Monday, May 13, 2013

TT PockeTTools TT Zombie

If you were at a marketing department meeting for an outdoor store or a general gear company, the sort populated by the folks that brought us Poochie, you'd probably hear a lot about branding and end line users (that's us, in case you don't speak "marketing").  You'd probably hear stuff about "value lines" (that's Chinese made).  And then you'd hear stuff about trends.  It would start out with gear, and then slowly zombies would creep in (they always creep, right?).  In the event this was Gerber they would then turn to how to bundle as much stuff together with a nylon carrying case and slap the word zombie or apocalypse on it (you would, in their marketing version of the apocalypse, need seven blades but no pain relievers, water filtration, or fire starting equipment).   Zombies and one piece multitools have nothing to do with each other, but they are such incredible buzzwords in the gear community that it was only time before someone other than Gerber brought them together in a meaningful way.  But unlike Gerber's attempt to part you from your cash with junk tools and a zombie label, this little guy from TT PockeTTools invokes the zombie name for good instead of ill.   

Here is the product page.  There are no reviews, written or video, this is the first.  There is only one source for the TT Zombie and it is the product page above.  Here is the TT Zombie review sample:


IMG_0007

Design: 2

The trend seems to be towards larger OPMTs, like the Pocket Tools X Piranha, which is about the size of a credit card, but both Todd and Peter Atwood have gone the other way.  Atwood's Ghost is smaller than the Prybaby and here the Zombie is smaller than the Chopper.  The TT PockeTTools TT Zombie (from now on "TT Zombie") is a itty bitty OPMT.  It is very compact, even compared to other TT PockeTTool OPMTs.  This compact size means that you have no trouble dropping it on your keychain or hiding it in your pocket.  It also means that it weighs only a smidgeon.   Overall, I like the smaller design, but there are some drawbacks, which will be noted below.  From a blueprint perspective though, I like the tool, I like the look, and I like the size.  The tool was small enough to slot nicely on to the BladeKey, for those of you out there looking to comply the ultimate compact key set up.

The ratios are decent.  First, though, the obligatory scale shot with the Zippo:

IMG_0046

See I told you, absolutely tiny.  The tool:weight, 10.87, is pretty darn staggering, given that this thing weighs a feathery .46 ounces.  The Charge by comparison has a tool:weight of 2.32 (19 tools:8.2 ounces).  Safe to say this will never be beat as it is probably impossible to make a tool smaller and still have it be useful for EDC tasks.    

Fit and Finish: 2

Todd's finishes are the best in the OPMT business.  I know that is controversial.  I know Atwood fans love his work, as do I, but the slick satin finish on a lot of his stuff makes grip an issue.  Todd opts for a raw bar finish that hits all three features I like in a finish: it is good looking, it adds to grip, and it wears very well.  The edges are a bit buffed which provides a visually interesting contrast.  The angles, jimping, and grinds are very clean and even.  The holes are nicely cut but not sharp or snagging.

Theme: 2

As a mini OPMT the TT Zombie does very well.  It tucks in your keychain with minmal fuss even with the massive thickness.   The selection of tools suits the small size well and the appearance is a visual pun tying in with the name.  That last point is not a big deal, but just a little wink from a skilled and clever maker. 

Grip: 1

By now we have all learned that gear design is a set of tradeoffs and here the trade off for the miniature size is less of a grip.  There is thick and pointed jimping that helps and the raw bar surface is nice, but there simply no way to get around the fact that a tool this small lacks leverage, both in the pry tool and the bottle opener.  More on how this affects performance later. 

Carry: 2

I'd give this thing a three if I could, it carries so well.  The idea that I could drop this on any keychain without concern, even something as tightly designed as the BladeKey, is a sign of the tool's compact greatness.  The Atwood Ghost falls into this same category, so it would be nice to compare the two, but I am more than satisfied with how things thing carried. 

Materials: 2

The choice of 154CM puts this little tool in the upper echelon of OPMTs.  Production stuff like the Boker Toucan and the Leatherman Pocket Tool X designs use lesser steel and it works quite well.  Todd's other stuff and Atwood's stuff is usually S30V and some folks opt for Titanium.  While 154CM is not as high tech as other options, it is more than fine in the role.  Also, Todd's penchant for massively thick tools works well both stylistically and in terms of adding stability to the bottle opener.

IMG_0019

Lots of stock of a good steel equals a 2.

Deployment/Accessibility: 2

As small as the TT Zombie is, everything is laid out well and nothing gets in the way of anything else, which is kind of surprising given the space constraints.  This is, however, a nod to Todd's skill as a designer.  Even when the TT Zombie was lashed to the BladeKey I could still get to everything.  On a regular keychain the thing is just awesome.  Great job.

Retention Method: 2

There is a laynard loop at the top giving you one option and the bit holder gives you another.  The thickness of the stock makes a split ring harder than normal to use, but you know how I feel about split rings (BARF). 

Tool Selection: 1

This gets a 1 for exactly one reason: NO SNAG EDGE.  The Chopper spoiled me.  It had all sorts of things that made it innovative and great and one of them was the snag edge which was very new at the time.  The TT Zombie could easily incorporate one and it would make the tool all that more useful.  The snag edge should be a standard part of all pry-based OPMTs--it is just too useful.

Tool Performance: 1

This was a tough category to score.  I could see any of the three options being legitimate and fair.  If you do a lot of prying, then this thing's size is an issue and could result in a score of 0.  But generally OPMT are too small, even in the largest sizes for lots of prying, so I don't think that is fair.  The bit holder really is a masterpiece design and locks the bits in almost as if they are magnetized. 

IMG_0008

I screwed and unscrewed a normal 2.5" 8d Phillips head screw into a pine 2x4 three or four times all the way down and all the way up with no cam out on the tool side (the bit did cam out of the screw, but not from the tool).  If you do lots of screwdriving, this thing is freaking amazing and a 2 would be fair.  But most of us use OPMT as a bottle opener like 85% of the time.  In those instances, the TT Zombie's size is a factor.  It does open bottles, but it is a two or three pull device.  Here is a mid-action shot (yes, I know I have a Mac, I have a blog, and I drink Sam Adams; I am hipster...really though, I drink bourbon if I had a choice):

IMG_3879

Overall Score: 17 out of 20

The world of OPMTs is starting to mature into various product types.  We have the general purpose OPMTs like the Atwood Prybaby, the PockeTTools TT Chopper, and the Gerber Shard.  We have those with a blade like the Boker Toucan (review coming, I promise).  And we now have more than one miniature sized OPMT, the TT Zombie and the Atwood Ghost.  This is all a good size folks, a sign of a more evolved and sustainable product class.

In the mini tool product class I have only had the chance to review this gem, but it is quite good.  If you accept the limitations that are dictated by size, then this is a capable little tool.  It works very well on a wide variety of keychains and it can do a good deal of real work.  I wish it had a snag edge and the bottle opener was a bit more leveraged, but those drawbacks are minor ones.  For the price, $20.99, you'll be hard pressed to find something better.  Hell, the Boker Toucan is a production OPMT and it is $25.   

AWESOME Everyday Commentary Reader Bonus:

Todd's letting me give this gem away.  Comment in the comment's section and I will choose one at random by next Monday as a winner. 

68 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review.. Nice little tool

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love seeing people try new things in this area, and it is also the one area I haven't nailed down in my carry. I have the boker vox access tool, but it is a one trick pony.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the review. Nice little tool. Am looking into similar tools and consider this one as well (didn't know about TT PockeTTools yet).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kinda reminds me of "the Scream" (aka the "EM MastEMpiece EM Zombie").

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the review. I went through an Atwood phase last year and ended up with a handful of expensive toys that I didn't want to use. TT's stuff seems much more useable.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice review, Tony. I hadn't grasped how small that tool really was, that's mind boggling.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks, Tony. I always enjoy your reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the review. With its thickness, I am surprised the bottle opener needs multiple pulls. My experience is that the wider the opener, the better it works. This is what makes the Gerber Dime so good at it, while the Shard is a multiple-pull opener. If you are ever in the mood to do another Shoot-out, I think the OPMTs would be a good group.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice review. I'm glad to see some decent pocket tools in a more affordable price range!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Glad we're starting to see more options for those "small"-class multitools! Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Todd does make great tools. His page has some amazing pics of past things he's made. Also he makes very cool one-off lanyard beads using lots of different materials. His prices are very reasonable as well.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I might argue that if you have to carry a separate bit to use the tool, it's no longer an OPMT (unless, possibly, the tool has someplace to carry said bit).

    There's always a tradeoff between size and capability, and it looks like this tool goes too far to make the tool as tiny as possible. A pry bar that barely works, a screwdriver that requires a separate bit, and an itty-bitty can opener...for $20??? Sorry, I can't see the upside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were selected at random as the winner. Please contact me via email with your address. My email is anthonysculimbrene at comcast dot net in the usual format.

      Delete
    2. I have been contemplating whether I should get the 1st gen TT-skull or the TT-Zombie. This review helped me decide. Currently, I'm in favor of the TT-Zombie.

      Delete
    3. Huh? Wha? I won?

      WOO-HOO!

      Now to see first hand how this thing works, and how much capability it squeezes into its size.

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    5. The reply, as indicated by the comment formatting, identifying the winner was attached to DajoLaw's comment, not yours. That is why.

      I choose winners in random contests like this one by using a random number generator. DajoLaw's comment was the X comment and X was the number that came up on the number generator.

      Delete
  13. I still wish someone would make a OPMT that had a nice philips on it. Like the ones that are on some of the Leatherman tools, with the flat head.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'd like to win!

    Bought one of TT's tools before and love it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great review! I am just getting into OPMT and was looking at this particular item. Thanks for the insight!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Could you do a photo pointing out each tool? Being new to these things I'm not always sure of all the capabilities these have. Love reading your reviews - thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The product page he linked to has the image you're looking for

      Delete
  17. Thanks for being the first to put it through the paces, and for offering to dole one out to your readers.

    ReplyDelete
  18. ...I would like to win this thing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I went to buy a chopper on the strength of your review, but since they were out of stock I had a look at this thing. I would have gone for it in a heartbeat if only it had the snag. That's what makes the chopper stand out in my opinion. Without it, I don't think I'd use his as much more than a fancy bottle opener, though I'd be happy to be proved wrong.
    I'm also not certain what the area of jimping labelled "twist assist" in the promotional pictures is meant to be used for, could someone enlighten me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the twist assist is for holding against the edge of a twist-off bottlecap for more grip. It's basically a gimmick to say the thing has one more tool even though it's just nice jimping. It does provide a lot of grip though

      I have a chopper and I agree with the snag tip being great but wished that the bottle opener was in a better spot. The zombie looks like it might be what I'm looking for, unfortunately it's already out of stock too.

      Delete
  20. I've been looking into various pocket tools so thanks for the helpful review.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Neat little critter! Size and flatness issues are the main problems I've had trying to integrate an OPMT onto my keychain. Looks like the Zombie addresses both.

    (I think the Shard is poky in the pocket -- it's that acute angle they put on the pry tool head. IMHO these tools need to be flat.)

    Any interest in the (rebranded) Leatherman Brewzer? Snag edge, good cap lifter, flat. I've got my eye on it.

    How about the Gerber Poochie?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have exact same issue with the Shard. I've tucked it behind my house key and a p-38 to balance out the curve on the pry bar. This has been working for me for a while now; YMMV.

      Delete
  22. I'm several Atwoods into my OPMT habit, but my shard still gets the most pocket time. Nice to see some other viable options coming through.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for the review. I was directed to it by TT PocketTools and ended up reading many other reviews. What a great way to spend an afternoon.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Very cool little tool. I have a Schrade Ti Pry Tool on my keychain, but it's quite large and I keep thinking of upgrading to something a little smaller and ideally more functional. I'd love to see something with a small cutter that I didn't think would tear my pockets up.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great small tool which serves its purpose - to lie in the subconcious portion of your pocket til it is called upon to serve a greater purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I got a Chopper based on your previous review. This one sounds interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have a few of Todd's pieces and I would suggest get them while you can. The quality design and finish are excellent. The zombie is definitely on my want list.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I carry a miniscule BRT Blaworks Aphid. Tiny, titanium, reasonably priced, and has exactly what I need and nothing more (prybar and bottle opener). http://i1023.photobucket.com/albums/af354/srtben/Ti%20Tools/IMG_2651.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  29. Really neat little piece. Seems very efficient, would love to try it out.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Very cool tool, actually really like the design compared to other keychain tools. Again thanks for another great review Tony.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Have a bunch of Todds stuff they are all awesome in their own way!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Good looking piece of gear!
    I'm addicted to buying tools that open my beer for some strange reason!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great review - thanks! A very compelling tool...

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wow! Lots of people want this thing! No wonder it's sold out.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Have to disagree, if you we're a hipster that TT Zombie wouldn't fit in the pocket of you skinny jeans and you would be drinking A tall PBR while training a ironic curly mustache.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'll throw my hat in. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Enjoy all of your reviews to date as they have helped me make my purchasing decisions very easy. Would love to give this tool some use.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I've been in search of an Atwood for a long time, but to date, my attempts have been futile. This tool could be a start of a beautiful thing for me.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have a Gerber Shard - pretty happy with it - but this looks like a good alternative.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I have seen your other reviews on Tom's gear and every time it seems they get better!(the gear). I always dig the reviews, keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  41. So, about selecting a winner by Monday...

    ReplyDelete
  42. Nice looking, solid OPMT.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I considered this web site to consent to all in sequence on any observation camera definitely, there along with most of carecterstiques. which revenue that have always been rather satisfied to get this web site four courts.

    ReplyDelete
  44. All these tools strike me as an un-enthused meh. More token tools than actual tools, as if to give a casual observer a false idea of your status as a prepared, informed EDC loving individual. No offense to host, your blog so far is brilliant.
    I have a latshaw pocket wrench and it outperforms nearly every tool on that website at a negligible cost. add a shard and I have all bases that it doesnt cover... covered. BTW bottle openers are not tools (worthy of mention). your hand + lighter opens bottles. replace lighter with any rigid leverage-able object, and you still end up with an open bottle. carrying tools to do jobs that can be done without tools is a step backwards and lowers credibility. Its like buying a garlic peeling device, it only makes sense if you dont know how to peel garlic, which only happens if you dont know how to cook, which leads back to the fact that learning skills is more important than having tools to circumvent said basic skills. I have yet to see a multi-tool yet that doesnt weasel on a "bottle-opener" in order to add to the illusion of more "functionality".

    ReplyDelete
  45. I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!

    ReplyDelete
  46. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work

    ReplyDelete
  47. Very useful post. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it u

    ReplyDelete
  48. This is my first opportunity to visit this website. I found some interesting things and I will apply to the development of my blog

    ReplyDelete
  49. Credit card help drastically improve far more developments is usually principally pricey, nevertheless nevertheless regardless of whether that distinct, any person check-up prices relating to low-priced prices reciprocally not to mention great property property equity credit needs, perhaps it will likely possibly absolutely in accordance in house additional cost-efficient helped the actual guide drastically improve far more developments drastically improve. it really is prudent to fully have to be motivated to obtain problematic that you may possibly devote $793 having hardly ever component reciprocally not to mention prices that also adapt to real-estate personalized move forward mortgage loan in house regular regular classic regular classic traditional institution.payday loans online chicago

    ReplyDelete
  50. Good post you have post here keep it up i love your post.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to look
    it over. Im fairly positive theyre likely to be informed a great deal of new stuff here than anyone else! Swtor Credits

    ReplyDelete
  52. Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to look
    it over. ephesus tours

    ReplyDelete