Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pocket ToolX Brewzer Keychain Tool, USA made multi-use simplicity!

     Let me say, that, oddly enough, composing a review for simple items, like keychain tools and the like, can often be more challenging than really digging into a hotly anticipated tactical knife.  I mean, there's really not much to say; either a keychain tool is mediocre, like Gerber's "Shard" & "Artifact" tools, or they're fantastic, like Mr. Peter Atwood's handmade, & extremely expensive cult-followed masterpieces for the keychain.

Brewzer, with my ITW Nexus Grimloc plastic carabiner, a useful tool in itsself, I've been toting the Brewzer on a small piece of ball-chain hooked to the Grimloc.
       Unless we are Peter Atwood devotees, with large pocketbooks...not many of us in our right minds are going to shell out $75 USD on upward to a couple hundred for something that we throw on a ring with our car keys.  Don't get me wrong, the man makes gorgeous, functional tools, but the reasonable pragmatist in me (what's left in me) calls "BULLSHIT" on spending that much on a little, yet well-made trinket.  I'm not even going to "go there" with Gerber's little black keychain tools, which are essentially $5-$10 USD ripoffs of Mr. Atwood's ideas.  Gerber has been on my BAD side for a LONG time.  They were "acquired" by Fiskars of Finland back around 1989 I believe...& myself having worked extensively in retail cutlery, their obvious decline over the past 20 years is both embarrassing & shocking.  I actually DO like their "Shard" prybar tool, a bit, though it IS Chinese made, & not of very good quality...if you're curious, google it, I'm not going to waste your time here but to say "shame on Gerber", for nearly every product they've put out in the past 15 years, many factory recalls, unsafe, noneffective  & just plain goofy designs...I cannot tell you how backward Gerber "Legendary" blades now appears to people like many of us, who know our stuff regarding quality knives & tools.
The underside of the tool, showcasing the bird's-beak-esque "package ripper" that really opens boxes nicely, but is dull enough not to cause any bloody accidents in your pocket.

        Enter Pocket ToolX, the name first found me on Facebook, maybe a year ago...& I thought, "ok, some fly-by-night" new little tool company riffing on Atwood...whatever.  How wrong I was, & how surprised I am.  For most of us tactical gear-heads, price can be irrelevant as long as we're after an item that really grabs us.  I'm not rich, matter of fact, I'm unemployed at the moment, but I have very few expenses, no children, & I'm unmarried, so on the rare occasion I REALLY want something, I'll find a way to make it happen.  Long story short, after I placed my knifecenter order for the Brewzer, by pocket ToolX, I thought "what the hell am I doing paying $12 USD for a frigging BOTTLE OPENER? I have a green aluminum 99c opener I bought @ Seattle's BigStar beer market that works just fine!? I'm madness incarnate, WTF?!".  When my Brewzer arrived, i changed my tune....
The Brewzer with a flimsy aluminum .99c counterpart that I purchased from a jar on the counter of one of Seattle's best all-beer markets, BigStar beer.
         I'm not a huge drinker, but I love gadgets, & it seems whenever I am around friends, & beer, some jackass is always drinking micro-brew, non twist-offs, & panicking without an opener. PTX's USA manufacture tipped my decision to go ahead with it, that's impressive to me, they probably could just as easily bang out their tools in some human-rights-violating sweatshop in Red China, or somewhere worse, & sell nearly as many...but they don't, they're made here, at home.  Apparently they're finished & packaged in my own proverbial backyard, the great Pacific Northwest, in Renton, WA, which is literally about a 20 minute drive from me, which makes me an almost instant fan by proxy alone.

My preferred carry method so far (attached to my car keys) with a small ball-chain & ITW Nexus Grimloc locking polymer carabiner.
         Pocket Tool X seems to be garnering a fast following (especially on Facebook) among those of us dissatisfied with inferior keychain-sized tools, who want something a bit more light & compact that say, Leatherman's fantastic Micra & Squirt & Style series tools.  I'm a HUGE fan of Portland's Leatherman, just this past summer I upgraded my Multi-tool collection & procured seven new Leatherman models after selling some knives for cash to some good friends.
     Sometimes it's just nice to go minimal, when you're traveling, to keep it light & simple, ya know?  The PTX Brewzer is a very cool & simple little device that should set you back no more than about twelve American dollars.  It weighs a scant 16 grams, is a solid piece of heat treated stainless, boasts USA manufacture, as I mentioned, & proclaims itsself to be TSA/airline compliant...of course, always check before flying with anything you don't want to have to surrender to those grabby-handed TSA assholes.

upon "unboxing", the blister card is all recyclable, & sports handsome simple graphics which lay out all you need to know.
     The Brewzer, my Brewzer sports a nice tumbled/stonewashed finish.  It's my understanding that "stonewashing" knife steel, is basically a process where the finished steel is tumbled in a machine with say, little diamond or ceramic beads or cones, to give the surface sort of a distressed, uniformly scuffed pattern look.  I believe PTX also offers this tool in a "smoke" finish gray, which I have yet to see, except for pre-order from good 'ol, for a few bucks more.

Here's PTX's no-nonsense chart of features:
     One overlooked feature is the curve above the bottle opener notch will accommodate a 1/4" hex nut in a pinch, I have yet to try it, but judging from the rest of the tool, I'm sure it performs adequately.  You'll notice the beer bottle shaped cutout in the body as well, it will function as an oxygen tank wrench for beer drinking (off the job of course) professional first responders like SB&T's own new team member, Jesse.  The tool sports jimping for grip on both top & bottom, making popping beer caps damn near effortless.  The flat tip of the box/package ripper notch will handle flathead screws, & probably some phillips screws in a tight pinch as well.
Check out the links peppered throughout the above text...& see more of what these guys are offering, at

     I am very impressed overall with the Brewzer, & excited to see what else the guys @ Pocket Tool X come out with this coming year.  Their prices are fair, products are top notch quality made with great materials...very good stuff indeed!
     Again, this tool is so well thought-out, inexpensive, & well-constructed here on our home-shores...that there's really not much else to say, it does everything it's supposed to, with ease & gusto, & will be the envy of your bottle-drinking buddies every time you break it out, instead of your lame souvenir shark-shaped aluminum opener that's all scratched to hell!

Here's one more shot, with my Victorinox Huntsman, simply for size reference...


Roz said...

I must be one of those craft beer jackasses. Lol Just love me a porter or stout! ;) Fantastic article, Aaron. This tool is definitely worth looking into for price, quality, and USA-made.

Aaron said...

No! I'm a beer snob too, but it cracks me up that people KNOW they're going to be drinking something that needs an opener...& yet rarely does anybody even have a light swiss army knife! gah! We who are prepared become the "go to" people! Thanks for the feedback!