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Swisstech Utilikey Review

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by hazna, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. hazna

    hazna Loaded Pockets

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    Specifications:

    The swisstech tech utilikey is a key-shaped tool which unfolds to offer you 6 functions, listed as follows:

    - Flat Screwdriver
    - Phillips Screwdriver
    - Micro-Sized Screwdriver
    - Straight Blade Knife
    - Serrated Blade Knife
    - Bottle Opener

    [​IMG]

    Made from polished stainless steel, it is roughly the size of a large key. Measuring: 2-3/4” x 3/4” x 1/8" (folded) and weighing only 0.5 oz.

    Thoughts and critique:

    On paper the swisstech utilikey sounds amazingly usefully with the all the features it offers. However in practice, there are certain things about the design of this multi-tool that make these functions less practical.

    To start off with, the features in the utilikey are not easily accessible. To use the various functions, you need to first put down your keychain, use two hands to unclip the tool, remove it from your keychain, use the desired feature and then clip the tool back on. Compare this to say the spyderco bug, which can stay clipped to the keychain and unfolds with ease.

    This is one of the reasons why I keep a spyderco bug on my keychain despite having a 'blade' feature on the utilikey. In comparison to the bug, I find the blade on the utilikey to be thick and not very sharp. I have tried to sharpen the blade further, however the edge is still pretty average.

    When using the multi-tool, care needs to be taken with how you hold it, if you are not careful it is quite easy to cut yourself. This is especially the case when using the bottle opener. The bottle opener feature is fairly small and does not give much leverage. I find to open a bottle, it is easier if you pry it open in 2 or 3 locations.

    The utilikey has 3 screwdrivers; a phillips, a flat and a micro screwdriver. Of these 3 screwdrivers, the phillips is probably the most easy to use. The flat screwdriver does not have much length, and it may be hard to use in awkward and difficult to reach places. The micro screwdriver also suffers from a similar problem; it has difficulty reaching some of the more deeper and recessed screws in my glasses. The tip on the micro screwdriver is fairly thick, it requires some 'thinning-out' to allow it to fit into the screws in my glasses.

    Despite these short comings from the tool, I still keep a utilikey on my keychain as it takes little room and space. The phillips screwdriver is acceptable, and the bottle opener is okay as a last resort. You never know, it may come in handy when you're stuck in a pinch with no other options.

    [​IMG]

    More photos and video at:
    http://keychainpockets.blogspot.com/2010/12/swisstech-utili-key-6-in-1-pocket-tool.html
     
  2. Rah14

    Rah14 Empty Pockets

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    Nice review. I've been carrying one for years. My only gripe is that I often forget that I have it on me, because it is to stealthily hidden on the keyring. The screwdrivers (especially the eyeglass one) have been super useful.
     
  3. FunctionMode

    FunctionMode Loaded Pockets

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    I carried one for a short period of time and stopped because it didn't do any of its jobs particularly well. It's a neat gadget that I tried to like, but it just isn't for me.
     
  4. hazna

    hazna Loaded Pockets

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    sort of a 'jack of all trades', master of none
     
  5. CDavisJK

    CDavisJK Loaded Pockets

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    I had one for a while too and I really liked it. If you are going super minimalist and aren't carrying a multitool, then this is the next best thing. But, I just carry a multitool now.
     
  6. mwalle6

    mwalle6 Loaded Pockets

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    This lasted less than a week on my keychain. It was so awkward and difficult to use I would always go for another tool first
     
  7. mister_fox

    mister_fox Loaded Pockets

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    Had one on my key chain for years, I did have the keychain attatchment break on one but swisstech replaced it. I now have a spare one incase it breaks because they are so usefull.
     
  8. Haubitz

    Haubitz Loaded Pockets

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    I was actually considering one of these but came to the same conclusions as you did, that it looks more useful than it really is. I went with the micro-plus 8-in-1 instead (recommended).
     
  9. aphex2k

    aphex2k Loaded Pockets

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    I find it's a great bit of kit to carry when you wouldn't normally carry a multi tool or SAK. I've had mine on a keychain for about 6 months. I find it easy to open but the bottle opener is rubbish - so many times nearly cut myself using it. It would be safer to use my teeth! It's not perfect but it's handy.
     
  10. Xerxes

    Xerxes Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for this review. I agree with others that this has limited use; I carry mine for its last-resort value, for some emergency that occurs when I've forgotten to carry anything bigger and more useful. My worry is that, come the time, I'll forget I've got it in my pocket anyway.
     
  11. mbs4298

    mbs4298 Loaded Pockets

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    +1 on it being a good idea but not very useful. I had one for a while and the flathead screwdriver was all I used on it. And it was only when I had nothing else. Now that I am back in the habit of carrying my Leatherman I haven't had it in awhile.