I'm a huge fan of multi-tools. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it has to do with the whiz-bang neat-o aspect of having a real life James Bond gadget in my hand.
Such is the case with the 13 Function in One Pen.
At first glance it looks like a plain ol' ink pen.
More than meets the eye
And it is. But it is so much more. Each of those silver bands is a cylinder joint. Unscrew these and you get this:
13 functions, 1 pen: Egad, that's a lot of stuff!
The inventory is as follows (from left to right):
1 ear pick/top knob
1 top ring
1 tweezers/fork/shirt clip
1 cylinder containing two saw blades, 1 file
1 cylinder joint/phillips head screwdriver/flathead screwdriver
1 cylinder containing three short carving blades
1 cylinder joint/hole puncher/wire sleeve remover
1 cylinder containing three long cutting blades
1 ink pen cartridge
1 bottom ring
1 top knob
That's quite a lot of hardware packed into a normal sized pen. How does it all fit?
As you can see the to knob doubles as an ear pick (ewwww... I'll get to that shortly). This sort of double-duty is utilized throughout the pen's design, with the cylinders operating as handles for various screwdrivers, hole punches, etc. The shirt clip goes into triple duty, acting also as a fork and a set of tweezers.
Where this device excels in terms of storage is in the cylinders themselves.
Three storage slits are in each cylinder
Each cylinder contains three ultra-thin sleeves. Each sleeve holds one blade. The two long cylinders contain the longer blades (saw and cutting blades). The shorter, middle cylinder holds the short carving blades.
The knobs and rings located at the top and bottom of the pen act as holders for these blades. Just picture an X-Acto Knife and you've got the right idea.
So, how well does this little whopper work?
Let's examine the most obvious feature first. As a pen, it works very well. It's nicely weighted, and the ink flows freely. It clips nicely into my shirt pocket as well.
But when you take it apart to use another feature, there's nowhere to store the ink cartridge; it is simply too long to put in one of the cylinders. This is just a minor detail, however.
When it comes to the other tools... well, it's a mixed bag.
The short carving blades and long cutting blades fit nicely into the slotted knobs. This little suckers are damned sharp, so you have to be careful inserting them. And they cut quite well through paper and cardboard. I was initially afraid that they would be too slim and bend too much to be effective, but such was not the case.
The saw blades are... bendy.
Though that issue is exactly what rendered the little saw blades as nearly useless. Inserting these into the knobs was a bit more difficult because they are thicker than the knife blades. But not thick enough. In trying to cut through all sorts of materials (string, wicker, wood, paper, and cardboard), these little blades were simply to thin and constantly bent and curved away from the cut.
The file works very well... just like any file in a pocketknife.
The flathead screwdriver
Then you have the screwdrivers, hole punch, and wire sleeve remover. I used the screwdrivers to replace some batteries and putz around with my broken (but now repaired) PSP. They worked great!
While I was hesitant to tap the hole punch with a hammer, it still managed to poke a hole through an old belt of mine (I've lost a little weight recently...).
I didn't get a chance to mess with the wire sleeve remover yet, though I'll soon be doing some audio wiring around the house... It supposedly doubles as a small nail remover...
It's a clip! It's a fork! It's tweezers!
I've also not yet used the fork tool... as a fork, that is. I did use it as tweezers and it worked quite well.
And lastly, let me address the ear pick.
The ear pick: Imagine this with a lump of wax and brain matter attached... ewww.
Um... there's no way in hell I'm gonna stick something like that in my ear. I have a hard enough time doing that with Q-Tips. This thing looks like a little torture device. Maybe it's just me...
Due to the small size of the blades, they can be somewhat difficult to deal with. Some of them (particularly the small blades) slide right out of the sleeves and are easy to lose. It takes a little practice to hold the pen in the proper direction to keep things from flying out.
At other times some of the blades would stick in the sleeves-particularly the saw blades. This is where the tweezers came in handy.
I'm happy to say that these are minor problems, most of which can be attributed to "user error." My only real complaint has to do with the saw blades. These are simply too thin to be of any use. Everything else worked really well.
At a cost of $12 to $15, I can say that the 13 Function in One Pen is an excellent little tool for minor repair work. This little sucker would make a great stocking stuffer or last minute gift-and it actually works... except for the saw.
Get your 13 Function in One Pen at Amazon!