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Schrade NaviTool 3415

Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Schrade NaviTool
« on: September 16, 2007, 03:58:26 AM »
Anybody ever handled one of these NaviTools? They are kinda big and clunky. Certainly not the sort of thing you could carry around unnoticed.



If I remember correctly, Schrade brought out the NaviTool about five years ago. It got a lot of press (as did the more expensive i-Quip) but I don't think many folks were interested. At $98 msrp, I most certainly wasn't. But with Schrade now out of business and the eBay price for these down to about $25, I picked one up mainly as a collector's item.



After handling it a bit this afternoon, I'm not thinking it will spend much time outside of it's cardboard box. It's just too fat. :-\



But enough about size, here's what it's got:
On the backside is a huge spring clip. I'm thinking it is designed for use on backpack straps or web gear, not pants pockets. On the top there is a liquid-filled compass. It detaches from the rest of the housing with a 1/8 turn twist-lock. A nylon lanyard secures the compass while it's disconnected, so you don't drop it.

On the side there is a bouquet of blades. Knife, scissors, saw blade, screwdrivers, and a corkscrew. All of the blades lock, and all release using the same mechanism as the Schrade Tough Tools. Unfortunately, the blades are almost unusable, given how clumsy it is to hold on to and manipulate the whole unit in order to use any of them. Oh well, I guess it's the thought that counts.



There is a compartment inside that is just right for a bic-style lighter. The compartment isn't waterproof though. And on the opposite end there is a little red LED signal light. Oh, and I almost forgot about the plastic whistle attached to the lanyard cord.



Oftentimes a device is more valuable than the sum of its parts. But not in this case. Rather than carry the NaviTool, I would prefer a seperate compass, a whistle, a lighter, and a Swiss Army Knife.

Pros
Quality of construction is quite good
Blades and tools are well made, and all lock open
Large spring clip

Cons
Overall size of the unit is too big. Not likely that folks would carry it
Knife, scissors, drivers are clumsy to use
Original $98 msrp was too high


Bob



« Last Edit: September 16, 2007, 03:17:01 PM by J-sews »

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,341 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Schrade NaviTool
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2007, 02:34:08 PM »
I was looking for that and the I-Quip a while back and I always wondered how functional they really were.  It's nice to finally have a review of it!  Some questions though, but then you know me, can never leave well enough alone! :P

Is that a FOX 40 whistle?

What is the overall quality of the tools like?  If you could use them, would you want to?    :-X

Is that a phillips driver on the end of the bottle opener?  That looks pretty neat actually.  Open yourself a beer and let us know how it works!

How bright is the LED?  Is it bright like a Photon (or Fauxton) or is it for closeup stuff like the LED on a 58mm Victorinox?

Lastly, can a Victorinox eyeglass screwdriver fit into the corkscrew?

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Schrade NaviTool
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2007, 03:44:15 PM »
I was looking for that and the I-Quip a while back and I always wondered how functional they really were....... 

Functional is the key issue. This thing is just too awkward to use. The blades and drivers would only be an item of last resort, if no other tools were handy within a half-mile radius!  :P   


Is that a FOX 40 whistle?........I dunno, probably not. It says Acme Tornado, England. It is very loud and piercing though.

What is the overall quality of the tools like?  If you could use them, would you want to?.......Like all pre-Taylor Cutlery products made by Schrade, the quality is great. Strong, solid, well-made. All the components are fine, its just the combination of them that doesn't work for me.

Is that a phillips driver on the end of the bottle opener?  That looks pretty neat actually. ......One blade is a combo flathead screwdriver/can opener, and another is a combo phillips screwdriver/bottle opener. I haven't tested out either one yet. Yet.  ;)

How bright is the LED?  Is it bright like a Photon (or Fauxton) or is it for closeup stuff like the LED on a 58mm Victorinox?.......the red LED is for close-up work only.

Lastly, can a Victorinox eyeglass screwdriver fit into the corkscrew?......Is there some kind of international ISO standard for corkscrew size and helix? The little Vic screwdriver seems to work perfectly in every corkscrew I've tried it on!
53.28 kB | 550x453

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,341 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Schrade NaviTool
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2007, 04:12:33 PM »
If it doesn't say FOX 40, it's probably not, especially since the FOX 40 is Canadian, so it probably wasn't made in England! :P

http://www.fox40world.com/index.php

Watch out when you click that link- the site keeps whistling at you!

There isn't an official international standard per se, but there is an internationally recognized method that yields similar results to a standard.  According to How Things are Made (http://www.madehow.com/Volume-6/Corkscrew.html):

Quote
There are two categories of worms. The auger type is very much like a wood screw, with sharp-edged threads cut into a shank. If the threads are cut so deeply that they extend through the center of the shank, the worm may actually have a hollow center. Auger corkscrew manufacturers claim that their sharp threads help them penetrate corks more easily than round-edge worms. Critics contend that they tend to slice up the center of older corks, ripping out the soft middle of the cork without removing the entire stopper.

Worms with rounded edges are usually made by wrapping a very hot steel rod around a form to make a helix. The tip of the helix is sharpened to help it penetrate the cork easily. Some manufacturers pull the tip out of the helix's perimeter and position it in the center of its hollow core. This makes it easy to insert it into the center of the cork. However, the rest of the worm cannot exactly follow the path of the tip, so the center of the cork can be damaged by this type of corkscrew.

Some manufacturers of round-edge helixes score one or two shallow grooves into the outer surface of the worm to increase the gripping surface between the worm and the cork.

Round-edge corkscrew worms vary in design. They generally have between three and five turns in a helix that is about 2.5 in (6 cm) long. An open pitch—a comparatively wide spacing between turns—is less likely to cause damage to the cork than a tighter spacing. The outer diameter of the worm is usually 0.3-0.4 in (0.8-1 cm).

Here is another interesting link:

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa122000a.htm

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Schrade NaviTool
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2007, 04:34:19 PM »
Interesting stuff about corkscrews, thanks. My guess is that while the corkscrews themselves may be produced by many different companies, the automated machinery to make corkscrews is all produced by only one or two makers.

That would explain why so many different corkscrews are all nearly the same dimensionally.

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,341 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Schrade NaviTool
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2007, 04:43:41 PM »
You mean there isn't a mass market for cranking out corkscrew making machines?

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 1,894
Re: Schrade NaviTool
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2007, 10:06:14 PM »
Nice review.

Items like this have an inherent attraction for me since they are so impractical that they come of as really neat and interesting. So, do you think they concept or the execution was off on this one? Or both?
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Schrade NaviTool
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2007, 11:00:07 PM »
Nice review.

Items like this have an inherent attraction for me since they are so impractical that they come of as really neat and interesting......


Well said! I feel exactly the same way. I am utterly fascinated by how ridiculous this contraption is! (No matter that I will never carry it)  :P

The 'execution' on the NaviTool was fine, it was just a case of foolish design. Waaaayyy back at the concept stage, someone at Schrade should have spoken up and pointed out how crazy this thing was, and that the $98 price tag was out of line. (Same with the i-Quip, which substitutes an electronic trip meter/compass/clock/etc for the compass, $249 msrp)

Bear with me if you will, a little Schrade history:
Both of these devices came out about a year before Schrade closed its doors in 2004. From reports I have read, the company knew it was fighting for its life with overseas imports. They made a concerted effort to reduce new-product-developement lead times from two years down to a matter of months. Here's a quote from a July, 2003 interview with the company's Executive Vice-President:

Schrade used to take two years to roll out three or four or five new product lines, distribute them and get sales cooking. The goal now is to push four, five or even six new product lines out the door at a time. New products used to account for about 15 percent of the company’s business. Now, the goal is for those new products to represent a full one-third of annual sales. “That’s basically how we are going to refuel growth,” Economos said.

I'm guessing they just tried to move too fast with the NaviTool and i-Quip, without proper market research and evaluation.

By the way, the rest of that article can be seen HERE.

Bob

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools

 

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