Credit Card Survival Tools

Tool Logic - Wallet Ninja

There are a lot of survival tools that are designed to be about the size of a credit card.  The idea is that they are small enough that you can always have one with you when an emergency happens.  The Chief Scout got me two that I’ll review here.  One is a ToolLogic Credit Card Companion and the other is a Wallet Ninja.  They are completely different in their designs.

Survival Tool Design Concepts

The Tool Logic (and its twin the Raptor Credit Card Tool) is designed as a case that holds the tools.  The Wallet Ninja is designed as a one piece suite of tools.  Thus,  the ToolLogic is considerably thicker, but smooth on the outside.  It can slip in your pocket without cutting up your pocket or your leg.  However,  it’s too fat to fit in most wallets.  On the other hand,  the Wallet Ninja will fit in a wallet, but if you put it in your pocket – or a pocket in your backpack,  it could easily poke holes in them.  It needs a case of some sort to protect your pockets.  Both are about the size of a credit card – except in thickness.  There are a lot of variations on these two designs available to purchase.

ToolLogic – Credit Card Companion

ToolLogicAs a case that hold tools,  for the most part one must remove the tools in order to use them.  The exceptions are a tiny compass, that won’t point north, and a magnifying glass, made of plastic, that are embedded in the case.

Most of the advertising about this product says it has nine tools.  I count more than that:

  1. Compass
  2. Magnifying glass
  3. Serrated knife (2 inch blade)
  4. 4 mm wrench (in the knife blade)
  5. 5 mm wrench (in the knife blade)
  6. 6 mm wrench (in the knife blade)
  7. Phillips screwdriver (in the can opener)
  8. Flat screwdriver  (in the can opener)
  9. Can opener
  10. Tweezers
  11. Toothpick
  12. 6 Centimeter ruler
  13. 3 Inch ruler

Are these useful tools? With the exception of the compass,  yes, if you need them.

If you happen to be bicycling,  the wrenches are likely to fit a few of the bolts on your bike.  However,  you probably should have a more complete set if you want to adjust the other bolts.  The screwdrivers might also come in handy with a bike.  The can opener tool, of which the screwdrivers are a part,  offers enough leverage to make them useful.

The can opener itself is less than 1.5 inches long.  If you can get a good grip on it,  it will open a can, but it will be a bit of a chore.

The tweezers and toothpick are plastic.  The toothpick seems strong enough for its purpose.  The tweezers are not as beefy as the toothpick and could be easily broken without proper care in their use.

The rulers are engraved in the side of the plastic case.  The metric ruler is readable,  while the English ruler lacks numbers and requires that the can opener be in the case.  If you are lost in the wilderness,  you probably won’t have a need for a ruler.  They would be helpful around the house or shop if you happen to have the tool in your pocket.

The magnifier works ok if you set it on a page to enlarge the letters.  If you are examining a critter of some sort it will need to be very close to be of much use.  It will focus sunlight to a less-than-perfect point, so maybe one could get a fire going with it.  Again,  the magnifier would need to be very close to whatever you are trying to burn.

The most impressive item in this tool is the serrated knife.   It is stainless steel, sharp and likely to stay sharp.  The serrations make it perfect for cutting rope or even sawing through small branches.  It has a cutout that fits over your index finger while your thumb sits on top as you hold your hand in a fist.

ToolLogic Credit Card Companion

 

Wallet Ninja

Wallet Ninja and a CardThe Wallet Ninja is constructed of one piece of steel, so its simply a matter of applying the tool you need.  It is said to have 18 tools.  Heres’ what I found:

  1. Letter Opener
  2. Tack puller
  3. Box Opener
  4. Small screwdriver (flat for eyeglasses)
  5. Large screwdriver (flat)
  6. Screwdriver (Phillips)
  7. Can opener
  8. Bottle opener
  9. 2 mm wrench
  10. 4 mm wrench
  11. 6 mm wrench
  12. 8 mm wrench
  13. 10 mm wrench
  14. 12 mm wrench
  15. Peeler
  16. Cell phone stand
  17. 5 cm ruler
  18. 2 inch ruler

Cell Phone HolderAgain, these tools are mostly useful if you need them.

The letter opener doubles as a tack puller depending upon how you want to use it.  The letter opener works, but can make a mess of your envelope since it’s not as sharp as a dedicated letter opener.  Plus,  when I gripped the tool tightly to rip open an envelope, the screwdriver on the other end of the tool dug into my hand.  As a tack puller, it will dig into whatever material you are pulling the tack from, unless you are very careful.  The box opener is another point on the outside of the tool that will dig into a box that has been taped shut.

The screwdrivers and wrenches might be all you need to keep your bicycle or skate board going in an emergency.  The side of the tool opposite the wrenches is smooth so it won’t damage your hand while wrenching on things.

I wonder about the peeler.  It’s a short, partly sharpened edge adjacent to the can opener.  It’s pretty small to peel much of anything.

The can opener and bottle opener seem functional,  you just need to be careful how you grip the Ninja or some other tool will dig into your hand.

The most clever tool would be the cell phone holder – if it worked.  The photo above shows it in action.  When I tried it, the weight of my phone pushed the tool back toward the credit card and the phone slipped right off.  It is possible to set the phone on the surface, rather then on the credit card, and lean it against the tool, as long as the surface isn’t smooth enough to let your phone slip.  Seems like you could find something in the woods to lean your phone against if you wanted to use its camera as a mirror or shoot a long distance selfie.

Conclusion

With the exception of the knife in the ToolLogic Credit Card Companion, neither of these multi-tools would offer much help in a wilderness emergency.  The Wallet Ninja does offer a lot of wrenches and screwdrivers that would be handy for a bicyclist.  When you are looking around at the many variations on these tools, keep in mind the most likely situations you might encounter then look for a multi-tool that offers as much help as possible.

If you don’t mind a little extra weight in your pocket or on your belt and a considerable extra expense,  I strongly recommend the Leatherman New Wave Multi-tool.  It offers real tools like knives, saw, and pliers that can be used regularly when camping whether or not you are in an emergency situation.  I always carry mine and use it daily.

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