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CRKT Guppie: Initial review 3562

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« on: August 04, 2014, 10:21:07 PM »
The Columbia River Knife and Tool company's Guppie is an unusual design. In a field almost entirely dominated by plier-based, scissor-based, and knife-based options, the Guppie is based around an adjustable wrench.

The tool is 5.1oz (144g), 3 5/8" (92mm) long, 1 7/8" (48mm) wide, and 1" (25mm) thick with the bit kit, or 1/2" (12mm) thick without. The main tool is all metal, with a black coating (which I believe is paint). The bit kit is probably FRN or similar.

Here is a picture of the Guppie.


Here's the Guppie with wrench jaw open, blade deployed, bit in socket, and bit holder/flashlight detached.


The adjustable wrench head opens to 1/2" (12mm). This seems to limit the size of bolts it will handle, but the short handle will limit the torque you can apply, so I am guessing the two functions are fairly well paired. There is a fair amount of play between the moving wrench jaw, and adjustment screw. I don't think it would affect function. Unfortunately, I can't find many things around the house to test the wrench on. I used it to unscrew a piece of coaxial cable in the basement. I couldn't find another use for it.

The blade has a hole for one-hand opening. It has good retention closed, but not so much that I found it difficult to open. It is also positioned to allow reasonable use right or left handed. The blade doesn't lock, but does retain well in the open position. The cutting surface is just under 2" (51mm), but only 1 1/2" (38mm) of this protrudes beyond the wrench jaws. The blade's stock seems reasonably thick, and gives the impression of a sturdy tool. There is just a very slight side-to-side play in mine.

On the side of the tool away from the wrench head is a hex bit socket, with a magnet inside for bit retention. Both with the 4 bits that come with it, and other standard hex bits I have around the house, the bit holder worked very well. The wide body of the tool allows great torque with minimal effort. I did find myself occasionally accidentally gripping the carabiner gate, and having it 'collapse' instead of having a firm handhold on the tool. This was only a minor problem.

The carabiner has a very solid feel, with a sturdy, spring-loaded gate. Unfortunately, I don't have a bottle to test the cap lifter function, but it looks like it would work well.

The final feature of the main tool is the belt clip. If the bit kit is removed, the Guppie is fairly comfortable for pocket carry. With or without the bit kit, the tool carries well on the belt. the clip feels incredibly sturdy, and has impressive stiffness to the spring, while still being well shaped to catch on a pocket.

In addition the the main tool, there is a combination bit kit/LED flashlight that attaches to the side of the Guppie. It comes with four standard size hex bits (#1 and #2 philips, and #3 and #5 flat head). The kit is held to the main tool by two strong magnets, and two plastic 'pins' the stick into the Guppie's frame. Those same magnets hold the hex bits securely in place. The LED flashlight is fairly dim. I would guess a few lumens max.



However, while it's not terribly bright, the connector system of the flashlight and tool means you can flip the bit kit around, to point the light either toward the wrench/blade end, OR the hex socket end, ensuring a little pinpoint light right were you would need it.

One last trick up the bit kit's sleeve, it has a lanyard hole, if you wished to hang the light around your neck, or simply keep tabs of it while not attached to the main body of the Guppie.



There's this terrible problem I have in writing this review. There are some simply great ideas on this tool. The pinpoint light, the magnets used to retain things in place, the excellent bit socket. The problem is that the feature that the tool is built around, an adjustable wrench, just doesn't seem as useful as (for instance) pliers. I had to go LOOK for something to use it on.

However, I think the good considerably outweighs the bad. I'm going to give a thumbs up to this fascinating little tool. I think it might not be the best single-tool option, but I bet there would be some fantastic tool combos it could be used in.

A Final Note: I want to again thank Columbia River Knife and Tool for their generous donation of this tool which I won in a giveaway for MTO's 8th Anniversary Review Contest. Also, I want readers to understand this is a 'first impression' of the tool. It's been in my hands for less than 2 hours. My impression of it may change over time, with additional use.

Pros
Great ergonomics as a screw driver
Very useful LED
Good one-hand open on blade left or right handed

Cons
Kind of heavy for what you get
Adjustable Wrench has limited use
Awkward pocket carry with attached bit kit
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,733 You're amongst friends.
Re: CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2014, 10:38:38 PM »
The deal breaker for me would definitely be the limited wrench sizing.

SAW
No Life Club Posts: 3,419
Re: CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2014, 11:27:40 PM »
Interesting stuff, Lynn - thanks.

Edit:  it becomes a little more attractive when you factor in price, which is $22.95 on Amazon.  Then you (me, that is) factor in its functionality and weight (in addition to price) relative to its competitors.   Guppie vs. PS4?  Versus Wingman?  I guess it all depends on what you are after.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 11:37:51 PM by powernoodle »

Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 31,606 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 12:10:21 AM »
Excellent review Lynn. :cheers:  For some reason I didn't know that the bit holder/LED was removable.

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 12:15:55 AM »
Glad to be of service.

We're all learning from each other here. And I always like it when i read a review and learn some neat little tidbit I didn't know.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,262 Tactical Desk Jockey
Re: CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 10:24:07 AM »
Thanks for the review :tu:
I played with one for a few days and came to a similar conclusion: a tool with very limited application for me.

EDC: Black Talon, Black Cat, Spirit, LD02
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,927
Re: CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 10:37:05 AM »
I'd really considered the idea of a Guppie until I had a play with one at last years meet. Fun idea,but,no,not for me

Good review though Lynn :tu:

There is no beginning,or ending,and for this we are thankful,cos now is hard enough to understand!
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,149 I may get older but I refuse to grow up.
Re: CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 12:30:51 PM »
Very good write up. :cheers:

Are the bits standard 1/4" size on this one?
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2014, 04:10:21 PM »
Are the bits standard 1/4" size on this one?

Yep. It was one of the real selling points for me. The second thing I did, after testing the bit retention with one of the bits that came with the Guppie was to grab a bit I had from my tool kit. Having the option to use standard bits opens a huge range of options for this tool.
Global Moderator No Life Club Posts: 3,089
Re: CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2014, 05:31:59 PM »
Nice review Lynn.

I bought one of these for my GF as a stocking filler.... She keeps Guppie fish
However she was not too impressed with the present,  >:D - she is happy with her Vic Classic
And she thought that I had really bought it for me ..... hmmmm  ???  ......  :D

I just used the torch to go into a dark bedroom - It really is not bright - Way duller than the light emitted by a mobile phone for instance - But it does work and you can see and seek out stuff.

One additional point on the screwdriver and bits is that it is very short - which can be a good thing!
If you need to screw in a restricted place (ahem), which I had to do earlier this year - The Guppie was my only driver than was short enough!!

One minor complaint - My bit holder does not seem to hold the bits very firmly - However I gave it a few really violent shakes and only one bit fell out once.

One suggestion for improvement to CRKT - The tips of the wrench are rounded, which of course all fits in well with the Guppie's rounded features. However if you are using the tool in line with the nut (as opposed to the more normal position of at a right angle) the rounded tip means you get less contact area and purchase on the nut. ie The tips cannot go flush against whatever the nut is screwed into
Hope that makes sense 

I filed mine (oops I mean my girlfriends) down so that they were flat.

I have tried to show this in the photo - But the light and focus are not great.
But you can see where the black paint (and tip) has gone/been filed down on the right hand jaw.

 
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 05:34:22 PM by Huntsman »
No Life Club Posts: 3,070 American Clandestine Materials Executive (ACME)
Re: CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2014, 05:57:36 AM »
I have a Miniguppy, and I came to pretty much the same conclusions. Excellent ideas shackled by meh execution of the design of the wrench. I've got it around here someplace... I think maybe in the fridge, I might have been playing with it and left it in there when I was getting something out....

It isn't crazy, it's corvid logic! Trade shinies, and trade up.

"Even if it is only the handful of people I meet on the street, or in my home, I can still protect them with this one sword" Kenshin Himura

Necessity is the mother of invention. If you're not ready, it's "a mother". If you are, it's "mom".

"I love democracy" Sheev Palpatine, upon his election to Chancellor.
No Life Club Posts: 1,038
Re: CRKT Guppie: Initial review
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2014, 03:22:24 PM »
I carried the guppy as a companion to my Gerber MP for about 2years and found yes the jaw size and short length are limiting.
But it works well as a hand vise for holding small parts while you work on them with the MP. The 1/4bit driver is a great feature and an bit extender can increase leverage on wrench.
The bit carrier made it irritatingly fat if you clip it the same pocket as your keys.
 In the end I added a larger set of craftsman bits and packed it in the back pocket of a 2 pocket NiteIze holster with my MP up front..
Though I don't edc it anymore that setup is at the heart of the tool kit in my emergency gear.
 I'd honestly set one up like that again but my Super300 already weighs a ton compared to the old MP. I'd hate to add more weight without suspenders.

I used to be a lot of things, and someday will again.
But for now I'm just a lost jack of trades with neither mastery nor home. ~NoaIsumi

 

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