This multi-tool is interesting, albeit a little frustrating to set up.
As the market for EDC (everyday carry) items grows, manufacturers are coming up with new and better ideas to improve the number of tools one can have at their disposal in a compact package.
One of the biggest problems with carrying an everyday multi-tool and a bunch of additional pocket tools like flashlights and pens with you is how much space they take up in your pockets.
A company named Keyport is looking to solve those problems with a new stowaway tool. A few months ago they sent me their Pivot modular multi-tool system to test. This tool system is part Swiss army knife, part key organizer.
Some assembly required
Because the Keyport Pivot acts as a home for your keys, it means you have to put some of it together yourself. There is something ironic about needing a multi tool to assemble your multi tool. My demo version came with some dummy keys; I could have easily just carried that around to see how it held up, but I decided to add my actual keys to this thing and give it a real EDC test.
My test version came with the MOCA 10-in-1 multi-tool and the pen insert. I decided I would keep those on there because a journalist always has need for a pen, and you never know when you'll need a multi-tool. I only had three keys, which was one more than the dummy set on the tool when it was shipped to me. How hard could that be to put together? The answer is very.
There are picture examples and instructions that come with the Keyport, but the instructions are a bit vague and unclear. Only later did I realize Keyport has instruction videos online which are MUCH easier to understand. Do yourself a favor and just watch those instead. You can find them here.
I did finally get the tool together after using the extended pin and all the spacers provided. It can probably be put together in a slimmer package, but after the hassle of putting it together, I had no desire to take it apart again.
The good news is, once I locked it all down, the keys and tools stayed together snugly, mostly thanks to the Pivot's "perfect tension" system. There is no mistaking when you have it set up right, mainly because the screw you tighten makes audible clicks as you rotate it. That was a welcome feature.
Keyport says you can fit up to nine keys in the standard model. They have expansion kits available if you have more than that, but honestly, the Keyport is heavy enough with just three on it. The good news is, if you hate the sound of jingling keys, the Keyport solves that problem in a big way.
My review model also came with two add-on modules: a mini-flashlight module and a pocketknife module. These modules snap into the sides of the Keyport. It looked simple enough to add them, but I noted it took a bit of elbow grease to snap them into place. Once they were in, they seemed to stay pretty secure.
Let's talk about those add-on modules. The 12 lumen mini-flashlight is surprisingly bright considering how small it is. This LED light doesn't have a lot of range, but if you just need to locate something in the bed of a pickup or find something you dropped in a dark garage, it should do the trick just fine.
I've read some complaints online where people had the mini-flashlight's battery cover come off and go missing without them realizing it. That didn't happen during the course of my testing. If you're really worried about it, you could probably add a small piece of electrical tape to help keep it in place.
The pocketknife module contains a single 2.2-inch blade in an extremely slim profile. In fact, it's very easy to forget you have a knife with you. I'd hate to forget to remove it before going to the airport, or I'd be dealing with some awkward moments with the TSA agents.
The blade is steel, is plenty sharp, and has smooth operation out of the box. It will work fine for small jobs like cutting a string or fishing line or opening small, lightly taped packages. But this isn't a heavy-duty blade by any means, and I wouldn't trust it for much more than that.
The blade does stop at a 90-degree angle, but that is the only safety feature built in. This knife does not have a locking mechanism, which is baffling. In my opinion, a knife module that costs $17 should have some sort locking measure.
I really appreciated the tool inserts, specifically the pen tool. Since I do freelance reporting for a small newspaper, I find myself needing to jot down notes at meetings, interviews, or sporting events I'm covering. Since buying a digital recorder, I've sometimes forgotten to bring a pen. This tool solves that problem. You won't do any extended writing with it, but for quick notes, it's ideal.
The other included insert is the Moca 10-in-1 multi tool. This tool includes three wrenches in 1/4", 5/16" and 3/8". It has a bottle opener, a flathead screwdriver, scoring tool, hex bit driver, cord cutter, and box opener all in a very compact package.
The Moca tool is a single piece of stainless steel and it feels pretty robust. I didn't test everything, mainly because I very rarely use wrenches or hex bit drivers. Most people who buy this probably won't use those often either. I like the idea of the flathead screwdriver at the end, but it is a bit large. You definitely won't be able to use it on smaller screws, something to consider if you use screwdrivers often.
The box cutter and cord cutter are decently sharp, and it does fine for light cord and tape. It won't slice through cardboard, so if you were considering this for that, you'd be better off with a blade box cutter. The bottle opener works fine, although it can be difficult to get leverage with the tool attached to the Keyport.
Keyport says the Moca tool is TSA-friendly, which is good. But you'll need to note that it does have something of a sharp edge on the cord cutter and box opener. I looked online and several people said they had no problems flying with it, but there is always the possibility of running into a TSA agent who's having a bad day and won't want to argue with you about it.
Unfortunately, this tool arrived while I was already on a work trip to Texas. Had it arrived a week earlier, I could have gotten a TSA reaction for this review.
Other modules and lost and found program
Keyport offers some other modules they did not send me to test. They refer to some of these as "smart tech modules." One of these modules includes a USB 3.0 flash drive, which is not a bad idea. Another add-on module includes a Bluetooth locater where you can use a smart phone app called Trackr to re-locate your Keyport in case it is lost.
My Keyport comes with a simple, lower-tech solution called Keyport ID to help locate your keys in case you ever lose them. Every Keyport comes with a unique tracking number. There is no personal information given out, but if someone finds your keys, they can enter the code on Keyport's ID site and it will allow that person to contact you through an anonymous chat to facilitate the return of your keys. It's simple, but sometimes simple is best. You can even leave a photo and instructions for the finder if you so desire.
Either way, it was easy to sign up for this service, and I appreciate how Keyport wants to make sure you never lose this thing once you have it.
The bottom line
So is the Keyport worth it? I'd say that depends on the individual. If you're in a line of work where you constantly use tools like maintenance or construction, the Keyport might not be heavy duty enough to be used as an everyday carry item.
But for anyone who is just looking for a way to organize their keys and have a few small tools on hand in case they need them, the Keyport should be enough.
As a writer, I do very little day-to-day work with tools. Most of the time when I do use them, it's when I'm fishing, hunting, camping, or taking part in some other outdoor recreational activity.
For the rare occasions when I actually need a tool, the Keyport should work just fine, and I totally plan to keep it as my go-to, everyday keyring.