The Silca Italian Army Knife Venti has pretty much every tool you should need at the side of the road, and more importantly it is very user-friendly thanks to its shape. There are a few little niggles here and there, but on the whole it's one of the better ones I've used – though I'd expect it to be at this price.
- Pros: Good selection of tools, impressive quality
- Cons: Magnetic holder for the chain tool isn't strong enough, pricey
Venti is Italian for 20 and, surprise surprise, that's how many tools you'll find at your disposal, made up of:
* Hex 2/2.5/3/4/5/6/8
* Torx 8/10/20/25
* 7mm box wrench
* 8mm flare nut wrench
* 10mm open end wrench
* Disc pad spreader
* Valve core remover
* Spoke wrenches - 13G / 15G
There is also a forged chain breaker too; we'll start with that.
The pin extractor part of the tool is part of the main setup, but a large plate threads onto it which holds the chain in position to allow you to push the pin out. Its size gives you plenty of leverage to pop the pin and it also contains the spoke keys, 10mm open wrench, disc pad spreader and valve core removal cutout.
The only thing that irritated me a little is that when it is not in use you slide it onto the tool and then it's held in place by a magnet. The magnet isn't really that strong, so it falls out easiy when you get the tool out of your bag or pocket. Not something you are going to want to happen on a dark, wet evening with a mechanical on your hands.
The same could be said for the 8mm hex bit, as it's a short piece that sits on the end of the 5mm, held in place by a little ball bearing. It's pretty secure but it is easy to drop if you need to use the 5mm on its own.
The tools are made from hardened tool steel which is then coated with Silca's high-grip chrome plating apparently, which provides better torque transfer. I can't confirm whether it does or not, but it seems to stop any corrosion.
The tolerances of the tools are tight and there is no slop between the tool itself and any hex key or Torx bits.
The downfall of many multi-tools is that they can be fiddly to use and not give you much leverage from the short body.
The Silca has steel side clamps of a decent size and they are shaped to accept your fingers to provide better grip. I found it comfortable to use.
You can pick up multi-tools from a few quid, depending on how many attachments you want, but no matter which way you look at it the Silca is right up there at the top end. At £45 it is quite an outlay. The 21-tool Topeak Hexus X, for example, costs just £22.99 and scored very well. Or there is the Vel Slim 17 tool which was pretty good, but we still reckoned it was pricey at £34.99 – so the Silca is up against some tough opposition.
It is a good tool, though, and feels durable, so it should last plenty of years I reckon.
User-friendly multi-tool with plenty of options for the roadside, if you are willing to pay for it
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Silca Italian Army Knife Venti Multi Tool (20 Function)
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Silca says, "The ultimate in functionality, durability and ergonomics, the Italian Army Knife Venti builds on the flat design, forged mid-length tools and Stainless Steel hardware of our award winning Italian Army Knives, while adding new tools including the most ergonomic and functional chain breaker ever featured in a portable multi-tool. Italian for 'Twenty' the Venti packs 20 high precision, hardened steel tools into an incredibly compact space through a unique layout and design"
It's a solid tool that packs down slim, while being comfortable to use.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Metal injection sidebars with knurled grip surface and stainless steel hardware
Forged chain breaker for 10-12 speed chain
Magnetic storage for 10-12 speed compatible chain connectors
Forged and plated tools:
7mm box wrench
8mm flare nut wrench
10mm open end wrench
Disc pad spreader
Valve core remover
Spoke wrenches - 13G / 15G
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Nicely designed for use out on the road. You can reach any nut or bolt that you might need to and it's comfortable in the hand.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
You can get a good grip on the tool to do up and undo stubborn bolts.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The magnet for the chain tool isn't strong enough.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's more expensive than a lot of the tools we've tested with a similar number of add-ons. The Vel Slim 17 multi-tool was considered pricey and it's a tenner cheaper than the Silca.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? There are cheaper options to be had.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a nice bit of kit that should cover most of the mechanicals you are likely to find out on the road, but the magnetic chaintool constantly falls out, and it is a lot of money for what it is.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.