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Review TPT Slide Review (Titanium Pocket Tool utility knife)

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by kreisler, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    Disclaimer: This unit was sent to me for review.

    Lol let's start the review with my layman's constructional criticism:
    • imo the bottle opener could be 4.00mm shorter, making the TPT shorter and exposing 4mm longer cutting edge in turn. maybe the wasted 4mm are for pants extra safety margin or maybe the cap lifter wouldn't work anymore without prior blade removal, but i still:confused: think it's a waste
    • chamfered grind wth makes flat head screwdriver slippery, less functional as screwdriver
    • because of the fat chamfers nearly everywhere, only one side of the tip of the screwdriver can be effectively used as general scraping tool; fortunately its shoulders are sharp 90°-angled and could(?) be used as striker for a ferro rod :thumbsup:
    • are the shallow millimeter-spaced vertical grooves at the bottom edge intentional? while that edge can be used as file or finger nail file, why not make a genuine metric ruler (with +1mm resolution) out of it?
    For the pro's and con's I am listing only the most outstanding relevant points, not every "feature".
    The Good:
    • really light weight (with installed standard razor blade only 29g w/o pocket clip); and the dimensions similar to two stacked regular keys, making it absolutely suitable for keychain-EDC
    • very pocket-friendly carry on the keychain: fat chamfered edges, no pointy tips/corners, nothing pokes/catches/snags in the pants (not even the screwdriver or the bottle opener!)
    • because of fat chamfers and rounded corners feels very comfortable, "soft" in hand; nice build quality, no internal rattling noise
    • totally safe and secure in the pocket, no accidental deployment possible
    • practically a 4-way tool: razor blade, bottle opener, mini pry bar, fire steel striker. (sorry the screwdriver, hex bit driver, and open-end wrench have extremely limited practical usage ymmv)
    • *NEW!* fast easy one-handed blade deployment, smooth action, nice!! good tactility on the detents, too
    The Bad:
    • price
    • not suitable for heavy duty cutting tasks because the thumb of a firm grip would eventually or accidentally press the slider button
    • difficult to get a secure (and safe) grip during heavy duty cutting tasks
    • relatively:( short exposed cutting edge in deployed position
    The Ugly:
    • none. basta ya. :)
    The fast easy one-handed blade deployment through the TPT Slide's slider button comes at the cost that the heavy user could press the slider button by accident. Also there is not enough remaining space for the thumb to produce a firm grip, the slider button kinda always gets in the way of the gripping thumb. This trade-off makes the tool imho not suitable for heavy duty cutting tasks, if that's what you're really after. Shoppers should check out the original TPT which doesn't have a slider button and costs $$ less!

    Youtube, Kickstarter/Indiegogo/a.o. has tons of keychain tools (or 'pocket tools'), thousands are made out of Titanium, and hundreds are sporting a tiny or standard size utility/razor blade. Folding (or retractable) utility blades, if not utility knives, as EDC wearable have been becoming popular in recent years, maybe ever since Gerber made the splash with the Gerber EAB/EAB Lite, which is an inexpensive uber-popular stainless steel folding utility blade suitable for pocket-EDC but not for keychain-EDC. Nowadays there are countless keychain-EDC utility blades on the market, all somewhat similar to the TPT Slide with a retractable razor blade. Other comparable products are shorter, smaller, slimmer, lighter, faster, cheaper, safer, securer, less gimmicky, have more real functions, and I am not saying that the TPT Slide is superior in every or any respect. All I am saying is that the company tried to improve the initial 2016 release and the 2018 successor is worth our consideration, fair enough? :poop:

    WWW Information.
    The company released at least four excellent videos on their new product. Any serious shopper should watch them all to get a good feel(ing:D) for the size and handling. The official product page lists all:confused: sorts of features, details, specs and such. And pricing, of course. Current retail is $80 oic. After having watched the videos, the reader would know very well what the product is about and what to expect, if he/she ordered it from the website. Honestly there is not much to say about such a "simple" product no offense, other than stating the obvious, repeating the list of specs and features, which is exactly what bloggers, news outlets, magz, social media workers, youtubers, etc did with the original TPT two years ago. Horrible! :mad: In this review i'll try to state the not so obvious, taking a hard look at details, anything relevant or critical which comes to mind. Please press the :thumbsup:Like button lol:D, if you think that i succeeded in doing so.

    My unit came shipped in a small gray padded envelope PAR AVION from China as registered letter, fully trackable, through the carrier SFC (www.sendfromchina.com) and reached me in less than 2 weeks. The retail box was shrink-wrapped. Very commercial, wow.
    After fast-forwarding and deleting the pointless unboxing video we have landed right at the disassembly result, you still might like it ;):
    WYSIWYG what u c is what u get. I keep the professionally made retail box as neat storage container for the pocket clip, lanyard, sheath, blade inserts, paper stuff. Nice to have all that stuff, thanks!
    You'll find the same on the back of the instruction manual as on the back of the retail box, namely an expansive drawing with an overload of feature markings. 16 features orly?o_O
    Imho you could safely scratch 13 of them, leaving us with three concrete real practical utilities which cannot be found elsewhere on your keys:
    1. standard razor blade (installed by yourself)
    2. bottle opener/cap lifter
    3. (titanium) mini pry bar
    You could use any primitive key on your keycain for "features" such as "wide head screwdriver", "flat head screwdriver", "scraper edge", "lanyard / key ring", "measurement cues", "package opener", "camping fork". And if you're honest to yourself, you could use a key even as "mini pry bar", and "cap lifter"! And please don't fool yourself by thinking that your TPT keychain pendant can be really:rolleyes: used as "15 sizes universal wrench", "screwdriver", or "hex bit driver", when you need such a thing in a RL situation; that would be ludicrous! We'll talk more about that topic soon.
    Aha, precision made. That is well true. But seriously, if one had to summarize the TPT Slide product in fair comparison to competitive products, it would be "a keychain-EDC razor blade with mini pry bar which does open bottles:p".

    The leather sheath.
    It sounds, feels, looks, smells, tastes like leather. It should be genuine leather then, much nicer material quality than the typical ebay smartphone case made out of synthetic leather.
    As long as it is new, it is nice. On youtube you'll find one or two reports of the outer seams coming off after some wear and tear. We know this phenomenon from our smartphone leather cases and it will happen eventually, if you carry the sheath around. Personally, i don't get the point of a leather sheath for an EDC wearable or a keychain tool, but there are so many youtubers who appreciate and actually use omg the sheath. Good for them! I shouldn't complain, the existence of a nice leather quality sheath is a plus, no question.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  2. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    The safe-carry inserts.
    Purpose? That's like calling a key blank a "safe-carry key".:rolleyes: If half of the edge had a sharp bevel, i'd understand and accept the intended purpose: one half could serve as safe fork lol, the other half as real cutting tool. I slapped a shiny bevel myself on the stainless insert through 204-freehanding, now it actually cuts.
    But not even half of the black edge has a bevel!o_O I find these two freebie inserts very witless. I guess that you could cut open packages with them.
    Then again, you could also use your house key to cut open the same package, duh. And before using the black insert as "camping fork", i'd rather use the tip of my black Leatherman Surge pliers as my camping fork. :thumbsup:

    The pocket clip.
    As soon as i had unboxed the tool, i removed the pocket clip. The clip itself is nice, strong, functional, and its retention force can be adjusted, but i don't need it on my keychain.
    I applaud the efforts of the company to offer this additional feature (the original TPT did not have a pocket clip!) but look how destructive the clip is attached to the tool. Through a hole slit in the back!
    Now my tool is not waterproof. :eek:

    Functionality of Hex bit driver / 15-sizes Wrench / Screwdriver / Mini pry bar.
    The common hex bit fits in the driver hole with nice tight tolerances. This hole could have been used as "lanyard / key ring" hole, too. Designing a key ring hole in the shape of a hex bit driver would have been a stroke of genius. I don't carry hex bits with me. Someone who does probably also carries a proper hex bit driver with him/her. So, no, i can't count this hole as real feature of the TPT. Sorry. However i am going to regard the tiny vertical grooves at the bottom edge of the pry bar plate as feature. It can be used to file finger nails or to file a groove in wood or something. I've tested it successfully as nail file! Wouldn't it be great if the bottom edge of the upper plate had tiny vertical grooves too, for example to serve as metric ruler?
    In theory the TPT could be used as an open-end wrench or fork spanner. Unfortunately in RL practice the potential wrench functionality gets killed because the "Metric 6,7,8,9,10,11,12 mm"-size nuts (these are small nuts, and small nuts are typically placed in "small spots", and they are rare/uncommon to begin with!) are not freely accessible, more often than not. I am challenging you: go look around in your household and around the house, if you can find a product which has such a small nut installed, and yes you will find such a product with much luck! Then check whether the nut (or nut head) is freely accessible or you'd need a so-called nut driver (or socket wrench) to be able to access it. I am telling you, chances are high that the TPT wrench part is too clumsy to be able to reach the nut/nut head physically, you can't get through to the "small spot" location where the small nut resides, what a fail:
    The more common nut sizes, namely the >12mm ones!, typically are freely accessible. But for these sizes the TPT wrench is too small, argh.:confused: It would have been the blast if the TPT wrench had fit my skateboard kingpin nut!
    Ooh i don't agree with how the screwdriver head is ground. I don't agree at all. Due to the grind the driver head tends to slip out of the screw head, which is a pita to work with.
    I tested it: if the screw (slot width =1.2mm, slot length =head diameter =6.75mm) requires some torque to get unscrewed, you must press the TPT with full force towards the screw head so that the screwdriver tip would not lever itself up, out of the screw head. Unmounting and remounting this circular blade (for resharpening purposes through 204-freehanding) was indeed pitiful with the TPT screwdriver:
    Mind you, repeated forceful slipping out of a screw head could also ruin (or deform) the screw slot. No commercial flat head screwdriver is ground like that! Weird grind, kreisl not happy. Here a magnification of the situation with the aforesaid screw, and look how the fattest Victorinox screwdriver/pry bar easily fits into the 1.2mm slot width (i placed the decimal point wrong lol):
    Similar criticism for the mini pry bar, one side is more slippery than the other. All these problems because of the fat chamfer. I hope that other owners of the TPT find more actual uses for these four functionalities. :oops:
    And if anyone is wondering why the mini pry bar is thicker on the TPT Slide, it's not because the original TPT mini pry bar was too thin, too weak. (As i said, nobody really uses it as serious pry bar, so it can't be too weak lol.) It came to natural existence when the slider construction was introduced and (the looks of) it had to be held symmetric.

    The Slider Button.
    New in the TPT Slide. Complicated thingy. A single part precision-machined from one piece of titanium. Very cool.
    Not only this slider button construction takes advantage of the fact that titanium material —more so than stainless steel material— is flexible and elastic, i.e. springy. The blade exchange procedure makes use of this physical property too, as you will see in a moment.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
    Daniel L likes this.
  3. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    The Sliding Mechanism.
    Before we have an animated look at the sliding mechanism, I need you to understand by seeing for yourself what i meant with "wasted 4mm" earlier. The blade is in the fully retracted position. Look at the bottom right corner of the blade. Why is there 4mm titanium to its right?:confused: 1mm titanium as 'clearance' would have been sufficient. Me thinx.
    The button slides on/along a brass rail for smoother action. A titanium-on-titanium contact would gall too much. The below animation is also available in the back movement combined. Here the forward movement only:
    Note the tiny ramp at the left extreme. The slider does not get on that ramp, if you push the slider in the forward direction. When you push the slider in the forward direction as much as you can, the slider will simply hit against the foot/base of the ramp.
    As the instruction manual explains, one must help the process and, so to speak, make the slider hop onto the start of the ramp.
    For the above animations only one screw was inserted and tightened in the tool. This way you could see how hopping onto the ramp would actually force the two titanium plates apart! In the following animation all three screws are inserted and tightened. The two plates are still forced apart, and the force would (elastically) bend the thinner plate.
    Hopping onto the ramp is needed for the blade exchange. I noticed that after several blade exchanges the three screws do get loosened, a bit. And some TPT owners must have lost their screws this way, see Kickstarter comments. The solution to this potential problem is using some glue or weak loctite to tighten down the three screws.

    Cutting performance.
    The blade of the TPT Slide has a relatively high (positive) standoff. A standoff always has to be regarded in relation to the exposed blade length. The standoff becomes relatively low the longer the exposed blade length is. A relatively low standoff is what you want, because in practice it means that you can make more use of the exposed blade length. A chef knife, for example, has a negative standoff; when you cut with it, you can make use of the full blade length without running into technical problems. The WORKPRO keychain utility knife has zero standoff, which is great. I would appreciate if the exposed blade length was longer, that would enhance the cutting performance in a natural way. The TPT Slide is imho not suitable for heavy duty tasks (duh) for one particular reason: where would you put your thumb for a firm grip? Think about it and then let's move on :p
    In the above pic you can see that the standoff of both blade edges is about the same, measured in millimeters. The difference is that the standoff on the Utilizer (Thumb-Open version, that is) is "relatively low":cool::thumbsup:, whereas the standoff on the TPT Slide is "relatively high":oops::thumbsdown:. If you still don't know what i mean with the word "standoff", then watch youtube reviews of the Leatherman Rebar where the reviewers call it "dead space", "empty space", or "negative space" and are confused what to make of it.

    Oh you don't know how to interpret my review and are confused and wondering whether i like the product or not? Well, to be clear (finally ;)), yes i like the product very much!!:):) It's definitely a keeper on my keychain and imho hard to beat. I have come to accept the slider button's trade-off, which is not a dealbreaker in my books ymmv. You're getting 4 solid functionalities in a really small timeless indestructible really lightweight package, what's there not to like? Ah you mean the price, is the product imo worth the money, would i buy it myself? Feel free to ask in the thread. Since you get great quality, an indestructible tool, good customer service, free shipping, AND you direct-support an amiable U.S. maker team, your investment does not go to waste a bit! Anyone in the market for a keychain-EDC utility blade who could[​IMG] spare the money should imho at least take the TPT Slide or the TPT as shopping reference.

    Nuff said.
    No comment. ;)

    Btw Taylor was the first to present the TPT Slide to the public. He seems to like the product (and the other products by that very fine company) a lot too and sees everything so positive:rolleyes::
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  4. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    I have more thoughts to share about this 2018 product, they are included indirectly in my review of the original TPT (Non-Slide, 2016 product). I have both and like one over the other.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

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