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Tuesday, 09 August 2016 13:20

The Fantastic $5 Challenge

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01Assume for a moment that you want a decent multitool, but you don’t have or want to spend a lot of money. In fact, your budget is a total of $5US, including shipping. I realize this may seem a bit extreme, not to mention a bit of an impossible task, but I like extremely impossible tasks, so I thought I would give it a shot.

Looking on eBay you will find all manner of cheap tools, many from the Far East, many cheap knockoffs of existing designs from major manufacturers like Leatherman or Gerber, many from custom makers like Peter Atwood or Ray Kirk, and many that just leave you scratching your head as to what the heck they are for, or what was the designer thinking when he/she designed that?

I did just that, and I tried to pick ten of the best tools I could for less than $5, shipping included. That was no easy task, as I’m in Canada, and a lot of US based sellers don’t like to deal internationally, or at least not without a seriously hefty shipping charge. 03

To be honest, I was amazed at how many used, name brand tools there were that were under the $5 mark for those people living in the US- I saw several used Gerber MP600’s and a couple of Leatherman Sidekicks that fit the budget but were either restricted to the US or were way over the top with shipping, and I have to say that maybe I should repeat this experiment in the US and see how different the results are!

05But getting back to my current experiment, I was largely limited to buying tools from Asia, as other international sellers are much more open to selling internationally. I selected ten tools, nine of which were Buy It Now, and one was an auction. So far, all came in at or under budget- the most expensive one was $4.78 and the cheapest came to $2.12.

Now we are at the part of the experiment where we have to wait for the units to arrive for testing and review, and eventually the verdict as to whether they are worth $5 or not. You can follow the experiment’s progress in the Fantastic Five Dollar Challenge thread on our forum, and keep yourself amused by reading through our previous challenges, the Great Two Dollar Challenge and the Terrific $20 Challenge.07

Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions, comments or thoughts on this, or anything else you see here on our site, please feel free to leave comments on our forum.