Leatherman “micra™” Clones

IMG_3018

These are the last four of the TSA confiscation mini-tools. At the top is my 20-year-old Leatherman “micra™” for comparison. As you can see, there is a really close resemblance between all of these units, and these were the four where I was really hoping to find 90% of the value for 50% of the price. IMG_3019

With these I’m going to be fairly brief. Three of the tools shown at the bottom are virtually identical. Each of them has the same set of six parts and pliers. The one shown with all the tools extended is the slightly “odd man out”.  The can opener is a slightly different shape on that one, and the file, while having the same shape, is of much poorer quality… there is almost no grit to it. The case on this one does, however, have etching to serve as a ruler… not that is of great importance. Each of these three “micra™” clones does have a set of pliers. However, as can be seen in the upper highlight, they are far more flimsy than those offered on some of the other tools we’ve already looked at. In profile they are barely an eighth of an inch thick. In fact, they more closely resemble scissors with flattened edges and grip serrations. While they all have a section that is sharpened as a wire cutter, they are really more “nippers” than the actual overlapping wire “cutters” on most of the previous units. Still, the steel on each of these is much better quality than many of the tools that came in the lot. The knife blades on all of them were already razor-sharp, the files have a different grit on each side and look to be truly useful, and the screwdriver blades are all ground off flat and clean. And even though the pliers are not the greatest, they are quite functional. Each one of the units also has a nice little rotating lanyard loop. All in all these easily meet the 50/90 challenge. At anywhere south of $10 they would be a reasonable deal. IMG_3020

This last micro-tool is the true oddball of all the tools in the auction purchase. When I saw it in the photo and compared it against the other apparent Leatherman “micra™” clones, I had discounted it is a POC. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it easily outclassed all the rest. It adds a tiny, but very, very sharp mini-blade perfect for slitting packages, a pair of tiny scissors, and trades the rougher, double-sided file for an actual fingernail-style file with a nail cleaner hook. Additionally, it has a fully robust set of pliers that are easily the equal of the ones on the $30 Leatherman P4 that is my current EDC tool. Finally, in a nice touch, it has a small, rounded, Phillips head screwdriver that would be perfect for eyeglass repair. It really is the “oddball” of the bunch, and as such, is the only one whose somewhat better and more urban-oriented feature set makes it a truly EDC tool.

So, all four of these Leatherman “micra™” clones make the grade. And by doing so, pretty much redeem the entire TSA purchase. Taken together with the really decent clone of the “Original” Leatherman tool from the first post in the series, and the fact that out of all 15 tools there really were only three that screamingly need to be consigned to the trashcan, I think that I got my money’s worth… BARELY.

Exactly what I’m going to do with the seven or eight tools that barely passed muster I’m not quite sure yet. That was something I hadn’t really considered when I pulled the trigger on the eBay auction. I may pass them onto my friend Dana the Scoutmaster to use as camping awards to his troop members… Not sure whether he trusts the little buggers with sharp objects though.

[AND do remember… there is one more review coming up of the one big winner in the lot!]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s