I’ve gone through lots of bike multitools in the past few years. Was a big fan of a Blackburn model I had, but I lost it, after losing the most important of the bits anyway. I loved, and still love the idea of, the Wolf Tooth 8-Bit tool, and wrote about how much I loved it. Then one of the hex bits sheared off at the thru axle when I was trying to remove my rear wheel to fix a flat (properly torqued, btw) on a trail, forcing me to walk home 8 miles, and with a now useless multitool.
Others have come and gone, but one tool remains: The Park Tool AWS-10. I bought it for $10 at Sports Basement in San Fransisco about, jeez, 10 years ago? Something like that. It still costs ten bucks. It’s simple, with a plastic body and steel hex bits that unfold sorta like a Swiss army knife. Brilliantly, you can use the body at a 90-degree angle from the nut you’re unscrewing for max leverage with your whole arm and wrist, then when the nut loosens, straighten the body and bit into a 180-degree angle and quickly use just your fingers to turn the nut quickly.
I’ve never lost it, it’s never broken, it’s never let me down. Literally, hundreds of dollars worth of other tools have. Why I ever decided to “upgrade” is beyond me.
I can give it to my daughter, who is two-and-a-half, and insists on “fixing” things with me when I’m working on my bike. It’s mostly plastic and harmless, she can’t break it or lose any important parts, and she likes unfolding all the hex bits out and waving the tool around like a bird, walking it like a crab. I in fact will give this to her in a few years when she’s learning to change a tire on her bikes, and hopefully she’ll remember fixing dad’s bike with me.
Long live the ten buck tool that just works. Get yours, right here, if you need.