Review Quark Tool Review - keychain utility knife

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by kreisler, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    i have the TPT (and TPT Slide) and used its bottle opening cap lifter, nail file, mini pry lip, flat head screw driver functionalities occasionally. both TPT's are keychain-suitable but have several tangible drawbacks under certain work conditions, some minor of which i mentioned in the reviews and other major which i didn't mention in order not to unnecessarily harm the maker's sales. there wasn't any feedback on either awesome epic review so i am guessing that the readers don't care for this kind of edc gadget no problem. hence no need to detail on the QT other than:

    it is smaller than the TPT in every respect (LxWxH) and is exactly as expected whatever that means. i bought it for $17 mas $4 regged letter international shipping. Crowdfunding backers had paid like $25 mas $7 int shipping. i made a paypal currency conversion error losing €1 in the process lesson learned. bam!


    If you liked or didn't like this review, you're welcome to comment or ask questions. Shoot! :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
    DocJD likes this.
  2. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    honestly not my worst #knifemod ever, pretty cool fine work :p:


    It was easy to mark every 1.0cm. But then i had to decide if my next work step were to mark the middle of every centimeter, i.e. a mark at every 5mm. If i had done so, what would have been my third step, … marking every 1mm??:eek: A laser could have done so but not my dexterity! Instead, i decided for ticks at every 2mm (so there is no mark at 5, 15, 25, 35mm etc :(), which was very doable.

    What i doht like about my Vinox keychain SAK's (swiss army knives like the MiniChamp) is that their blades are not locked/secured and the slip joint is hilariously weak; you could but you wouldn't cut up dense/heavy banana box cardboard with it because the blade gets stuck/squeezed in the cardboard density and the blade would fold on you. FAIL. :poop:

    The TPT SLIDE has the one and only problem that, apart from all the blade play/wiggle/waggle/wobble, the edge of the razor blade slides against titanium for an effective auto-dulling effect duh. :poop: FAIL. No actually, the real problem with the TPT SLIDE is that your thumb rests on the button. And when you need force to cut through a dense material, you automatically press the button, unlocking the blade, and the blade retracts into the tool during the cutting action. WTF.

    The TPT is more likable in that it is thinner, lighter, more keychainable, has a bit less blade play, and with some care one can avoid auto-dulling, and there can't be any blade retraction, right? However the one and only problem is that the blade isn't secured well at all:confused:. Banana box cardboard, you can cut straight lines only. As soon as you cut a curve (i.e. lateral stress on the tool assembly), the tool flexes open and says bye-bye to the razor blade stuck in the cardboard density. :poop: What a FAIL. Also, on either TPT product, with all the titanium plates flexing, the tiny screws tend to get loose. Owners lost the screws this way. OOTB the screws are fastened tight and with Loctite, noice, but tool maintenance requires the owner to disassemble the tool, which breaks the Loctite. Your own Loctite works only, if the screw is clean, freed from broken Loctite. Good luck with that.

    Auto-dulling could be problem in the Quark Tool too, which is why i use concave utility blades only (Stanley #5192). The Quark doesn't have bells and whistles not even a bottle opener cap lifter but it has the decisive advantage imho: when you hold the tool and work with it, you naturally press on the (jimped section of the) lever, thus totally securing the blade in the tool, since you're basically squeezing/compressing the blade. Consequently, the blade cannot retract on you (TPT SLIDE), and the blade cannot get pulled out (TPT)! In addition, the blade has no more play then. Just fantastic. And it is also easy to deploy the blade into position1, i.e. the 1st notch of the razor blade, single-handedly. (For advancing to the 2nd notch or for retracting the blade, i use two hands because god gave me two hands.:p)

    Oki, back on topic, story time. Today i was called to a roller shutter repair task. Except for my fenis headlamp i didn't take any tools or ladder with me. Also no phone. The guy had a screwdriver for me but i needed a knife for an ugly cutting job. Honestly, a TPT, TPT Slide, or SAK would have done the job too. But the funny thing is that i had forgotten that i had a blade on me, namely the Quark Tool! Point being, you really forget that the tool is on your keychain because it is so thin and narrow and unobtrusive, like any other key. And in all honesty, how many of the TPT/TPT Slide owners do carry the TPT on their keychain? When you look on youtube, instagram, facebook, etc, you always see the TPT featured as a separate tool (typically with a mini lanyard), never on a bunch of keys; and in fact, that's the way the makers had in mind: for you to carry the TPT in your pocket yes, but separately or clipped to your pocket or shirt (TPT SLIDE has an optional pocket clip). And when/if you do carry the TPT on your keychain, then it doesn't go unnoticed; you notice that a tool is hanging on your keychain, you wouldn't forget, as i almost did today. Funny. So i finished the cutting task with no problems but then also needed a ruler for measuring the dimensions of a replacement part! Does the TPT have a ruler or in centimeter scale? I can't remember, i doht think so. It has 'measurement cues' though but then again i can't remember how they worked and in which unit system (inches or centimeters?) they were. If a tool has 'measurement cues' only and no explicit scale on it, then you will forget what they were all about. And you will also forget that the tool has 'measurement cues' to start with. Just now i had to look up my own TPT review to learn that the TPT Slide came with 'measurement cues', i simply couldn't remember. Why? Because i remembered that the TPT's had nothing (marked) on them, no explicit scale. So if you doht see a scale, why or how would you remember that you could use the tool as a ruler? o_O If so, then you could use your car key as ruler too: you just have to remember (since it is also not (marked) on the key) what the exact length of the key is. And with that 'scale reference' you could measure the dimensions of the replacement part. Lol. So laughable. I think i made my point clear: if your tool doesn't have a scale, then you cannot use it as ruler. Basta. The TPT cannot be used as ruler. But my modded Quark Tool can!

    Was easy peasy to grind the fine lines (marks). Now the Quark has become even more useful to me, and there is no way that i could forget that i could use it as ruler. When i look at the modded tool, i see the marks, a systematic scale, and they'll never make me forget that they constitute a ruler.

    One day you'll look at the TPT and ask yourself, what were the 'measurement cues'?, were there any to start with?, and how did they work?, where were they?, in which units were they?, where are the screw centers to be exact? Nice. :rolleyes: :poop:

    With my +2mm ruler on the Quark, i manage to measure dimensions within 1.0mm of precision, for example if a replacement part is "33.27mm" long (caliper 1054 measurement), i can tell from my ruler that the length is "between 33mm and 34mm". :cool:

    Not bad! :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
    DocJD likes this.
  3. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    today just a random share, story time. the other day i met a new neighbor(f) and she asked me if i could check her lavatory's faucet, the outgoing water flux was too low. i have no knowledge about water and piping installations and i didn't really understand the problem so i went to see to understand. and indeed the water flux was a bit on the low side, and i wouldn't know what to do next. then it was her(!) to suggest that the nozzle could be screwed off and should be checked on the inside, it might be clogged. i only thought "clogged by what? only fresh water flows through the nozzle cap! is she thinking of limescale buildup??". i certainly agreed to check the nozzle cap first, because it would be the easiest most straight-forward thing to do. the easiest checks should be done first, my motto. so i looked at the installed nozzle cap —the bathroom was poorly lit— and eventually noticed that it wasn't fully circular but had two opposite cut-outs similar to this picture:

    Obviously these were meant for an open-end wrench!

    But which size? I didn't have any wrench set on me, i would have to run back home and bring the set, or bring just one — the correctly sized wrench! Other than my bunch of keys, i had nothing else on me; it is summer and i was in light shorts. On the key ring i do carry a 10180 stainless steel flashlight (which gets used a few times per week), a shopping trolley chip lol, and the quark (useful as scraper, cutter, measurement ruler, bingo!). A no-brainer, i went ahead and tried to measure the required wrench size with the quark scale, or at least get a whereabouts measurement. Somehow i didn't want to bring the full wrench set (would have been silly, or uncool imho lol). I took the measurement twice with the help of my thumbs, since a direct visual reading wasn't really possible. And i got the same result, "22 millimeters".

    So i ran home, and found a 21x22 wrench in my set and decided to take just this one with me. I wanted to risk a wrong choice. Back in the bathroom i tried the 21-wrench first. Didn't fit. Then the 22-wrench. And it fit! And the rest is history (the cap was very loosely screwed, i wouldn't have needed a wrench lol, and the nozzle was indeed clogged by a whole bunch of loose "kidney stones", easy to free, with the Ultratac K18 SS flashlight between my lips i had perfect lighting for the intricate cleaning job).

    We are learning:
    1. this measurement task could not have been done with the TPT or TPT Slide; their indirect "1inch"-scale is laughable, not practical
    2. i basically took the quark measurement "blindly", i.e. with the help of my thumbs/fingers and taking the actual reading "offline" (outside the bathroom, in better lighting)
    3. depending on the build of a commercial (steel) ruler, i could have asked her for a ruler or a folding yardstick. sure. but my guess is that the lady wouldn't have got one (suitable) handy. and why ask someone, if you could carry a steel ruler on your keychain instead, have it handy at all times?
    4. this was a perfect example of a real life scenario where a spontaneous +0.5mm measurement at low lighting conditions was required and my modded quark delivered yay!
    So, as we learn, a typical example of when we need the quark scale:
    at/during spontaneous work tasks where we must take secured measurements of replacement parts/screws (diameters, length, width) or of required tool/wrench sizes. The longer you're used to carrying such an EDC ruler, the more uses, applications, examples you'll come across and the more your appreciation will grow. While it's not an EDC essential, i wouldn't want to miss it anymore, the ruler functionality that is.

    Anyway, i (and prolly the lady too) found it pretty cool, how quickly i thought of determining the required wrench size through the quark scale and even got it right, right away! That little success certainly made my day haha.

    Btw, my Vinox Minichamp has all the EDC essentials and really vanishes in the little pocket to be completely forgotten during the day but in all other instances (keychain carry, shorts, trousers, non-jeans) i grew tired of carrying it. The Minichamp is highly functional/valuable and likable but it will remain retired in my EDC collection drawer. In general, SAK's are small, light-weight and unobtrusive but they're not my cup of coffee to carry on the keychain in the long term. Looking at the SAK on a keychain, i'd be wondering "why bother carrying this cute plasticky thing if i 'never' get to use it to its full potential?". Looking at the quark on the keychain, i'm thinking "so cool to have a such a capable well-made stainless steel cutter on my keychain, with replaceable blades/blade shapes!".

    Tbh, it was and still is very rare that i made use of the functionality of the Minichamp (status: retired), the TPT (retired), the TPT Slide (retired), when i was EDC'ing them respectively. And the "non-usage", that made it even more frustrating/annoying to carry all the time. With the quark (status: active), at least i am not frustrated/annoyed anymore, because it keeps such a low profile on my keychain no pun intended. Even if i didn't cut, scrape, or measure anything with it in an entire year, i wouldn't regret the 24/365 quark carry on my bunch of keys. I mean it. When i leave the house, i would want to carry a nifty folding knife too (Fox Suru, Techno2, or Delica4) in addition to my bunch of keys, but more often than not i choose to leave without the hidden carry knife, for various reasons. Without a folding knife on me, i can still cut stuff as thick as thick cardboard no problem with the quark: that's stuff which i wouldn't dare to cut with a Minichamp (too 1817 unsafe!).

    I do miss a bottle opener (cap lifter) function on my quark though, oh well. [​IMG]

    Subscribe to this thread if you like quark story times ;)
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020

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