Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Extending the bit-range on your CyberTool...

I have a Victorinox CyberTool 34, and am very happy with it, but being an inveterate tinkerer I would be exstatic if it had a greater range of bits than the very limited selection available through Victorinox. As you may know, the Vic uses a rather off-beat shank size of 4mm for its bits, and they also use a ball-retaining system to keep them from falling out during use. So, essentially my problem boiled down to this: find some (hopefully cheap ;-) bits that fit, and then come up with an easy way of retaining the bits when they are being torqued on, even upside down. No small feat. I was aided in my search initially by this post on EDC Forums, by podus1, on Jan13th 2013. He laid out the way to track down extra bits that fit perfectly: "Here's a Victorinox store that carries 16 different 4mm Cybertool bit sizes (see page 2). Here's the current edition of Felo's European catalog. Their reversible, double-ended 4mm bits (that fit the Victorinox Cybertool) are listed at the top of page 148. FWIW - here's the current edition of Felo's USA catalog." So, this is my CyberTool, with a standard Victorinox phillips/slotted bit installed in the driver: I took a trip to Home Depot, and bought this exact screwdriver set, it's made by HDX, contains 21 assorted 4mm bits, a screwdriver, and a bit extender, all for less than $5 (*Much*, *much* cheaper than the $5 or so per bit for the Vic-branded bits): The bits fit the CyberTool fine, but invert the tool and they will fall right out, so, what to do to retain them? As you may be aware, Swiss Army Knives are made to pretty exacting tolerances, so there's not a lot of room to work with. I contemplated making a small magnet, and adhesing it down inside the Vic bit adapter, but that seemed difficult to undo should I ever want to revert the tool back to original/standard, so I hit on this method. I took about a one inch length of electrical shrink-tubing of diameter sufficient to just slip over the head of the tool like so (the tubing, when flattened, measures 10mm across): Now, making sure there's one of the bits in place, I used a lighter to shrink the tubing around the bit and the tool head like so: Voila!!! The bit slips into and out of the end of the shrink tubing, and there is retention of the bit even when the whole tool is inverted. Even better, one can also use the original Vic bits with no further modification, which is a great thing as some of the original Vic bits don't seem to retain very well anyway, and need a little help to stay put. Finally, here's a pic of the CyberTool closed, with one of the HDX bits in the extender. As you can see, the length of the after-market bits is about the same length as the original Vic bits, so the tool closes perfectly: One final, minor, caveat. Depending on your particular CyberTool, and the brand/wall-thickness of the shrink-tubing you use, you may have some minor interference between the bit adapter and the adjacent tools. If the adapter is closed, and you try to open the Pliers or the Bottle Opener, it might be a tight squeeze. On my knife everything does open and close OK, but YMMV. At worst though, you can always first open the adapter, and then open the Pliers or Bottle Opener to use them.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Leatherman Crunch Saw mod...

A commercially available power saw blade can be pretty easily modded to enable using a Leatherman Crunch as a tool holder. A Dremel and parting disk cuts the appropriately-sized slot in the saw at the non-business end. The slot in the end of the saw then fits into the wire cutter area of the Leatherman. I also use a short length of shrink tubing to make a sheath for the saw, which protects the Leatherman inside the sheath. Obviously, I chose a relatively short blade, such that everything travels together.....a longer saw will cut more stuff, better ;-)

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Lighweight pocket carry: Leatherman PS4. Vic Minichamp 8-blade with pen and light scales. Toothpick and tweezers. E-gear flashlight. All protected with sheaths from shrink-tubing, helps keep things a tad quieter too.