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'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge) 687

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« on: December 19, 2017, 06:55:28 PM »
This is one of the competitors in 'Lynn's $5 MT Challenge', where I have been tasked to find the best tool I can for $5 (shipping, tax, etc. included). Here's the main thread...
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,75094.0.html

I purchased this used at a pawn shop for $4. Having nothing better to call it, being a generic knockoff, I shall name it 'Ruby' for the transparent red scales.

I seem to recall these swarmed on the scene a few years back, maybe 5 years or so now. They sort of piqued my interest back then, and I never managed to get a hold of one. Until NOW! (queue exciting theme music).

While it's a knock-off of a Swiss Army Knife, it's a bit smaller. Here it is next to my Tinker.


Strangely, designed to be a 5-layer model, but slightly... Hmm. Hang on. That was my SMALL Tinker. HERE it is next to a full 91mm Tinker, with Small Tinker and a Classic along for the ride.


It is VERY small.

What's it got crammed into that tiny package? Frontside: Can opener, Cap lifter/flathead screwdriver, scissors, fish scaler, saw, and blade.


And backside: philips, nail file, large needle, awl, and corkscrew.


And it has toothpick and tweezers in the scales.

For the record, it weighs 2.25oz (64g). This thing seems like it would be very comfortably sized for pocket carry. And while small, it fills my hand (medium sized) well enough that I can get decent grip on it.

Blade test will be coming up shortly, so don't touch that bat-dial!
No Life Club Posts: 3,435
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 07:57:36 PM »
It looks pretty horrible, but looks can be deceiving, so I'm keeping my hands off the dial... and fax... and telex...
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 08:42:32 PM »
Don't want to give too much of a spoiler, but yeah, I think it's probably pretty horrible. But still, testing proceeds.

The Blade

I didn't get this thing new. Saying that, all I can do is test the sharpness as received, and leave it at that. And?

The blade was very, VERY ragged paper-cutting sharp. Just this side of acceptable.


So, as with previous entries, I sharpened it, using a kitchen knife sharpener and ceramic rods. After sharpening, it would cut thin receipt paper. Not always perfectly cleanly, but to my satisfaction.


The blade was just too small for me to feel like whittling was a fair task to put it to. So, I've devised a NEW blade test. I call it 'Et Tu, Brute?' Wherein I run a bunch of cuts on a Little Caesars pizza box, then go back to paper cutting, to see how it holds an edge.


And.... Yeah. The knife cut the cardboard well. 16 plunges, then foot long (approximately) gashes through corrugated cardboard, and the blade still cut the receipt paper.

I'm sure you're all looking at those cuts in that cardboard box, and thinking... 'An adult actually eats Little Caesars Pizza?' Yes. Stop judging me!  :'(   :rofl:

Finally, I though I'd give a comparison of Ruby's blade length compared to the small blade on my Small Tinker. It's a little longer, and the stock is a little thinner. It feels as solid as the small blades on 84mm SAKs, and a good deal more robust than the blades on a 58mm. For what most pocket knives are going to be called into service for, I'd give this a 100% pass.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,804 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 12:04:09 AM »
You didn't give Little Caesar enough cuts.  :whistle: :P

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,947 Born to multitask.
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 01:31:41 AM »
'An adult actually eats Little Caesars Pizza?' Yes. Stop judging me!  :'(   :rofl:

Pizza is pizza. I always keep an open mind.  :cheers:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 02:10:09 AM »
It is surprisingly good pizza for the cost. When you are cheap, like me. :D

But then, that's the opinion of someone who WILLINGLY gets cheap MTs to play around with, so my judgement may be suspect. :D

Right, so on to the REALLY important functions of this thing: Cap Lifter and Can Opener.

Starting with the Can Opener. It works. There are a few tools that I mostly just grade pass/fail. Either it works or it doesn't. Everything else is very minor nuance, because whether I can open a can in 16.6 seconds or if it takes me 45 seconds largely doesn't matter, since i won't be doing a ton of cans at once. As long as it's not painful, and doesn't rim jump, it's a pass.

The 'painful and rim jumping' would be the previous entry in my challenge, the $1 SAK knock-off from Dollar Tree. (link below to that thread)
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,75095.0.html

Nothing really exciting to see here. I know within a few cuts if a can opener works, so did a quarter of the rim of a can of ravioli. It worked fine.


And what about the cap lifter? Well, I've mentioned in other threads, trying to use the cap lifter on the Victorinox Rambler gets harder with each adult beverage consumed. I suspect this one would be the same way. It was a tad finicky on hooking the cap's edge, but did the job opening my barley-based adult beverage.


Yep. So, there we go. More testing to come.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 02:48:56 AM »
I thought I'd test a couple tools working together next. The Awl and Sewing Needle, with light assistance from the Scissors.

The objective was to make an 'emergency repair' to a piece of scrap denim I have. I used dental floss as the cordage, which is a pretty standard hiker trick.

First, I punched pilot holes through both layers of denim with the awl. Easy.


Next, I used the sewing needle, going through the pre-punched holes.


Once done, the remains were snipped off with the scissors (so they can at least cut waxed dental floss, but more on them later).

Jeans repaired, and minty fresh! :D

I have to make a confession, now. I think I've been stupid in the past, loathing the sewing needle on the cheap SAK-knockoffs because they are next to impossible to punch through thick material like denim. It only occurred to me today to make pilot holes with the awl. So (or, 'sew') that's how it's done, folks.

Awl for punching heavy cloth: Pass
Needle for emergency repairs with dental floss: Pass
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 06:11:21 PM »
Scissors.

For those who've never read any of my stuff, I kind of made a rating system for multitool scissors. Here's the thread.
https://forum.multitool.o...ex.php/topic,36798.0.html

Here's a summary of the scale:"The materials tested were paper, corrugated cardboard, T-shirt, The seam portion of old khakis (4 layers thick), suede leather, PETE plastic bottle (as a stand-in for blister packaging), Cardboard box (non-corrugated), heavy gauge screw-on plastic lid (from a container of ‘country time lemonade’, about 1mm thick), and 550 paracord. I scored these in one of 4 caregories: Fail (-1), Barely Adequate (+0), Pass (+1), Pass with distinction (+2)"

So, the scissors pass Paper, PETE plastic, non-corrugated Cardboard, and T-shirt. Barely adequate for Corrugated Cardboard, 550 paracord. Failed Khaki, Suede, and Heavy Plastic.
Total score: +1

This puts them about where I expect scissors to be on tools that aren't from Vic, Leatherman, or Gerber. I don't think I've encountered many scissors that were much better in less well known brands. There might be a few exceptions.

So, they're ok. Particularly when you consider the size of the tool. What might reasonably be asked of it. For day to day tasks, snipping threads, cutting paper, and cutting those stupid plastic pricetag fasteners... yeah, right there. You need any serious work done, like cutting the leg off a pair of pants, and I'd say switch to the blade.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 07:14:48 PM »
The.. saw.

 :facepalm:

I've... I've tested saws on SAK-knockoffs before. I have never exactly been... 'impressed'. Here was my first test.
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,37422.0.html

The forum member Jothra once described SAK-knockoff saws thusly: "It is only marginally better at cutting wood than the knife's fish scaler, which in turn is only slightly better at cutting wood than the knife's corkscrew. I have seen sharper cheeses."
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,42423.msg686191.html#msg686191

Another issue. The nail nick on the tool is completely obscured by the fish scaler. I had to pull the tweezers from the scale and pry the fish scaler out of the way before I could open the saw. Ergo fail.

Okay. Well... let's do this.

The best and only thing I can think of near to analogous to this tool would be an 85mm Wenger. Like this...


That stick they're about to cut through is Ash. And it's been well aged. That is serious wood. I have repeatedly seen SAK-knockoff saw dull completely before finishing half that thickness. So, this should be 'fun'.

Up first, for the benchmark, Wenger.


Yeah, no problem. Time on the stopwatch, 2:09. The stick broke when there was about 1/8 of the thickness left. But otherwise, good.

And the competition which I'm sure will...


WHHHHaaaaaa...? What just HAPPENED?  :ahhh

It...  :o

IT CUT THE WOOD!

Time on the stopwatch was 2:57, but still, it cut, and it didn't feel dead-dull afterward. I am not sure if I have ever been so shocked from any test on any multitool I have ever done. This is just crazy.

Saw for light cutting tasks: Pass (yeah, I'm shocked, too)

Just note, that was ONE cut. It might not last lots longer.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 07:17:18 PM by Lynn LeFey »
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 61,255
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 09:28:24 PM »
More great pics and a great write up as well Lynn :like: :like: I also like Lil Caesars pizza :whistle: Cheap pizza is still good pizza :D

Almost wished Vic made a similar sized SAK with that toolset :dd: :like:
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,448 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2017, 10:16:57 PM »
I am amazed at how tiny that thing is, and even more so now that I see how well the saw works.  I have always felt that there is no substitution for length when it comes to saws, so I am impressed to see such a tiny saw perform so well.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2017, 10:37:25 PM »
Exactly. I was certain it was both going to be garbage for cutting, and completely suck due to its length. Considering it took 150% the amount of time as the Wenger, and the length difference, I'd call that pretty impressive.

Yeah, stacking it against a Wenger 85mm really puts it into perspective, huh?

As a side note in this regard. 'Ruby' slips nicely into a coin pocket in jeans. Carry win!
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,448 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 10:51:59 PM »
I have always talked about how much the Wenger saw is excellent, but usually because it is available on 120mm models, giving the greatest draw length.   Yes it's a good saw on its own but the length was what made it really great.

To see a teeny saw on such a cheapo perform that well is excellent.  I guess it is time to liquidate all of my more expensive tools and replace them with cheapo instead!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2017, 11:00:15 PM »
I'm going to recommend against that. But if you DO want to liquidate... let me see the list. :D
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2017, 06:19:22 AM »
We have come to that most dreaded moment, where I have to talk about the... (sigh)... the fish scaler.

I don't scale fish. Ever. If I did, I don't think I'd use a fish scaler attached to my multitool, because those scales fly everywhere, and getting fish-gross in my knife sounds horrifying, and kind of unhygienic.

So... Alright, based on Jothra's observation that a saw on a crappy tool is only marginally better at cutting wood than a fish scaler, well... what do I have that's not as tough as wood that this thing could cut?

How about... an Andy Capp's Hot Fry?


BOOM! This thing is a puffed corn snack cutting MACHINE! Crushing, cutting... whatever. 100% success. I'd wager to say it could also break a tortilla chip, but that's untested.

Alright, how about as a fancy hors d'oeuvres 'fork'?


Ohhh... Man! Knocking it out of the PARK, with that cheese-lancing action. But what if we demand that it steps up its food-poking game? What about beef stick snacks? That's got some HARD casing to punch through. Will it...?



It is absolutely KILLING IT!  :ahhh

It may LOOK to the casual, untrained eye, that I am having a plate of snacky food, and screwing around, but I ASSURE you that this is not the... okay, yeah.

Well, what if I use it to fight off a NINJA ATTACK?!?


I'm going to be honest. It worked okay. I won, as you can see in the.. uh... picture... if you just ... kind of squint and...
Look, I was a little preoccupied with ground-and-pound on a ninja to worry about my photographic composition, OKAY?!? :D

Alright.

Now that THAT silliness is over.

It is a joke as a fish scaler. It's most realistic description is 'pokey bit of metal'. The dentition on it are JUST aggressive enough that it would be good for scratching the bottom of your foot, if it were itchy.

I am sick to death of fish scalers, and more than being worthless, there is absolutely NO way to extract this tool into its open position. I had to use the tweezers to pry it open.

As a cheese stabber: Win
Other than that: NOPE!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2017, 08:12:22 AM »
I think we're about to wrap up with this second tool in the challenge.

Screwdrivers...

The cap lifter/flathead doesn't function as a flathead driver. Someone didn't bother to taper the edge to make it slot into screws. Complete fail

The backside Phillips is small. So small in fact that it slots into the common screws found in small plastic objects, like my kitchen scale, or electronic games or toys. It slots in well, and while the tool wouldn't handle serious torque, this application doesn't require it. Complete WIN for the Phillips.

What's left? Nail file. Yes, it files nails. It's actually decently aggressive. And the under nail cleaning tool is okay. Not spectacular, but it works. Nail tool WIN.

Tweezers are not as fine as I would like, but will work to pluck a stray hair without cutting it. I'd say marginal pass. You're going to need the tweezers if you ever wish to open the fish scaler tool.

The toothpick is a very flimsy feeling plastic, and I think any actual use would deform or break it. But that's not a big deal

The retention on both the tweezers and toothpick are good, strong but not too strong.

Split ring on lanyard seems fine.

And the anemic corkscrew goes untested, for fear of tearing the tool apart, but it has a good point that I'm sure would work well to pick a knot in cordage apart.

Wrap-up.
Decent blade, functional cap lifter (if finicky), functional can opener, tolerable light-duty scissors, surprisingly functional saw, ok awl and sewing needle, good phillips, and passable tweezers, all in about 2.5 ounces, and in a form that will slip into a coin pocket, wrapped in nice looking transparent red scales.

Worth $4? I think absolutely. And, I'd rather pay $4 for this than $1.09 for the Dollar Tree SAK knockoff. There is no frightening side to side play of the blade, and the scissors actually work. This takes first place on the leader board, but it's only the second tool tested.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,596 Firm believer of Sturgeon's Law
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2017, 02:10:49 PM »
much better than expecten in some regards.
And I too hate fish scalers, I've never scaled a fish either.  :oops:
What I've done to them in my SAKs is grind and sharpen the tips to make them better improvised forks to properly catch hard to pick food (olives, anchovies, slippery pickles, etc)...takes a minute on sandpaper   :salute:

and I also despise non tapered flatheads like this one, they are even bad prybars!   :rant:

My toys:

MTs: Surge (2x), Skeletool CX, Rebar, Blast, Fuse, Micra, Squirt (3x), Wave, Crunch, Mini, Spirit (2x), Pro Scout, MP700 (2x), Diesel, Powerlock, PowerPlier (2x), PocketPowerPlier, Blacktip , ST6 (2x), 5WR, A100

SAKs: Bantam, Executive, Ambassador, Minichamp, Classic Alox, Champion, Farmer, Explorer, Swisschamp, Golf Tool, Wenger Champ, EVO 52, Pocket Tool Chest
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: 'Ruby' small SAK knockoff (Lynn's $5 MT Challenge)
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2017, 04:28:43 PM »
Yep on both. Some of the problems with this tool could be solved with a dremel and a few minutes' work. I kind of like the idea of sharpening the fish saw. For It COULD make a good 'fork', stabby bit, whatever.

 

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