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Monday, 09 July 2007 13:12

CRKT Guppie Review

Written by David Bowen

It's been a little while since the Guppie was “officially” released. Retailers are still having problems getting it and the Zilla in stock. I received the Guppie just before it's release date and have not reviewed it because I did not have enough opportunity to use it. The problem is, it's such an odd tool that I just didn't feel comfortable carrying it. There was always something better in size comparison that I could carry that would beat the Guppie in functionality. So I decided to bite the bullet and get some of this on paper so to speak. Everyone wants to know what the Guppie is like, well here you go.

CRKT Guppie

CRKT Guppie

The Guppie is a merge somewhere between smaller tools like the Gerber Clutch and the SOG CrossGrip mixed up with style of the Kershaw Carabiner tool. The end result is something that CRKT is confident will be a hit with the tool and non tool users. The blending is somewhat ingenious and annoying, the jaw of the crescent style adjustable wrench can open up to ½ inch and unlike traditional wrenches the jaws have teeth similar to that of your average multitool. The ½ size limits the amount of duty this tool can be used for and the usage is indeed light. Because this is a step away from the traditional needle nose pliers that we are so accustomed to on multitools, you feel somewhat handicapped when you carry the Guppie. You can with some practice use the wrench like a set of pliers, but it's never a close enough match for the real thing.

CRKT Guppie

CRKT Guppie

The main body not only contains the wrench but also a 1/4 inch hex driver and a Carabiner which allows you to clip it on to a belt loop or some backpacking gear. The Carabiner is in theory a nice idea; but in reality it's about as effective as the one on the Kershaw tool. Not only is it not strong enough for the job but when ever the gate closes, it rarely closes properly. The Carabiner also doubles as a bottle opener, I have not been fortunate enough to have a beer to test it on but I am sure it works. The good news is, the Guppie also sports a pocket clip. Simply remove the bit carrier/LED combo and your ready to go. The bit driver works as advertised, my only complaint I have is that the well that the bits seat into the driver is not deep enough. I found this to be somewhat of a problem on the Zilla, but since this is a smaller tool people may not run into as much of a problem. Lastly, it's one handed, and the ergonomics of the tool try to make it comfortable to use the knife but it's better than no knife at all.

CRKT Guppie

The little thing that makes the Guppie package complete is the LED light/bit holder. The bits
are all held into the plastic frame via friction, and you are given a choice of #1 and #2 Phillips and Straight. On the end of the holder is a pretty decent LED light, not sure what kind of batteries it takes but it throws out a pretty good beam in low light. The switch to turn it off and on is a slide style, sometimes because of this design, I have found the LED can come on accidentally, which over time will greatly reduce battery life. The whole assembly is attached to the tool via magnetized posts that seat into holes in the frame of the Guppie. The cool thing is, due to the nature of the holes, you can position the LED so it faces either the plier end or the screwdriver end. Gives you a one up when you need some help fixing something in the dark.

CRKT Guppie

CRKT Guppie

Overall the Guppie is a mixed package. There are some things I like about the tool as also some things I didn't; which made it very hard to carry and get used to. The Guppie is in the $30-$40 range and about average for a tool of this size. Some people may indeed like it more than I did, I guess I am just a traditional kind of guy.

Pros:

  • Neat Adjustable Wrench
  • Knife is one hand opening
  • LED quite usefull in many situations

Cons:

  • Carabineer doesn't lock securely
  • Wrench style limits functionality
  • Bit driver is odd to use.

     

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