Beware of thieving magpies, because the Birzman Feexman Stainless is one shiny multi-tool.
Multi-tools tend to fall into one of two categories, either the Chinese puzzle type, where the whole thing is folded in on itself and you need a black-belt in origami to extract the half-inch micro-drive mouse flange extractor or the flat variety where everything is laid out like spots on a plaice. This is in the latter camp, with all 17 functions clearly set out for your admiration.
Once my eyes had recovered from the dazzle, my first thought was how huge and wide this baby was. It's airy too, this isn't a tool which maximises space, which might be an issue if you pack small. The wide body does give a surprisingly good grip and plenty of easy torque. The tool bits are on the short side though, which helps keep the weight down but does make it harder to use the tool in confined spaces as the wide body isn't the most manoeuvrable.
The side-panels and chain-tool plate are stainless steel and the tools are chrome-vanadium. It all feels very sturdy and well put together. Despite the width there is hardly any flex, which is quite surprising and a testament to the solid build quality.
You get all the standard goodies - hexes from 2mm up to 8mm (just out of interest, just what is a 2mm hex for, apart from resetting bike computers?) two flavours of screwdriver, T25 bit, chain-tool and four different spoke keys. Oh and a special spoke bit for a Mavic rim spoke. I don't know which bit that actually is, but it's nice to know it's there. You also get a stiff but rubbish tyre lever - 3cm long, 5mm wide and set into the middle of the tool rack. It might help you ease some stubborn rubber back onto the rim, but it won't help you get it off unless you're packing a spare lever, in which case, take two and don't bother with the one on the tool. As there is a lot of spare space, perhaps a couple of better, detachable, levers could be incorporated? Just a thought...
The chain-tool is often a weak link on multi-tools (I make bike mechanic joke, everybody laugh!) but this one is perfectly okay. It had no trouble with a hefty single speed chain and there's plenty of tool to grip, so you don't end up with bits of spiky metal digging into your hands.
It's a pretty good tool, but it's expensive at £30 and no better than the Crank Bros 17 that we tested recently and you can get that for under £20.
Not bad and very pretty, but bulky and pricey.
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Make and model: Birzman Feexman Stainless 17 Function Mini Tool
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?
There's some top class blurb on their website but I especially liked this:- "so functional that you will make excuses to repair bikes that are not yet broken......" Er, no, actually.
Really nicely made - no flex at all.
Bulk inhibits performance.
Light, but at the cost of short tool bits.
Surprisingly good. Wide body gives good leverage.
Not cheap, but should last.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Not bad actually.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Too big and there are some random bits that I just don't need.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Perhaps
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Nice - but there are better tools for less money.
Age: 41 Height: 5' 8 Weight: er....86kg
I usually ride: Kona Dew Drop My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Audax and long distance solo rides