The new retractable EDC tool from Chinese knife and pocket tool store HX Outdoors combines the timeless shock and awe of a switchblade knife with the practicality of an everyday carry multitool (part of it), making it a unique addition to any multitool collection. With just a flick of the thumb, the tool instantly activates a series of four handy functions for wrench, drive and pry. This gadget can be carried in your pocket or on top with its integrated clip.
The 4oz (116g) retractable tool from HX Outdoors does focus more on cool than function, but we think it manages to create something different for EDC collectors, if not for those looking for the most powerful multitool people.
The retractable EDC tool (we’ll call it the REDC from now on) started out as a simple 5.3″ (13.5 cm) aluminum handle with a glass breaker at the bottom. Press the thumb button, though, and a 3.7-inch (9.3cm) blade-like 420J2 stainless steel tool instantly appears and cuts into its face a slotted screwdriver/pry bar tip and a bunch of hex keys. A little further down, the metal rim opens to access the must-have bottle opener.
Aside from screwdrivers and bottle openers (if we haven’t already equipped bottle openers on almost every other tool, keychain, and gear we own), no REDC tool makes it onto our personal list of EDC features. Look in the multitool. But we think that’s the trade-off when buying a single tool switcher — you’re paying mostly to show that deployment at parties and tailgates.
HX Outdoors isn’t the first manufacturer to consider incorporating switchblade action into the design of a multitool.A few years ago came the Toughbuilt Scraper Utility Knife, more of a “dual tool” than a multi-tool, and the more fully equipped SOG SwitchPlier and SwitchPlier 2.0, the latter released 2015. The SwitchPlier 2.0 is an even more attractive, tool-loaded switch tool that combines single-button auto-deploying pliers with common hidden-handle tools such as straight/serrated blades, Phillips and slotted screwdrivers, files, files together. Cans and corkscrews and more.
SOG did look like a better option, but is no longer available. So, if the idea of a switchable pocket tool appeals to you, the HX REDC looks like it’s going to be the sweet spot for 2023. Or anyway, it might as well be. HX is currently trying to get the project off the ground with a Kickstarter campaign, offering super early bird pledge points of $49. Ultimately, one decides whether a multi-tool with switchblade capabilities is worth the money. We know our answers, but what are your answers?