Slightly fatter than a credit card but similar in all other dimensions, the Victorinox SwissCard (also known as Jelly Card) is an amazingly useful and ingenious bit of kit that can be slipped into your wallet. The 'jelly' design, available in four colours, is smart and modern, and allows you to see the tools available to you through the plastic casing. The knife blade - 40mm in length with a handle of similar length - sits across the top of the card. It's sharp enough to carry out small cutting jobs. An opening at the same end of the card swivels out to reveal the standard Swiss Army knife scissors, again good and sharp. The other bits - the nail file, tweezers, ballpoint pen, toothpick and a single pin - are all housed at the other end of the card. All fit snuggly into their slots and plastic tabs at the end of each enable them to be removed with ease (provided you don't bite your fingernails!). Finally, the card has a ruler (inches and cms) along the top edge. The SwissCard is a handy wee thing to keep in your wallet or handbag but is a little too fiddly for serious outdoor use.
|Bits small blade, scissors, nail file, tweezers, ballpoint pen, toothpick, pin, ruler edge (inches and cm).|
|Size 84 x 54 x 4mm|
|Colours blue, red, green, charcoal.|
Coast Pliers Plus
The Coast Pliers Plus tool is one of these pieces of kit that you just can't help fiddling with. It boasts a dozen implements housed within two metal arms that fold out and you can spend hours opening and closing it, pulling all the various bits out and then clicking them back in again.
Apart from keeping fidgety fingers busy, it is also exceptionally practical for use in the outdoor. The Pliers Plus model has two knives - a large and particularly sharp spear blade and a much shorter one.
There are also the all-important bottle and can openers, plus a Phillips screwdriver, medium screwdriver and small screwdriver (this being handy for repairing things like spectacles), scissors and a file designed for use on wood or metal. Finally, the needle nose pliers also serve as wire cutters. All of the tools are made from good quality stainless steel.
The original Coast tools came with bare metal handles (pictured), but the current range features plastic 'comfort grip' ones. A cordura sheath is supplied for storage.
The tool weighs in at eight ounces and folds down into a nice compact unit, measuring about four inches in length and an inch across.
With the arms opened out, the tool can be used like a conventional set of pliers or wire cutters. One arm houses the file, scissors, Phillips screwdriver and can opener while the other accommodates the two knife blades, the medium and small screwdriver (part of the bottle opener) and the bottle opener.
The most useful items I found when camping were the large knife, the scissors, the bottle opener and can opener. A useful addition not included on this model would be a corkscrew.
Pliers Plus is the core model in the Coast range and comes with a lifetime guarantee. It's a very handy piece of kit and offers great value, costing just £9.99 (a good deal less expensive than the equivalent Leatherman tool, which retails at a penny under fifty quid).
|Bits large blade, small blade, Phillips screwdriver, medium and small screwdriver, pliers, wire cutters, scissors, file, bottle opener, can opener.|