I was lucky enough to first see the CRKT Flux at the 2009 SHOT Show in Orlando- and in fact, I had the designer, Tom Stokes walk me through the components. I was fascinated as Tom showed me the concept of a multitool that is customizable to your intended needs, similar to the failed Coleman Pro Lock . Coleman unfortunately did not support the Pro Lock and as a result, the Pro Lock never amounted to much. Let's hope that CRKT doesn't make the same mistake with the Flux.
The first thing you realize looking at the Swiss*Tech ScrewZall is that this might just be the simplest, most effective tool you have ever seen. The second thing you wonder is why the heck didn’t you think of that?
Perhaps the most tools in the least package
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.
With the current trend going towards smaller, more conveniently carried tools, CRKT has once again managed to follow the crowd, but do it in their own inimitable way. Initially they shrank their first tools, the Zilla and Guppie into the Zilla Jr and Li'l Guppie , but the Cicada is something entirely new, not only to CRKT, but also to the multitool world.
The Cicada is a lot of tools in a small package
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.