What is next size up from Squirt/Dime?

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by Chronovore, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    507
    Aug 29, 2019
    I've carried a Squirt or Dime in various ways. It's wonderfully easy to do. However, that convenience comes at a cost. It's not just that the tools are small. I find myself wishing that both were slightly higher quality, had better blade steel, etc. There doesn't seem to be a better quality option in this size class.

    So what is the next size class up? What are some next-smallest options for a pliers-based multi-tool?
     
  2. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    504
    May 17, 2013
    I carried a Squirt long time ago, and for next size up, I think probably a LM Juice. However, the steel(420HC) would be similar to what you have in Squirt.

    Another interesting alternative is Victorinox deluxe climber, it has an oversize tweezer(probably similar or smaller than Squirt) but it's compact and has really quality tools.
     
  3. Boxer .45

    Boxer .45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 11, 2015
    What about the LM Skeletool or LM Wingman? Both have gate hook or clip. The Wingman didn't feel any bigger than a medium pocketknife. Neither fell as big as a full size to me.

    Personally I think the steel is good, probably just need a little more blade to get more utility out of it?

    Go crazy here and just put it out there, what about a Swiss Army knife like the Pioneer, or Farmer, etc.
    Then pair it with a Knipex 5 1/2 pliers? Or Crescent has a pair of 4 1/2" pliers which is about as long as a folding knife. Pocket, bag, belt pouch, pocket slip, etc.
    Pair them with a small AAA flashlight.

    Knipex 125 ($25)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Crescent 4 1/2" pliers ($8)
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    507
    Aug 29, 2019
    I'm still running on that ancient philosophy that every man should be able to tell time, make fire, and cut things. So despite how rarely I use it in the modern non-smoking age, I still carry a lighter. Lately, that carries in a pocket organizer with one of the small multi-tools. The Dime's bottle opener sticks up enough to draw easily but it's in rough shape and I've grown tired of it. The Squirt is better but needs a lanyard to be fished out. So I'm exploring some other options, ways to go, etc.

    I'm also helping a friend to explore options at the same time so please feel free to join my thread on knives and pocket organizers under General Knife Discussion.

    As far as the SAK goes, I've carried various models over the years. (My first knife was an early-model Spartan.) They're generally the right shape for pocket organizers. They're decent but just don't thrill me. I like having pliers as my primary tool. I prefer the form factor of the pliers-based multi-tool. I enjoy extras like a file, bottle opener, screw driver, etc. I don't actually care if the multi-tool has a knife but if it does, I'd like it to have a more reasonable budget steel and decent edge retention.
     
  5. DocT

    DocT

    Mar 25, 2012
    I don’t care fir the smaller Leathermans, though they are fine tools. I prefer my Victorinox Pioneer X. Anything I can’t get done with it, I need my toolbox. It has great tools and slimly fits in my pocket while being comfortable to use.
     
  6. mitch13

    mitch13 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 3, 2004
    leatherman juice, works well next size up, I have the original version, you can use a lanyard but I prefer large ring, it folds in if you don't want 1, the current model does too.
    If you have to go a premium blade, go with CX skeletool. I purchased 1 recently and really like it.
    Good luck
    mitch
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  7. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    507
    Aug 29, 2019
    Thanks for the responses. The Skeletool is interesting. It looks like the smallest Leatherman to offer better blade steel. (Some models use 154CM instead of 420HC.) Unfortunately, the carabiner design is at odds with my preferred carry method and adds to the size.

    The Juice might be right. I carry a regular pocket knife as well so I guess sticking with 420HC isn't the end of the world. (Yes, at least it is a bigger back-up blade.) The question is which model. I see that there are a few though not all of them appear to be in production. I've also got to look into a new pocket caddie/organizer and think about fit.
     
  8. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Maybe look for a Sebertool M4, there's a few available currently on the bay.
    It's not exactly bigger overall , but the pliers are larger and sturdier, and the tools lock which is a bonus.
    ( Modified the blade on mine into an awl )
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    You could also go this route and pair a Sebertool M2 , or M3 with a Vic of your choosing.
    They come up more often and more affordably than the M4.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Really there's just no quality in-between multi tool size.
    There's cheap ones out there for like $2.99 or so, but they're garbage.

    You probably won't find anything with a fancier blade steel, but I don't really get carrying any multi tool as a knife let alone one of the little ones.
    I'd much rather carry a small slipjoint of the same size than use the one on the multi tool.
     
    jmh33 likes this.
  9. jds1

    jds1

    Jun 9, 2007
    Thanks for the heads-up, just snagged an M-2 from the Bay. :thumbsup:

    Jeff
     
  10. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Way to go.
    Now the m2 and m3 pliers are not as large as the M4 pliers ( don't know why there's no M1 ) but still sturdier and beefier than a squirt or crappy Chinese Gerber keychain multi tool.
     
  11. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    507
    Aug 29, 2019
    Searching for Squirt/Dime alternatives a while back led me to trying some of those next-size-up Chinese cheapies from global online marketplaces. I have one where the knife is a joke and some of the tools are kinda sad, but the file and pliers are good for their size. So it sits in the tray with our car keys by the door. It gets a surprising amount of use via random pulling, prying, scraping, etc.

    Earlier today, I noticed a few dents and dings with outstanding burs in a piece of aluminum trim. It was no big deal but in pandemic isolation, it started to bug me. I was walking past the tray and said "what the heck". I grabbed this cheap little multi-tool and went to work. Between the screwdriver, file, and a few minutes of my time; now it's straight and bur-free. :D
     
  12. Scott321

    Scott321

    976
    Jul 20, 2016
    LM Juice S2 is my favorite MT for incidentals. IMO, it's weakness is only if you commonly work with larger bolts and nuts. I've been carrying one for around 20 years. I've tried a LOT of Saks and other LM and Sog MT's of various sizes with prices going over $150, but the S2 Juice keeps kicking them out of pocket, even when needing them for more serious work.

    I also have the Juice CS4, but at that size and weight, I prefer a larger MT, such as the Vic Spirit X. Unfortunately the Juice S2 does not have a file, if that's what you are looking for.

    Oh... and it's my understanding that the Juice line is discontinued.
     
  13. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    It's crazy that neither Leatherman or Gerber has come out with something in this size range,SOG may have but I'm not sure.
    I can't count how many " miniature paraframe " type multi tools ive seen, why did China realize a long time ago that there a hole I the market but the number one MT manufacturer Leatherman has not.
    Best they did was the mini tool , and didn't have many tools because it had the full sized jaws in a smaller handle format.
     
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  14. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    507
    Aug 29, 2019
    Yes, the Juice line is being discontinued. It looks like the S2 is still available. That might be the right choice. You're right that I'd miss having a file. In a pocket multi-tool, I'll use a file more often than the saw, corkscrew, and awl combined. Neither the S2 or CS4 have a file. For the size of the Juice, I'm curious as to why the CS4 prioritized a saw over a file.

    With this line being discontinued, what will replace it? It looks like we're all aware of the hole. That hole gets a lot bigger without the Juice. It might be worth waiting to see if they launch something else in this size range.
     
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  15. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    504
    May 17, 2013
    While Juice is being phrased out, I kinda wish they would put more effort into developing the Leap.

    Many look down the 'plastic' handle and think it is a 'kid' tool, but it has all the ingredient to be the perfect replacement. It's ultralight weight, a bigger size pliers head which might be more capable than Juice, while still feature one hand opening blades/tools. Not everyone will always need a full size or heavy weight pliers based tool, and having an ultralight weight option might be a very viable option for some.
     
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  16. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I don't look down on the plastic, I just think it looks ugly and stupid.

    It probably shouldn't matter so much to me but it does, and the classic rectangular Leatherman form is the only one that looks right.
     
  17. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Its all about the market research. I'm sure both Leatherman and Victorinox, as well as Buck, Spyderco and all other companies, spend a lot of money each year, trying to stay ahead of the trends in the market. Who wants what, and how much are they willing to pay?

    I know it bugs the ever lovin dog poo out of me when Victorinox discontinues a model I like, or when a car company drops an old standby that has served a lot for a long time like VW did with the old Beatle, but they have to look at the big picture to survive in a tough market. But people and their likes change no matter how much us old curmudgeons piss and moan about it. I guess the sales figures of the juice just were not keeping up with the times. I know a son of a friend works at the R.E.I. down the road in Austin, and he says the small Leatherman's like the micra and squirt fly off the shelves while sales on the bigger ones are slow. Says they sell more micra's than anything else except Victorinox recruit and classics and Opinel numbers 8 and 7. Thats their market.

    The other thing is, market overlap. The middle size items often not as efficient as the full size one, but the full size one is just too big except for the construction worker, home improvement worker, or some other real working iugy who really needs the tools. The weekend sportsman, office cubicle worker, and home hobbies doesn't need or want the large heavy high dollar item. But the small pocket/keychain size item will sell better. I saw where Victorinox is discontinuing the compact, but the classic is still the best selling model they make. All about market demand. Can't sell people stuff they don't want.
     
  18. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    507
    Aug 29, 2019
    The really small multi-tools are good because they are really easy to carry. Carrying one of those isn't a big commitment. They can sit in a jacket, purse, or even a fifth pocket with ease. They can be clunky on a key ring but they'll work. They're also less expensive. The Dime gets down under $20 and the Squirt is usually $30-something. That's a pretty low barrier to acquiring one.

    I still have trouble with the fact that nobody is making a premium version. I'd gladly bump up to the $50 range for some minor quality improvements. Maybe slightly better tools, a mild bump up in blade steel, etc. I'd be open to higher levels of "premium" too. Given the quality and price scaling of pocket knives, I'm surprised that this is it for the tiny multi-tools. Also, where is the variability? Aside from color choices, there seems to be only one version of the Squirt and two of the Dime.

    On the other hand, I wonder if price barrier was a factor for the Juice line. They started at what, around $50? Was that a major barrier to sales? I still think the hole left by these in that "next size up" category is pretty stark. I really hope it gets filled by something cool sometime soon.
     
  19. Scott321

    Scott321

    976
    Jul 20, 2016
    I think it's worth mentioning... My first MT (almost 30 years ago) was a Sog Paratool. IMO, it is right inbetween the Juice and Vic Spirit in size and weight, AND HAS A FILE!!! No scissors though. I still use it as a backup now and then (the bolts are a little discolored now), but since it is an older design, the tools are a little stiff to access, and the pliers fold like origami if you don't pay attention. Not my favorite for use, but it works and has quality components... It is almost as easy to carry as the Juice.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The SOG Power Pint is a pretty good small pocket sized multi-tool. I have one. I view it as heavy for the pocket but it is sized to fit a pocket.
     

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