Swiss+Tech Micro-Max 19-in-1 Keychain Multitool Review

SwissTechWhen I started searching for stocking stuffers to give out this year, the first thing that came to mind is a multitool. I usually give out something fairly frugal and functional as a general stocking stuffer. Last year, I gifted a multitool shaped like a key. It was a pretty nice little tool, but it didn’t really do much more than sit on my keychain just in case I needed a screwdriver while stranded somewhere. Finding a keychain-capable multitool that did more than just fix loose screws was a challenge. There are plenty of options out there, but few actually do more than sit there and look pretty.

Enter the Swiss+Tech Micro-Max 19-in-1 Keychain Multitool. The name alone is a mouthful, but when I received one in the mail this week I was stunned at just how small (and oddly heavy) it actually was. There’s a lot to love about this little tool, but you should be aware of a few key drawbacks that could prevent you from wanting to pick one up.

What Does it Do?

19 tools in one is a lot to ask for from something about as big as a silver half-dollar. A lot of these features are fairly difficult to actually use, but they do work.

  • 1/4″ Hex Wrench
  • 7/16″ Hex Wrench
  • #0 Flathead Screwdriver
  • #1 Flathead Screwdriver
  • #2 Flathead Screwdriver
  • #0 Phillips Screwdriver
  • #1 Phillips Screwdriver
  • #2 Phillips Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Bottle Opener
  • Wire Cutter & Stripper
  • Wire Crimper
  • Hand Drill
  • File
  • mm Ruler + Extension
  • Inch Ruler + Extension
  • Wire Cutter
  • Wire Stripper
  • Wire Crimper
  • Nail File

How Well Does it Do it?

Let’s get one thing clear. This multitool is not going to replace a full-size Leatherman Wave or some other multitool you need to carry around in a pouch. It’s a very small tool that is made to help you out in a jam. I had a very hard time getting some of these tools to work in a way that felt comfortable in my hand. The hand drill, for example worked fairly well but getting it open and in a position where I could provide a little leverage to help it along was a puzzle in itself.

Tools are easily accessible to folks without fingernails. Everything sits on a henge and can be rotated freely in virtually any direction. This also means that occasionally tools would “open” in my pocket as keys jangled while I was walking. No knives are part of this set, so it wasn’t exactly dangerous. I wouldn’t keep this in the same pocket as your smartphone, though. The screwdrivers alone are enough to easily chip away at a Gorilla Glass screen.

The stainless steel design is excellent. The steel is thick enough and strong enough to endure quite a bit of usage. Nothing about this multitool feels cheap. It’s just a little too small to be particularly fun to use.

For frequent fliers, this might get through TSA just fine. There’s no blade on it to make it a weapon, but it’s up to the agent to determine if a flathead screwdriver poses a risk to the plane. I certainly wouldn’t have considered it a hazard while I was working in security, but things are different these days.

At under $10 it’s a pretty decent buy. It looks pretty cool and might get you out of a jam if you need to open up a MacBook on the road and you don’t have your #0 Philips screwdriver with you at the time.

Photo: SwissTech

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