Tool Pen by Mininch aims to be your go-to multi-tool
Those in the market for a new multi-tool already have plenty of choice, but Mininch aims to stand out from the crowd with its Tool Pen: a screwdriver-like tool which draws inspiration from a 1980s kid's pencil and can carry six bits in its barrel. The company is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds and bring its product into production.
The Tool Pen is made from aluminum, and is available in silver, champagne, or gunmetal. It measures 15 cm (6.2 in) long and 1.75 cm (0.68 in) in diameter – so it's bigger than your average pen, but still pocketable.
With the six bits inside, the total weight of the tool comes to 93 grams (3.2 ounces). The side of the barrel includes windows, which allow the user to work out where the required bit is, and there's also a magnet-secured lid to stop you stabbing yourself.
The bits are available in various sizes and come in slotted, Phillips, hexagon and star shapes. When you need to change one bit for another, it's pulled off and inserted down the back of the barrel – this action pushes out the next bit in the line. There's a ring in place to stop the bit popping out the back again when pressure is added. According to Mininch, the mechanism used draws inspiration from the "Pop-A-Point" pen and pencil line from the 80s.
Those wishing to secure a Tool Pen must part with a minimum of US$35, for which Mininch promises to eventually deliver a silver pen, with six bits of your choice – assuming they reach production. More money brings more bits and an extra pen or two, depending on the pledge amount. The shipping date is given as this October.
The promo video below shows the Tool Pen in use.
Sources: Mininch, Kickstarter
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Make it a bit longer and put a pencil bit inside it too.
Stainless would increase cost considerably without much benefit, if we could get titanium at reasonable prices (what happened to the MIT 90% cheaper titanium process which was announce in 2006? (Followed by a huge price increase by DOW of TiO2 in Asia "in order to control rising prices." Titanium would offer some weight advantages.
It does need to accept standard screw bits, I know that this flies in the face of the all too common 'buy our supplies or don't use our tool' philosophy used by so many companies, but it is MUCH less useful if I can't hit the nearest hardware store and purchase tooling.
There are, for instance, nut drivers and much more exotic drives, including drill bits.
I'm far less interested if the bits have to be specially purchased. Bits wear out, and they don't do so predictably.
the bits are hollowed out to allow more bits to be carried in the tube. therefore, the size of the bits are limited. also, because there is less material, the bit is also more likely to deform under stress.
the hexagonal shape of the tool would make a natural spot to place a wrench for higher torque needs, yet the video never shows this. the maximum amount of torque this spindly tool alone could generate wouldn't be enough for real world problems.
this tool would be much better marketed towards customers who need a multi driver for small screws found on electronics, etc.. i would never use this tool to tighten the brake cable on a bike, as done by our carefree hipster in the video.