When it comes to multi-tools, I adore my titanium Leatherman Charge with its S30V blade and 18 other tools. But at 250g, I am guilty of sometimes leaving it at home. Lugging around an extra quarter of a kilo can really tug at my pants. Which is why I started scouring the market for an everyday carry multi-tool. In other words, something lightweight that I wouldn’t leave behind. Like this one that was funded on Kickstarter last September: Tool Arc by TFD.
Tool Arc didn’t break any Kickstarter records or start trending over social media when it came out. But even though it flew under the radar somewhat, it did manage to get double its original goal of $2500, and manufacture a quality product.
At 2.5oz / 70g, you get a 15-in-1 tool. That is a hefty selection of tools. You get wrenches, a safe serrated edge, replaceable screwdriver bits, a wire stripper, a nail pry, etc. At $26 during the Kickstarter campaign, it was a pretty easy decision to support this company. Particular as they do all the work of producing their designs in house. It’s like a mom-n-pop shop, but with CNC machines.
The best multi-tool is the one that you have on you. As it is attached to my keyring, I haven’t yet left the house without the Tool Arc since it arrived in March. Thus far, I’ve used it to slice open multiple boxes of geeky postage, tighten the screws of my door lock, help my friends put together their quail coop and pull up a stabby nail. Damage-wise, the Tool Arc has sustained cosmetic scratching from being amongst my keys, but otherwise has no visible defects – rust or otherwise. So far, it seems to be living up to its promise of being a Tough Lifetime tool.
However, the magnetic core that is supposed to hold it all together has failed me once. A relatively hearty bump against a cupboard door caused the core to get knocked out of its housing, letting loose my 2 screwdriver bits. Small moment of panic as the cat went chasing after them. I also discovered that the bits only slide in and out perfectly when you allow gravity to pull them back into place. It’s a small thing, but as I sometimes enjoy spinning its wheel (it is my multi-tool-fidget-spinner) just for fun, it can get a bit irksome.
Will this be my forever multi-tool? To be honest, it is still a bit on the heavy side. If this had been made out of titanium, my answer would probably be a hundred times yes. As it is, you can feel even 70 grams. Who knew. Then again, this may just be a matter of always wanting it lighter, and never being satisfied.
Furthermore, although I received my Tool Arc (I was backer #49 out of #136 and they are delivering 1 by 1), many others haven’t. Despite not having finalized delivery to their Kickstarter backers, TFD has the Tool Arc for sale on their website, with an estimated shipping date of 3-5 days. This is quite surprising, especially as TFD have stated that their CNC machine is only able to cut out 2 Tool Arcs at a time. I guess that’s what we get for not shipping manufacturing off to a third world country.
At the end of the day, I will continue to use my Tool Arc, as it definitely does what it says it should. It is a tough, hard-wearing tool, that has not failed me. That is, until something better my way comes. I should probably get the tool hoarding under control. Right after I get the board game hoarding under control. Oh, who am I kidding.
Everyday Usefulness Rating: 4/5
Zombie Apocalypse Usefulness Rating: 2/5
Here’s how Tool Arc stacks up against other EDC multi-tools:
|True Utility FIXR||$22.99||45.3g||20|