Last September, we heard about a new cycling multitool known as Fix it Sticks. A successful Kickstarter project, it consists of two aluminum "sticks" that can be joined together to form a T wrench, with a different type of bit permanently attached to each end. At the time, several readers complained that the bits should be interchangeable. Well, those people will be happy to learn that the designer has now come out with the Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition. We got to try one out, and can attest to the fact that it's a gooder.
The neat thing about the original Fix It Sticks is the fact that the sticks can be stored side-by-side when not in use, making them much less awkward for cyclists to carry than a regular T wrench. Additionally, once they're put together, they allow you to apply torque more easily and smoothly than is the case with a conventional multitool, that incorporates relatively short, fold-out bits.
The Replaceable Edition still has those same attributes, along with the added ability to swap in different bits as needed. The extra bits are contained in a clear plastic tube, that is packed along with the sticks inside an included pouch made from a recycled bicycle inner tube.
As a handy added touch, magnets have been added to the inside of the sticks, to help keep the bits from falling out. They additionally keep the sticks held to one another when in the T configuration, so you don't have to make a point of holding them together yourself.
Because of the wear and tear involved in continuously installing and removing the bits, the Replaceable Edition is made from steel, making it a little heavier than the original model. That one is made of aluminum, which would simply have been too soft.
The T-Way Wrench
Fix It Sticks designer Brian Davis also sent us another new product that he's created, called the T-Way Wrench. In consists of one of the usual sticks with a longer cylindrical arm permanently attached to it, to form a T (see the photo above). This makes it more of a shop tool than something to carry with you while riding. Like the Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition, it comes with interchangeable bits that are magnetically held in place.
The longer arm can be used access nuts or screws in hard-to-reach locations, or to apply even more torque if used as a handle. A cylindrical metal sleeve on it additionally makes it easier to spin the wrench around – you just pinch that sleeve between your fingers on one hand, then use the other hand to twist the top part of the T.
We've tried both devices, and found that they definitely live up to Davis' claims. The magnets hold everything together nicely, and the workmanship is superb. As an added side note, it's good to know that the bits aren't proprietary – this means that you can buy extras or replacements at your local hardware store.
Brian has now returned to Kickstarter to fund production of his latest tools, and has already surpassed his financial goal. A pledge of US$25 will get you on the list for a T-Way Wrench with seven bits, while $30 is required for the new Fix It Sticks with eight bits. Their planned retail prices are $30 and $36, respectively.
You can see demos of both of them in the pitch video below.