We all have that kitchen drawer. The one that looks like you went to Lowes, came home and started tossing random tools in there.
Wire cutters? Of course. Random socket? Makes sense to me. But, there’s always a better way. Combine the tools into one that is both functional and stylish.
Mininch answers the call with their series of Kickstarters – first for the Tool Pen, the Tool Pen Mini and now the WRENCHit. I have the Tool Pen and can attest to both its function and incredible product design. A set of screwdriver bits in a pen? That’s how it’s done.
Mininch is returning to Kickstarter for its WRENCHit campaign and completing the trilogy of pocket tools. The company enjoys a loyal backing, with the project funded by a factor of 10 and growing.
The WRENCHit retains its ‘pop-a-point’ design allowing you to quickly select the wrench size for the job and ‘pop’ it in. Cycle through different sizes to find the size for the job.
The WRENCHit channel design allows enough length for torque while keeping the form factor pocket-sized. Minich opted for SUS 420 Stainless Steel with a sandblasted finish. The end product continues the mininch standard of minimalism.
If you’ve used the tool pen, you know it’s quality with a side of design.
Each WRENCHit can hold five wrench sizes, allowing the end-user to mix-and-match what they use the most. 6mm – 13mm Allen Wrench set. On the 6mm wrench size, the piece shares space with a 3.2, 3.4 and 3.5mm spoke wrenches. A separate Wing Nut Wrench includes 4.3 and 4.4mm spoke wrenches.
After all that assembly or disassembly work, you need a break. You know where I’m heading. If it’s a multi-tool, you’re damn right it has a bottle opener. Mininch doesn’t disappoint.
Turning the Wrench With Mininch
Issey Tsai, chief of marketing for mininch, sat down for a few questions about the WRENCHit campaign, lessons learned from previous Kickstarter campaigns and design inspiration.
What served as the inspiration for the WRENCHit?
The design concept of Tool Pen series is offering the handy, portable, & interchangeable tools for everyday carry. Most people would rarely carry EDC tools because existing ones are too heavy, bulky, & ugly. But we think it’s important to have a useful and pocket-friendly tool on the go.
Was there a ‘light bulb’ moment when developing the series?
Our Tool Pen series has replaced a drawer full of screwdrivers, but we were missing a go-to wrench for the random nut and bolt. Given that most of our backers/customers really enjoyed and recognized Tool Pen’s interchangeable schemes, so we aimed to design a reinvented & unprecedented spanner with replaceable wrenches by cycling through sizes. Its unique mechanical design is similar to the Tool Pen’s “Pop-A-Point” mechanism.
What lessons have you learned entering your third Kickstarter campaign?
Frankly, we could write a book, but there are two things we’d like to share:
1) Product is king! There’re thousands of projects listed on Kickstarter at the same time, but the funds will gather in the top 40 ~ 50 campaigns. Most Kickstarter backers want to look for unique and brand-new designs or ideas. If they can find or buy similar products at Walmart or Amazon immediately, why should they support a campaign and endure a long wait of a pre-order?
2) Quality & on-time delivery is paramount. In our previous two projects (Tool Pen & Tool Pen mini), we received overwhelmingly positive comments from backers. When we launched a new project, many original backers were willing to support the campaigns again and again.
Besides simple repairs and assembling a random IKEA purchase, what else can it handle?
WRENCHit can support various nuts or bolts from furniture, bike, appliances, sports equipment and household gadgets.
WRENCHit caps a trilogy of tools. What’s next for mininch?
No more utility tools in the short run, but we are debating new ideas for stationery, kitchenware, traveling kits… (actually we have too many ideas). In short, our mission is to create innovative and quality products. It’s possible we’ll start preparing for our next project soon after WRENCHit’s funding campaign ends.
Can you talk about your design process behind the tools?
Developing Tool Pen series & WRENCHit was harder than we initially assumed. The primary challenge we ran into was the complexity of the “Pop-A-Point” mechanism. Not to mention that the tooling & CNC process of creating the precision pieces. Experiment after experiment on material design, features and redesigns eventually culminated into the prototypes and the final products consumers see today.
Mininch is slating August 2016 for worldwide delivery. Pricing for the WRENCHit depends on what you want. The bike set for $30 is a Kickstarter-only special.
A standard WRENCHit is priced at $38. Know a family member or friend will ‘borrow’ the tool for an indefinite period? A two-pack sits at $72.
New to minich? The WRENCHit campaign is offering combination sets of the new tool and the tool pens. For $105, buyers can grab the wrench tool and the Tool Pen mini. Need the WRENCHit, Tool Pen and Tool Pen mini? Pledge $155.
Special thanks to Issey Tsai for sitting down and answering a few questions.