It sure is nice to see all the new gadgets from CRKT these days. Last year saw the introduction of their very first multitools, the Guppie and the Zilla-Tool, and this year they've came out with even more. The Li'l Guppie
, the Zilla-Tool Jr, the Lumabiner, and the Get-A-Way Driver are all new for 2008. In addition, we got a look at the Extrik-8-R rescue tool and the little Ashworth Turtle knives, both of which Def was particularly smitten with.
Of them all though, the one that catches my fancy is the Zilla-Tool Jr. Much as I like the rounded contours and basic features of the original Zilla, the darn thing is more than I want to carry on most occasions. (In other words, sometimes you can just have too much tool!) The masterminds at the CRKT i.d. Works developement team listened to and read about the feedback on the original, and responded with a drastic weight loss program. The result is the Zilla-Tool Jr, an exact scale replica of its big older brother.
And by exact scale, I do mean exact!
Nearly every detail is the same, only smaller. The Junior is a scientifically-calculated 82% of the length, 82% of the width, and 82% of the thickness as compared to the original. Why 82 percent? Because that size reduction is what the i.d. Works gurus determined would achieve an approximate 50% reduction in weight. That's right, the Zilla Junior weighs about half
as much as the Zilla-Tool does. (By the way, this same 82%-size-equals-50%-weight formula was used on the Li'l Guppie as well.)
I really like the result of this scale down effort. The original fit my hand well enough, but the Junior fits in my pocket, which means I'm far more likely to have it with me when I need it. And it really doesn't seem as if the utility of the pliers or the knife was compromised that much.
The only unfortunate consequence was the bits and bit driver, previously standard 1/4' hex, are now a special .205" size. (about 5mm, which means even the little 4mm bits from a Victorinox Cybertool will not work) The i.d. Works guys considered leaving the hex receptacle at 1/4" on the Zilla Junior, but finally elected to scale down the hex so as to still fit the bits into now-smaller carrying slots in the handle. Included with the Junior are two bits, both single-ended; a standard flathead and a standard phillips.
(Before you ask, I forgot to inquire about spare bit availability or special bits like torx or hex. Just now sent off an email to our CRKT contact. Hopefully we'll see a quick reply)
CRKT has somewhat addressed the bit size problem by making an adapter available that allows standard 1/4" bits to be used in the Zilla-Junior. As it happens, this same adapter is standard equipment on the Get-A-Way Driver, another new tool for 2008. I'll link to a review of it shortly, but here are a couple pics so you get the idea:
It seems to me that the two of these devices clipped together with the Get-A-Way's carabiner would make a great team.
Almost forgot to mention: the Zilla-Tool Jr is available with either matte stainless finish or black teflon on the metal. Both versions come with black Zytel handles.