It isn’t always practical to carry a fully stocked tool box to the range and it is almost never practical to carry one into the field. However, if you have been shooting very long, you have probably run into a problem on the firing line that makes you wish you had a tool box with you. In that moment, when your carbine seems to be coming apart in your hands, you can either put it up for the day or you can reach for your Multitasker Tool.
Multitasker Tools offers multi-functional tools that are specifically designed with AR-15 shooters in mind. I first became aware of them a couple of years ago when they started offering a multi-tool (the type that folds open into needle nose pliers) that was specifically designed to service the AR-15. It was the first of its kind to my knowledge and it made some serious waves on AR-15 related forums. Since that time Multitasker Tools has continued to innovate and improve their compact, portable, and multi-functional tools, which brings us to the subject of this review – The Multitasker TUBE.
The Multitasker TUBE's pen-like form factor makes it easy to carry. Click to enlarge.
The Multitasker TUBE is a modular, expandable, and functional AR-15 tool set that, when fully assembled, is little bigger than a Sharpie Marker. Even if you add the optional Expansion Pack (and you should) it is still only about as big as two double stack pistol magazines. You may not be able to carry a complete tool box, but you can always find room for the Multitasker TUBE.
In this review, I will be looking at the Multitasker TUBE and the Expansion Pack as a total package. The TUBE is a pen shaped tool that can be unscrewed into three main pieces and provides a ton of functionality on its own. The Expansion Pack is a specially designed carrying case, a set of ¼” screwdriver bits, and a holder for the bits. When you combine the TUBE and Expansion Pack you end up with a very functional and compact tool kit.
Construction, Fit, and Finish
The TUBE is CNC machined from 6061-T6 aluminum. It consists of three main sections that are threaded together. The threads operate smoothly and feature an o-ring at each junction to seal out moisture. The finish is hard anodized matte black which very attractive and very durable (a flat dark earth finish is also available). There are also scallops around the center section of the TUBE that improve grip enough to make gloved use possible.
Often, on poorly made aluminum items, the threads will be gritty or undersized and the finish will be thin in spots, especially on the corners. The Multitasker TUBE exhibits none of these flaws. Instead, the TUBE shows excellent quality and attention to detail. For instance, the pocket clip is not just attached with a screw, there is actually a shallow recess that the clip sits in. This allows the body of the TUBE to absorb some of the stress that light prying would otherwise put completely on the screw.
The construction and quality remind me of a high end flashlight. It is so solid that it would probably make a very decent kubotan in a pinch.
The MULTITASKER Tube has many functions. Some are obvious. Some are improvised. All are invaluable.
Removing the shorter cap of the TUBE reveals a ¼” magnetic bit holder. This bit holder can hold the well designed front sight tool that is included with the TUBE or any other ¼” bit. The front sight tool can be a finger saver on a cold day. It works perfectly.
The standard 1/4" bit holder makes the TUBE customizable to the user's needs. Click to enlarge.
The included front sight tool works great and definitely beats mangling the tip of a bullet. Click to enlarge.
The Expansion Pack contains a selection of bits that are well suited to a variety of tasks like tightening a scope ring or zeroing an optic. The beauty of this standard sized bit holder is that you can add any ¼” bit that you need. These bits are readily available at hardware stores and firearm oriented bits can be purchased from Brownells. I have several Glock related bits from Brownells that work perfectly with the TUBE.
The cap features a “bump” at the top that functions as a take down pin starter. It allows you to push out a stubborn take down pin far enough to get your fingers on the pin’s domed head or use the pocket clip on the cap to lightly pry under the domed head.
Even the TUBE's cap has multiple uses! Click to enlarge.
The pocket clip, which is made from tough spring steel, also makes an excellent flat head screw driver. It is well sized for adjusting Aimpoints or the older ACOGs with slotted turrets. I found that the clip is tough enough to be used to retract the bolt through the ejection port which is the only way to clear a malfunction where the spent brass finds its way between the bolt and the charging handle. Many trainers suggest keeping a fixed blade knife on your gear to accomplish the task of retracting the bolt so using the pocket clip of the TUBE can be an attractive, safer option. This is just one of those improvised uses that you will find when you spend some time using the TUBE.
Removing the longer cap of the TUBE reveals a threaded post. This post can be used to attach the included scraper, the included cleaning pick, or the cable from an OTIS cleaning kit (not included).
The TUBE's round scraper tool is very effective at scraping variety of spots on the bolt carrier group. Click to enlarge.
The pick is perfectly shaped for cleaning around the bolt lugs or hooking the firing pin retaining pin. Click to enlarge.
Many scrapers have a flat edge which isn’t really a good choice for the many curved surfaces of the AR-15 bolt and carrier. The TUBE’s scraper is rounded to work with the specific contours and crevices that you have to deal with while cleaning an AR-15 bolt carrier group. I don’t scrape the carbon off my bolt group very often but when I do, it is nice to have a tool that makes it easier. If there is a corner that you can’t clean with the scraper, you can certainly get at it with the pick. The pick’s point is oriented at 90 degrees to the shaft, not a hook like some picks. This makes it much easier to use (especially when you are trying to remove the firing pin retaining cotter pin from your bolt carrier).
The Expansion Pack includes an excellent carrying case, assortment of bits, and bit holder. Click to enlarge.
The Expansion Pack is a very nice addition to the TUBE. The carrying case is made of a semi rigid ballistic nylon type fabric. It is very similar to the Oakley Soft Vaults. There is a single zipper that allows the case open completely and lay flat. Once open, you will find several elastic loops on one side of the case. The largest loop is for the TUBE and the others are for other smaller parts like the pick or OTIS cleaning parts. The opposite side of the case features some mesh dividers. The small mesh slot pocket is perfect for holding the included bits and bit holder. There is a large space behind the mesh that is secured with a hook and loop closure. This space is perfect for storing the OTIS cleaning cable or a multi-tool, like a Multitasker Tool. There is more than enough space in the kit to add several useful items like an extension for the bit driver, a wrench for your LaRue mount, or a small flashlight. The carrying case is versatile enough that it is almost a tool unto itself.
The case neatly organizes the TUBE and its accessories. Click to enlarge.
There is also plenty of space for additional tools. Click to enlarge.
Carrying the TUBE
The TUBE’s biggest strength is its compact size and very light weight. The pocket clip and carrying case make the potential carry methods nearly endless. I found that the entire kit fits nicely into just about any MOLLE utility/admin pouch and it can be used to organize the type of things that you likely already carry in a utility/admin pouch (weapon lube, a light, multitool, etc). If you need to go even lighter than that, you can clip the TUBE into your pocket or a column of MOLLE webbing. The clip provides a very secure hold on the webbing. This is especially handy for those times that you need the TUBE at arms reach like when you are zeroing a new optic.
A tool with all the functions in the world are of no use if you won’t carry it. The TUBE is easy to carry, doesn’t take up much space, and won’t weigh you down.
The TUBE clips securely into a MOLLE column. Click to enlarge.
The carrying case fits the utility pouches of the excellent ATS Low Profile Chest Harness with loads room to spare. Click to enlarge.
The Multitasker TUBE is a worthy addition to any AR-15 shooter’s tool kit. Its extreme versatility and functionality along with it’s compact size and light weight make it perfect for the range or the field. The modular design means you will be finding improvised uses for the TUBE every time you are on the range. It is an excellent compliment to a multi-tool or Swiss Army Knife. The Multitasker TUBE flat out rocks.
Check out the Multitasker Tools Facebook page for all the latest information on their top notch tools. You can purchase your own Multitasker Tube Tool from Brownells.