Introduction: Pinkie Sized Keychain Knife From a Leatherman Micra

The Leatherman Micra is one of my favorite knives, but I don't really use the scissors. The flip-out multitool action is the signature feature of Leatherman knives; that's what makes them cool, yet I don't need that feature in the Micra. What I really want is a super tiny knife I can keep on my keychain without adding a lot of weight. With a simple modification you get a knife that is half the weight and half the size of the original. All you loose is one tool -- the scissors. I haven't found any knives for sale that are as small, light, and useful as my modified Micra.

Step 1: Locking Pliers to Remove Hinge Pin Screws

A pair of locking pliers can be used to unscrew the four hinge pin screws that hold the knife together. I like to use genuine Vise-Grip locking pliers because they have a very sharp, clean edge. The hinge pin screws have thread-lock in them so they will feel stiff coming out. They actually come out very easily, with little force, but you have to use the pliers the whole way while unscrewing them. You won't be able to loosen them a little and unscrew them the rest of the way with your fingers.

Step 2: Remove Blades and Organize

Remove the blades and set aside the blades that will be reused. Discard the rest.

Step 3: Adjust Tension

The sides of the knife body will require a little gentle compression to adjust tension on the blades. Don't bend the sides in too much. The metal bends more easily than you might think. Squeeze a little, then test the pressure on the blades. Squeeze a bit more if necessary. The pressure is good when you can fit all the blades and they won't fall out even with the hinge pin removed.

Step 4: Arrange and Fit Blades.

You may want to add two washers to the small end of the body as spacers. Use two number 8 plan flat stainless steel washers. Nylon or brass washers would also be fine. The pictures show the blade arrangement on the small and large ends of the body. Locate the long hinge pin and screw. The pin should enter the hinge hole on the same side as the knife blade. The screw should enter the hinge hole on the side with the bottle opener. You will need the locking pliers to screw the pin and screw together. Go slowly. Do not over tighten! Part of the opening tension is set by how tightly the pin is screwed together.

Step 5: Done

It's no bigger than my pinkie and weighs only 25 grams.

Step 6: Save the Scissors?

With a little welding and you can still use the scissors... I swear my first welds looked like perfect welds! But then I got carried away trying to make them a little stronger. I did this for fun just to practice welding something so small. I was going to throw away the scissors. I'm surprised the heat didn't distort the blades. Now the scissors are actually pretty useful.

Comments

author
england01 (author)2013-09-23

What about a Victorinox Swiss Army classic SD? It does the same things + scissors I have a micra in my drawer and I might try this. Thanks :)

author
pishro (author)2013-04-09

hi, im saeid , thank you so much for learning it was so useful i made an key place , thank you again have a best wishes 4 u )

author
Decder (author)2013-04-06

Nice!

author
DM5k (author)2013-04-01

Awesome

author
3366carlos (author)2013-03-30

very nice. i carry a victorinox officer's knife, very small and very sharp little blade and scissors, i got to have scissors.

author
congokid (author)2013-03-28

with a slightly larger multitool and a using a couple of the shorter tools on it i was able to put a couple of keys in the spot where the pliers used to be.

author
vincent7520 (author)2013-03-25

Great idea, great work, great Inst' !…

But do NOT take this thru airport security.
Better have a second key ring when flying.

author
noahspurrier (author)vincent75202013-03-25

I thought the recently TSA removed this silly restriction on pocket knives with blades under a few inches. I usually check my bags anyway, but it would still be nice not to have to remember to pack this little knife in my checked bags.

author
vincent7520 (author)noahspurrier2013-03-26

nice job anyway !
It may give ideas to Leatherman for a new product !

author
mattdvm (author)2013-03-24

I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO PUT YOUR KEYS IN AS BLADES. I THINK THAT WOULD WORK IF YOU HAD AN OLD CAR AND DIDNT NEED THE REMOTE.

author
noahspurrier (author)mattdvm2013-03-25

I added a new photo to Step 1. You can see that I already cut the bows off my keys. I could put the keys in a folding knife body, but that seems sort if gimmicky to me (as if my key ring doesn't already look gimmicky, I know). My main goal was just to have a light, compact key ring... I spend far too much time and effort towards achieving simple minimalism. Oh, the irony. But really cutting off the key bows is only like a five minute job with a angle grinder.

author
pdrift (author)2013-03-22

Dude.... I did the exact same thing about a year ago to my micra.. its the most used item on my edc lanyard/keychain.. never thought of doing an instrucrable though, good work.
I bought my micra cheap on ebay but when it arrived it had a big gouge on the scissors. So I did this to it.

author
pdrift (author)pdrift2013-03-25

here's mine..

IMG_20130322_210138.jpg
author
noahspurrier (author)pdrift2013-03-25

It looks good. I'm glad I'm not the only one who prefers the knife this way.

author
Khord (author)2013-03-25

Is the small washer shown in step 2 used in the reassembly?

author
noahspurrier (author)Khord2013-03-25

You may add the small, thin washer to the large cluster of blades increase tension. I would put it between the knife blade and flat head screwdriver as this will help increase clearance between those two blades. This would make it less likely for the knife edge to ever collide and get hung up if it were to be closed with side pressure. This has never actually happened to me, but if I were adding the washer anyway I figure it might as well also help make clearance problems less likely... I was iriginally going to mention this in the assembly steps, but it seemed like a minor detail and I wanted to keep the instructions succinct.

author
shizumadrive (author)2013-03-24

I dont really seen the point as I think the micra is small enough already and this just halves and removes the scissors. Not saying others wont find it useful.

I do think though that you could probably grind down some keys and attach them to the main housing of the micra.

author

The modified knife is half the weight and half the size as the original. That's the only motivation for doing this. I added a new picture to Step 1. You can see I already shave the bows off my keys to make them smaller and lighter. I don't feel the need to put them in any sort of housing to make them look like a folding knife since my motivation is to save weight. The only reason a folding knife needs a housing is to protect you from the edge; otherwise, I'd just put all the tools on a ring and let them dangle. It's just a personal preference. I don't like to carry around a heavy key ring, but I like having a small, sharp knife handy.

author

Yeah that makes sense. I think its just some see certain things as more useful or desirable. I may have keys that are too sharp or maybe I'd like them quieter so I think it'd be useful.

Not knocking this at all its a very interesting project.

author
allindsay (author)2013-03-24

I'm confused, you can already put this on your keyring, that is where mine is. Why take it apart, loose some of the tools and put it right back on a ring? Not hating, just wondering.

author
noahspurrier (author)allindsay2013-03-25

It's just to make it smaller and lighter. The only tool you give up are the scissors. The modified knife is half the size and half the weight of the original.

author
nvnusman (author)2013-03-24

Why discard any of the tools? Why not relocate them to the other handle with the same methods and keep them in your tool box againt unforseen needs?

author
noahspurrier (author)nvnusman2013-03-25

No tools except the scissors were discarded. All the other parts that were discarded were not tools. They were the tensioners, pins, and body of the scissors. Even the scissors I managed to turn into a functional pair by welding on handles made from the discarded tensioners.

author
elic (author)2013-03-24

Very nice. If you gave up the bolt on the narrow edge, you could use it as a a key ring by putting a ring instead the bolt.

author
timwikander (author)2013-03-24

Great idea and execution. Love it.

author
nanosec12 (author)2013-03-22

I have a micra in my desk that just might get taken apart, thanks to your instructible !!