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Leatherman Squirt PS4 Review

A tiny, feature packed piece of every day carry equipment for casual and occasional use
Leatherman Squirt PS4
Photo: Leatherman
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Price:  $40 List | $39.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Small, well-built, good selection of tools
Cons:  Small, flexible pliers
Manufacturer:   Leatherman
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 22, 2019
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43
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#18 of 21
  • Functions - 40% 2
  • Construction Quality - 25% 6
  • Ergonomics - 20% 3
  • Portability - 15% 9

Our Verdict

In our testing, the Leatherman Squirt PS4 is near the top of an important sub-category. It is the smallest in our test but has a blade that rivals some of the full-size folders. It is the lightest, but cuts wire and squeezes with the best of them. Read on to see just how close the Squirt was to earning an award. This multi-tool is an excellent addition to anyone's key ring. You won't tackle huge jobs, but you will find a use for the Squirt every single day.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Leatherman Squirt PS4
Awards  Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $39.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
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Compare at 3 sellers
$25 ListCheck Price at REI
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$22.07 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Small, well-built, good selection of toolsComprehensive, well-made, aftermarket accessories and carry optionsSmall for carry, effective function, spring-loaded pliersInexpensive and well-made, spring-loaded pliers, scissors, pocket clip, one-handed bladeTiny, well made, excellent bottle opener
Cons Small, flexible pliersProprietary bit driver, no pocket clip includedAwkward and squished phillips drive, main blade requires two hands and fingernailHybrid straight/serrated blade, squashed Phillips driver, short main bladePackage opener is specialized, screwdrivers are tiny
Bottom Line A tiny, feature packed piece of every day carry equipment for casual and occasional useA full-function tool from a great manufacturer at a reasonable priceFitting into a niche size sub-category, this neither full size nor keychain tool has functions that are worthy and effectiveA budget tool with real value and function, this model is compact with a feature set that does much of what you want and little that you don'tA keychain tool whose utility belies its tiny stature
Rating Categories Leatherman Squirt PS4 Leatherman Wave+ SOG Micro ToolClip Leatherman Wingman Gerber Dime
Functions (40%)
2.0
8.0
4.0
4.0
3.0
Construction Quality (25%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
Ergonomics (20%)
3.0
7.0
5.0
8.0
3.0
Portability (15%)
9.0
5.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
Specs Leatherman Squirt PS4 Leatherman Wave+ SOG Micro ToolClip Leatherman Wingman Gerber Dime
Number of functions 8 18 + bits 8 10 9
Weight (ounces) 2.0 oz 8.5 oz, 9.5 oz with case 3.2 oz 6.8 oz, 7.8 oz with sheath 2.3 oz
Locking tools? None All but pliers None Scissors and blade None
Pliers type Spring-loaded pliers Needlenose, regular, wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, crimper Spring-loaded pliers Spring-loaded regular and needlenose Spring loaded needle nose pliers
Tools accessible without deploying pliers All Blades, saw, file All but phillips driver Blade and scissors All
Blades and type 1 straight drop point 1 straight, 1 serrated 1 straight blade 1 hybrid serrated/straight drop point 1 straight blade
Scissors Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Number of screwdrivers 2 5 included/integrated. More available aftermarket for proprietary driver 3 3 2
File? Yes Yes, wood/metal and a diamond-coated file Yes Yes No
Saw? No Yes No No No
Openers Bottle Can and bottle Bottle Can, bottle, and a unique box opener Bottle, package
Other important features None Ruler Wirecutter Very small ruler Tweezers
Sheath included? No Yes No Yes No
Other carry options Key ring attachment Pocket Pocket, lanyard, clip Pocket, Pocket clip Key ring attachment
Closed dimensions (Length by thickness, in inches) 2.3 x 0.5 4 x 0.7 3.9x0.5 3.8 x 0.7 2.8 x 0.6
Open length (pliers, in inches) 4 in 6.3 in 3.9 in 6.2 in 4 in
Open overall length (primary blade deployed, in inches) 3.8 in 6.9 in 5.8 in 6.4 in 4.1 in
Length of primary blade effective edge (inches) 1.5 in 2.8in 1.9 in 2.4 in 1.4 in

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Leatherman Squirt PS4 is a tiny chunk of well-built and functional steel and aluminum. Strong pliers, an excellent blade, and precise scissors in a keychain-ready package fulfill the needs of many daily multi-tool users.

Performance Comparison



Lead tester Jed Porter with his 2012 deer. Jed was equipped with a...
Lead tester Jed Porter with his 2012 deer. Jed was equipped with a knife and his Leatherman Squirt. The knife proved to be inadequate. His only option was to field dress, skin, and quarter the entire deer with the tiny blade of the Squirt. True story.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Functions


In our testing, people naturally gravitated to the tools that include scissors. All models include a blade, screwdrivers, and pliers. It is the scissors that set apart most of our award winners. Leatherman's Squirt series started with the P4 and then later added the PS4. The S stands for scissors. The PS4 has 'em and the P4 doesn't. Recently Leatherman discontinued the P4, because the PS4 has all the advantages of the former, plus scissors. One tester has used the P4 for years and is excited for the inclusion of scissors to his favorite tool. The suite of options in the Squirt PS4 is unreal, considering the small stature.

The blade is small but functional. One of our hunting testers, while bringing a knife that didn't make the cut in our Pocket Knife Review, also carries a Squirt. His pocket knife used for hunting turned out to not be up to the task of field dressing his deer. He had to use his tiny Squirt blade to dress, skin, and quarter a deer. And it did the job. The blade's edge is sharp and durable. The other features in the Squirt PS4 are also useful. The bottle opener is handy. The file is excellent, and the screwdrivers work for light-duty turning. If you require more torque, this sort of design will come up short, regardless of the exceptional construction quality.

The functions and layout of the PS4. All of the non pliers tools are...
The functions and layout of the PS4. All of the non pliers tools are deployable without opening the pliers.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Construction Quality


Leatherman's long pedigree of making multi-tools shows in the refinements on this tool. All hinges and springs are tight. The pliers withstand as much pressure as one can apply to the short handles. Even all gunked up with pocket lint, the tools fold out smoothly and reliably. The spring tension in pliers, as well as in engaging the fold out tools, is tuned to each application. The aluminum side plates will show some scratching with usage, but the rivets joining the whole shebang remain tight even after years of use.

In our testing, one of the most common uses of multi-tool pliers is...
In our testing, one of the most common uses of multi-tool pliers is pulling frayed cord or shoelace through tight eyelets. Most frequently this means re-lacing shoes. But here an emergency repair to a blown out flip flop.
Photo: Megan Seel

Ergonomics


Smaller multi-tools are inherently tougher to use. One can't exert the same leverage, and the small handles are simply more difficult to manipulate. The Squirt PS4 is no exception. In many ways, portability and ergonomics are opposed. More portable, like the Squirt, and it'll be tougher to use. However, Leatherman's small tool strikes a great balance. All the surfaces are curved for in-hand comfort. All the secondary tools are accessible without engaging the pliers. The pliers are spring-loaded for easy manipulation. The fingernail insets are sharp and in reach even for the most chewed-down nails. In the pursuit of compact build, all locking mechanisms were omitted from the PS4. Our testers find this to be ok. It is unlikely a user will use the PS4 for extended or heavy duty usage (backcountry deer dressing notwithstanding).

Portability


The Squirt PS4 earns top marks in portability. It is the smallest and lightest in our test and comes equipped with a tiny split-ring to immediately stow on your keys. It is smaller than most modern car keys and remote fobs. You'll hardly notice it until you need it; just what we're on the hunt to find.

The Squirt PS4 takes up less space on a keychain than most modern...
The Squirt PS4 takes up less space on a keychain than most modern electronic door lock remote controls, and is arguably far more functional.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Value


Provided you keep the blade sharp and don't lose it, this thing will serve you for a lifetime. For a price below most in our test, this is an excellent value. Stacked up against the literal big dogs, this tiny little thing doesn't stand out at all. However, when you consider that it is 1/3 the size of most of the tools, and therefore sits nearly alone in an entirely different class, the overall score does not matter nearly as much.

Conclusion


We heartily recommend this tool for keychain carry for virtually everyone. Only those who regularly need to tackle heavy tasks will need something more than the Squirt PS4. We even recommend this tool for backcountry usage. Most multi-tools are too heavy for inclusion on human-powered adventures. However, the Squirt PS4 weighs less than many pocket knives and can be used for a great deal of improvised wilderness repair tasks. Our lead tester, even on the lightest of ultra-light missions, always carries his tiny Squirt. He sleeps on a square of 3/8 inch closed cell foam and wears the same t-shirt for weeks to save weight, but he brings his Squirt everywhere.

Jediah Porter