A Mini Multi-Tool is small enough to carry in your pocket or on a key chain, yet packs a punch with essential tools that can come in handy in more situations than I could list. In this article I compare two of the very best, the Gerber Dime Multi-tool vs. the Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multi-tool. From design and function to a ‘tool by tool’ comparison, I’ll cover everything you need to decide which one is worthy of a spot in your pocket or backpack.
So Which Mini Tool Won???
The Gerber Dime has a better design, more tools that are easier to access, and costs half as much as the Leatherman. It was the hands down winner.
Here is our round by round, blow by blow, call of the battle of the mini multi-tools…
Best Design and Function: Gerber Dime
These tools are very different when it comes to design. The Squirt has that old school Leatherman style that’s looks like it’s the first tool they came out with. Personally I find it a bit on the boring side. The Dime on the other hand is contemporary with a rugged two-tone shell which looks more like a cutting edge piece of gear.
Both tools function exactly the same with the blade, file, scissors and screwdrivers placed on the outside giving you solid handle and grip when you need to use them.
A major shortcoming of the Leatherman is how difficult it is to get the blade and tools out. There’s very little space to get a fingernail into the groove to lift them up. I actually had to use the blade on the Gerber Dime to lift the screwdrivers on the Squirt.
Both tools fold open the same way, with the arms flipping out to reveal the spring loaded pliers.
Best Pliers: Gerber Dime
The Gerber Dime vs Leatherman Squirt PS4 have similar spring loaded pliers that stay open when you aren’t applying pressure. The jaws have a flat and rounded section for grabbing anything. They both also have a small wire cutter at the bottom of the jaws which is strictly light duty.
The Gerber Dime has a slightly larger jaw with a wider grip making it ideal for larger jobs. As you can see from the picture below, Gerber added a lot of versatility in the jaws with flat and curved sections for grabbing just about anything.
The Leatherman has similar features but not as pronounced or useful. It’s clear that the Gerber Dime has ‘one upped’ them on the pliers.
Best Scissors: Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multi-tool
The scissors on most multi tools are useless. They are too small to cut anything and usually dull. Sadly, the scissors on the Dime and the Squirt aren’t much better. Both were loose with a slight wobble between the blades making cutting a challenge.
I tested the cutting power of both on some medium cardboard packaging. The Gerber Dime had a hard time getting into it at all and it took some doing to get the cut you see in the picture.
The Leatherman scissors were slightly better and got into the cardboard with less effort.
Best Bottle Opener: Gerber Dime
A good bottle opener is a must because it’s used almost as much as the knife. The Leatherman has a flip out opener on the screwdriver which is thin and gets the job done… but not that well.
The Gerber Dime has a sturdy opener that’s always out and ready to go. You don’t want to be the guy fumbling with his multi-tool before he can open a girls beer. Not cool.
Best Blade: Gerber Dime
The blade is an important piece of this review because it’s used more than any other tool. The Gerber blade has a fine edge with a good backbone and held it’s edge. I tested it on wood, plastic bottles and paracord which it worked through like a champ.
The Leatherman has a standard profile blade which is longer than the Dime with a sharper point. It also worked quite well on the same test but felt more flimsy and had a harder time cutting through plastic.
Best File: Leatherman Squirt PS4
It’s plain to see that the file on the Leatherman is the better of the two. The grooves are fine, it’s long enough to actually be used to file something and it feels like a real tool. The Dime, on the other hand, has a small and useless excuse for a file.
Best Screwdrivers: A Tie
Both tools have a flat head and a half drive, or half phillips head. They are basically the same in size, function and quality so it’s tough to choose a winner in this round as they will both get the job done.
Best Other Tools: Gerber Dime
The Gerber Dime has a set of tweezers and a retail package opener which the Leatherman Squirt does not. I had never used a retail package opener before testing the Dime and it was surprisingly sharp and got through everything from shrink wrap to bubble packages. The tweezers are very small but have enough strength to pull slivers, which is all I’ve used it for.
Best Price: Gerber Dime
There’s a huge difference in price with the Leatherman retailing for more than twice the cost of the Gerber Dime. The Leatherman name carries a premium which is the only explanation I can come up with for such an expensive price, even though Gerber is so well known for their quality of tools and knives. It’s clear in the Gerber Dime vs Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multi-tool fight that the Dime is a better tool and a much better value.
Winning 6 of 9 rounds, it’s the clear winner of the Gerber Dime vs Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multi-tool battle. With a stylish design, versatile pliers, sturdy bottle opener, strong blade and MUCH better price, it is the Best Mini Multi-Tool!