It’s not often I come across a keychain tool that is better outfitted than it’s full sized counterpart, but Sheffield has managed to come up with a perfect example with the LED Multitools. Other than the name however, it’s important to note that these tools have nothing to do with the high quality products manufactured by Sheffield in England.
There are a few multitools out there that define an evolutionary niche. Some are successful like Leatherman’s one handed opening Wave or locking Crunch pliers, and others were not, like SOG’s SwitchPlier or Leatherman’s MiniTool. The Pro Lock is firmly entrenched in the latter category but is no less important for it. As with most things, the successes can really only be measured by the not so successes.
Once in a while, there’s a tool that comes along that is so different from any other, that no other manufacturer could hope to successfully incorporate any good points into their own designs. The Spyderco SpyderWrench and ByrdWrench are just that kind of design. Unlike any other tools, the Spyder and ByrdWrenches are hard to classify.
Anybody ever handled one of these NaviTools? They are kinda big and clunky. Certainly not the sort of thing you could carry around unnoticed.
The Nautilus is one of those tools that's discontinued, but you can find them everywhere, due to the large amount produced. I got mine off eBay for about 20 American dollars after shipping, and that's the average cost you see, so price isn't a problem. I was very excited when it came, but disappointed as well, because it was almost 9PM when I saw the package. The next day, I put it to work, but backing up, I got it because I use flashlights all the time at work, and was getting tired of carrying around a Mag-Lite in addition to a Wave or Swisstool, so I decided to sacrifice the pliers and get the small Nautilus.
Buck has been involved in the multitool market for a while now; ever since their release of the Buck Tool and the Buck Mini Tool they have kept a strong footing due to its brand name. Not many companies make a knife/tool that becomes a brand of its own, how many people you know call any lock back style knife a Buck Knife? Because of this iconic branding and their dedicated customer base their tools although discontinued have remained popular to this day. The Buck Tool simply didn’t take off like it should have, trying to get a piece of the market that is Leatherman, it sometimes takes a lot to get noticed. The Buck Tool is a fantastic tool and very underestimated in spite of what design problems it did have. This is round two and Buck has decided to produce a new multitool for the market that they feel will not only be easier to use but easier on their pockets as well.
Have you guys seen the Suspension multi tool that Gerber is selling? I’ve noticed them for sale at a few of the big discount stores around town, like Wal-Mart and Target. The open-frame construction of the handles is the first thing that caught my eye. The lattice-work look really makes the tool stand out from the others hanging on the rack next to it.
Finally arrives today, so I'm posting the first impressions I have, haven’t used the tool yet.
First thing I noticed was that the TTI was a lot smaller and lighter than my surge that I previously owned. That is one of the reasons why I wanted to sell the surge and buy one of the smaller tools because I would find the surge uncomfortable when in plier mode since the handles were so wide, didn't make them difficult to grasp as such, but the smaller length and width of the TTI handles are more comfortable.
If you are a multitool collector, or one who appreciates the engineering that goes into these products, and a person who delights in the new and seemingly endless ways that these clever engineers can make a set of blades and drivers fold up into a pair of pliers, then you will like the new Gerber Radius Multi-Plier. If you are anyone else, then I suspect you will consider the Radius to be somewhat of a joke.
Updating Gerber's unique out-the-front sliding pliers to a button-activated spring-loaded mechanism, the Auto Recoil has no peers in the multi-tool world. Being that there are no others to directly compare it against it is so easy to label it as a "gimmick" and move on to other, more mainstream tools. What we are here to determine today is whether this tool has redeeming characteristics or if it is merely a "gadget" for the uninitiated to purchase on impulse, play with for a few days and ultimately spend it's life in the junk drawer or the bottom of a landfill.