Full disclosure: when the Switch Multi-tool from Blackburn showed up at our door for a review, I wasn’t terribly excited about it. It felt a bit too similar to the modular t-handle Fix It Sticks. However, the primary difference between the products is in the execution; as opposed to utilizing standardized bits, the Switch integrates the tool heads into their take on bits, with two mounting options on the primary handle piece.
In use, the mini tool turned out to be quite handy, and I found the design of the Switch Multi-tool to be well executed. The knurling on the handle aids with grip, and you can swap the bits around to customize the tool for each task.
If you are a fan of the Park Tool 3-way Hex wrench, (a staple in bike shops throughout the land) you’ll likely be a fan of the Switch. It was the ideal tool for performing a quick water bottle cage install, and the removable head made it better for the job than the Park 3-way, or a typical allen key.
Though I initially had reservations about this tool, it has won me over. We’re fond of the tool roll it comes packaged with; sized well for a jersey or short pocket, there is a slot for cash or small items like glue-on patches, and the small form factor lets it fit practically anywhere.
Since you’ll still need a chain breaker and levers to hit the road or trail, I ended up pairing it with a discontinued Blackburn tool — a C02 inflator that features an integrated folding tool with a chain breaker — for the ultimate light weight urban ride carry. Both units fit snugly in the Bottle Pod as seen in our previous Ride Carry post.
I still have reservations regarding the durability of the rounded ball end hex interfaces. Past experience has shown these to lack in terms of longevity, so the Switch is best left to light duty work; time will tell how these hold up with use.
- Concerns about durability on the rounded heads – non-ball version would be nice
- Packaged with useful tool roll
- Worked really well for installing bottle cages and other small jobs
- Great minimal tool for quick jaunts by itself, best paired with a second tool
- Great test ride/ bike park tool
The Blackburn Switch Multi-tool lists for $19.99. Check it out on Blackburndesign.com