When it comes to compact, portable multi-tools on the market today, it is hard to compete with the Leatherman Juice or Squirt lines. CRKT has released a new take on the small multi-tool, the CRKT Guppie. My first glance at the CRKT Guppie left me shocked, as I have never seen a multi-tool this size based around an adjustable wrench. The idea is different than the traditional multi-tool idea of building the tool around a set of pliers or scissors. Was it a good idea? Read on for my in depth review of the CRKT Guppie and the additional Eat’N tool that came with my combo double pack.
CRKT Guppie Multi-tool
[amazon_link id=”B001F3XAUI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link]
The Guppie boasts the following features:
- Adjustable wrench
- Folding 2 inch blade
- Removable bit carrier with LED light
- Phillips driver bits (2)
- Flat head driver bits (2)
- Carabiner with Bottle opener
- Belt clip
The Dimensions are as follows:
- 4.1 ounces total weight
- 3.5 inches overall length
- 2 inch blade
Starting at the top of the features list is the adjustable wrench. The idea of having a portable adjustable wrench built into a small multi-tool is fantastically novel. Capable of opening up to 1/2”, the adjustable wrench offers the ability to tackle most small scale jobs. My Guppie has no problem gripping the nut securely, contrary to a lot of complaints. The main issue I have with the wrench is the shape. If the nut is not fully exposed, it is difficult to reach it. There also isn’t a whole lot of handle to grip to generate leverage with. For most jobs requiring an adjustable wrench, this one will work fine. Remember that this is a pocket multi-tool, and is designed to give you options while away from your shop and other tools. In a pinch, the Guppie wrench is better than the alternatives (ie hauling a large set of adjustable wrenches everywhere you go or having none). This nice feature might interest you if you an avid mountain biker.
The folding blade is a tool usually found on every multi-tool iteration out there. The 2 inch folding blade made of 2CR13 steel is hollow ground to a drop point, and is not serrated. I like the fact that the Guppie has a blade. I like to have backups with every carry system that I employ, and the blade on the Guppie gives me a backup blade. But that being said, the blade on this tool is just that – a backup. There is no locking mechanism with the blade, making it a little sketchy to use. Just the way you have to grip the tool to cut anything wraps your fingers underneath the blade. I found the blade to be sturdy and durable, but the edge left something to be desired of a blade out of the box. It wasn’t completely dull like other reviewers have said, but I needed to sharpen it to give it a decent edge. Time will tell how the blade holds an edge. As with the adjustable wrench, having a blade when you need it is better than not having one at all, and this tool gives you a nice, sturdy (even without the lock) 2 inch blade.
Having removable driver bits is another idea that I think is fantastic for a small multi-tool. Most other multi-tools have a Phillips and flat head driver built in, but you are left with the one size. I have also found that with the Phillips head screw drivers on Swiss Army knives and Leatherman tools I own, they get stripped out with minimal use and you are left with a Phillips head driver that is ineffective. With the Guppie, simply replace the Phillips head driver bit with a new one. The bit carrier is held to the main Guppie tool by a strong magnet. Some reviewers have said it doesn’t stay attached while in a pocket or bag, but I haven’t had any issues with this at all. The bit carrier holds 4 standard hex bits, so you can mix and match your own (star driver, square, Phillips, and flat head).
The carrier has a lanyard hole on one end (which makes it easy to carry the bit carrier separate), and has a small LED light built in the other end. The light is powered by 2 CR97 batteries and features 1 small LED bulb. The light isn’t terribly bright, but it is now the only multi-tool that I own that has the option of a light. This has been a gripe of mine for a long time. I said above that I like to have backups, and several times when I have needed a light, I have either forgotten my every-day carry light but had my multi-tool. This little light is a pleasant feature, and a much needed backup.
Carabiner Bottle Opener
The carabiner bottle opener is a simple feature, also one that is incorporated in just about every multi-tool out there. I have never had much use for this feature, but if you need the assistance of a bottle opener after a long hike, whip out your Guppie and there it is.
CRKT Eat’N Tool
[amazon_link id=”B004YY369K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link]
My Guppie came in a combo pack with the Eat’N tool. It boasts the following features and dimensions:
- Metric 10mm, 8mm, and 6mm wrench cutouts
- Flat head screwdriver/pry tip
- Bottle cap lifter
- Small pocket carabiner
- 3CR13 Stainless steel
- 1.5 ounces
- 4 inches long
The idea of a spork with additional tools built in is innovative. I have used this spork in the backcountry, and its weight allows me to pack it on ultra-light trips without hesitation. The ‘spoon’ part could be more concave, as it seems that it is a little shallow as far as spoons go. The ‘fork’ prongs are a little bit too blunt and thick, limiting their ability to grip food. One thing I noticed about the fork prongs is that if they were sharper and longer, carrying this tool in your pocket wouldn’t be very comfortable, and is probably why it was designed the way it was.
The handle is a little shorter than I would like it to be. This either limits the reach you have for food in a container or guarantees that your fingers will be swimming in your food. In the backcountry, this isn’t a huge concern since I usually skimp on fancy cutlery in order to save weight and space in my pack. Having anything at all to eat my food with other than my fingers is a luxury I never had before this tool.
I don’t see myself ever using the other features on the Eat’N tool, except for maybe the pry feature (for prying open a can of tuna while on the trail, for example). I usually don’t use a conventional camp stove in the backcountry, I use a homemade alcohol stove (ultra light). I assume the metric wrench cutouts will fit most nuts on stoves for backcountry repairs, but I would imagine if my camp stove broke or went out in the field, I would cook over an open fire or eat my food cold before attempting a bush-fix with pressurized fuels.
Backcountry Samurai Thoughts
The CRKT Guppie and Eat’N tool fared well with my backcountry testing. While some of the tools weren’t that useful for my activities, other outdoor activities might find more utility out of them. The ideas and innovation on the Guppie and Eat’N tool introduced new features that I haven’t seen on other traditional multi-tools, and this is a nod to the engineers and CRKT. The price is in line with the features offered, and I would say this multi-tool set is of much better quality and usefulness than other similarly priced multi-tools. Overall, I think the idea of building a small, compact multi-tool around the framework of an adjustable wrench (or in the case of the Eat’N tool, a spork) works.
Weighing just over 4 ounces (similar to the Leatherman Juice S2’s weight of 4.4 ounces), the Guppie is a good addition to any outdoorsman’s loadout. The Eat’N tool comes in even lighter, and offers some usefulness to backpacking that I haven’t found with any other multi-tool. Remember that these tools offer additional options. As long as you aren’t expecting the Guppie blade to be your primary backcountry blade, or the LED light on the bit carrier to be your primary camping light, but rather backups, these tools will offer value to your outdoor experience. Click on the following link to purchase your CRKT Guppie multi-tool or CRKT Eat’N tool today!
[amazon_link id=”B001F3XAUI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]CRKT Guppie Multi-tool[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B005AONQS4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]CRKT Eat’N Tool[/amazon_link]