Thursday, January 18, 2018

Another Swiss+Tech Pocket Tool

Since I reviewed one of the Swiss+Tech (ST) tools last week, I thought I'd keep going with a few more reviews of their products. When I find a brand of something that I like, I tend to explore their full line to see if the quality stays the same. That's one of the reasons I like Sawyer water filters and Nebo flashlights; quality is consistent throughout their line of products.

Back in late 2015, I added my Every Day Carry (EDC) list to the ones our other authors had done. One of the items on that list is another ST tool that I received as a gift which has been with me for about eight years now. That tool is the ST66676, a six-in-one multi-tool that looks vaguely like a key and attaches to a key ring. Mine is a bit dinged and pitted from the years of riding around in my pocket, so I'll use the picture from Amazon to illustrate.

The six tools available are:
  1. Straight screwdriver: Smaller than a #1, roughly 3/16 of an inch wide. It's the squared off piece at the top of the picture.
  2. Philips screwdriver: It appears to be a #2 pattern but without the depth. You can see it on the "left" leg.
  3. Bottle opener: Functional, but the arm isn't long enough for much leverage. Also on the left leg in the picture.
  4. Straight cutting blade: The front half of the "right" leg, about an inch of blade.
  5. Serrated cutting blade: The rear half of the "right", also about an inch long.
  6. Micro screwdriver for eyeglasses: Also serves as the locking tab for when the tool is closed. The protrusion on the curved piece at the top.
My thoughts, pro and con.
  • Like most of the ST tools, this one is designed to securely lock when closed around a key ring. The latching mechanism is stout and, when coupled with the small size of the tool makes, it a challenge to open. I doubt you'd be able to open this one-handed, and good fingernails are a major plus. There's just not much to grip when opening it.
  • I'm not sure which type of stainless they used, but it has held up to several years of abuse pretty well. Mine is showing some minor pitting from the sweat and chemicals it has been exposed to, but no rust. Like the multi-tool I reviewed last week, there is no plastic in this tool.
  • The Philips screwdriver is actually made of two pieces riveted together. This probably makes the manufacturing easier while providing a groove for the cutting blade to sit in when the tool is closed. With the short length of the arms, it would be hard to get enough leverage to damage the screwdriver, so I don't think this is a problem.
  • Being roughly the size and shape of a normal house key, this tool is light enough to carry on a key ring without adding too much weight. It isn't much thicker than an ordinary key, so it adds no bulk to a key ring.
  • Being shaped like a key, the tool should be able to get past the TSA but there are no guarantees. They keep changing the specifics, but generally don't allow any sharp blades in your carry-on.
  • The cutting blade is small (about 2 inches total) and is exposed when the tool is opened. Watch your fingers when using the screwdrivers, since a slip could slice open your fingers. The blades are sharp and take a good edge, so ST uses quality stainless steel.
  • When opened 90°, the latch locks the tool open to make it a bit safer to get some leverage. This is a nice safety feature, but I wouldn't bet my fingers on it. It will also latch when opened 180°, making the knife easier to use. Be careful when closing it; the latch is quite positive and fingers of one hand will be near the knife blade.
  • Priced around $10.00, this tool is cheap enough to have several attached to various gear. They also make good gifts for like-minded people.

As part of my EDC, this is my third-level blade -- a lock-back pocket knife and BSA pocket knife are my primary and secondary -- but it's comforting to have a backup to the backup. I rarely use it since I have other tools that work better, but it is an insurance policy against getting caught with nothing. It has come in very handy at times over the years and functions moderately well. It's not an everyday use tool, but I don't think it was designed to be one.

I have a few other ST tools on order, so I'll be reviewing them in the next couple of weeks.

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