Ever wish you could do more with less? So do the folks at Mininch (pronounced like “mini” + “inch”), the Taiwanese company behind the Tool Pen. Inspired by the fruit-scented “Pop-A-Point” stacking pencils of the 90’s, the Tool Pen houses six interchangeable bit heads that can be swapped out by punching new ones into the back of the pen.
Appearance-wise, the Tool Pen looks like something out of a James Bond movie—sleek and sophisticated. I admit, I was a little wary of the Tool Pen at first. Sure, it looked handsome, but I wasn’t too convinced its function measured up to its appearance.
Of course, when I used it for the first time to tighten my towel rack (the kind with the impossible-to-reach hex head screws), I was happy to be proven wrong. Despite its rigid exterior, it has a pleasantly ergonomic grip and a nice heft once all the bits are loaded.
There’s a lot to like about the Tool Pen: it’s compact, easy on the eyes, and great at getting into cramped spaces. However, there are a couple drawbacks worth mentioning. The first is more of a personal grievance, and involves swapping out the bit heads. It’s easy to do, but can require a bit of fiddling.
For example, if you want to change out your current bit head (say, a flathead) for a new one (say, a Phillips), you will have to remove the flathead, load it into the top of the pen and push down to pop out a new bit. That means that if the Phillips head is sixth in line, you will have to repeat this step five times. It’s a minor annoyance, but one that was hard for me to overlook.
It’s also worth mentioning the price. The Tool Pen starts at $69 for the basic edition, $90 for the premium. If you’re in the market for an inexpensive set of screwdrivers, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere (you can find a decent set of screwdrivers on Amazon for under $30). But If you’re a fan of compact multi-tools like I am (shout out to my Leatherman and Swiss Army knives), I recommend checking out the Tool Pen.
The Tool Pen is available in three editions and comes in a variety of colors. Click here to find the one that’s right for you, and while you’re there be sure to check out some of Mininch’s other nifty tools, like their multifunctional WRENCHit.