Many hikers and campers prefer full-sized multi-tools, but some prefer carrying smaller and lighter alternatives.
Often called keychain multi-tools, these devices allow outdoor enthusiasts to be prepared for just about anything without having to lug around a bulky multi-tool.
If you like the idea of picking up a smaller and lighter tool, you basically have two high-quality options: the Gerber Dime, which we discuss elsewhere, and the Nextool Mini Flagship Pro — the one we’re focusing on today.
There are scads of other options in this category, including a ton made by fly-by-night manufacturers. But none — including all five of Leatherman’s keychain-sized multi-tools — stack up very well next to these two.
And while we certainly think highly of the Dime, the Nextool Mini Flagship Pro definitely holds its own and is the better choice for some.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about this helpful little doodad and see how it held up in our tests.
Nextool Mini Flagship Pro Multi-Tool: The Basics
The Nextool Mini Flagship Pro is a high-end, keychain-sized multi-tool.
But this one isn’t like most of the other micro multi-tools on the market, which are essentially cheap novelty products that won’t hold up on the trail. To the contrary, Nextool’s micro multi-tool is built like a tank and features heavy-duty tools that you can depend on.
Made from stainless steel, the Nextool feels hefty in the hand, while still being so light that you won’t even notice it tucked in your pack or pocket.
And that’s exactly what it is supposed to be — a lightweight yet capable multi-tool that’s easy to carry.
The Nextool Mini Flagship Pro Multi-Tool: Specs & Features
We’ll talk about the tools that come with the Nextool Mini Flagship Pro and our experiences with it shortly. But let’s begin by sharing the tool’s specifications and outlining a few of its important features.
Nextool Multi-Tool Specifications
- Weight: 2.72 oz.
- Closed Length: 2.4”
- Open Length: 3.74”
- Blade Length: 1.875″
- Width: 1.02″
- Overall Thickness: 0.62″
Nextool Multi-Tool Important Features
- Made of stainless steel
- Scissors and plier share a handle
- Plier and scissors are spring-loaded
- Available in four finishes
- Includes key ring
There are two important takeaways here.
Number one, the Nextool Mini Flagship Pro is heavier than most other high-end keychain-sized multi-tools.
It’s nearly three-quarters of an ounce heavier than the Leatherman Squirt PS4, and about half an ounce heavier than the Gerber Dime, despite being roughly the same length as both (the Squirt is a bit shorter; the Dime is a bit longer).
However, we don’t view this as a bad thing. In fact, we actually like the extra heft.
The second key takeaway is that the Nextool Mini Flagship Pro features spring-loaded pliers and scissors. Now, both other comparable keychain-sized multi-tools (the Dime and the Squirt PS4) also feature spring-loaded pliers and scissors, but most budget-priced alternatives do not.
That may seem like a minor issue, but you’ll definitely notice how much more difficult it is to use non-spring-loaded tools the first time you break out your bargain basement multi-tool and try to use them (especially in the case of the scissors).
The Nextool Mini Flagship Pro Multi-Tool: Included Tools
The Nextool Mini Flagship Pro comes with a relatively standard complement of tools.
The manufacturer lists 12 tools in total on their website:
- Needle Nose Plier
- Regular Plier
- Wire Cutters
- Nail File
- Phillips Screwdriver
- Flat Screwdriver
- Can Opener
- Bottle Opener
- Keychain Hole
- Keychain Ring
But in other places (such as the official Nextool Amazon listing), they only list 10.
This is a more honest assessment, which basically omits the keychain hole and keychain ring. The inclusion of these make us chuckle a bit anyway — they’re hardly “tools” in the conventional sense.
But this isn’t really a big deal. Manufacturers want to brag that their multi-tools have more included tools than their competitors, so you’ll often see these kinds of questionable inclusions.
It’s worth noting that the wire cutters included with the Mini Flagship Pro are characterized as “soft wire cutters” by the manufacturer. They’ve rated them suitable for cutting copper wire up to 0.15 millimeters in thickness. Point being, these aren’t going to cut through 10-guage wire effectively.
Our Experiences with the Nextool Mini Flagship Pro Multi-Tool
The Nextool Mini Flagship Pro arrived in a small but surprisingly heavy box. Holding it, you can’t help but notice that this is a solid multi-tool. This isn’t some cheap piece of junk.
The first thing you’ll notice is that all of the tools, save for the plier and scissors, are accessible without requiring you to open it up (it’s a butterfly opening multi-tool).
So, we began looking at each of the tools, starting with those that don’t require you to open it.
- Right out of the box, the knife blade is crazy sharp. It features a double-edged blade and what we’d call a sheepsfoot design, but others may actually consider it a cleaver or Wharncliffe blade. In either case, it’s not ideally suited for puncturing tasks, but it works very well in razor-blade-like applications.
- The bottle opener and can opener are separate tools, though they’re both situated on the same “arm.” This is a nice little detail, as many multi-tools (including some full-sized models) require you to use a single tool for both types of tasks. Both openers are slightly small, but they work well enough.
- We loved that the double-sided file is larger than the ones included on some other keychain-sized multi-tools. You won’t want to use this for really heavy-duty work, but it’s far more functional than the one included with the Gerber Dime. And both sides are pretty rough, meaning that this is a legitimate tool, not just an afterthought thrown on to help inflate the tool count.
- The flathead screwdriver is essentially just the flattened end of the file. We feel like it is a little small, but it’ll get the job done. Plus, because the file is relatively long, the flathead driver is easier to use than the ones included with the Dime.
- Unfortunately, the Phillips head driver is kind of a joke. It’s entirely too flat to be called a true Phillips head, and it honestly took us a minute to even figure out what it was. It would probably work in a pinch, but we didn’t like using it to drive screws at all.
- The keychain ring is fairly big and easy to connect to your key chain. It’s not the strongest one we’ve ever seen, but we aren’t worried about it breaking under normal use.
- You have to open up the tool to access the pliers, but they’re fairly impressive once you do. The spring is strong, as are the arms of the pliers. They also grip small items securely and feature serious ridges to ensure things won’t slip free easily. The wire cutters are sharp, but they’re almost too small to be of any real use.
- The scissors are easily the most impressive tool included with the Mini Flagship Pro. They share a handle with the plier, which makes them very sturdy, and the blades are both large and very sharp. Unlike the scissors included with many other micro multi-tools, these are actually useful. They’ll make quick work of braided fishing line or thin nylon webbing, and we were flat-out impressed by them.
All in all, the Nextool Mini Flagship Pro is a well-built product that exudes quality.
Most of the individual tools work well and they’re all exceedingly rugged — we don’t worry about them breaking at all. Sure, you could certainly get the knife blade to snap if you tried using it as a pry bar, but it’s undoubtedly going to work well when used as intended.
And there’s one other important thing to note, which we only briefly mentioned above: The scissors and pliers share a handle. This design helps make them feel even more dependable in the hand, and it’s one of the best features built in to the entire tool.
The Nextool Mini Flagship Pro Multi-Tool: Pros & Cons
Like every other multi-tool in existence, the Nextool Mini Flagship Pro has its strong points and its not so strong points.
Honestly, we really like this multi-tool, so there aren’t a ton of downsides to it. Nevertheless, we’d characterize the pros and cons as follows:
Nextool Mini Flagship Pro Multi-Tool Pros
- Extremely durable and rugged
- The blade is crazy sharp out of the box
- Shared handle design provides strength
- Needle nose pliers are quite nimble
- Impressive scissors for a micro multi-tool
Nextool Mini Flagship Pro Multi-Tool Cons
- The cross driver is garbage
- The tools can be difficult to open
- Some will find it heavy
All in all, we consider the fact that the tools aren’t especially easy to access as the biggest downside. And while we like the shared handle design, that does create some issues. Specifically, it’s kind of tricky to close the scissors.
And that caused some minor problems.
Remember how we noted that the knife blade was incredibly sharp? Well, I actually cut my finger on it the first time I tried to close the scissors.
That’s admittedly user error (and you’re encouraged to laugh at me for this kind of blunder), but it’s worth mentioning.
User Reviews: What Do Others Think of the Nextool Mini Flagship Pro Multi-Tool?
We clearly like the Mini Flagship Pro, but what about others? How did other outdoor enthusiasts feel about it?
By and large, they echo our sentiments. In particular, the scissors and overall durability elicited strong praise.
I have used this multitool every day since buying it and it has found a permanent home on my keychain. The blade is sharp, the pliers are precise enough to use as tweezers, and everything feels fairly sturdy.
Amazon Reviewer Johnathan Shilts
A real usable tool set!
Amazon Reviewer Thomas
Scissors, large for a small tool, zipped right through thin paper, thread, thick cardboard, and zip ties.
Amazon Reviewer J.G.
Despite the fact that most reviews were positive, a few reviewers did find some faults with the tool. However, most such “complaints” were quite mild.
This one almost looks like a switchblade and is a little larger than what I wanted.
Anonymous Amazon Reviewer
And we straight-up disagree with some of the negative reviews.
For example, this reviewer was critical of the tool’s file:
The scissors are quite good but the file is completely useless. The ridges are very blunt and don’t seem to file fingernails or anything else.
Amazon Reviewer Kindle Customer
We found the file worked quite well. No, you’re not going to use it to Shawshank yourself out of prison with it, but it grinds through fingernails like butter and is even capable of filing metal.
But let’s end on one that echoes our sentiments pretty well:
Knife and bottle opener are a bit stiff to deploy. The Gerber Dime is only $5 more but offers better tools for your needs.
Amazon Reviewer Raphael
Ultimately, we really like the Mini Flagship Pro, but it’s not ideal for all hikers or campers.
Bottom Line: Is the Nextool Mini Flagship Pro Multi-Tool Worth It?
Look, it isn’t perfect, but this little multi-tool has a ton of things going for it.
The scissors and plier feel stronger than the ones included in any other micro multi-tool we examined. The shared handle design makes it feel completely dependable, and the scissors specifically are a dream. The knife blade is also impressive, as are the file, can opener, and bottle opener.
Accessing the individual tools is harder than we’d like it to be, and the Phillips head screwdriver should cause Nextool to hang their collective head in shame, but these issues aside, we struggle to find much to complain about.
The tool’s weight should likely be the deciding factor for most hikers and backpackers.
If you don’t mind carrying a slightly beefy multi-tool (or you’d prefer to do so), then it is really hard to beat the Nextool. But if you’d rather stick to something lighter but slightly less rugged, you may want to look at the Gerber Dime instead.
We were big fans of the Nextool Mini Flagship Pro, despite a few (relatively minor) reservations.
But enough about our opinion — what do you think of it? Do you find the weight to be an acceptable tradeoff? Do you disagree with our assessment of the Phillips head driver? Did you like the scissors as much as we did?
Let us know in the comments!