Why I don't own a smaller multitool

I'm not sure who engineered these things, but starting with the Micra and then carrying over to the SOG "cross (something)" and now to even the Buck Mini-tool, I've noticed the conspicuous absence of a can opener on these tools. Why on Earth would someone set out to design such multi use "tool" and not even put a can opener on it? To me, this is poor engineering, to say the least. I guess I'll continue to carry my Victorinox Tinker for a few more years yet.
This brings to mind a suggestion, though-
how about convincing one of these companies to make a "Bladeforums" edition mini tool with the addition of a can opener, perhaps instead of the fingernail file or the cap lifter?

Jedi, its not exactly a multi toolbut the Kershaw modified talon has a opening notch that doubles as a bottle opener. The really nice thing about it is you don't have to open the knife to use it. I already had one picked up a spare from the blade forums store for only $44.95 half of what I paid for the first. Its a great knife at a great price.


who dares, wins

Oct 3, 1998
I agree with Jedi. You don't have to be very imaginative to see how a can opener might come in handy in a pinch. My favorite "end of the world as we know it" scenario includes my SwissTool and me, fat and happy with Spaghetti-O's sauce dripping down my chin, in a supermarket beseiged by zombies in black robes with no pockets.

David Rock

Never carry a knife shorter than your schnoz.
Hey guys, it seems like Jedi was talking about the Micra-style tools. He wasn't talking about the bigger multitools, all of which do have can openers.

The micra-style tools are keychain tools, and their whole point is to be compact and light. I wonder, right off the bat, if this small size and lightness precludes having enough strength to be able to open very many large cans without snapping.

I think the logistics of adding a canopener to a micro tool is also challenging. It's gotta be big enough that you can make reasonable-sized strokes. But you really don't want to make the tool much bigger if you're going to market it as a generally keychain-carry tool.

These small tools are supposed to do a small job without having to run around the house. Opening a can with such a small tool is never really a small job. Given a reasonable size can, I can almost certainly walk into the living room and open it with the electric can opener or even the regular-sized manual can opener faster than I can open it with a micro-tool. Hell, I can probably go into a another room and open it with my full-size multitool faster than I can open with with that tiny micro-tool.

As a result, I'm not too unhappy with the lack of a can opener. Besides the fact that I rarely seem to open a can outside the kitchen (as opposed to needing scissors or screwdrivers or bottle openers), I feel the compactness of a micro-tool probably is good reason to leave the can opener off.


I like the Kershaw Talon, But I have little use for a cap lifter. Take care!


[This message has been edited by Jedi Knife (edited 12 May 1999).]
I've got a P-38 on my keychain, right next to the Micra.
I also have a Swisstool on the belt for really big cans.

I will say that the P-38 is more than worth it's weight in gold.

God bless!

Romans 10:9-10

"Military" Fans Unite!!

[This message has been edited by William Johnson (edited 12 May 1999).]

Wow that's a vivid picture you paint, kind of reminds me of the "Night of the Meteor" movie. The frightening scenario I had in mind involved the pop-top breaking off of my can of pears during breaktime at work while hungry, very hungry. (Now THAT's pretty frightning!)

I agree with you, the P38 is a marvelous little item- I remember my father carried one on his keyring for years. I guess there aren't as many around now since our military stopped using the "C" rations. It's hard to believe a large tool manufacturer like Leatherman couldn't incorporate a can opener into their Micra, though, seeing as how the P38 is as small as it is.

I agree that these little key chain tools should have a can opener (I have a micra and a P38 on my key chain). Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep carrying the P38 (I've carried it for 31 years now).

Mmmmm...supercharged twin Allison engines...four .50 Brownings...20mm for extra fun...I wish I had a P-38 on MY key chain


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
I brought home 3 items from 2 years of participation in the unplesantness in Southeast Asia in the 60's.
A USMC issue K-Bar,a nylon poncho liner and a P-38 can opener. Still use them almost daily.The P-38 is on a paracord neck cord with a Micra.
It is the best tool you can get for 50 cents at the local surplus outlet.If everything worked as well in this world we would truly be an advanced socity.

Those who beat their arms into plowshares will plow for those who do not
I, too, carry a P38 to supplement my Micra, which I carry to supplement my Super Tool (!) Of course the ST has a serviceable can opener, but redundancy at so little cost in weight, space and expense is irresistable.
I came by my 6 P38s in the last years of the 50s. It seemed to be just about the most elegant design you could imagine for such a thing; simple, effective and cheap. I was impressed enough to collect them. They were distributed in every 4th B unit, which was a box containing C ration main course, canned cake/fudge/cocoa (insoluable), toilet paper, cigarettes and other stuff. The theory,
I suppose, was that with enough distribution, sooner or later everyone would have a P38 of his own. Many guys carried them on their dogtags, I toted mine in my plastic coin purse and still do. They and a GI prayer book are the only of a few souvenirs from my army days that I still have.

Interesting to note how many guys on this forum do the Micra/P38 bit and how many got them GI.
Jedi, I agree. I picked up a Mini-Buck, hoping it might replace my SAK Tinker. Not even close. It is a handy keychain addition, but that is about it. I wish a manufacturer would come up with a pocket sized multi-tool, something about 50% larger than the Mini Buck. Leatherman has a version with folding handle extensions, but I wasn't overly impressed with the tool selection that came with it (no Philips - if I remember correctly).

Does anyone know of a midsized multi-tool, that still has pliers, a couple of sizes of flat screwdrivers, a Philips, can and bottle opener?

Bill (Yes, we carry knives in Canada - we need them to fight off the polar bears and militant Eskimos ;) )

Have you seen the 400series Gerber multilock? It is indeed midsize. I really like the SOG cross grip, but I will never buy one seeing how they didn't have enough foresight to include a can opener. But be sure to check out the 400 series Multilock, it sounds like what you're looking for.

I bought a Gerber 400 Compact Sport a while ago. It feels like the right size for me. Large enought for a proper grip, but goes in the belt pouch without noticing. It has can and bottle opener, and scissors that was my requirement. Ossi
P-38? I guess you could put it on a keychain using the lanyard loop. Still I would hate for it to go off in my pocket. Would a smaller Walther be better? Maybe a PPK?

(Sorry, all. I really am.)

It doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to add a P-38 style opener to a Micra. I wouldn't mind using the main blade. Done that a few times.

The Gerber plier-tools' can and bottle openers have a fatal flaw -- they face the wrong way. If the tool opened wider it wouldn't be an issue (the can opener, admittedly works better than the bottle opener). Am I getting my point across? Let me know if I am not making sense (again

In addition to my Micra and small Sebenza, I always carry a Victorinox Scientist (more for the full-size inline phillips head than for anything). Instead of the standard separate can opener and cap lifter, it has a "combo tool" that is supposed to be both. I tried it once to open a can and determined that I would be better off using the knife blade.

My $0.017898 (after taxes)


Clay Fleischer

Picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue...

[This message has been edited by CD Fleischer (edited 13 May 1999).]
Just FYI, they still make P-38 style can openers for the military for the T rations (which serve something like 18 people).

They are a bit longer, but still work, and the length makes them easier to use.

You can get them from a variety of the surplus stores, I think I saw them in a Cheaper than Dirt or Ranger Joes catalog.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here