This Birzman E-Version 15 function Mini Tool has everything you need for most emergency repairs, from tightening a loose mudguard bolt to repairing a broken chain. It's well made, fairly light and fairly priced too.
We've reviewed various Birzman tools on road.cc before, and we like the combination of excellent build quality and competitive pricetag. This E-Version 15 function Mini Tool is no different. It's got seven Allen keys, two torx keys, a cross-head screwdriver, a chain tool and 4 spoke keys, which between them should cover most road-side eventualities.
All the multi-tools in the E-version range are made from predominantly Chrome Vanadium steel, with steel side plates and connecting bolts. (Birzman's multi-tools are also available in other ranges, with lighter parts and side-plates – using aluminium alloy or carbon – each shaving off a few more grams and adding a few quid more to the price, although not all options are available in the UK.)
Looking at this Mini Tool in more detail, the Allen (hex) keys are: 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm and 8mm. The spoke keys are 3.2mm, 4.3mm, 4.4mm and a Mavic-specific fitting. The torx keys are T25 and T15.
This E-Version 15-function Mini Tool is also available with a flat-head screwdriver instead of the T15 torx key. The former is called the 'Standard Edition', the latter is the 'T15 Edition'.
Testing the mini tool on a selection of components on the bikes in the road.cc lab, the individual Allen keys and torx keys all swung out of the tool very smoothly. When pressure was applied, there was little sign of flexing, even at the pivot point where the allen key hinges out of the multi-tool; this is because the base of each allen key is drilled and completely surrounds the connecting bolt (rather than being simply wrapped around the connecting bolt as on some other brands of multi-tool).
The spoke keys are built into the twisting lever of the chain tool, which has to be completely unscrewed from the chain tool to adjust the spokes. Not the work of a moment, but then nor is re-truing a wheel at the side of the road.
The chain tool itself functions very well when removing rivets - the idea being you'd completely remove a broken link and fix the chain with that spare quick-link you carry with you at all times. However, loosening a stiff link proved harder; the plates in the tool seemed too small to hold the chain in place, so when pressure was applied to the rivet extractor, the chain lifted out of the tool.
But apart from that niggle, this Birzman Mini Tool functions perfectly, and even looks stylish as well. So when you're tightening up a loose saddle bolt on next Sunday's club-run, your mates can all admire the quality of your tool.
The recommended retail price for this Birzman multi-tool is £17.99 which compares very well to the price of similar sized and similar quality products from other brands (many of which are over £20 or nearer £30). You can find cheaper models from other manufacturers, but many of these don't have the same build quality.
Comprehensive multi-tool covers road-side repairs, with a high-quality build and a good-value price.
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Make and model: Birzman E-Version 15 function Mini Tool
Size tested: 15 function
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?
This multi-tool (or mini-tool) is designed for carrying with you on the bike, to help with road-side repairs. Birzman's UK distributor website says: "this tool covers all the bases and yet weighs in at a price that you will not believe!" This is a fair claim; thise tool has everything you need for most road-side repairs. On weight, it compares well to similar products from other manufacturers, and lighter versions in the Birzman range are available.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Birzman's UK distributor website goes on to say: "All Birzman multi-tool bits are forged and CNC machined. This technology provides benefits including weight saving by using less material, increased strength, a centre tool pivot and a neater finish over the extruded wrapped tool bits usually seen on multi-tools. Tool bits are made from chrome vanadium.
Side plates and bolts are made from stainless steel.
Chain tool is also made from stainless steel with spoke keys."
Construction is very good. The base of each allen key is drilled and completely surrounds the tool's connecting bolt (rather than being simply wrapped round the connecting bolt as on some other brands of multi-tool).
Performance is very good. The individual allen keys and torx keys swing out of the tool very smoothly. When pressure is applied, there's little sign of the tool flexing, even at the pivot point where the allen key hinges out of the multi-tool
All multi-tools are designed for road-side repairs, rather than day-in-day-out workshop use, and with that in mind this Birzman Mini Tool will last for years.
The tool we're testing weighs 127g. Not featherlights, but for the number of functions and materials used, this compares well against similar products from other manufacturers.
Given the quality of the build and the materials used, the price is very good, compared to similar tools from other manufacturers.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Build quality. Functionality. Appearance. (Is it weird to admire the looks of a multi-tool?)
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Tricky to fix a stiff link in the chain.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes (with a proviso about the stiff-link issue).
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Overall, this is a very nice piece of kit. It's well-made, well-priced and great to use. It would score a 9, but gets a point knocked off not fixing stiff chain-links, bringing the overall score to 8.
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,