Saturday, January 1, 2011

True Utility KeyTool Review



The True Utility Keytool, is a one piece key ring tool that wraps around a standard door key.  Here are the specifications:

Features:
-Bottle Opener
-Eye Glass Screwdriver
-Medium Screwdriver
-Large Screwdriver
-Nail File
-Finger Nail Cleaner
-Thread Cutter
-Tweezers

Product Size:
50L x 20W mm

Material:
422 grade stainless steel

Cost:
GB £4.99

The great thing about the True Utility Keytool, is it is very light weight and takes very little room.  I don't have anything precise to weigh it with, but it's lighter than the swisstech utilikey, which I would consider to be one of its main competitors.



Swisstech Utilikey, True Utility KeyTool, Included Snap-gate Clip


To help provide leverage and support, the keytool is designed to wrap around an existing key.  In some ways this can be beneficial in helping you to differentiate the various keys on your key ring.  However there is a downside in that certain features, are difficult or impossible to use when it is wrapped around your key.  This means you will need to remove both the key and keytool from your keychain, before you can use these features... a little fiddly at times

To help counter this issue, the True Utility Keytool comes with a ~25mm 'snap-gate' clip.  This clip makes it easier to remove your key and keytool, when you want to separate them.  It is similar to a 'mcgizmo' clip, which can often cost $2-4 at various online vendors.

An example of a feature that can not be used while attached to your keys, is the tweezer facility.  The keytool needs to be taken off the house key, to allow you to squeeze the tweezer ends together.  The ends of the tweezers do meet up tightly and has a good 'spring-back' action.  I have rarely needed tweezers in my EDC, but I could imagine using it to remove a splinter.  Do note, the tweezer tips are very short, so its not ideal if you need a longer pair of tweezers.

The medium and large screwdriver features can also be difficult to use when the keytool is attached to your key.  The 'head' of your key may get in the way during usage. As these screwdriver sections are short, they may be hard to use in difficult to reach areas.  The screwdrivers on the keytool lack thickness and strength, and I would not use them for heavy jobs where there is significant torque.

Key may get in the way of large (L) and medium (M) screwdrivers


The eye glass screwdriver is good though.  It is small and thin enough, to fit most glasses screws.

Nail cleaner (NAIL) adds unnecessary sharp edges.  You can use the small (S) screwdriver instead.

 The bottle opener facility on the True Utility Keytool is acceptable.  I find it opens bottles, better than the swisstech utilikey.  Take care, as there are a lot of sharp edges on the keytool.  These can dig into your hand, when using the bottle opener.

The True Utility Keytool also has a nail file, finger nail cleaner and thread cutter.  I can't help but feel these have been added purely to increase its 'feature' count. The nail file is blunt and does not file very well.  I feel the finger nail cleaner is totally unnecessary, and only adds unwanted sharp edges.  You could use the mini screwdriver to clean your nails in a similar fashion. The thread cutter is very blunt, I have had limited success using it to cut a sewing thread.



Nail File - not very sharp

I like the concept behind the True Utility Keytool; a small lightweight key ring tool that provides multiple features.  However in practice, I do not carry the Keytool on my regular keychain.  I find it has too many sharp edges and can be uncomfortable to carry.  The mini screwdriver and bottle opener are probably the most useable features on the keytool.  A lot of the other features are useless, or have limitations.  With some redesigning the keytool, could be much better.

If you are looking for something ultra minimalist, it may be for you.  The price is not overly expensive and may be worth a try.

Manufacturer's website:
http://www.trueutility.com/pocket-tools-store/true-utility-key-tool-tu47.html

4 comments:

  1. In general I've found 11 in 1 tools like this to be not very effective; too fiddly to wield. Better to stick to something substantial like a swiss army knife.

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  2. Thanks for the review! It looks like a tool full of good ideas and not so good executions. There is one thing i'm wondering about - is it TSA legal? or in other words can it be USA airplane carry on and some knife restriction places?

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  3. Well its not too bad of a tool if you want minimal weight and bulk. However as mentioned some of the tools aren't they great. I'm not in the US, its hard for me to say whether it is TSA legal. From what I gather sometimes the TSA can be quite temperamental on what they consider is okay or not.

    There's no knife blade on it, I would hazard to guess it's okay to take on board and plane. I fail to see how your going to hijack a plane with it... but you never know what the TSA will say. Sometimes common sense doesn't seem to prevail.

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  4. Great review. I have one and agree completely.

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