about the length of a pen; a quick flick of the wrist opens the Baton like a switchblade, transforming it into a traditional plier-shaped multi-tool. You’d be hard-pressed to find a multi-tool better suited for your pants pockets or tool belt. The Baton Q4 also comes with 12 interchangeable screwdriver bits, making it a great companion for tradesmen.

Weight: 6.1 ounces
Tools: 10
Closed length: 5.8 inches

Leatherman Micra


Editor’s Choice: In the same way that Kleenex is associated with tissues, the name Leatherman is inextricably linked with excellent multi-tools. No one makes ’em better. The Micra is arguably Leatherman’s greatest mini multi-tool. It’s no bigger than a disposable lighter, yet functions (and looks) much like Leatherman’s larger multi-tools. The opening action is clean and satisfying; the scissors are sharp and spring-loaded; the nine other tools are useful for most peoples’ everyday needs. If we were to pick one standout feature, though, its the Micra’s simple shape. Perfect rectangles are meant for keychains. And they’ll never go out of style.

Weight: 1.8 ounces
Tools: 10 (knife, scissors, flat/phillips screwdriver, ruker, nail cleaner, tweezers, bottle opener, nail file, medium screwdriver, small screwdriver)
Closed length: 2.5 inches

Gerber Dime


Best Budget Option: The Dime measures in at a mere 2.75 inches fully closed, which means you can attach it to your keychain or throw it in your pocket without worry. For something this small and light, it boasts an array of tools that includes real pliers, spring-loaded scissors, screwdrivers and a nifty blade that’s designed to slice open plastic clamshell packaging as smoothly as a chef’s knife on tuna. Best of all is the bottle opener that’s at the ready without opening the tool at all. In this price range, there is bound to be a few drawbacks; the Dime’s tools don’t open as smoothly as other multi-tools, meaning you really have to dig your fingernails to open them. But the positives outweigh the negatives.

Weight: 2.2 ounces
Tools: 12
Closed length: 2.75 inches

Victorinox MiniChamp Alox


Best Keychain Mini Multi-Tool: You’ve seen the classic red Swiss Army knives, but Victorinox’s Alox collection is on another level. The MiniChamp Alox is made of embossed aluminum, finished with a special corrosion-resistant treatment. It’s ridiculously lightweight, and the shiny silver color is an attention-grabbing feature not seen in most multi-tools. If you’re looking to adorn your keychain with a nice accessory and don’t need something you’re going to use everyday, this one’s for you.

Weight: 1.4 ounces
Tools: 15
Closed length: 2.28 inches
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