For this week's awesome stuff
post, we decided to look at some multi-tool offerings. There are actually a lot
of multi-tool crowdfunding projects out there, with a bunch of them just being a single simple multi-tool. This post is certainly not meant to be a comprehensive listing of all, but rather to pick a few that were a little different and distinct.
- First up are the Ti2 Para-Biners, combining the concept of a multitool with a carabiner. It seriously looks indestructible and would probably be the last carabiner you'd ever need.
These don't go cheap, as you're starting at $43 for the cheapest model, but there certainly appears to be quite a bit of demand for these things. With about three weeks left to go, the project has already zoomed way past its $10,000 target to around $60,000.
- Next up, we've got the Silverback 12+ function multi-tool and minimalist wallet. There are a lot of card-style multitools out there, but this one definitely has an awful lot built into a single tool plus, on top of that, the ability to double as a minimalist wallet. Of course, if you use it as a wallet, it might make it a little more annoying to make use of the tools part, since you may have to dump the contents of your wallet first.
I kind of like the fact that they kept the pricing on this one pretty straightforward and simple, rather than having a ton of different tiers. And, frankly, it seems pretty cheap for what you get -- so I'm a bit surprised that its only raised around $1,000 of the $3,500 they're seeking. There's still a month and a half to go, and if the project creator can actually drum up some attention (kids: don't forget, you need to market your Kickstarter too), it seems likely to go over the target, though perhaps not by that much.
- I already mentioned how many card-style multi-tools there are out there, but the offering from Tuls is interesting in that it's actually a set of four different mutli-tool cards, so you can have a nice set. The names of the four tools -- Roul, Stan, Lucy and Opie are all kind of amusing once you figure out the main purpose of each tool (though, the Opie tool seems almost too minimalist here, and it makes you wonder why the Stan tool can't do what the Opie tool does).
While I like the concept of a multi-tool card set, this one seems kind of pricey. To actually get all four, you're spending over $80. You can buy them in smaller combinations as well, and lots of people have. They're already pushing $30,000 -- way over their target of $1,500, so apparently lots and lots of other people disagree with me on the pricing being too high.
- Finally, we've got one that isn't quite as portable, but is effectively a basic toolbox in one device, called the Zeus multi-tool. Take the basic concept of a pocket knife, and expand it to larger tools -- giving you a fold out saw, pliers, knife, adjustable screwdriver with 16 different sized bits, a hammer, a measuring tape and a detachable light. The thing that surprised me, slightly, was the hammer. I can't recall seeing multi-tools that include a hammer. While they do spell out the dimensions, it would be nice to actually see it in someone's hand, as that would give a better sense of how "handy" it actually is. From the description, I wonder if it's too big, but without any images, it's a little tough to tell. Also, I've been growing wary of projects that advertise how they've received a patent. I'd much rather someone is focusing on executing and building a great product, not spending times with their lawyers and getting a weapon to sue other innovators over.
So far the Zeus is really struggling, raising just a few hundred dollars, despite the project being open for over a month. With less than three weeks to go, it's unclear if it'll make its $1,300 goal -- but since it's an IndieGoGo flex funds campaign, all money committed will go to the project's owner. It's unclear if he'll still be able to produce the devices if there really are only a few orders (as I write this there are only six orders), so buyer beware. Either way, perhaps rather than getting a patent, they should have focused a bit more on marketing this and getting the word out.
I hope everyone enjoys their weekend -- and if you've got some home improvement projects to do, make sure you've got the right tools for the job.