Columbia River Knife and Tool entered the multitool world last year with the release of the ZillaTool. While it was praised for it's design and innovation many people including my self may have passed on it for it's hefty size and length. Some people said that while they liked the tool it was just to long to carry around and use with the pocket clip. While it looks like the people over at I.D. Works (the design division at CRKT that came up with the ZillaTool) were listening for this year they released a smaller more pocket friendly version of the Zillatool aptly named the ZillaTool Jr.
The ZillaTool Jr differs from many multitools on the market today in that the pliers aren't accessed butterfly style but are built into the body of the tool. Kinda a throw back the the Wenger SwissGrip and SOG ToolClip. Getting access the pliers is a real treat. Simply pull the lock release back with your thumb and the spring loaded plier handle snaps open. The pliers are much more user friendly because of how well the spring back feature works. While not a heavy duty set of pliers I have found them useful for many tasks and compare to the Leatherman Juice and Skeletool pliers in size and toughness.
One thing that I found while using the ZillaTool Jr is how well it fits my hand. It doesn't matter what implement I am using it is always comfortable to hold. The body of the tool is made of tough plastic that is molded to fit in your hand. While some people may like the idea of plastic in a multitool. It works perfectly for the Zilla Jr. Weighing in at only 3.8oz. It's a easy lightweight tool to carry. It wasn't designed for work around the construction site but for easy every day carry and fits that need nicely.
Like the pliers, accessing the knife blade can be done with one hand. Like many other CRKT products the Zilla Jr features a flipper
that when pressed down flips open the blade. The blade it self is 2.25 inches long is half straight and serrated. Here is the one problem I have with the Zilla Jr. The blade is very thin. Almost razor thin at it's tip. While it may make it easer to cut trough things I wish it was just a little thicker for strength. Time will only tell how well it holds up.
The Zilla Jr features a bit driver located at the base of the tool and the bits are stored in the handle. In order to keep the size and weight down the Zilla Jr uses special size bits made for it. A adapter will be available for the Zilla Jr to take regular 1/4 bits down the road. I have had a minimal of problems using the included bits on different size screws. And have found that because the bit driver is located at the base and center line of the tool it makes driving screws much easier than one other tools. The main problem I see with these smaller bits is that they maybe difficult to replace if lost.
Going along with the ease of every day carry. Zilla Jr features a strong pocket clip that carries the tool with the plier down when clipped to your pocket.
All in all I have to say that I would recommend the ZillaTool Jr to anyone who wants just the bare tools and a useful set of light weight pliers at a fraction of the cost of other multitools while not sacrificing quality and form of function. If you are looking for a easy to use and carry tool the ZillaTool Jr maybe for you.
Pros: Light weight Blade length : 2.25'' (5.7cm)
One hand access pliers and Blade Handle length : 5.25'' (13.3 cm)
Ease of use and Comfortable to hold Length Blade open :7.50'' (19.0cm)
Pocket clip Tool weight : 3.8 oz. (108g)
Cons: Very thin blade
Specialty Bits maybe difficult to replace if lost
Bits limited to two