This tool has been UNRECOMMENDED and is now in the DEAD TOOLS category. See the FAQ for more info.

Crank Brothers Multi-17

The original “cool tool” was a multi-tool for the avid bicyclist. I’ve found the Crank Brothers to produce a superior version. I’ve used their Multi-17 for many quick repairs. Most often I grab the hex wrench to tighten a loose headset or seat. What distinguishes the Crank version from all other bike tools is its size, compact design and (very importantly) the included chain tool to remove a bent chain link. Few other multitools have a built in chain tool, and unlike so many other repairs, there is no way to ‘make due’ with another tool when you need to remove a bent chain link. Only a chain tool will do it. I spend many hours many miles from road (and water) mountain biking in the desert. I wouldn’t be without this gem of functionality.

-- Marc Berg  

[See the more recently-reviewed Multi-19. -- SL]

Crank Brothers Multi-17
$20
Manufactured by Crank Brothers

Available from Amazon



This tool has been UNRECOMMENDED and is now in the DEAD TOOLS category. See the FAQ for more info.

Jeweler Screwdrivers

Probably the most used tool in my office is a set of tiny screwdrivers sometimes sold as precision screwdrivers. Hardly a week goes by when they aren’t needed to disassemble or repair a gizmo or tool.

-- KK  

[Please see the more recently-reviewed Husky 8-in-1.]

Stanley 6-piece Precision Screwdriver Kit
$5

Available from Amazon



Utili-Key

Several nerdy friends of mine who feel naked without their pocket knife have independently discovered that this handy mini-knife disguised as a key will both work in a pinch and — shhhhhh! –pass through airport security checks unnoticed. Here is a way to travel with a knife at the ready. Just hand them your keys when you go through the machine!

I’ve had one, and when I bring my keys I have no trouble getting through security on international and domestic flights. I was surprised to find the other little gizmos incorporated into this miniature thing — particularly the Philips screwdriver — are just as useful.

-- KK  

Utili-Key
$9
(0.5 oz.)

Available from Amazon