back to article True Utility Scarab and KeyTool micro multi-tools

My Victorinox CyberTool multiplex knife goes with me everywhere. But while it's bloody useful of disassembling hardware and putting it back together, it's not exactly compact. Ditto your average Leatherman multi-tool. Hence my interest in True Utility's Scarab, which squeezes a handful of tools down into a 50 35 x 7mm, 46g …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Jim 48

    Lock knife

    It looks like the hinged cover would prevent the knife closing (actually a good safety feature) meaning that this would be classed as a lock knife and so require 'good reason' for carrying.

    1. Nexox Enigma


      """a lock knife and so require 'good reason' for carrying."""

      That's one of the benefits of living in this big, gun-loving country - knives are pretty acceptable. My state doesn't have /any/ limit to the length of a concealed folding knife - I would take my 3.5" single-hand, assisted-opening lock blade over any of these tiny tools, though it does cost a tiny bit more, and it doesn't make for an amazing screwdriver. Strips wires pretty well, though : -)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Keytool looks ideal

    for shredding the lining of any pocket you choose to shove it into

    1. Lionel Baden

      touchscreen phone !!

      Will not last long !!

  3. Thomas Gray

    Airport security?

    Sound little tools, but I can see plenty of them being left at the security desk because people forgot about them before flying. Pity.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I flew with mine about 5 times before they spotted it though.

      Fail on behalf of the security dudes at the airport :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward


        I reckon I've flown about 6 times as well now and its not been spotted... To me its no sharper than any of my keys and I have more of them anyway, so if I wanted to do any damage I could presumably use them.

        Anyway for a fiver and the simple ease of having a bottle opener and a cpl of very small tools I'll leave it attached. I have however removed the wine bottle opener they make when I fly, as I reckon thats slightly more obvious.

  4. Richard 100

    Dont Foget about them!!!

    I had a scarab.. and Bl**dy useful it was too, only trouble is I forgot it was on my key chain when I was flying.

    Result I had the Starssi at the airport remove it cos I might try and disassemble the aircraft in flight....

    Guess that would be the result if you had the KeyTool too..

    1. Brutus

      Sorry mate, but

      it you're going to compare over-zealous airport security staff with one of the most feared and reviled security services of the cold-war era, you could at least get their name right: Stasi.

      1. hplasm

        Shurely Some Mistake?

        IF you're going to compare over-zealous security services of the cold-war era with one of the most feared and reviled airport security staff, you could at least get their name right: Stasi.

        There- fixed that for you.

  5. Calum Morrison
    Thumb Up

    Nice, but...

    Will either of them get on a flight with me?

  6. Andy Barker

    Need pocket liner?

    That KeyTool looks like it would cut through most trouser pockets, and several coat pockets with all those sharp edges.

  7. Rob 101

    Agree about the trouser shreddage

    I have a Leatherman Micra and though it is a lot more expensive would not trade it for either of these 2.

    I've forgotten it when flying twice. The first time I was nice and early so just posted it to myself. The second it was not noticed at Edinburgh but was at Gatwick on the way back. Had to buy a new one.

  8. Barry Tabrah

    Scarab concerns

    I had the Swiss+Tech Micro-Max and found that the arms tended to loosen over time to the point that it kept opening in my pocket. I wonder if the Scarab would suffer from the same problem. If the metal on the inside of the arms is flat rather than curved then I can see that becoming a problem with the Scarab.

  9. Ian Ferguson
    Big Brother

    Airport security

    The Scarab will be confiscated at Airport Security, obviously, but the KeyTool is more likely to depend on the alertness of the staff, as it resembles a key.

    I used to have an 8mm spanner as a keyring - this went through airport security multiple times until one of the staff noticed, stated 'no tools' and chucked it into the bin. I suspect the KeyTool would be subject to the same lottery.

  10. Steve McIntyre

    Utilikey is a good option too

    I've owned a couple of these:

    and they happily go through airport security, looking close enough to a normal key that nobody looks twice.

  11. Cameron Colley

    Lock knives in public and pointy things at airport security.

    Are there any useful tools out there which are allowed through airport security? I like to travel so it would be good to know.

    I used to carry a Leatherman Crunch, then I found out about a slight change to the law which made it illegal to carry any knife with a locking blade (apparently the government want people to cut themselves more).

    Now I (like the author) carry a Cyber Tool. However, I was a little worried carrying this during the security theatre a couple of years ago when random searches and metal detectors at the station were de rigeur.

    So further to the above, are there any useful tools out there which don't have a blade such that an over zealous police officer couldn't take it to be a weapon?

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Airport Security

      Lock your tools away in your check-in luggage, then there's no need to mail it home, have it binned etc.

      If it gets nicked out of your luggage en route, then that's what travel insurance is for.

      As for the Scarab and KeyTool, wouldn't you just remove these from your keychain before travelling? I would.

      1. Cameron Colley


        I tend to do just that, but there is the odd occasion when it could be good to travel without checked in bags or when an intermediate airport can't be trusted to forward bags until a day or so later.

      2. The Indomitable Gall

        Well, personally...

        "As for the Scarab and KeyTool, wouldn't you just remove these from your keychain before travelling? I would."

        As it's a put-on-your-keyring-and-forget-about-it type of thing, I'd probably put in on my keyring and forget about it.

        If they'd pitched it in the den, Bannatyne would have told them this and called it useless. Then Theo Paphitis would have broken it.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        more like airport theatre

        And no; we're not safer. so much stuff gets through anyway it's a waste of time and effort and a good way to scam you out of your stuff. insurance....just try to collect.

      4. Nunyabiznes

        Re: Tony

        The trouble is that your multi-tool becomes such a part of your regular dress that you forget it is there. I've done it once with my Wave; luckily I was able to ship it to myself. I honestly just forgot about it as I was getting dressed to go to the airport. "Wallet, keys, cellphone, Wave. Yep, I'm good."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm struggling to think of an occasion

      when I've had to perform some urgent mid-air hardware surgery and yet, due to the restrictions on taking sharp things through security, had to improvise with a plastic fork and a belt buckle

  12. Jason Hindle

    I'll stick with my Swiss Army Cybertool

    It's also my bottle opener and cork screw* as well as my server room took kit. The only disadvantage is I have to check it in (and that means having checked in luggage which is not always desirable).

    * Kudos to Victronix for recognising your average travelling computer geek is also a drunk.

    1. Kimberly Burgess


      Those are amazing tools. I remember being so tempted by the 41 model until I learned the difference was that it added saws. Now the Lite version looks perfect. The 34 model plus a flashlight and magnifying glass.

  13. Eradicate all BB entrants

    ...late to the party much?

    Have had, and do still have a scarab I bought years ago. Fantastic little tool :)

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Therein lies the problem

    "Of course, it's not a tool you'll use every day, but it's the kind of thing that you can attach to your key ring and forget about until..." have it confiscated by airport security.

  15. Rob 101

    Check in Luggage?

    I don't take check in luggage when I fly. I make sure everything fits in a backpack.

    Paying £40 to check in a £8 keyring tool would be a tad excessive. Doesn't even work out for the £30 leatherman micra (which I can confirm, was hinged as solidly 4 years later than the day I bought it)

  16. J. Cook Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Ah, Security Theatre...

    I remember coming home from my last business flight after 9/11 (This was ~February 2002), and discovering my ever handy leatherman supertool sitting in my carry-on along with my laptop and the pile of other crap I routinely carried with me at the time.

    I was amused that security didn't catch it in either direction.

  17. Xappux

    Relaxing of rules?

    On a flight last week from Heathrow T1, I was surprised to see a sign that indicated that blades of up to 6cm, such as on a handy Swiss Army knife, are now permitted in hand luggage. Had to ask a security staff member to confirm this in case I'd misread the poster somehow. Anyone else noticed this change?

  18. Anonymous John

    I've only been asked once if I was carrying a knife.

    Before boarding a cross-channel ferry.

    1. dogged

      Irish Ferries asked me that

      I did wonder if they expected me to hijack the boat and sail her into the IFSC....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Got a scarab - not too impressed.

    Although the variety of tools and the shape are useful, the 'cutters' on the inside of the plier jaws are just cast metal; they're not ground and sharpened so they're absolutely useless for cutting or stripping wire.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Not much use for geeks...

    ... until they make one with a CAT5 cramping tool

  21. tigoda

    i used to own a scarab

    many many years ago, it was a nice useful tool until, as it aged, the tools down the sides became loose, and there is no way (apart from a little jiggery pokery with a hammer on the pins) to tighten it up again, so the blade and screw drivers would be open in my pockets without my knowledge,

    after it shredded the inside of my pocket and a couple of fingers I had to replace it, but its still sitting on a shelf at home as its still a nifty pair of pliers,

    I would recommend it, but the quality and how long it will last is reflected in the price, (so get 3 and use them one after the other)

  22. Neur0mancer


    The Rolls Royce of keyring tools is the Leatherman Squirt p4. Normally I wouldn't buy such an expensive device (£45) however my local John Lewis made a mistake and sold it to me for £12.

  23. Alan Edwards

    I'd avoid cheap tools

    I don't have experience of these particular tools, but I'd not get one that only costs £7.

    I had a £10 no-name one before my Leatherman Wave that lasted about 3 months. I've had my Wave the best part of 10 years.

    If I had to have a tiny tool, I'd have a Leatherman Micra. More expensive, but worth it in my opinion.

    Oh, and I'd also recommend getting one with locking blades, I had a Swiss Army-type one (not Victorinox) that closed on my fingers no end of times. Luckily that one was so blunt it didn't do any damage, the Leatherman would've had my fingers off.


    1. Cameron Colley

      Locking blades are useless in the UK.

      Unless you plan on only using them in the privacy of your own home. The powers that be here decided you are not allowed to carry any knife with a locking blade in public without "good reason" -- and from what I can gather "I'm worried about cutting my fingers should I need to use this on a rare occasion" doesn't wash.

  24. JaitcH

    Keytool shipping must be high: Did TSA issue a waiver?

    The Keytool is available in HongKong for under USD$1 - guess the shipping to the West must be high or someone is making a HUGE profit.

    The U.S. Homeland/TSA has issued waivers for some of these one-piece mini-tools - not the pliers though1

  25. Damian Skeeles


    I got hooked on the Sebertool M4, which has now been bought out and is sold as the IDL T10 ( Love it - nice square, chunky feel, that I prefer to the Leatherman - handy, and small. I bought a new one every time I either lost it, or accidentally forgot to baggage it before going through airport security and got it confiscated - although again, when I did forget, it still got through more often than it didn't.

  26. Lottie

    Look interesting

    As a gigging musician, I have a Leatherman rip-off in my gig bag as it's ideal for quick equipment fixes, cutting tape and chopping the ends off of new strings. I reckon the Scarab would be a lot easier to store with the rest of my gear.

    Only problem is, it needs a can opener. I used my not-leatherman to open tins of tuna at a festival recently.

This topic is closed for new posts.