I used to hate this multi tool. Years back, when I first started cycle commuting, it was the most affordable tool at MEC. The Filzer brand didn’t speak out to me from a design and branding perspective, but I bought one anyway. My friends and I dubbed it “the five dollar multi tool” and have since then continued to refer to it as such, even though it’ll now run you a big $7.75.
My disdain for this tool was based on two experiences, both related to the perceived quality of Filzer products. The first time I attempted to use the torx driver on a five dollar multi tool (my roommate’s, as I had already thrown mine off a bridge in a rage), the torx head broke clean off in a rotor bolt. To MEC’s credit, this is an easy warranty item.
However, a good warranty did nothing to appease my feelings that these tools were made with cheese-tanium (material naming credit to NSMB contributor Omar Bhimji). The second experience was with a cone wrench from the same brand. My 15mm combination wrench wouldn’t fit a particular pair of pedals and I folded the cone wrench in half with my bare hands. This was a ham-fisted, hackjob way to develop an opinion about an affordable line of tools.
Fast forward the better part of a decade, and the five dollar multi tool has become a trusted companion and the piece I reach for most of the time. Beyond that one warranty situation, I have yet to find an actual problem with the thing. It lacks a full size 8mm allen and a chain tool, but there aren’t many small tools out there that do boast said features.
I recently lost my beloved five dollar multi tool, and went in to MEC to buy a new one. I was distracted by a shiny new unit – a few dollars more and slightly smaller and lighter. Why not – it’s just a few bucks, right? Wrong. The edges of the smaller tool are sharper and dig into your hand, and the smaller size offers less leverage compounding that problem. I ended up buying another five dollar multi tool.
Good friends will stick around through thick and thin, and the five dollar multi tool has proven that it will stick around even when the cool kids are putting its head in the toilet and pressing the flush button.
It’s easily worth the inflated $7.75 price tag.
There’s something in here about sticking things out and finding true love. Rarely does that come at such a low price…