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Archive | The EDC Tool Roll

The EDC Tool Roll: Streamlight Bandit Headlamp

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


I don’t know about where you live, but my official sunset time is already before 4PM and it is going to be that way for a long time. I also live in a very rural location so when the sun sets, it gets DARK. That means I put a lot of miles on flashlights, work lights, and especially head lamps. I’ve come to realize that the beam profile I need while working is different the beam profile I need when I am on the trail. When it come to work, I need a beam that is broad and bright – basically a wall of light that covers everything with light at arms length from one edge of my vision to the other. That is exactly what the Streamlight Bandit provides… and it does it with style and a great price.

The Bandit might be the ultimate pocketable work light. It is compact enough to fit in The EDC Tool Roll and light weight enough in weight to wear for hours (1.3 ounces!). It has a polycarbonate body with a removeable bracket that serves as both an attachment point for the head strap and a clip for attaching the Bandit to the brim of a cap, lip of a pocket, some helmets or even just free standing on the ground or other surface.

It is USB rechargable which is incredible for someone who uses their headlamp as much as I do. This light contains sealed 450-mAh lithium polymer battery that provides 2 hours of runtime at 180 lumens or 9+ hours at 35 lumens. There is also a blinking mode which I never use.

The user interface is simple enough. There is one button. Push it once for low and again within a couple of seconds for high, then blink. After a few seconds, the next click turns off the light. The button is pronounced enough that it can be operated with gloves on.

There are a few factors that make this the best tool light I have right now and the reason it is being included in The EDC Tool Roll series. I have already mentioned that it is very light weight and very compact. That makes it easy to carry. The simple interface makes it easy to use and the USB rechargable feature makes it easy to keep up and running. It also happens to be EXTREMELY affordable – like buy two of them, impulse buy affordable –  at less than $16 each including shipping.

But, when it comes to use as a work light, the real story here is the beam… the glorious blast radius of lumens. The Bandit uses a COB LED which is basically a broad, flat, light emitting plate. There is no lens or reflector. You have no hotspot, just smooth even light for almost 180 degrees. This means I can see every little button, knob, and gauge in the open, unlit cabin of our tractors when I am blowing snow after dark (which really tests the water and cold resistance of a light). It means I can light up an entire room or everything at my feet while walking instead of just a narrow circle. It means I work up close on equipment with the light on high without having a blinding hotspot and without having to constantly adjust the angle of the light. Of course, that broad beam comes at the cost of throw, but you can’t have it all.

So far the Bandit seems to be quite tough and, based on past experience, I am confident that Streamlight will take care of me if something goes wrong. Given their customer service and the low cost of this light, I’m not afraid to use it like a tool. In fact, the low cost has me thinking of buying a second one so I always have one to use while the other is charging.

Where to Buy:

I bought mine on Amazon because they usually have a great price on the bright yellow version of the Bandit. I think I paid a little bit more than the sub $16 price they are charging as of the time of this writing: Streamlight Bandit on Amazon

Previously Reviewed Alternatives:

Nebo Tools Work Lights


See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have a pocketable work light that you prefer or another tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The above URLs may be affiliate links.

The EDC Tool Roll: Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition with Bracket

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


If you have been following The EDC Tool Roll for a while, you know that the Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition has been one of my favorite drivers reviewed to date. It has good reach while also being quite compact, holds 4 bits on board in a way that each one is accessible, is able to apply a lot of torque, and is made in the USA. There is a lot to like. It was hard to imagine how they could make it better…

Then they released a new version with a ridiculously clever bracket.  This review will be mostly about the bracket since the tool itself hasn’t changed.

The bracket is molded from a semi rigid rubber-like material. It is about 4.25 long, 1.5″ wide (with tools installed), and about 1″ thick. It can hold both halves of the Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition, one on each side, along with a whopping 18 bits. The bracket has exterior slots for 12 bits, 4 bits are stored in the tool halves, and 2 more bits can be stored in either end of the bracket.

The entire package is far more compact than you would think a driver set this full featured can be. The bits are also amazingly well organized, visible, secure and accessible considering how compact it is. Each of the 12 bit slots on the broad sides of the bracket tightly grips the bit while still allowing you to read the size marking etched on the bits. The bits only slide out in one direction which further increases their security.

This bracket adds so much to the functionality of the Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition as an EDC or range bag addition. It carries so many bits in such a small package and can be so easily customized to suit your needs by swapping or adding bits. It is extremely compact yet still long enough to access an AR-15 grip screw or Glock magazine release spring. You can even leave the bracket behind if you need it to be ultra-compact and still be able to carry 4 bits!

Where to Buy:

There is a chance you may be able to find these in your local gun store or possible a bike shop. Fix It Sticks caters to both markets. However, I have never found them in a brick and mortar store. I’ve purchased my previous Fix It Sticks products from Amazon: Fix It Sticks Replaceable with Bracket on Amazon

These would make incredible stocking stuffers.

Alternatives:

Victorinox Swisstool Plus Replacement Wrench

Wera Kraftform Kompakt 10

Engineer DR-07 Twin Wrench Driver

Tekton 14-in-1 Offset Screwdriver (2945)

Replaceable Edition Fix It Sticks

Doc Allen’s VersaTool

Wera Kraftform Kompact 25


See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have bot ratchet that you prefer or another tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The above URLs may be affiliate links.

The EDC Tool Roll: Prestaratchet 1/4″ Hex Bits Mini Ratchet (VIM Tools HBR4)

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


The Prestaratchet 1/4″ Hex Bits Mini Ratchet is yet another tool that came to my attention because of a reader recommendation. Mark M. put this one on my radar and I am glad he did. Thank you Mark!

The Prestaratchet is made by a bicycle accessory company called Prestacycle. In fact, they make a version of this tool with a handle that doubles as a tire lever which could be handy for the cyclists among us. However, the version being reviewed here today has a basic rubber handle with no tire wrench functionality. It comes as a bare tool with no bits included (though Prestacycle does sell nice bit sets with holders separately).

My initial reaction when I first received the Prestaratchet was that it looked a lot my favorite VIM Tools Bit Ratchets. The head on those tools is very recognizable because it is the smallest I have seen. This makes the tool great for use in tight spots. On further inspection, it appears that the Prestaratchet is virtually identical to the VIM Tools HBR4. This is a good thing because of the head size which I have already mentioned and my very good experience with VIM Tools’ products.

This tool works like any other similar ratcheting bit driver that we have already reviewed. It can accept standard 1/4″ hex shank bits or can be used as a socket wrench with the use of an adapter. This makes it extremely versatile for the EDCer or shooter. It is more compact than a traditional screwdriver and can be used with any bit or socket that you need.

The mechanism is reversible via a small lever. There is a speed wheel for starting/finishing fasteners that don’t have enough friction to make use of the ratcheting mechanism. Bits are held captive and snap into the holder with authority.

Unlike the two VIM Tools Bit Ratchets I have already reviewed, this one has a rubber handle. The handle adds very little bulk and is quite comfortable. It appears to be some kind of harder plastic with a pebbled TPE overmold. The TPE is not overly soft and has held up well to my use. I have found the padded handle to be particularly nice when my hands are cold, wet, or oily as it greatly improves grip. That is nice if you do a lot of work or shooting outdoors.

We have now reviewed several of these VIM Tools mini ratchets (or similar) and it is difficult to say which of them I prefer. The Prestaratchet/HBR4 is definitely the easiest to use in conditions that compromise your grip. The HBR5 is like the most versatile of the bunch. The HBR3’s box end makes it nice in higher torque application like trying to break a stubborn fastener loose and its small overall size is nice for EDC. Pick the one that suits you best.

Where to Buy:

Mark M. was able to find this at a local bike shop. I purchased mine on Amazon. If you do buy on Amazon, make sure you do some comparison shopping as the VIM Tools HBR4 often costs a few dollars less:

Prestaratchet Mini Ratchet on Amazon

VIM Tools HBR4 on Amazon

I also recommend carrying an extension with a tool like this. This is my favorite:

Wera Rapidaptor 100mm Bit Holder

Alternatives:

Drivers:

Victorinox Swisstool Plus Replacement Wrench

Wera Kraftform Kompakt 10

Engineer DR-07 Twin Wrench Driver

Tekton 14-in-1 Offset Screwdriver (2945)

Replaceable Edition Fix It Sticks

Doc Allen’s VersaTool

Wera Kraftform Kompact 25

Ratchets:

VIM Tools HBR5

GearWrench MicroDrive Set

Chapman MFG 1316


See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have bot ratchet that you prefer or another tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The above URLs may be affiliate links.

The EDC Tool Roll: Wera Rapidaptor Bit Holder

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


We have spent a lot of words looking at various drivers in The EDC Tool Roll series. The truth is that even the slickest, most EDC-worthy driver won’t help you if you can’t reach the fastener you need to tighten or loosen. Many of the drivers that we have reviewed so far lack the reach of a conventional screwdriver. This is why I always have an extension of some kind in my tool kit for EDC or range use.

The best extension I have used are the Wera Rapidators. I use the 100mm (about 4″) in my own version of The EDC Tool Roll. I used to use a basic magnetic extension most of the time and those still work. However, the quality is often lacking (loose fit, lousy or broken magnets, etc.) and the Rapidaptor line has features that I have grown to like.

First, the quality is excellent. The metal parts of the Rapidaptor line are finished with a matte finish that looks like hard chrome or maybe just a bright stainless. Whatever it is, it seems to hold up very well. The fit is tight and precise both with the bits and with whatever you are using to turn the Rapidaptor. As someone who has had a cheap extension with poor fit locked into an impact driver to the point of needing tools to remove it, I appreciate that precise fit. It also holds up to use in a cordless impact driver.

Second, the design of the bit holding portion of the Rapidaptor is excellent. It actively locks bits into place automatically upon inserting a bit. It is held in place via a good quality magnet and the locking collar. This collar (the green and black part in the picture) spins freely allowing the user to grip when attempting to control a fastener. Pulling up on the collar releases the bit without popping it out to be lost. Installing and removing bits can all be done easily with one hand.

Wera makes shorter versions of this bit holder but the I find the 100mm version to be just right. Short enough to carry in my kit but long enough to reach an AR-15 grip screw or to use in installing/uninstalling a Glock magazine catch spring. I also find myself using this with my power tools somewhat frequently.

Where to Buy:

Maybe you have a local brick and mortar option for purchasing imported tools… but I sure don’t. I purchased my Wera Rapidaptor on Amazon: Wera Rapidaptor 100mm Bit Holder

Other Tools That I Have Used with the Rapidaptor:

Victorinox Swisstool Plus Replacement Wrench

Wera Kraftform Kompakt 10

Engineer DR-07 Twin Wrench Driver

Tekton 14-in-1 Offset Screwdriver (2945)

Replaceable Edition Fix It Sticks

Doc Allen’s VersaTool

Wera Kraftform Kompact 25

VIM Tools HBR5

VIM Tools HBR3

GearWrench MicroDrive Set


See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have bot ratchet that you prefer or another tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The above URLs may be affiliate links.

The EDC Tool Roll: Wiha PokitPak Bit Case

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


A friend of mine first showed me the Wiha PokitPak tools years ago but I only got around to trying one a few months ago. The idea behind these is simple and clever. Normally, you would need to carry both a driver and a selection of bits in some kind of a carrier. The PokitPak serves as both the driver and bit carrier.

The PokitPak is a plastic case with a hinged opening. Inside, it contains 6 standard 1/4″ shank bits and a basic magnetic bit holder. The bits and bit holder are of very high quality as is typical for Wiha. The bottom of the case has a hexagonal hole that can accept the bit holder to turn the entire case into a sort of “T” handle driver.

The bits found in these kits vary based on the kit that you select but the most basic and generally useful is the subject of this review, the 71198 PokitPak. It contains 4.5 and 6 mm flat bits and sizes 0, 1, 2, and 3 Phillips bits. Of course, you can also customize the kit by replacing the bits based on whatever you intend to work on.

Overall, I have found the PokitPak to work well in anything short of high torque applications. The interface between the bit holder and case has surprised me with how strong it is but I can start to make it deform a bit if I start to lean into it. I suppose it would be nice if there was some kind of metal reinforcement in this area. I also tried this in my range bag for a while and found that it was too short for tasks like tightening an AR-15 grip screw.

I think PokitPak is best used as a companion to another tool. I like to use it with some other kind of driver like some of the ratcheting drivers we have discussed in previous editions of The EDC Tool Roll. In this role, it can serve as both your bit carrier and an extension. This way you don’t have loose bits knocking around in your kit and you have the bonus of the “T” handle driver functionality.

Where to Buy:

Some of you might have access to hardware or electronics stores that carry Wiha tools. I don’t have a brick and mortar store near me that carries them so I purchased this online at Amazon: Wiha PokitPak at Amazon

Alternatives:

The PokitPak is pretty unique compared to other tools we have already review but you can use it as a driver or a companion to a dedicated driver or ratchet.

Drivers:

Victorinox Swisstool Plus Replacement Wrench

Wera Kraftform Kompakt 10

Engineer DR-07 Twin Wrench Driver

Tekton 14-in-1 Offset Screwdriver (2945)

Replaceable Edition Fix It Sticks

Doc Allen’s VersaTool

Wera Kraftform Kompact 25

Ratchets:

VIM Tools HBR5

GearWrench MicroDrive Set

Chapman MFG 1316


See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Can you think of another useful way to carry driver bits or another tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The EDC Tool Roll: Klein Tools Electrician’s Scissors

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


JTT reader Trent R. suggested that I take a look at the Klein Tools Electrician’s Scissors for The EDC Tool Roll and I absolutely agree with him. They are great scissors. In fact, I already owned a pair that I’ve been using for years!

We’ve already covered two other pairs of scissors in this series – Victorinox SwissCard Scissors and SLIP-N-SNIP Folding Scissors. Both of those scissors give up some size and functionality in favor of being easy to carry. That isn’t really the case with the Klein Tools Electrician’s Scissors which are still compact and will fit in any EDC Tool Roll but are more tool-like and functional like full size scissors.

These scissors are billed as an electrician’s tools but really they are just solid all-around scissors. I find that they fit well in adult sized hands and cut well. They are ground with thicker edges than some scissors so that they can be used to cut wire and other tough materials without damage. Klein Tools also takes care to very slightly blunt the tips of these so that the point is very robust.

I have a few older, US and European made scissors that I received from my grandfather and these USA made Klein Tools Electrician’s Scissors remind me of those in build quality. They have forged steel construction with a nickle plated finish. The screw hinge is adjustable but not removable so the scissors can not be taken apart. You have to love that companies like Klein Tools are still forging tools in the USA.

These have been my go-to workshop scissors for years and they often find their way into my range bag as well. I use them for cutting tape into target pasters (or pasters into smaller pasters). They are also great for cutting cardboard boxes to shape for use with my target stands or cutting cardboard to shape for targets like the KBATs from Kit Badger. They are the perfect size for tons of applications like these when you want performance like full size scissors but space is at a premium. These offer something close to full size performance and compact ease of carry.

Where to Buy:

I have the model 2100-5 which lacks the wire stripping notches but has the scraper/file on the backs of the blades. The price varies but sometime the model with notches (2100-7) actually costs a little bit less. You can probably find these at a local home improvement store or electric supply house. They are quite common. If you are like me, they are already in your tool chest waiting to be added to your EDC Tool Roll!

Klein Tools Electrician’s Scissors on Amazon

Alternatives from Previous Reviews:

Victorinox SwissCard Scissors

Original SLIP-N-SNIP Folding Scissors


See all the reviews for previous tools organized by type: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have scissors that you prefer or another tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The EDC Tool Roll: VIM Tools HBR3 Bit Ratchet

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


The VIM Tools HBR5 Bit Ratchet is one of my all time favorite tools and that made the VIM Tools HBR3 just a little too tempting to try. I bought one last month and have been using it since. At first glance, the HBR3 and HBR5 are very similar tools but there are some differences.

The HBR3 is about 3.5″ long which is about 1″ shorter than the HBR5. It is smaller in almost every dimension which makes it considerably more compact and lightweight. The HBR5 features a ratchet at each end (see the HBR5 review for more details) but the HBR3 has a ratchet end and a box end both of which accept standard 1/4″ shank bits. The smaller size and the box end is what really sets the HBR3 apart from the HBR5.

The compact size and excellent quality is what has endeared the HBR5 to me. The HBR3 is even more compact and just as well made.

The HBR3’s box end has proven to be very handy. It is extremely compact, barely adding any length to the bit itself, which allows it to get into very tight spaces – like behind a door knob to tighten the screws holding it to a door. It also allows you to apply a lot of torque without fear of breaking your ratcheting mechanism.

HBR3 (top) with HBR5 (bottom)

The ratcheting end has a quick disk/speed wheel that makes it easy to start fasteners even when they don’t have enough friction to start using the ratcheting mechanism. It is reversible and has a small lever to change directions. VIM Tools claims that their ratcheting heads are the smallest in the industry and I believe it having used several competing tools.

The HBR3 seems to be intended to use as a bit driver predominantly. It does not come with provisions to be used with sockets but the adapters to accomplish this are easy to find. I recommend picking one up as I find it to be very handy. This is a great socket wrench for tight spaces. I also recommend adding a bit extension if you plan on using this in your range bag so that you can access things like AR-15 grip screws.

Where to Buy:

I have never seen VIM Tools anywhere but online. I purchased my HBR3 at Amazon: VIM Tools HBR3 Bit Ratchet at Amazon

Alternatives from Previous Reviews:

Drivers:

Victorinox Swisstool Plus Replacement Wrench

Wera Kraftform Kompakt 10

Engineer DR-07 Twin Wrench Driver

Tekton 14-in-1 Offset Screwdriver (2945)

Replaceable Edition Fix It Sticks

Doc Allen’s VersaTool

Wera Kraftform Kompact 25

Ratchets:

VIM Tools HBR5

GearWrench MicroDrive Set

Chapman MFG Midget


See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have bot ratchet that you prefer or another tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The above URLs may be affiliate links.

The EDC Tool Roll: Irwin Vice Grip 4WR Locking Pliers

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


I am not sure that Vice Grips are ever the right tool for the job (unless the job is rounding a fastener)! The flip side of that coin is that they often seem like they are the only tool for the job. The bottom line is that I use them all the time and you use them all the time. It makes sense for them to have a place in The EDC Tool Roll.

Several companies make 5″ locking pliers but these are larger than I like for a pocket tool kit. A few companies make 4″ locking pliers and one of them is Irwin in their Vice Grip line. I’ve used Vice Grip locking pliers as long as I have been using locking pliers. I trust the brand, even though they are made overseas now, so that is what I bought for my kit.

The Irwin Vice Grip 4WR Locking Plier is basically just a scaled down version of their standard curve jaw locking pliers with wire cutter. They are 4″ long from the tip of the jaws to the back of the knurled thumb screw when the thumb screw is turned all the way in. Most of the time the nut isn’t turned all the way in so they are slightly longer than 4″. Their jaws can open to just under 1″ wide.

So how do you use them? Well, a lot of different ways. I bet most people have a story about using locking pliers to get out of a jam. It could be locking onto a frozen fastener or holding parts together long enough to limp a car home. I’ve even used this pair as an improvised target hanger when I was on the range and out of staples. Like I said before, they are almost never the right tool for the job but they are often the only tool for the job.

Where and How to Buy:

There is a good chance that you can find these at your local home improvement store, automotive store, or farm supply. Most Irwin Vice Grip dealers will have a large selection of sizes on hand but the 4″ 4WR model isn’t always the easiest to find on its own (though it may be found in a combination pack). If you can’t find them indivdually, Amazon has you covered: Irwin Vice Grip 4WR Locking Pliers

Alternatives:

I have owned some terrible locking pliers over the years so I am hesitant to stray too far from the Vice Grip line. They make a number of pliers in this size.

The 4LW has jaws designed not to round fasteners. It may be worth a look but I am concerned it might not be as versatile as the 4RW. Please sound off in the comments if you have tried them. Irwin Vice Grip 4LW Locking Wrench

The 4LN has long nose jaws which can be handy in some situations. Irwin Vice Grip 4LN Locking Pliers


See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have locking pliers brand that you prefer or another tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The above URLs may be affiliate links.

The EDC Tool Roll: SLIP-N-SNIP Folding Scissors

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


You probably read the title and rolled your eyes because folding scissors are always junk. I would submit that only MOST folding scissors are junk. The original SLIP-N-SNIP folding scissors are far from junk and are worthy of a spot The EDC Tool Roll.

Most people’s experience with folding scissors is with cheaply made imports with plastic handles that break, thin stamped blades that flex and don’t mate correctly, weak pivots, and cutting performance that might eventually mash through whatever you are trying to cut. None of those things are true of SLIP-N-SNIP Folding Scissors which are still made in the USA and I have been using for years.

SLIP-N-SNIP Folding Scissors have cast zinc handles – not plastic. The handles are small enough to be very compact, large enough for my fingers with room to spare, and very nicely rounded for comfort. The metal handles make them heavier than plastic handled folding scissors but the step up in quality is well worth it.

The blades are stamped steel which is thicker than the steep found on cheap folding scissors. They are very nicely ground and mate perfectly on the pair I have owned. They are very sharp and cut cleanly without mashing – even on items like para-cord inner strands or fine threads.

The SLIP-N-SNIP Folding Scissors are only about 3″ long when folded and weigh less than an ounce. They unfold into scissors that are almost 4″ long with a cutting surface of about 1.25″. This makes them a great size for with first aid kits, EDC, or on the trail. Scissors are just better than a knife for some cutting tasks and I am often glad I have these with me. I’ve used mine to cut masking tape when pasting targets, gauze and tape for dressing wounds, moleskin for covering blisters, and the list goes on.

SLIP-N-SNIP Folding Scissors usually cost less than $8. They cost more than cheap folding scissors but I still find them to be very reasonable consider the quality and the fact that they are made in the USA. They even offer a version with a non-reflective, rust resistant black coating (which I wish I knew about when I bought my SLIP-N-SNIP scissors)!

Where and How to Buy:

You can find SLIP-N-SNIP Folding Scissors at some sewing shops where they are well known for their quality. However, sewing shops often carry a finer tipped version (SLS3) that may or may not be desirable for EDC. I have only used the SLS1 version which is a more general purpose scissor. If your local sewing shop doesn’t have them, several online retailers do.

The following links are affiliate links:

Original SLIP-N-SNIP Folding Scissors on Amazon

Non-Reflective Black SLIP-N-SNIP Folding Scissors on Amazon

Alternatives:

Klein Tools Electrician’s Scissors (to be reviewed on The EDC Tool Roll)

Victorinox SwissCard Scissors (previously review on The EDC Tool Roll)


See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have scissors that you prefer or another tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The EDC Tool Roll: Chapman MFG Midget Ratchet and Accessories

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various every day carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or every day carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


Even if you don’t know it by name, you have probably seen a Chapman MFG Midget Ratchet before… or maybe an imitation. This little ratchet might be the handiest tool in The EDC Tool Roll thanks to its versatility, compact size, and suite of smart accessories. This review will include more than just the Midget Ratchet which is great on its own but really shines for EDC with a few simple additions.

Before I dive into the tools themselves, I want to briefly mention why I like buying tools from Chapman MFG (ChapmanMFG.com). They have been manufacturing since 1936. They make everything here in the USA from materials sourced in the USA. Their tools are in use by the military. The quality and features are excellent and I find them to be very affordable for what you get. They offer an extensive selection of replacement and add-on parts on their website. They even support firearm owners and gunsmiths with tools specifically for that market. This is a likeable company.

The Midget Ratchet CM-13 is the heart of this review. It is a compact (3.75″ long) ratchet that accepts 1/4″ shank accessories. The 20 tooth ratchet mechanism is milled from tool steel and heat treated. The mechanism is wrapped in a stamped stainless steel housing that is riveted together. It has a pass-through design that requires no reverse mechanism. You just flip the ratchet over instead of flipping a switch. In short, it is built like a tank and, while its drive mechanism is not very refined, it is positive and works in small spaces thanks to its short length.

You can get a lot done with just a few bits and the Midget Ratchet but it really comes into its own when you add the CME-1 3 5/8″ Bit Extension (they also make a 2″ and 6″ extension) and the CMH-3 Screwdriver Handle. These three items, along with your bits, can be carried in a very compact package and add up to a lot of capability. You can use…

  • the Midget Ratchet alone as a ratchet for driver bits of sockets
  • the Midget Ratchet with the extension to put bits or sockets on fasteners in tight spots.
  • the screwdriver handle alone with a bit as a compact screw or nut driver
  • the extension with the screwdriver handle as something close to the size of a full-size screw driver

You can even use all three (the ratchet, extension, and handle) fit together at the same time to apply extra torque to fasteners. Chapman MFG states that the Midget can be used to apply about 4 times as much torque as you can with a normal screwdriver.

The CMH-3 Screwdriver Handle deserves a brief discussion of its own here. It is made from very hard plastic with a tool steel insert to accept bits or an extension. It’s size is what makes it so great for The EDC Tool Roll. At 3.5″ long and 1″ in diameter, it is as useful as a full some screwdriver but more than compact enough to fit in the tool rolls we have profiled in this series. It is a worthy addition to this kit.

Some of you my be disappointed initially to learn that these tools are really made to work with Chapman’s own bits. They will accept and turn standard 1/4″ shank bits but not retain them. Standard 1/4″ shank bits can work in a pinch but it can be a pain to deal with them falling out of the tool. Being able to flip over the Midget Ratchet is integral to its use so Chapman has to build the bit retention into the bits themselves. Each bit has a small detent that prevents it from slipping out of the tool under its own weight.

The good news is that the bits are of excellent quality. They are machined well, free of burrs, heat treated, and given a black oxide finish. Each bit (and the extensions) have a small knurled wheel on the back that allows you to turn it with your fingers to help start screws before they have enough friction to ratchet – clever.

Together, these parts are amazingly capable. They are compact, versatile, well made, affordable, and just plain cool.

Where and How to Buy:

Chapman MFG offers a dizzying array of kits most of which includes bits specifically selected for a purpose like a certain trade or maintenance on something specific. They also offer some general use kits that are good but I have had the best luck with putting my own kit together.

Make sure whichever kit you choose as a starter includes the 1/4″ socket adapter or purchase it separately. The Midget Ratchet is a great little socket wrench in tight places but you will need the adapter to attach your sockets.

I like the 1316 kit as a baseline. It includes a good selection of bits, a Midget Ratchet, and a socket adapter. It is all packaged in a good quality, flexible vinyl organizer that lays mostly flat and easily fits in the compact tool bags we have profiled on The EDC Tool Roll.

Chapman MFG 1316 on Amazon

You can also add the CME-1 3 5/8″ Bit Extension and the CMH-3 Screwdriver Handle. The extension nest nicely into the 1316’s vinyl carrier when it is folded and snapped closed. The screwdriver handle can be rubber banded to the vinyl carrier or just tucked into your tool roll.

Chapman MFG CME-1 Bit Extension on Amazon

Chapman MFG CMH-3 Screwdriver Handle on Amazon

If you just want a minimalist kit based around the Midget Ratchet, the Chapman MFG 2021 kit is affordable and ready to drop into your kit.

Chapman MFG 2021 Kit on Amazon

Alternatives from Previous Reviews:

The Midget Ratchet and its accessories are pretty unique in how they work together but you can piece together other tools to have some of the same functionality.

Drivers:

Victorinox Swisstool Plus Replacement Wrench

Wera Kraftform Kompakt 10

Engineer DR-07 Twin Wrench Driver

Tekton 14-in-1 Offset Screwdriver (2945)

Replaceable Edition Fix It Sticks

Doc Allen’s VersaTool

Wera Kraftform Kompact 25

Ratchets:

VIM Tools HBR5

GearWrench MicroDrive Set


See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Can you think of another compact tool this versatile or another tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

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