And so, the student becomes the master.
It is that way with Jedi and apparently, it is that way with one piece multitool (OPMT) designers. There have been one piece gadgets for over a hundred and fifty years. Here is a particularly cool design:
Yet, Peter Atwood created a market and a design sensibility that pushed these tools into new territory. The Prybaby was such a cool little idea. Peter's designs since then have ranged from interesting (the Captive Bit series), to uber collectible (Stellite Mini Son of Pry Thing anyone?), to played out (Ghost). It has been a while since Peter really made something completely new and interesting. All of his stuff is excellent--great materials and fit and finish--but there hasn't been something truly innovative from the Atwood workshop in a long while. And really, what incentive does he have to change? People scoop up literally anything he offers in seconds so why do something different?
For folks that don't have as rabid a fanbase innovation is the name of the game. Todd over at TT PockeTTools has done that. I reviewed a Chopper a while ago and it was a really exciting, game changing little multitool (innovative, well-made, and inexpensive). It deserved the 20/20. Todd came up with a new design, the TT-7 and sent me one for a review. His boundary pushing focus again created at tool that changes things.
Here is the product page for the TT-7. It is a custom item and thus there is no Amazon page or Amazon reviews. This is the first written or video review anywhere. Here is the TT-7 I reviewed:
You might have noticed the thing that makes this little tool extra special. In case you missed it here is another shot:
How about a three dimensional Phillips driver? AWESOME. Okay, so it is a three prong Phillips driver, but this thing REALLY, REALLY works. I was messing around one day with the TT-7 and I took apart the strikeplate on the door in my office at work. These were massive screws, probably 10 or 12 d screws and the TT-7 really held fast and pulled them out. The rest of the tool is equally nice. I like the traction plan a lot and the overall size is perfect both in length and width for the keychain. Here is the TT-7 on my keychain (along with the just review Preon 0):
Fit and Finish: 2
The raw bar finish is so appealing to me, sort of the same way a stonewashed finish is--it already looks pocket worn and used like the great tool it is. All of the edges are well-cut and nothing is too sharp, but the jimping is very grippy nonetheless. I was most impressed by two little details--a sign that things are done right--first, was the ends of the lanyard and second was the grind on the Phillips driver tip. The lanyard was perfectly heated leaving no stray thread. The grind on the Phillips head was very even and allowed for plenty of torque--those 2D bits can cam out quite often. None of that here.
As a basic wrench-based OPMT, the TT-7 is really well equipped. Furthermore, the size of the tool is great for keychain carry completing an always with you, based covered approach to a wrench tool.
Todd's tools really outshine the competition when it comes to grip. The twist assist finger grooves and ample, different kinds of jimping make even the tiniest tool virtually undroppable.
I really loved the Chopper, but it was a bit wide. Not too wide, mind you, but just wide. The TT-7, in contrast, does very well on the keychain mixing with all of your keys with ease, even the skinny ones. I used the lanyard as the hole might have been too small for the coated aircraft cable keychain, but either way, the extra rope gave me extra room to use the tool still attached.
The TT-7 is made of 154CM and the lanyard is nice paracord. I like bout materials a lot, but the raw bar finish on the 154CM is outstanding. The TT-7 is not quite as thick as the Chopper, but the loss in thickness is okay. It makes it all the more carry-friendly.
All of the tools are well laid out and the overall tool is quite nice. Nothing blocks or hinders anything else, which is hard to do on a tool this petite.
Retention Method: 1
I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating--the attachment point (which is occupied by the lanyard on delivery) is a little thick and can be a challenge to mate with a split ring. Split rings are my enemy and I am out to make sure everyone converts to something nicer and easier to use.
Tool Selection: 2
The overall complement of tools is quite impressive for such a small package. Todd's design has both Standard and Metric box wrenches, a small pry tip/flathead driver seen here:
the remarkable 3D Phillips driver, and the wrench can be used as a bottle opener. Additionally, the edge of the pry/driver can be used to pierce packages, though it is not a purpose built snag edge like on the Chopper. I really like the complement of tools here, all of the bases are covered in a very small and slim package.
Tool Performance: 1
As well-rounded as the tool selection is, the bottle opener and the pry tip are not perfect. The Phillips driver is so nice I almost still gave the tool a 2 in this category, but I couldn't quite do it. While using the pry tip a piece of wood got wedged in the lanyard hole. It might have been a one in a million shot, but it happened, so I am telling you about it. Second, the bottle opener, the most used item on any OPMT, is not as a easy to use as a dedicated design. The Chopper's bottle opener was just about perfect.
Overall Score: 18 out of 20
If you are looking for a OPMT with lots of tools in a super slim package, the TT-7 over something that very few other designs do--a true three dimensional Phillips driver. For that alone it is deserving of consideration. The rest of the package is very well rounded and the fit and finish are outstanding. I'd like a dedicated bottle opener but that always adds bulk. For a package as slim as the TT-7 is, you'd be hard pressed to find something better. Add to that fact this one--the TT-7 is only $36 and readily available and I think this is one of better OPMT out there. The Chopper is a little more user friendly, but the TT-7 is significantly more svelte.
Want a TT-7 for free? Todd has authorized me to give this one away, so sign up as a user and post in the comments below. In a week I will choose one at random and that person will win the TT-7.