Before going lightweight on my camping trips, a penknife with the usual tools and attachments would be regarded as essential kit despite weighing a hefty 200g or more. These days, I’ve barely got more than a titanium spork to fight off those Welsh mountain bears.

However there’s always a time when you find yourself needing some tools on the hill such as when you need a screwdriver in order to access a battery compartment, or if you need to do some impromptu surgery on a bit of kit. The True Utility KeyTool  is just what’s needed. Not only is it a screwdriver, but has a pair of tweezers so you can pluck your eyebrows, a cutting tool, and a bottle opener. All that for £6.99 and a matter of grams (plus your key, which you’ve got anyway right?)

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So we decided to give the more tricky functions a test, to see if this is a practical and functional tool, or simply a gimmicky keyring you can buy dads for their birthdays.

1-3 Screwdriver – in 3 sizes – there’s a really tiny one on the end and a couple of more realistic sized ones on the top / bottom. You’re not going to assemble shelves from Ikea with these, but you’ll be fine opening up unexpected battery panels and the like with them. The smallest is described as an eye-glass screwdriver, so very useful if you depend on glasses on the hill and don’t want to revert to Jack Duckworthesque duct tape as a solution.

4 Bottle opener, the leverage is a bit feeble and I find using a spoon much easier, but it definitely works!

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5 Tweezers – You have to remove it from key in order to get this function working. Not ideal, but as the KeyTool comes with it’s own quick release ring, this isn’t too inconvenient.

6 Cutting tool – Beats using a key or your teef to remove clothing tags or some guy line. This is the function that’s had the most use during testing.

7 Nail File – Essential for that mountain top manicure we all find so essential on a wild camp.

8 Nail cleaner – you could probably use the fine screwdriver on the end for this, but it’s useful for getting that mud from under the fingernails.

Once you’ve got this on your key, then it really does come in handy on the hill if you need any of these function and you’ve got no other option. The only thing we didn’t like was that it does make it a bit more difficult to use the key without being speared each time. We’d recommend putting it on a key you don’t use everyday, rather than your front door key. You could even keep it on the plastic key that comes with it.

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1 Comment
  1. hillplodder 4 years ago

    I picked up one of these as a stocking filler present for my wife the Christmas before last, and liked it so much I had one for me too. This is often all the tools I take on a walking trip – at most I sometimes supplement it with a very small light blade.

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