The first set of keychain pliers I ever got was the small Swiss*Tech MicroTech, which proved to be as solid as the steel it was carved from.
Call it “survival of the fittest” or “trial and error” but it all boils down to one conclusion- Evolution is a wonderful thing. Anyone who spends any time reading my various ramblings and ratings of various tools knows that I am more fascinated with what didn’t work than what did, and more importantly, how the oddball ideas evolved into the successful tools of today. The Mini Tool is another fascinating example of what didn’t work, but played an important part in the design of some of the tools Leatherman is currently producing. Marlon Perkins would be proud!
Like it’s Squirt brethren the P4 and E4, the Squirt S4 is a very handy, bright tool that functions well beyond it’s size. It is closely matched to the predecessor of the Squirt line, the Leatherman Micra in that it’s main tool is a set of very capable scissors. Despite not being a large tool, the scissors are quite functional, and the handles are very comfortable to use.
For all those places when you need or want a tool handy, but can’t carry a full sized tool for whatever reason, Leatherman offers the Squirt series, which consists of three models- the E4 with wire strippers, the S4 with scissors and the P4 with pliers, which is the model we are looking at in this review.
When I first laid eyes on this little tool in a discussion on our forum I thought it looked interesting enough. A few months later I decided to give it a shot and added it to an order I had placed with EDCDepot
The Buck Model 350 "Mini-Buck."
*Although this model is currently discontinued by the manufacturer it still be readily found second-hand at auction sites and internet classified listings.
One of the most overlooked little tools in the multitool industry is Leatherman’s Micra. I say this because little is ever said of this keychain wonder, and yet just about everyone has one- at least had one judging by the vast number of used tools available at TSA auctions! Much like the Victorinox Classic or Wenger Esquire models, the Micra is one of those tiny little tools that you completely forget about until you need it, and you probably use it a lot more often than you realize, which is something you will only find out after it’s gone!
Ordinarily I'd find a pretty, shiny new tool to take pics of, but this time I felt it best to show off my battered old Micra to illustrate how useful this little gadget really is!
If you’ve never handled any of the Squirt tools by Leatherman, think of them as a cross between a Juice and a Micra. The handles have brightly colored aluminum scales, with outside opening blades, like the Juice family of tools. But the Squirt is small, like a Micra, and uses the same type of “spring-loaded” jaws as a Micra.
I recently picked up a Gerber Solstice that was on sale, and I have to say, it is kind of a neat little tool. It is what would result in the mating of a Leatherman Micra and a SwissTech MicroTech at first glance. My curiosity was piqued after seeing it in a recent article in Knives Illustrated magazine. (“The Key To Being Prepared” by Abe Elias, October 2006)
The Solstice (center) is a cross between the SwissTech (left) and the Micra (right)
I recently had the opportunity to purchase a Gerber Clutch for so good a price, it would have been criminal not to. So, being the law abiding citizen I mostly am, I got one- more than one actually, things like this are great presents for forgotten birthdays and stocking stuffers at Christmas.