Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Swisstech Utili-key 6 in 1 Pocket Tool (Review)

 Specifications:

The swisstech tech utilikey (6 in 1) is a key-shaped tool which unfolds to offer you 6 functions, listed as follows:



 - Flat Screwdriver
 - Phillips Screwdriver
 - Micro-Sized Screwdriver
 - Straight Blade Knife
 - Serrated Blade Knife
 - Bottle Opener




Made from polished stainless steel, it is roughly the size of a large key. Measuring: 2-3/4” x 3/4” x 1/8" (folded) and weighing only 0.5 oz.

Thoughts and critique:

On paper the swisstech utilikey sounds amazingly usefully with the all the features it offers.  However in practice, there are certain things about the design of this multi-tool that make these functions less practical.

To start off with, the features in the utilikey are not easily accessible.  To use the various functions, you need to first put down your keychain, use two hands to unclip the tool, remove it from your keychain, use the desired feature and then clip the tool back on.  Compare this to say the spyderco bug, which can stay clipped to the keychain and unfolds with ease.

This is one of the reasons why I keep a spyderco bug on my keychain despite having a 'blade' feature on the utilikey.  In comparison to the bug, I find the blade on the utilikey to be thick and not very sharp. I have tried to sharpen the blade further, however the edge is still pretty average.


Straight and serrated knife blade

When using the multi-tool, care needs to be taken with how you hold it, if you are not careful it is quite easy to cut yourself.  This is especially the case when using the bottle opener.  The bottle opener feature is fairly small and does not give much leverage.  I find to open a bottle, it is easier if you pry it open in 2 or 3 locations.  I hope the following video helps to demonstrate, how I use this feature on the utilikey.




Phillips screwdriver and bottle opener
The utilikey has 3 screwdrivers; a phillips, a flat and a micro screwdriver.  Of these 3 screwdrivers, the phillips is probably the most easy to use.  The flat screwdriver does not have much length, and it may be hard to use in awkward and difficult to reach places.  The micro screwdriver also suffers from a similar problem; it has difficulty reaching some of the more deeper and recessed screws in my glasses.  The tip on the micro screwdriver is fairly thick, it requires some 'thinning-out' to allow it to fit into the screws in my glasses.

Flat screwdriver and micro-sized screwdriver

Despite these short comings from the tool, I still keep a utilikey on my keychain as it takes little room and space.  The phillips screwdriver is acceptable, and the bottle opener is okay as a last resort.  You never know, it may come in handy when you're stuck in a pinch with no other options.

Cost:
RRP:  $11-15 depending on packaging

Manufacturer's website:
http://www.swisstechtools.com/productdetail.aspx?PID=VZ75GDTdP68A

Similar tools to consider:

Utili-Key® FX 6-in-1 - has a nail file instead of bottle opener
Utili-Key XT 8-in-1 - has a nail file, nail cleaner wire cutter, wire stripper instead of the two blades.

Additional Photos:


2 comments:

  1. I got one, thinking it was a great idea - and then gave it away as soon as it bit me. It's not worth using it when there is a high chance of cutting yourself; and there is since there is no lock and its too small to handle properly. Imagine if you cut yourself badly when your outside the house; it'll be bothersome to buy a pack of band-aids when you already have some at home...

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    Replies
    1. You did yourself a favor giving it away. If you cannot use a tool properly, it is best to not use it at all. In the several years I have owned & used the Utilikey, I have never cut myself. Then again, people that tend to open bottles do drink the contents & then cut themselves on their own tools. I am sorry that happened to you but, please don't blame the tool. Thank You.

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