I am all for small, modular and resilient tools, and there comes a time when you just need to have a handy stealth tool ready to go. This is the Mininch – Mini tool Pen and Tool Pen set which I picked up via Kickstarter. I opted for the full bells and whistles set, which included all the extra hex bits and both the new mini-tool pen, and the original tool pen.
The mini-tool pen is milled from 6061 aluminum, sand-blasted finish. The tool itself measures 133.5 mm / and is 12.8 mm in diameter and weighs 46 g (with 5 bits inside). The bits are S2 tool steel and measure 35.6mm long and 7.1mm in diameter. They weigh a mere 4.5 grams apiece. The tool Pen mini comes with 18 bits:
- Slotted Bits (Flat): SL1.5, SL2, SL2.5, SL3
- Phillips Bits: PH00, PH0, PH1
- Hexagon Bits (Hex): H0.9, H1.3, H1.5, H2
- Torx Bits (Star): T5, T6, T7
- Torx Security Bits: TR8, TR9, TR10
- Square Bits: S1
- SIM Eject Tool: 0.8
- Pentalobe Bits: P2, P5, P6
The classic Tool Pen is made of the same 6061 aluminum, sand-blasted finish as the Tool Pen mini. It does however weigh 93g (with 6 bits inside) and measure up a hefty 150mm in length and 17.5mm in diameter.
Both tools are offered in Snow Silver, Gunmetal and Champagne Gold anodization finishes. I chose gunmetal (because reasons, ha!). The bits for the classic tool pen are 36mm long and 9mm in diameter, and weigh 7g each. The bits are not cross compatible between the tools, but given the ranges of the two, thats not really a problem.
The classic tool comes with:
- Slotted Bits (Flat): SL3, SL4, SL4.5
- Phillips Bits: PH1, PH2
- Hexagon Bits (Hex): H2, H2.5, H3, H4
- Star Bits: T10, T15, T20, T25
- Imperial Hex Bits: H5/64, H3/32, H1/8, H5/32
- Robertson / Square Bits: S1, S2, S3
- Pozidrive Bits (Pozi): PZ1, PZ2
Both the Tool Pen classic and the Tool Pen Mini feature magnetically closing caps, and a really interesting tool seating and shifting system.
Inspired by “Pop-A-Point” rainbow pen & mechanical pencil, the bits all sit within the tool, in hex-shaped lanes, each nesting into the base of the one above it and held in place, top and bottom, by a steel ring much like a press-stud. You shift the bits by feeding another bit up from the back end, and along they go. Each bit has the sheer support of the hex-shaped tool to support it internally, so they are really effective. You do need a full pen’s worth of bits to make them effective, however.
Cut-out windows in one face of the tool allow you to see the contents and order of the bits stored within, using a very clear icon engraved on the side of the bit. The magnets in the caps don’t interfere with the bits, although they don’t really effectively allow you to store the caps when using the tools.
Between the range of bits offered, and the ease in which they all store, either internally for your most-often used sets or in the solid, flip-top bit cassettes, you can get a pretty wide range of capabilitiess in a very dense package with either of these tools, doubly so with both.
This is super useful when traveling, especially overseas, when you might find yourself needing to get into something, fix, repair or open some technology that you can’t reliably ask someone else to do so, and having a fully decked out specialty screw-driver set is simply brilliant.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: Josh Orth is a second generation expat currently dwelling in the arguably civilized outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. He’s lived in deserts, jungles and urban sprawls around the world and traveled/adventured into assorted inhospitable places around the world and has a keen sense of the speed with which the trappings of ‘civilized Western life’ can disappear. This has led him to begin writing about his interests and observations when it comes to the gear, skills and other necessities of self reliance of being equipped for whatever a capricious, occasionally indurate life might throw at him. This isn’t by any means to say our eccentric friend truly experiences genuine vorfreude about dystopian life, but if he had to he might not complain. Read more by Josh at Apocalypse Equipped.