This post has been spawned from my interest in pocket-sized tools, and trying to build the ultimate handy set of keys for my work keys. I have a few tools in my collection already, and I’ll write a short review of those, as well as showing some tools off my wish list. This list ignores multitools I have reviewed previously. Most of them are far too big to be included in this post anyway.
I recently got my hands on a Gerber Artifact, which looked awesome. It has a small pry bar, Bottle opener, “x-acto” style replaceable blade, and a Philips head screwdriver on the tip. I had nothing like it in my collection, so i put in an order
When my order arrived, I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the build quality. The main body appears to be cast, and its hard to fault that, however the locking mechanism and pivot were a little ordinary. The blade is difficult to open and close. The pivot seems overly stiff. I’m not sure if this is the fault of the product, or if the tool was tightened after manufacture.
This brings me to my next point, the condition of the screws on the pivot and the ones holding the locking mechanism in place. It appears they have been abused somewhat. the torx screw in the pivot looks like it has had an allen key used in it to tighten it. To the tools credit this may have been done at the store I bought it from. Next, the two Torx screws holding the locking spring in look as if they had been beaten with a hammer, as well as having an allen key in them (the edges are somewhat distorted)
Really, when you consider the price which was paid, I can’t really fault the tool (it was $10 plus postage in a package of other stuff). It is solid, and very usable
Pocket Wrench II
The Pocket Wrench II is a neat little tool. It seems simple, with no moving parts, but has several useful features, such as a pry bar, a rule with inches and centimeters, and its main feature, the “universal” wrench, or as we would call it over here, spanner. I am yet to own one of these, but eventually, I would love to get my hands on one of these for my collection.
This one isn’t a specific tool, its a whole person. Peter Atwood is probably considered “THE GUY” when it comes to making small key sized multitools. his tools are better described as fine crafted works of art, and they are very exclusive. Peter releases the tools in small batches, which he announces on his blog, and the batches never last too long before they are all sold out. You really have to be on the ball to get one of his creations. I don’t own any of his tools yet, but eventually I might splash out for one, if i can catch a batch with some avaliable
Swiss+tech Utili Key 6 in 1
the Utili-key is probably one of the first on mini, on keys tools I added to my collection. I attribute the discovery of this fun little tool to my sister, who actually found it first. I eventually found myself one, and has been on my keys ever since.
Swiss+Tech Micro Plus
along side the Utili-key, I have added a Swiss+tech Micro-Plus to my keys also. these are a little pair of folding pliers, where, as you can see from the image, the handles are made up of a selection of screwdriver ends. The pliers on this critter are not in any way, needle point, they are quite wide, and short. The wide and short jaws come with the design, but can limit some uses of the tool. the biggest issue I have with this tool is that when folded out into pliers, there is no way of locking the handle into position. Again, this is really dictated by the simplistic design of the tools, and it is something you should be able to deal with.
Swiss+tech make a few other mini tools – mostly variants fo the miniature pliers with more features. when I get around to it, I wouldn’t mind upgrading the micro plus to a Micro Max, which appears to be mostly an addition to some different sized screw driver bits as part of the handle
So there we have it. Short, and far from exhaustive, but I hope someone out there found it helpful or interesting.