I have been carrying the Swiss Tech Utili-key for at least six years on my key ring. It has a serrated knife edge, plain knife edge, eyeglass flat screwdriver, larger flat screw driver, bottle opener and phillips screwdriver engineered to the size of key. Very handy to say the least.
And when I say I have been carrying the Utili-key — I mean everywhere, and I travel a lot, including international. As long as it is hanging with my other keys in my backpack when I travel, I have never had anybody question it, anywhere.
For it’s size, most folks would be quite happy with all you can do with the Utili-key. I am going to share with you one other area this tool excels… as a firesteel scraper.
First off, if you prepare your tinder properly, hot sparks from a metal match should ignite most natural tinders easily. However, there are those times when the weather or your fuel won’t cooperate and you need every advantage you can muster. A good scraper can be a part of that advantage by creating larger sparks. Unfortunately, a small firesteel can be difficult to scrape. I have tried many…
Many folks have gravitated to the awl found on Swiss Army Knives (SAK) such as the Farmer or Bushcraft for a firesteel scraper. The SAK awl is an excellent scraper, and while I find it easy to hold, I have to say that similar chisel grind on the Utili-key is just as good — maybe even better on smaller firesteels.
That being said, sometimes I am already carrying a fixed blade and don’t want the added weight of a SAK in my pocket just for a scraper. The Utili-key is an excellent replacement in this case. The only real disadvantage to the Utili-key is the small grip required. And you will definitely have to take gloves off and likely use two hands to open.
The 420 Stainless Steel of the Utili-key is easy to sharpen and to date I have not had any failures with the joint. That maybe in part to its small size, you aren’t going to be using it as a pry bar too often. And speaking of it’s small size, you could probably fit 10+ in an Altoids Tin for those into personal survival kits (PSK).
Here is a video with the Utili-key in action and some more insight on firesteels:
Products shown in this article:
- Swiss+Tech Utili-key
- Wilderness Solutions FireSteel Pendant
- Aurora Fire Starter
- Exacto Nanostriker
- SAK Bushcrafter by Swiss Bianco
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