The Battle of the Mini-titans
The reasons for writing about gear and their reviews are many.
Of course I do enjoy writing about it, that’s good enough.
Money being a limited resource for most of us, I myself will read lots of reviews before spending a single buck, and I advice everyone to do the same.
I also enjoy using them and having them handy. As my son opened the gifts grandpa brought today, the Minichamp earned its space in my pocket once again, cutting the tape and small plastic straps, later the wonderful Minichamp Philips tool was used to open the battery compartment.
But there’s more to it. First, while coping and dealing with problems is a matter of mindset, a tool makes solving those problems a much easier task. No matter how much mindset you have, you can’t cut rope or unscrew the plastic cover of an air conditioner unit with mindset.
You need tools, and the more you learn to deal with stuff, improvise, fix things, the more important your tools become.
This doesn’r sound very survival related but there are other cases were fixing something may make a world of a difference. I’ve used my knife and a bit of tape to fix a leaking car hose, without such a fix I would have been stuck on the road. I’ve used my Gerber multitool to replace a windshield sweeper during a stormy night. Without such tool ( and LED) I wouldn’t have been able to fix it.
Victorinox Midnight Minichamp
For several months now, the Minichamp has earned a place in my little tinkering heart. I have used it to install a network card on my PC motherboard, tighten the screws on my car door’s lock, cut dozens of strings, cut out newspaper articles and write down phone numbers when no pen was handy at the time. For me, there’s no equal when considering size/quality/utility/price. I do love the Victorinox Minichamp. Read previous posts about it.
Leatherman Squirt P4
But then came the Leatherman Squirt P4, Leatherman’s keychain multitool.
I liked what I saw, but went cautiously, buying a used one on ebay for 10 bucks plus shipping. Worn exterior, but little real use. Perfect.
I got it, liked it, started using it, and the more I use it the more I like it.
Never thought the Minichamp could have such competition. Both are about the same size, have somewhat similar tools and are very well made. Which one to pick?
Blade: The most often used tool and the harder to improvise. Here, Leatherman wins with a blade that, even though its as long as the Minichamp, its wider and thicker, about 40% bigger than the one in the Minichamp. The Minichamp one is clearly more fragile, but at least you have two blades in case you brake the main one.
Screwdrivers: The P4 has a flat Phillips screwdriver that works kind of ok. The Minichamp Phillips is a little work of art, somehow fits most screws and works perfectly. The P4 has nicer flat screwdrivers(small and large) , but the Minichamp has the cutitcle pusher that works like a large flat and a small one with a ruler.
Awl: The P4 has one, but I improvised making holes with the Minichamp’s scrapping tool.
File: Both have one but the P4 one is much nicer.
Spring action pliers and wire cutter, a nice blade, nice small screwdriver.
Scissors, ruler, red LED light and pen.
Squirt P4 Tools:
· 420HC Clip Point Knife
· Spring-action Needlenose pliers
· Regular Pliers
· Wire Cutters
· Extra-small Screwdriver
· Medium Screwdriver
· Flat Phillips Screwdriver
· Wood/Metal File
· Bottle Opener
Midnight Minichamp Features:
· Nail file
· Nail cleaner
· Cuticle Pusher
· Emergency blade / letter opener
· Orange peeler
· Bottle opener
· Magnetic Phillips screwdriver
· Wire stripper
· Key ring
· LED mini light
· Retractable ballpoint pen
So, both have a few similarities, but if I had to choose just one, the Minichamp has more uses and it proves that on daily basis. Yet the pliers … I settled with the Minichamp on my house keys and the P4 for my car keys along with a small LED.