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In case you haven’t noticed already: Fiskars makes a number of pretty slick-designed tools beyond scissors. From what we can tell, their MO is to update classic cutting tools with a liberal dose of modern design and materials. Consider their X7 hatchet, pictured above. On the surface it looks like a MOMA interpretation of the one that’s probably kicking around your shop right now. But peel away some of the fiberglass, and it’s pretty clear that (in classic modern design style) its appearance is totally driven by its functionality.

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At first these snips from Fiskars smacked of gimmick. But the more I look, the more I think I might just want a set. The idea is simple: Fiskars claims they’ll cut just about anything you might find lying around the house, from paper to carpet to “light sheet metal.” It’s what a Swiss Army knife would look like if you started with a pair of scissors instead of a pocket knife.

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Fiskar’s UpRoot Weed and Root Remover is like a Weed Hound with razor-sharp teeth. The stainless steel, serrated claws cut deeply into the soil to get at the roots of weeds like dandelions and thistles.

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The jury’s still out regarding the safety and utility of folding utility knives vs. their fixed cousins, but did you know Fiskars makes one? When I think Fiskars, I generally think scissors (or possibly lawn mowers). Then again, they reach well across the crafting market — a group that surely buys knives like these. My question: Is it just for crafting?

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I know: Ever since Tim Taylor first grunted in prime time — a sentiment now mirrored by Top Gear‘s Jeremy Clarkson’s cry of “pooooowwwwwweeeeeerrrr!” — the idea of a pushing a reel mower around the yard seems a bit unmanly. And that’s the biggest load of crap I’ve heard in a while. Read on to find out how my experience dispelled that myth — about about an interesting new take on the reel mower by Fiskars.

A couple of years ago, Sean and I performed a pretty extensive electric mower test for Wired. When the mowers arrived, we laughed at the lightest and simplest of the bunch: a Sunlawn. Essentially a sickle-type reel mower, but with an electric motor to drive the reel so you simply push, it was totally the runt of the bunch and the butt of many of our early jokes.

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The FISKARS® model 0232 Multi-Snip, with its stainless steel blades (serrated on one side, as shown above, to help hold items), easily cuts a variety of materials in the shop, home, and garden including cable, cloth, carpet, cardboard, leather, linoleum, branches, “and more.” I have also found it also does a great job opening those sealed !*%@# clamshell packages that enclose so many products. The joint tension is adjustable, the molded handles are spring-loaded, and the blades can lock closed until you pull the orange-tipped thumb-release lever. All in all, it’s a very handy and small-sized snip that will only cost you around $10.

Fiskars, by the way, is celebrating their 360th anniversary.

Fiskars [Corporate Site]
Fiskars Multi-Snip Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

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Do you know what a good pair of fabric shears costs? It surprised the heck out of me the first time I borrowed my wife’s pair. I might have to pick up a pair of Fiskar’s titanium nitride Shop Shears for my shop so I won’t have to listen to that tirade again.

When you think Fiskars you don’t immediately think shop tool, but they’ve actually sold their Shop Shear for a few years now. They match ergonomic handles to TiN coated stainless steel blades which resist wear, scratches, and chemicals. The resulting shears will cut through fabric, cardboard, rope, wire, plastic strapping, Kevlar, and thin sheet metal, to name a few.

You can pick up the 8″ in pair starting at $11 and the 9-1/2″ pair starting at $16.

Fiskars [Corporate Site]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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This was going to be a simple post comparing the Gerber Artifact with the Mini SuperKnife as a keychain knife/tool. As I started gathering details, it was turning into a Gerber vs. Gerber post: Gerber was acquired by Fiskars in 1986, and in 2005 Fiskars Brands acquired Superknife and integrated it into their Outdoor Recreation division, Gerber Legendary Blades. One big happy conglomerate…

Anyway, I decided to add a couple more similar-sized tools alleged to fit on a keychain, and solicit your opinions. From right to left in the picture (not to scale): the folding blade SOG Micron, 1.5″ blade length and 3.44″ overall length when opened, costs around $10. The Mini SuperKnife, 1.77″ long closed and 2.95″ long opened, is a small folding utility knife that costs about $5. The Utili-Key, 2.75″ long, goes for approximately $7 (TM mentioned this device 7/24/08, 5/1/09, and 8/20/09). The Gerber Artifact, 3.5″ long closed and 4.8″ long opened, is available for $6-7 (TM had a 9/15/08 post on the Artifact).

What’s your choice for a small keychain knife/tool: A knife-only option, or a pseudo multi-tool?

SOG Micron Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Mini SuperKnife Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Utili-Key Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Gerber Artifact Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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The Fiskars Micro-Tip pruners are great for precision trimming jobs on small plants, flowers, and even vegetable gardens where a larger pruner would be unwieldy. The non-slip handles, blade cover, and blade lock also keep the sharp parts away from your soft parts. Looking at the 1-1/2″ blade, I can also imagine a host of uses in the shop where larger snips or cutters would be too big or clumsy for intricate cutting or trimming work – feel free to share your ideas in comments!

Street pricing runs about $10 from your local Home Depot.

Fiskars Micro-Tip Pruners [Home Depot]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

Can anybody tell us why you’d buy an 8-inch hatchet — what good is a hatchet this short?  You’re not going to get much of a swing with it, and you’re not really gaining much portability over a 14-inch hatchet.

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