A few months back, while cruising the internet we ran across a pretty nifty looking multi tool that caught our eye. Aptly put, they’re called Fix It Sticks. Although they’re offered in 3 different configurations, what is likely the coolest part about the tool is not necessarily just that they break down and pack away pretty small…But when you do set them up, they work like a standard T-Handle wrench – much different than your average multi tool. Anyhow, we reached out to Fix It Sticks and they fired off a set the “Replaceables” as well as the “T-Way”. We decided to take a good look at both.
Primarily, the “Replaceables” are intended for packing away in a riding bag, or maybe strapped to a spare tube that’s attached to your bike. The steel tool comes in at 118 grams and costs $35.99 US. They feature a 1/4″ driver so you can attach any bit that you find with that dimension, but they ship with 8 interchangeable bits (2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm Hex, Torx 25, Phillips #2)
If you are looking for something uber lightweight and minimalist you may want to have a look at the “Originals”. Comprised of aluminum, they’re a bit lighter(55g) and cost a few bucks less(29.95). They do ship with less bits though.
So, getting back on track – how did we like the “Replaceables”? Simply put, we loved them. We’d likely take the minor weight penalty any day and choose these over the “Originals” for long days in the saddle on rowdier trails. There are a couple reasons for that. First, the steel bits are magnetic, and lock together, where the aluminum bits are less apt to stay together. Second, the additional bits meant that we could fix more potential problems if we were to encounter them. Our only minor gripe about them was that they don’t ship with an 8mm bit. We cruised to a couple of hardware stores in search of a said bit with a 1/4″ driver and didn’t have any luck. However, we were successful in finding one online without too many hassles. It’s just one bit, but these days most bikes on the market use an 8mm key to remove the cranks. Quite often this could be necessary to do some trailside emergency drivetrain work. Especially if there is a chainguide involved.
Minor grievances aside, we loved this tool and it will ALWAYS remain in our pack. It was incredibly refreshing to have a tool that breaks down to be quite small and portable, but once you actually need to use it, it feels like a real tool as opposed to a chintzy, worthless toy. Nothing but praise for this ingenious little invention.
So, how did we do with the “T-Way”? At $29.95 they come in at a good price and make an awesome addition to your workbench. It doesn’t break down like the other offerings and it feels a bit more sturdy with it’s added size. We found ourselves just leaving this out and about for quick pedal swaps, stem changes and minor adjustments where you don’t feel like rifling through your toolbox. Again, an 8mm bit would be nice but the brilliant part about these tools is that they’re all modular and you can add as many 1/4″ bits as you want. The “T-Way” was sturdy as could be and super handy. In summary, it replaced our 3-Way allen wrench permanently and then some. Brilliant tool to have around the shop or the house…also nice to just leave it in your car or truck so that you’re never in a bind.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a multi tool because you’re frustrated with the size or your current one and what little leverage it provides, then these should definitely be your next purchase. Great piece of kit for sure.