The Tool Dynafit Should Have Made — But Brooks Range Did


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  
Brooks Range 'multi-ski tool' is made with stainless steel and aluminum, and you can rebuild a Dynafit binding using only what's included. About time.

Brooks Range 'multi-ski tool' is made with stainless steel and aluminum, and you can rebuild a Dynafit binding using only what's included. About time.

I can’t tell you dear readers how many times I’ve wanted a folding plier multi-tool that could do it all with Dynafit bindings, correctly, with the exact tools coming off-the-shelf in one tight package, rather than needing to improvise or buy extra parts and pieces. Some time ago we even tried to build our own tech binding multi-tool out of an existing Gerber we had lying around. That project was relegated to the would’ve should’ve bin. Sadly.

Hence, yesterday I was thrilled to see the innovators at Brooks Range Mountaineering had come up with that exact tool we wanted. In fact, it’s a tool that’ll work well with just about any ski binding out there. Check it out. Available next winter at any retailer smart enough to sell it.

Backcountry skiing multi-tool

Brooks Range 'Multi-Ski' backcountry skiing multi-tool.

Oh, by the way, a screw driver bit extension, drill bit and awl will be included in the tool case. Those items fit in the screw driver bit holder.

Comments

32 Responses to “The Tool Dynafit Should Have Made — But Brooks Range Did”

  1. Mark August 3rd, 2010 11:10 pm

    Pozi #3 says it all, or almost all. Cool stuff.

  2. Dimitar August 4th, 2010 2:37 am

    I saw very similarly looking one from Gerber, also to be launched next year. So, may be it is getting easier with the tools….

  3. Fra August 4th, 2010 8:54 am

    Where can I get it?

  4. Lou August 4th, 2010 9:03 am

    Should be available this winter. I got a sample that is pretty much retail ready, so it’s probably just a matter of when they start getting spit out of whatever factory is making them.

    In addition to the minimalist version I can see other models of this being viable. How about a “guide” version with more tools inside, such as scissors? And how about a version for the weight fanatics and Europeans that has smaller or no pliers?

  5. Kevin August 4th, 2010 11:41 am

    I’ll be looking for one. They didn’t, by chance put a ratcheting device on the bit driver did they. In a similar quest, I got a tool called the “Bit Dr.” from Loggerhead Tools
    http://loggerheadtools.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=6&chapter=1

    that uses a spring-loaded shaft, not true ratcheting, but better than fixed. I am not really hyped on the Bit Dr. beyond the ratcheting thing. Hopefully the patents aren’t too restrictive to prevent leveraging of a good idea onto a more all around tool.

  6. Caleb Wray August 4th, 2010 12:22 pm

    Lou,

    What are the dimensions and weight of your first look prototype? As compared to my Skeletool that is.

  7. Charlie August 4th, 2010 12:27 pm

    Weight? My Gerber is the biggest chunk of steel in my pack, and I’d love for it to be lighter.

  8. JMski August 4th, 2010 1:15 pm

    The stainless steel body implies that it could be hefty.

  9. JMski August 4th, 2010 3:04 pm

    In stock, $69.95 and 6.4 oz per their website.

  10. Lou August 4th, 2010 4:09 pm

    Available this fall. The pliers are what make multi-tools such as this have some mass. There might be a way to trim down the pliers. I asked the guys at Brooks Range about making a version without pliers, they didn’t seem too keen on it and pointed out the number of stories they’ve heard about pliers saving lives.

    BTW, see addendum to post above, as the story I got failed to mention one can customize the tool internals.

  11. Lou August 4th, 2010 4:10 pm

    Caleb, you joker, you think I carry my scale around the OR show? (grin) Perhaps Louie would, but he’s not here.

  12. Fernando Pereira August 4th, 2010 6:49 pm

    @Lou: You say available this fall, but BR’s site shows this available now. Is it the same or different? Thanks!

  13. Lou August 4th, 2010 7:08 pm

    Try to buy it…. (just kidding). It’s available in September or October.

  14. eric August 5th, 2010 10:29 am

    Just ordered it and it is in stock…

  15. Louie August 5th, 2010 10:21 pm

    wow, that thing looks awesome. One can never have to many multi tools!

  16. Jonathan Shefftz August 6th, 2010 5:40 am

    I’ve always liked Brooks-Range products: very innovative and highly targeted toward, well, us! Nice to see them expanding their product range — the BackpackingLight website highlights some of their other offerings.
    But my Leatherman Skeletool weighs 5.3 oz with eight different driver bits, and seems to offer everything that the Brooks-Range website lists for its multi-tool.

  17. Greg Louie August 6th, 2010 10:36 am

    Except that Dynafit top-plate screws are T10.

  18. Lou August 6th, 2010 1:54 pm

    Greg, if so then that’s a typo on the packaging, as the bit in my sample is the correct size…

  19. Lou August 6th, 2010 2:00 pm

    Jonathan, the cool thing about the Brooks Range tool is that the necessary bits are stored inside the too and come with it as stock items, last time I looked I don’t recall that the Leatherman came with Pozi or the small Torx? The Brooks Range has the truly wide screwdriver bit for the binding spring barrel. Not sure about the weight, since mine is a sample I’ll not publish the weight and I believe the weight they quote is provisional. It does have some aluminum parts in it. If it’s heavier than your leatherman, Brooks Range needs to do something to lighten it up a bit.

    All that said, we’re eager to get this thing into the mod shop and see what we can do to improve it.

  20. Jonathan Shefftz August 6th, 2010 4:14 pm

    Yes, the Skeletool bits are an extra purchase, and I have to duct tape them to the tool.
    So revised weight including all of the following ten bits (and the duct tape) is 5.4 ounces:
    PZ3
    R1
    3/16
    5/32
    1/4
    7/32
    4mm
    5mm
    P1
    P2
    T10
    T15
    (Note that the bits are double-sided, so that explains some of the odd selection.)

  21. Lou August 6th, 2010 6:09 pm

    Very nice info Jonathan, thanks!

  22. Jonathan Shefftz August 6th, 2010 6:46 pm

    I should clarify that the Brooks-Range tool does look like the ideal multi-tool for skiers, and has the edge on the Skeletool (despite the punishing one-ounce weight penalty, ouch … kidding!) — my only real criticism is that the review title and opening sentence were a bit over the top.

  23. Lou August 6th, 2010 7:10 pm

    Except, if you were a fly on the wall you’d know that for several years I was bugging Dynafit about making a tool like this. :angel:

  24. Lou August 6th, 2010 7:23 pm

    BTW, I threw it on the scale, 5.9 ounces with the bits stored… I hope the production model comes in at that.

  25. nick August 13th, 2010 12:02 pm

    ordered yesterday and got a notification from brooks-range late last night. Will be approx 2 weeks before the multi tool ships. So after i get it if nobody else has ill toss it on a scale and find its true weight!

  26. Lou August 13th, 2010 12:14 pm

    Nick, the one I have is 5.9 ounces.

    By the way, Louie found that the bigger bit set for the Leatherman Skeltool DOES INCLUDE A POSI so you could conceivably create, as Jonathan pointed out, the equivalent tool to the Brooks Range. The Brooks Range is cheaper and has that nice wide flathead screwdriver blade for the Dynafit rear spring barrel. The Skeltool might be slightly lighter weight.

    The Leatherman bits have the proprietary insert shape, while the Brooks Range uses standard 1/4 inch insert bits, of which we have literally hundreds kicking around. I think above all reasons this is why I prefer the Brooks Range tool. For example, if you loose the Leatherman posi bit, you probably have to mail order another one unless you happen to live near a retailer that has it. 1/4 shaft posi bits are a bit easier to come by, but still….

  27. nick August 13th, 2010 2:27 pm

    Yours is a preproduction unit though isn’t it Lou? Not that a few ounces matters (to me at least) but always nice to know what things weight.

    Nice to know about the 1/4 bit size too. Didnt notice that on the brooks website if it was posted. Good to know if i should lose the bit then i have replacement ones buried deep in a tool box somewhere; instead of having to order one.

  28. Lou August 13th, 2010 2:56 pm

    Nick, you are right, production unit is the weight we want! So ASAP please get it weighed! My pre-production unit is probably pretty close, but you never know.

  29. Tuck August 17th, 2010 12:41 pm

    Do they have a titanium version coming? ;)

  30. Joe January 1st, 2012 2:03 pm

    Do you know where I might be able to find one of these? I can no longer find them anywhere.

  31. Sam March 2nd, 2014 5:34 pm

    Is it possible to use this tool with gloves on? Or will most repairs almost always require you to go barehanded?

  32. Lou Dawson March 2nd, 2014 7:23 pm

    Sorry guys, last I heard they did not have these in retail and no firm plans for when in the future. As for glove use, no different than any other multi-tool. Lou

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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