The Ringtool costs 3X what a set of bits and driver costs at the big box. I still want it.

At Home Depot, you can buy a 100 piece bit set and driver for $9.99. you can by a bike tool for $7.50. At Reductivist, you can get an 8 bit Ringtool for $28. So why is this on TreeHugger? Because it represents a different mindset. On his website, Designer Jonathan Sabutis posts the Reductivist Manifesto:
No off-shoring
Products should be made as locally as possible.
No plastic
Products should be made with authentic, long-lasting materials.
No fashion
Products should aspire to timelessness rather than trends.
No luxury
Products should be as affordable as possible.
No style
“The extent to which you have a design style is the extent to which you have not solved the design problem.”
-Charles Eames
The press release notes:
Not only is it portable, Ringtool is nearly indestructible. The carefully selected grade of hardened stainless steel is a favorite among trusted multi-tool brands for its perfect combination of strength, corrosion resistance, and quality finish. This is backed up by a lifetime warranty on all Reductivist tools. With eleven unique features, Ringtool offers quick fixes at your fingertips for a host of daily challenges including one of its most popular functions- the bottle cap opener.
Coco Chanel was supposed to have said "My family was poor. We couldn't afford to buy cheap shoes." Cheap tools are much the same thing. Steve Mouzon wrote at the start of the economic crash 5 years ago:
When times are tough, the thought of replacing a tool, a piece of furniture, or whatever on a frequent basis is really frightening... we simply cannot afford to do that. So I believe that the Meltdown will begin to cause people to think long-term again, and to begin to value enduring things.
I've had those multi-bit sets in plastic boxes, lost the bits I needed most, bought the sets again. The ring tool might stay on my keychain forever. There's lots to like about it, besides the beer bottle opener. But every time we show something like this people complain about cost and the Brooklyn hipsters and it should be $3.99. What do you think?


  1. With a relatively low-volume product, you have to be a fan of the utility, design, exclusivity, philosophy and/or goals of the company behind the product in order to make the investment. There's nothing wrong with judging a product based solely on its utility, but it's a little sad when a utility customer takes a pass on the product under the assumption that the company doesn't understand pricing.

    Such a customer really wants the impossible: a low-volume product with a low price made possible by high-volume economies of scale. The stereotypical hipster, on the other hand, buying or not buying based on the fads of the day, is at least the more rational economic player.

  2. It's cool enough to pay what they're asking, although a snap over cover would make it a lot more comfortable in a pants pocket. At $10 each, I have a Park Tool MT-1 Multi Tool with each of my three bike's tool kits, and I keep a small pen-knife on my key chain. Works for me. After all, you can use a chainlink fence to open a beer bottle.


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