Thursday, October 04, 2007

Micro tools

Not much to report as of recent as I have not been fishing lately but with Autumn now here, I will hopefully get out to the lake soon. In the meantime, I ran across a knife maker in Massachusetts that keeps a blog on that makes some really innovative tools. These tools are tiny though; key chain small but very usable and inventive. This tool/knife makers name is Peter Atwood and his blog can be found at and from there you can find his retail web site from which he sells his wares. Be prepared to see the word Sold Out a lot as his tools are in demand and sell quickly once he makes available a new batch.

Maybe it's the 8 year old in me, but pocket tools still fascinate me. Years ago I bought a couple of Leatherman multi-tools that I used to carry with me but eventually found too heavy and bulky for every day carry and now keep in some gear bags that I take camping or to the gun range just in case.

Recently, I had been looking around for a small, lightweight replacement with just the essentials such as flathead screwdriver and Phillips head screwdriver and maybe something else that I could carry with me every day. I considered a Swiss Army Knife (SAK) which I have yet I already carry a knife. After much research I came across Peter's tools.

What fascinated me about these tools was their simple yet useful designs. I believe Peter started with one or two original designs for small prybar/flathead screwdriver tools that could go on a keychain to new and innovative designs that added other features yet still maintained a small and flat profile.

I ended up deciding on the BottleBug tool which features two prying tips/flat screwdrivers, bottle opener, 1/2" wrench, 1/4" wrench, O- ring retention system and a #1 Phillips bit. The driver bit is a standard one inch 1/4" wide bit that fits into the 1/4" wrench hole and is held in place by one of the O-rings which usually cover the area in which the bit is stored. This is an elegant, economical design and is pure brilliance! What is cool, is that you can replace the bit with say a Torx bit that is the one inch long 1/4" wide standard or any other standard bit if you prefer.

Now, as I mentioned before, Peter's tools are in high demand due to the fact they are so well designed and made by Peter himself. Since they are made by this one man, it takes time to produce enough to sell over time so any time they get posted on his website as available, they quickly sell out. I was fortunate to have seen one of these times and seized the opportunity to purchase one of the last in a recent batch of Titanium Bottlebugs (Peter also makes Bottlebugs in a CPM 154 semi stainless premium cutlery steel). The Ti Bottlebugs have a wonderful heat anodized finish that is not only tough but gorgeous. They are also extremely light.

Now, all I have to do is find something somewhere that needs tightening or prying and I am ready. I suspect I may also attach this tool to my fishing lanyard and thanks to the titanium material will be excellent even in and around saltwater trips.

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