Monday, August 12, 2013


(Note: this post has nothing to do with TMNT -- though it is about a tool which Donatello would probably love -- but I am posting it here as well as on Palblog for extra exposure. -- PL)

Some years ago -- it might have been as many as ten, perhaps even more -- I saw a nifty pocket tool online and purchased it. Called the PenTool, and made by KeyGear Corporation, it immediately became one of my favorite gizmos, and to this day, I carry one with me in my shirt pocket, every day.

It's gone through at least two iterations that I know of. That first one I purchased had a yellow barrel, and with the PenTool's hexagonal cross-section, resembled a standard yellow pencil… which was a little odd, because it had nothing in common with a pencil outside of that shape and color. The later models -- one of which you see in these photographs -- were all black, except for the tips, and they also incorporated a new bit of functionality in the form of a swing-out blade, partly serrated, in the cap.

The ToolPen in the above photos functions as a pocket knife, a flat-bladed screwdriver, a Philips head screwdriver, and a ballpoint pen. If you keep the cap on the flat-bladed screwdriver end, it depresses a small button on the barrel of the ToolPen, which retracts the pen point into the Philips head end, protecting the point until you want to use it, at which time you just pull the cap off the flat-bladed screwdriver end, and the point pops out about a sixteenth of an inch.

On one face of the hexagonal plastic cap, the name of the product -- "ToolPen" -- is molded into the cap, and two faces away from that is the name of the company which made it ("Key Gear Corporation"), also molded in.

Except for the body of the cap and possibly the pen reservoir which is hidden (and I've never taken one of these apart to see what it looks like), the ToolPen is all metal. While not a heavy-duty tool, it is solidly built.

It's also incredibly convenient, and I have used it hundreds -- no, probably thousands -- of times since I got that first one. 

Unfortunately, since I bought those original ToolPens (and one year I purchased about a dozen or so to put in Christmas stockings), the product seems to have disappeared. I can't find a site online which sells them, and while I haven't done truly exhaustive searching, it seems that Key Gear Corporation is no longer in business.

Being a big fan of handy pocket tools, I have collected a number of them over the years, and have yet to find one as simple, convenient and useful as the ToolPen. I would hate to think that when the one I have wears eventually wears out or breaks, I won't be able to replace it. 

So we come to the point of this entry -- I'm asking my blog readers if they have seen any ToolPens for sale anywhere online or in a brick and mortar store. If you have, and can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it! -- PL


  1. Hey Peter, Is it the Key Gear Corporation in Painesville Ohio?

    1. I believe it is, but today a friend of mine called the number for that business and that phone line was disconnected. -- PL

  2. That's strange then it's like the company literally has disappeared I'll keep looking though. ^_^