Mini Multi-Tool & Multi-Tool Keychain: Are They Worth it?

There has been a recent surge in the popularity of mini multi-tools. For those that have not seen these mini multi-tools, they are basically “keychain sized” multi-tool. In terms of size, they are about 1/3 the size of a standard multi-tool. Because of that, many people are opting to use these on their keychain, but is it a sensible alternative to a standard multi-tool?

Gerber Compact Multi Tool

Standard vs. Mini Multi-Tool

The obvious difference between a standard multi-tool and a mini multi-tool is size. A good example is to look at that Leatherman Micra vs the Leatherman SuperTool 300.


The Leatherman Micra, pictured on the left contains 10 tools whereas the Supertool 300 contains 19. Right off the bat, the mini tool is lacking in the way of offering more tools. On the other hand, with fewer tools comes less weight and pocket real estate that the multi-tool takes up. As with an everyday carry knife, lighter is usually better.  Take a look at the Leatherman Micra, no pliers are present. This is a feature that many cannot live without. The Micra weighs in at less than 2 ounces compared to over 9 ounces on the SuperTool. Additionally, when both tools are closed, the Micra mini multi-tool is 2.5 inches and the Super Tool 300 is 4.5 inches. So clearly, weight is drastically reduced when going from a standard multitool to a mini multi-tool. For that same reason is why people are likely to leave this on a keychain.


It goes without saying that a mini multi-tool is not going to handle the same tasks that a standard multi-tool will. The construction quality is not meant for the heavy duty bending and contouring of metal in the pliers (as most lack pliers anyways). As previously mentioned, the mini multi-tools are going to lack some of the more sophisticated of tools that the standard multi-tools contain. Many of the tactical features (blasting cap crimper, C4 punch, etc) on say, a Gerber DET are surely going to be missing on a mini multi-tool. However, if you go with a Leatherman Multi-Tool, you will have the satisfaction of the trusted Leatherman Warranty

Gerber Multi-Plier 600 DET


Multi-Tool Keychain Works In a Pinch

We like to say that the mini multi-tools and multi-tool keychains will work in a pinch. It is better to be with a mini multi-tool than it is to be without one altogether. However, that is not to say that we feel the mini multi-tool is a suitable replacement for a standard sized multi-tool. This is great for the less hardcore Mr. (or Mrs.) Fix Its. It is a sensible tool to own if you are not the type of person to have a standard sized multi-tool on your hip or in your pocket on a regular basis. It may be worth noting that; while getting my oil changed, I was informed by my mechanic (whom I trust very well) that I had a lot of weight on my keychain. Apparently, this can be harmful to your ignition. This should be a consideration before attaching a mini multi-tool to your keychain for everyday use. Take a look at some of the top rated mini multi-tools below. Our pick for the top mini multi-tool and also a widely popular model on the internet is the Leatherman Squirt.

Beat Leatherman Squirt