Usually Dave Bowen handles the one piece keychain type tools as he’s the expert, but in this case I thought I’d take a stab at it . Why the Shark appeals to me, I don’t really know, but I do like the simplicity of it . While it may not have a lot of functions, what it does do, it seems to do quite well.
The pocket tool category seems to have exploded in the last year or so. I am continually finding more folks who either make custom pocket tools or companies who are just joining the market. We thought since the release of the Artifact and Shard tools from Gerber; there would be no other big companies who would jump on the bandwagon. Well seemingly out of nowhere a company called MK7 announces that they are going to start producing pocket tools that are going to be made of high quality materials similar to custom makers like Peter Atwood. The first tool on their list to be released was the Piranha; this tool has started more of a stir in the knife/tool community than the Gerber tools ever thought of doing. It’s really a mess and in this review I am not going to choose sides or dispute issues of who stole what intellectual properties. I am going to lay out the facts like they are and you can draw your own conclusions.
Some ideas are so simple and straightforward you just have to smack yourself in the forehead for not thinking of it yourself. The ScrewPop tool is one of those ideas- basically a bottle opener with a built in screwdriver- a must for any technical student!
When I was looking at pocket tools a while back one tool really got my eye as to be different than all the others. Most folks who are custom knife designers and dabble in the tool category make pocket tools like those by Peter Atwood. It’s really tough to find a designer who will break the mold and head into a different thought direction. Most folks carry a pocket tool to accompany a pocket knife and thus save their blade from use that would make most of us cringe. Most of the pocket tools made are pry tools; these are tools that can pull, twist and pry objects or material apart. The other category is tools that incorporate a blade rather than the pry end, some examples of these are the Atwood Ring Thing and the JDR Barracuda. You tend to get one or the other, one that pries or one that cut, not often one that does both. Jared Price is one of those individuals who thought long and hard and created a tool that had a knife blade as its main function and still retained the ability to pry.
Digging through the small pile of obscure pocket tool makers, there is one guy in particular that makes you stand up and take notice. Brian Flud of Flud Unlimited is a custom knife maker who also seems to dabble in the pocket tool category as well. Most pocket tool makers seem to focus on a particular theme when they design a tool. They tend to swing from tools with a pry end or those with a wrench, sometimes even a bottle opener thrown in for good measure. Brian seemed to focus on something completely different; he instead designed his tool with a can opener as its primary function. Think of a military P38 on steroids and that is what the Flud tool is like, he takes the basic function and ramps it up to a tool that chews up cans and spits them out.