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Old 01-30-2015, 05:53 AM
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Default Gadgetry

I love gadgets. Not just electronic gizmos, but a fan of EDC (every day carry) and pocket tools.

While at work, I felt a bit awkward carrying larger pocket tools, but since I started working from home (and consequently being laid off because I was the only remote worker in the group), I started wearing a sheath with a Leatherman in it.

So that means, on any day, I have on me:
- an iPhone.
- a watch.
- a fitbit Flex.
- a Gerber Curve on my keychain.
- a Gerber Dime in my watch pocket
- a Leatherman sheath with,
- a Leatherman Juice S2
- a bit driver kit for the Juice.
- a Pocketwrench II

Sometimes, I have on or near about me
- a Nexus 7 Android tablet
- a small bound notebook.
- a mechanical pencil (usually an Alvin Draft Matic 0.9 mm)
- a decent pen (usually, it's the last pen I purchased at Disney, but I just lost it)
- a pocket organizer (used a lot when I was commuting to work) to manage cables, pens and sundries.

Yes, in general, I have 2 or more pocketknives on me at all times. Each one serves a slightly different purpose.

The Gerber Dime has been a really good "quick fix" tool. It works well enough for most simple uses like unscrewing a battery compartment or opening a beer. Plus it has this innovative tool for opening packages, and it fits in my pants watch pocket.

The Gerber Curve has locking tools, which is really the only reason I keep it on hand.

The Leatherman Juice S2 is the best small multitool I have ever owned. It's just big enough to do basic jobs, but small enough it fits into a pocket reasonably well. It's biggest missing feature: no locking blade.

The sheath is so I can carry the bit driver and the Pocketwrench II with it. The Pocketwrench II is an interesting thing. It's a 3.5 inch bar of stainless steel with a universal wrench at one end, a prybar/scraper/screwdriver on the other, a small metric ruler along one side, and an Imperial ruler along the other. There's also a hex hole for a hex bit driver, in case the Leatherman bit driver is too bulky and long, I guess.

I'd trade them all for one pocket sized multitool that has a locking blade, pliers, bottle opener, and a philips and standard screwdriver. I haven't found a good one yet.

-----

All this is inspired by the fact that I needed a flashlight. I'm walking the dogs on our often dark road at night. I have a few flashlights, most of them are cheap things picked up at a hardware store for a few bucks. They work, but often not well or for very long.

I've come to praise the latest acquisition: a small LED flashlight - Fenix E12. I wasn't sure I'd like it. I was looking for a single AAA battery flashlight, and this one uses a AA. It's a little bit bigger than I was thinking I wanted. It also has 3 modes, low, medium and high, and it's all controlled through the button on back.

I think it'll work just fine. To turn on the light, you fully depress the button. To change the brightness, you "half click" it. The button is protected well enough by the sides that it's not easy to accidentally change the brightness. It's slightly smaller than the flashlight I'm currently using, but it's brighter with a better light distribution.

The only question is, will it last? The cheapo LED flashlight I currently use has actually lasted years with light use (I've only been using it daily since the fall and the long Pacific Northwest nights started.)

I'm actually excited about a flashlight. I'm such a fucking geek.

Any other gadget freaks out there?
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

Did somebody say flashlight?

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Old 01-30-2015, 06:35 AM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

Quote:
Originally Posted by specious_reasons View Post
All this is inspired by the fact that I needed a flashlight. I'm walking the dogs on our often dark road at night. I have a few flashlights, most of them are cheap things picked up at a hardware store for a few bucks. They work, but often not well or for very long.
I don't know if one kind of flashlight is better than some other kind of flashlight. I'm sure there's a niche for flashlight reviews on the youtubes - I haven't even tried to look. ANYWAY. For this specific purpose I'm assuming it's more important to be seen than it is to see things. For that, I definitely suggest some kind of cone/diffuser attachment. (That specific link because you mention that brand.)

When I was the soldier type, we would march from the dorm to school in early morning hours. We were required to carry flashlights with that kind of thing so we could be seen by anyone driving around. This was in addition to certain people wearing high visibility vests. Later when I was working on the flightline, we were only required to wear a reflective belt. Certain positions for certain tasks added a high vis vest.

My roommate takes the extra precaution of wearing a vest for when he's biking around the area - and that's in broad daylight. What I'm saying (and I think you know this already) is that looking goofy is preferable to being dead or worse.


Quote:
Any other gadget freaks out there?
:unnod:

Sometimes I like to browse EDC places just to see what people have in their pockets. I don't carry a lot myself - just a very standard wallet, keys and phone. Though I have taken some ideas from EDC for even that minimal carry. I've replaced my regular thumb killing keychain for a little metal braided dealy. That's not really a gadget tho.

If I had unseemly sums of cash I could have probably kept Sky Mall in business. Thankfully, I guess, I don't have even modest amounts of money. I guess that only makes me the ThinkGeek level of Gadget Geek.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

On my person today, in addition to the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active (water resistant, shock-proof, nearly indestructible smartphone) that took this picture:



Left to Right:

1. Phonak Bluetooth device that interfaces my cellphone to my hearing aids.
2. The Doctor's Brushpicks, I never leave home without 'em, and probably the reason I've not had a new cavity in well over a decade.
3. Victorinox Swiss Army Tinkerer that I've had for 25 years.
4. Opinel French Army Lover lockblade knife, a gift from my brother who lives in Strasbourg.
5. A freebie ballpoint pen from Williams Furniture and Used Cars in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. For a freebie it's a p. good one, a Parker. Don't make mistakes, so don't need pencil. But if I did, I have a very nice 0.5 mm Parker somewhere.

ETA: These are in my lunch bag outer pocket along with earbuds and extension cord for ear buds, double plug cord for my Phonak Bluetooth gadget, and charger and cord for same. That red rectangular thing is a Swiss Card missing the protractor and nail file. The Swiss Card contains toothpick, tweezers, ink pen, scissors, and a 1.5" blade knife.




Edit2: I dug a little deeper in the lunch bag pocket, found a few more things: A #1 Dad 3 foot measuring tape, a small screwdriver, and a jar of Carmex.

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Old 01-30-2015, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

Oh my!

I have been having some flashlight turmoil in my life recently, and am still in the process of trying to get back to normal. I have these little mid-sized flashlights that I used the most frequently that all just stopped working and/or disappeared, and I don't even know.

Currently, my carrying around flashlights are just one stupid little single LED thing that seems kind of pointless. I mean, it's little, but it's too big for a single LED. I don't see the real benefit of that over one of those little squeeze lights. Whatever. It's in my purse. The other carrying one is on a tiny little multitool on my keychain:

http://www.swisstechtools.com/proddetail.aspx?pid=35

I'm still in the market for a good carrying flashlight, though. I used to have one I really liked that was a small telescoping, bendy neck I think 3 LED flashlight with a laser pointer and a magnet on the bottom. I have one sort of like that still, but it's like 7" long, which is too big to carry around all the time. It's really weird, because for a while there, it seemed like those little pen-sized ones were everywhere, as $5 impulse purchases at drug stores and gas stations, but it's been a long time. I don't get it. Those were great little flashlights. And totally perfect for if you needed to open up a computer, because you could anchor it with the magnet and point it at the specific area you needed to get to.

I have a Leatherman Super Tool 200 that I keep in the glove compartment mostly because if I were to keep it in my purse, I'm afraid I'd forget it was there and get it confiscated somewhere. Also it's pretty big for something to carry around everywhere.

I am really looking forward to seeing how these come out:

Tread - Leatherman / LED Lenser

First, I want to wait and see what the TSA and other security types actually do about them, and second, I'm slightly concerned that they're only showing them on man wrists. I wear men's watches, and I always end up using the last hole on the bands and even then, sometimes they're a little too big for my tiny little lady wrists. (I wouldn't want the watch attachment on the Tread, because I do not wear non-atomic watches anyway, but also because it would make it even bigger.)

I also carry my charger, dumb phone, and sometimes my tablet and OTG adapter with a thumb drive where I keep extra files. And sometimes my MP3 player, which is a Sansa c250 with Rockbox on it. And my earbuds. (I wove embroidery floss on the cords to keep them from tangling, which looks pretty stupid but it works.)

And I just bought a box of 12 fine point Uniball Jetstream ball point pens because they're the greatest pens, so I have one of those in there too. Plus usually some kind of little notebook. (I have a moleskine in my bag, but it gives me performance anxiety, like it's all expensive and I don't want to write stupid things in it, you know? So I only use like $2 notebooks where I can tear out pages that are too stupid even for a $2 notebook.)

And I always have a cocoa butter stick (not pure cocoa butter, though, because that is too waxy) with me to use as hand lotion and lip balm.

Also Clinique black honey lipstick in case I have the emergency of having to talk to any handsome men.
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

Oh, and for flashlight related topics, this is probably the biggest flashlight forum on the internet:

CandlePowerForums

They have various recommendations and DIY projects and things. I have been low-level considering just putting together a custom flashlight for a while, and that's where I go to think about that. I'm pretty sure you can get much better quality for cheaper if you put it together yourself, and my main hesitation about getting a pricier flashlight is that I lose flashlights. Also, I really like putting things into stupid cases, so they look like some old piece of shit.

And Deal Extreme has a pretty comprehensive flashlight selection, including flashlight parts for repairs and custom projects.
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherMan View Post
ANYWAY. For this specific purpose I'm assuming it's more important to be seen than it is to see things. For that, I definitely suggest some kind of cone/diffuser attachment. (That specific link because you mention that brand.)
Being seen is important, but my main walking route is our street, which is a low speed, low volume street, where I can see and hear people with enough time to avoid them.

The main problem is finding dog poop. Booberry is the worst pooper. He walks an average of 3 meters while going, dropping randomly along his path. With hills and vegetation, it can be a challenge to find it all.

The size of the light is mostly a preference - I could use just about anything for my needs, but I like a small light that fits easily in any coat pocket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherMan View Post
Sometimes I like to browse EDC places just to see what people have in their pockets. I don't carry a lot myself - just a very standard wallet, keys and phone. Though I have taken some ideas from EDC for even that minimal carry. I've replaced my regular thumb killing keychain for a little metal braided dealy. That's not really a gadget tho.
I have a tendency to carry a lot because I generally have X things I want to be able to do, and I have Y things that do them. I could just as easily not carry the leatherman in the sheath, but then I couldn't also carry the Pocketwrench, which is surprisingly useful.

That lanyard thing is a pretty neat idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherMan View Post
If I had unseemly sums of cash I could have probably kept Sky Mall in business. Thankfully, I guess, I don't have even modest amounts of money. I guess that only makes me the ThinkGeek level of Gadget Geek.
I'm generally cheap and refuse to buy anything unless I feel I have a reason to buy it. A good pocket sized multitool or pocket knife is almost always worth the purchase, but I actually researched flashlights for a couple days before picking this one.

I recently did pony up for a Kickstarter project, a Tyvek Wallet with an interesting design, which I'll see if it works as a lighter weight wallet.

A while ago, I splurged to get my Dad a Prybaby from Peter Atwood a custom tool and knife maker. Ironically, I think the Prybaby is less useful than the Pocketwrench I have, but small build artisan makers like Atwood are way cooler and more interesting.
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

I found something similar to this at Orchard, except that mine has a two-light setup so you can adjust the brightness. Orchard's site is being an asshole, though, and I can't find it there.



Like the pictured one, it's only 5 bucks, and has both a foldaway hook and a p. strong magnet on the back, so I can put it up pretty much anywhere. And it's bright as hell. I don't know how I got along without it. The flourescent lights in my garage failed in rapid succession at one point, and it took me awhile to fix them; in the meantime, I was able to use this tiny light to light up the whole garage when I needed to.


:jasper:
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:55 PM
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I have one of these in the door pocket of my truck, a Gerber Multi-tool. It is one palm-pinching son of a bitch. It's kind of a neat design, the pliers head comes out of the handle like a switchblade knife. You don't have to unfold it like a Leatherman. But, when the pliers are completely closed, so are the relatively sharp edges of the handle, so if you slip whilst gripping, it pinches the shit out of you. I hates it, I do.

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Old 01-30-2015, 08:22 PM
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I almost feel bad for posting this now. It's been maybe a bit over a year since I first saw this thing - through the ifixit videoblog fyi. It's a bit more than I'd ever need from a small flash light, but I love the idea of it so hard. BUT NOW IT'S OUT OF STOCK EVERWHERE. The HexBright programmable flashlight.

As a lol, this is what's being advertised on the television at the latearly hours of the day.
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Old 01-31-2015, 12:12 AM
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I saw the Hexbright at some point in time, probably when Grant Imahara was gushing about it. Here I was thinking my 3 mode flashlight is almost too complicated. I mean, I love the idea, but chances are I'd program the thing to have exactly one (low) mode - although the program that lets you hold down the button to choose a brightness might be tempting, if not often used.

BTW, the CandlePower Forum is a great resource when you're looking for a flashlight. It's where I read the most reviews. Those are some serious enthusiasts. However, like most enthusiasts, there can be some prejudice against cheaper brands and products - sometimes all you need is just a cheap-ass flashlight that works.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:36 PM
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Let's see...


I have these on the same keychain: (Not to scale.) I've broken lots of flash drives, especially the bit which attaches them to the keychain, but this is sturdy enough to last 2 years and change with just a dent. The screwdrivers have lots of torque since the keychain can be used to turn them, good for breaking stubborn ones free.


And I carry this screwdriver for all the fancy torx bits which double as hex bits. At work it's the legend of the 'magic screwdriver' since it has all the funky bits needed to assemble a satellite dish horn or disassemble a hard drive. I've broken several over the years but kept all the best bits from each.



I also carry this for really high-power things. 3d-printed ratchet with reinforced metal bearings.

So if I'm ever trapped inside a locked bus, I can probably just attack the tempting screws and escape eventually.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:42 AM
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Quick update:

The Tyvek wallets arrived. I offered one to my son - who currently has no use for it but took it, and I gave one to me.

I filled it with the contents of my current wallet, and it's about a centimeter less wide, about 2 cm shorter, and is only slightly thicker as the leather wallet when empty. I like it overall.

I'm not 100% happy with the organization. It's symmetrical with a credit card pocket, a "business card" pocket, a side pocket and interior slots on each half. The side pocket opens on the outside of the wallet - I actually think it's an artifact of how it's folded - I don't entirely trust them. The interior slots are inside the bill area and don't hold credit card sized items - 90% of everything I have.

It all fits, but it's less convenient.

I liked that my old wallet had a clear pocket which I put my ID and my library card in, which meant I typically didn't have to pull them out to show to people (or to scan the library card). Now the library card is in the side pocket for easy access and the ID is inside the credit card pocket on top. Easy enough to get to, but now I have to open my wallet and remove it.

We'll give it a few weeks and see.
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:25 AM
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Since getting a debit card, I've almost completely eliminated carrying cash. In fact, the debit device is the only card I have anymore. I think I closed my "relationship" with VISA. (Though the debit card is from my credit union it's branded MasterCard.) The only time I've regretted it was when I bought my laptop - and that's just because I had to go to the bank to raise my single day purchase limit so it's not even that regrettable anyway.

As such, my wallet is mostly empty. I have the usual things, ID, card and then just some business cards, and really I only keep those so I have a soft buffer so I don't scratch up the stripe on the card. Plus a couple of funny things that now I wish I'd remembered to show pea when I seen her because they are funny.

One is a little dog's head that I cut out of a magazine. I used to keep it in front of my face on my ID. I think I got a couple of people to laugh at it. It was an official business interaction that forced me to stop doing that. I don't remember if it was with the PO-LICE or what, though. The other humor thing is a fortune from a fortune cookie. It's really the best fortune one could ever get from a cookie ever.

Never smell the inside of a hat.

ANYWAY. Since my wallet is only partially used, I've been wanting a replacement. I think I've settled on something like this, but I dunno. Though my current wallet feels like overkill I'm concerned that if I suck it up and make the move I'll suddenly need the extra pockets for a bunch of activities or something.

When I was searching for new and interesting ways to carry and organize things in my pocketses, I liked some of the devices I found at these online retailers. I don't know anyone who has bought anything so I don't know how they feel for use. Now that I have my keys on the big ring I'm satisfied with how that works.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:59 AM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

I make my wallets. I used to do duct tape wallets, but I switched to using fused plastic bags for the body, electrical tape for the seams, lined with metal tape to block RFID and look cool. My current one is still holding together, but looking pretty beat up, so I need to make a new one soon. (It's still pretty cool. The outer bag is one of those generic plastic bags they use in small business, so the outside of my wallet says THANK YOU!)

Also, because I know everyone has probably been on tenterhooks re: my flashlight situation, I have replenished my flashlight supply, and this is my new favorite* that I keep in my purse. It's much nicer than the other flashlights I've had that size, most of which have cost more. It has a convex glass (I think) lens that gives a much cleaner, more even light over a larger area than flat lenses. I recommend this flashlight!

Be careful, though, that if you have to buy batteries for it, don't accidentally order them from China, because that would be ridiculous.

* Oh, wait. That link is going to the one mode model. I got the three mode.

Last edited by lisarea; 03-06-2015 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 03-07-2015, 10:11 PM
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I looked up fused bags - it's an interesting concept, and I might try that.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

I like this flashlight,
Amazon.com : VIPERTEK VTS-191 - 25, 000, 000 V Heavy Duty Stun Gun - Rechargeable with LED Tactical Flashlight (Black) : Home Improvement

Other things I generally carry with me are a cheap set of multi-tool plyers, for when you need a wrong sized screw driver, and Klonopin for when you need a good dose of "I don't give a fuck."
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

One of my friends in the model flying club recently bought along a flashlight to the flying field that was so powerful it could be used to set fire to paper or other flammable materials when they were held really close to it. No need to use a magnifying glass like you do with the sun - just crumple up some paper and hold it in front of the torch (and be careful to keep your skin out of the beam).

Interesting gimmick and obviously it is also a super-powerful light, though he couldn't really demonstrate that to us as the sun was shining.

I looked them up on-line but they cost way too much for my taste. :spend:
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:30 AM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

While not something you can carry around in a pocket, out in the foothills we have a couple of these.
'3 million candlepower' they weigh like 10 lbs, can light up 3 acres of property and are brighter than most car headlights.


On a more useful note those that don't mind looking like a dork, so Lisarea, should check out headlamps, I've found the energizer brand to be bright and sturdy, Amazon.com: Energizer High Performance LED Headlamp with Batteries Included, Grey/Black: Sports & Outdoors They seem odd at first but after a few years out at Burningman you realize the amazing use of having light pointing right at what you are looking at and having both hands free.
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

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Originally Posted by Ari View Post
They seem odd at first but after a few years out at Burningman you realize the amazing use of having light pointing right at what you are looking at and having both hands free.
Makes me think you'd have to look away from people while you talked to them? Seems like you'd be blinding them otherwise :D
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

Occasionally yes, and after enough grimaced stares you get used to not doing that. :shakeeyes: Most can be flipped downward (and are often best used at a slight down angle) so when talking with people you make sure it's pointed down or switched to the red low light mode.
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:18 PM
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The electrician I just hired had a headlamp. That's just about a perfect use case for it.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:49 PM
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Over a year into the Paper Wallet, and it's doing well - a few worn corners, but it's holding up well. Still not entirely happy about the organization, but I'm having trouble finding a better design that works as well.

The flashlight is still working as well, as well as the blue light cone I 3D printed for it. My only complaint so far is that it's a bit too easy to bump the end and put it into a battery draining higher power mode.

Basically, I consider both worth the investment.

But that's not the reason I'm resurrecting this thread, this is:
Planet Pocket Tool: SportWrench #2: The Metrics



Not sure what to think, it looks cool, but does it work well? I have yet to find a better pocket tool than the Pocketwrench II - it's in the sheath with the Leatherman Juice as a nice complement. Even then, the Pocketwrench II only performs well for certain jobs.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:55 PM
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Let's see...



...
I got a 32 gigabyte Kingston a while ago of all-metal case nearly identical to this. It was short lived -- it didn't break but went "read only". Back to the 16.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Gadgetry

I am quite pleased with this. 32GB and no troubles for years ... can't remember how long I've had it.



This is a more recent purchase but v useful - type A standard plug for computer use and micro plug for phones.



One failing on this - the plastic loop for attaching it to a keyring has broken.
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