One to Watch: Nite Ize DoohicKey
Tony Sculimbrene 11.12.13
This sneak peek focuses on probably the only facet of EDC gear growing faster than the titanium framelock segment: the one piece multi-tool (OPMT). Until recently, you had a lot of high end options, custom pieces by Atwood, Anso, TT PockeTTools, JRP’s Toucan, and a few others. You also had a few mid-priced production tools like the Boker version of the Toucan or their Vox Access Tool. If you wanted to spend less than $10, you were basically stuck with the Gerber Shard. The Shard is actually quite good, if not one of the best things Gerber has on the market. (Hey, one of the Kardashian sisters has to be the smartest, right?) But it’s always nice to have options, and the Shard isn’t exactly easy to get off your keychain.
Enter the Nite Ize DoohicKey.
Nite-Ize made a name for themselves with their S-biners. After a few generations of hiccups with flimsy wire gates, they have been tweaked and improved to the point that they are almost universally liked, even among ultra-picky gear geeks. The simple design and brilliant utility of the S-biner form makes them useful almost anywhere. They are great. It’s a testament to Nite-Ize that they worked on that design even though, considering the trivial monetary gain, they could have just let them be.
Since then, Nite-Ize has pursued the keychain tool market (including solutions to the split ring problem) with more vigor and ingenuity than anyone else. Some of their solutions, like the Gear Tie or the Slide Lock S-biner, are genius. Others, like the Key Rack and the Lighted Key Rack, are a bit of gilding the lily and then diamond encrusting it. The DoohicKey sits clearly on the side of the simple, good idea. (NOTE: Companies, please do not insist on weird formatting in product names. Otherwise you may address your customers as FaVoriTe CuSTOmer #1-X)
The tool selection is nothing groundbreaking: a pry tip, a hex wrench, a cap lifter style bottle opener, a package opener, and a ruler, all attached to your keychain with a wire gate. But the execution looks very smooth. There are no weird beeps or borks along the edge that might cause your pocket to be choked with your keychain. Additionally, everything looks nice and spaced out, a problem that many OPMTs have.
The lack of a Phillips driver is a notable omission, but the Shard is one of the few OPMTs anywhere to have one, so I can hardly say that renders the DoohicKey useless. Additionally, the steel is a mystery meat formula, listed as only “stainless”. Steels, like the meat in your hot dog, inspire more confidence the more well known their ingredients are.
The big plus for the DoohicKey, other than the just around $6 price tag, is the wire gate clip. OPMTs work well attached to your keychain when they are opening brews, but if you want to use a driver or a pry tip, they always do better without being tied down. The wire gate clip allows you to remove the DoohicKey easily and quickly, giving you access to what you need and allowing you drop the tool back on your keychain in a second. It also looks like a good platform for modifiers, given the simple lines and lots of open, flat space.
For six or so bucks, it seems worth a try.