Blackburn Toolmanator 16 - Review

Jul 14, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
Pinkbike Product Picks

Blackburn Toomanator 16 review

Blackburn Toolmanator 16

Blackburn Designs manufactures a broad array of cycling accessories, a list that includes everything from titanium water bottle cages to fluid trainers. They also offer several different multi-tools, including the Toolmanator 16. With dimensions similar to that of a business card, and measuring only 9mm thick, the Toolmanator 16 manages to squeeze an impressive range of tools into a compact package, especially considering that one of them is a micro-sized shock pump. Other tools include seven different hex key bits from 1.5 to 8mm, a Torx T25 and T30, a Schrader Valve adjuster, a flat head and a Phillips head screwdriver, and a chain breaker that also doubles as a spoke wrench for 14 or 15 gauge spokes. A neoprene sleeve is included to keep it from rattling around in your pack or jabbing you when it's in a jersey pocket. Weight: 147 grams. MSRP: $44.99 USD. www.blackburndesign.com

Blackburn Toomanator 16 review

The Toolmanator 16 has a wide range of tools, but unfortunately many of them are too small to use.



Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesOn paper, the Toolmanator looks like it should do the trick, containing almost everything that you'd need for trailside repairs in a light, compact package. The trouble is, when it comes time for those repairs, many of the bits are too small to actually be useful. Want to adjust the limit screws on an X01 derailleur? Sorry, that's not going to be possible - the body of the tool prevents the bit from even coming close to reaching the hex head screws. The same scenario occurred when trying to adjust a brake lever reach adjustment that was located on the lever body close to the handlebar. Granted, many multi-tools have trouble with this feat, but it's especially difficult with the Toolmanator 16. On the plus side, the chain tool is effective, and in this case the Toolmanator's shape works to its advantage, providing plenty of leverage to push out stubborn chain pins. What about the shock pump? Well, it sort of works, but you'll need the patience of a Buddhist monk to be able to put in the time necessary to add even a few pounds of air. It'd be quicker to ride home to get a shock pump than wasting time in the woods struggling to daintily add a little more air. While the Toolmanator's low profile design may be appealing, it's a case of fashion over function, and in the real world it doesn't perform well enough to earn a recommendation. - Mike Kazimer





59 Comments

  • 89 0
 "Many of the bits are too small to actually be useful." ...That's what she said
  • 36 0
 Is that a shock pump in your fanny pack or are you just happy to see me?
  • 14 12
 shocking how many tools they've fitted in it
  • 6 2
 I saw what u did there ben! Shme some of the tools on here didnt
  • 2 0
 a one hitter would have been more useful than a shock pump..
  • 27 3
 Dude, there is not even a bottle opener !they forgot the MAIN tool !
  • 31 0
 It IS a bottle opener. There are at least 14 ways to open a bottle with this thingy.
  • 3 0
 You can open a bottle with a bank note. Get creative :p
  • 3 1
 And sabrage a bottle of champagne with a ski! on a slightly other note
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRJBlIKzwoI
  • 1 1
 Put the wheel spinning and open a bottle in the spokes, that's how we do in Portugal
  • 1 0
 That thing will open bottles just fine, seems like that the only thing it does just fine.
  • 3 0
 a SPD pedal is a perfect bottle opener !
  • 1 0
 You use another beer bottle to open one. It works.
  • 1 0
 Don't you have twist offs...
  • 19 0
 I'm sort of excited about this tool. Maybe a little pumped.
  • 19 0
 Don't be such a tool.
  • 2 0
 These puns are really throwing a wrench in the Pinkbike comments.
  • 9 0
 If your riding to dial in your suspension, just pack a bloody shockpump, they don't weigh much, they fit in your backpack, even a jersey pocket.

Like mougetm said, is this a tool for ants?! (zoolander referenceWink
  • 3 0
 Do you mean Mugatu the fashion overlord?
  • 3 0
 screw it like one of your french bolts
  • 1 0
 It needs to be at least three times this big!!!
  • 1 0
 Okay, I am afraid that's what she said too
  • 11 0
 I had this for about a year... it sucks thats my review
  • 12 7
 rarely pinkbike provides negative feedback. someone forgot to file there invoice. I bet if this was a specialized tool, it'd be the best thing since sliced bread and would come in an enduro specific carbon fiber series.
  • 8 1
 Hmmm $45.... I'd rather just take each tool separate for $10
  • 2 0
 But that would be £160... more useable though!
  • 2 1
 @wreaman not in us !
  • 4 2
 I've got one - like it a lot actually - means i don't have to wear a pack at my local mountain, can just ride in a tshirt with my keys, phone and multitool in my pockets - tools are small but you learn how to work around that - you know that the tool reaches the derailler screw itself so you could just quickly take the derailler off to change the limit screws. I know nobody wants to take apart stuff to fix it on the trail but as an emergency tool, its pretty great - certainly saved my butt plenty of times
  • 6 0
 tool for ants
  • 4 0
 This tool will die... What shall be said in the you-goo-ga-lee?
  • 2 0
 I am a great yougoogaliser.
  • 1 0
 Blackburn is all about the warranty, but the product has got to be useful in order for that warranty to ever be necessary. I've had one of their pumps for a good 8 years now, and I'm actually on my third one. Everytime one blows up or has an issue they send me a new one. They don't even ask for the old one back. Park or Leyzene won't do that. I just wish Blackburn got a little bit more design help from the folks at Easton-Bell so they could compete with Leyzene.
  • 1 0
 I own this. I got suckered into the idea that an emergency shock pump could be useful. It's absolute rubbish. In addition to the comments mentioned in the review above, I left the tool in a damp camelback and found that a few days later it was starting to rust. Granted this might have happened over time, but I had only owned it for a couple weeks.
  • 1 0
 To bad it doesn't have a derringer built into it, so that you could shoot yourself in the face when you realized you wasted your money on something that is completely useless, except for being able to shooting yourself in the face.
  • 1 0
 In these days, when MOST people are taking a back pack with them when they hit the trails, why do some manufacurers still insist on thinking we want to take something that can only do half a job, when we have the carrying capacity to take the real thing or something damn close to it?
Shock pump, chain splitter,set of allen keys,inner tube(s) 3/4 size pump, first aid kit, there`s space for sweets and water and more besides. Why would you??
  • 6 3
 Question: How many pumps would it take to inflate a 275 tube to 25psi?
Answer: Too many..
  • 4 0
 Aw now I feel bad and that pump is so cute.
  • 3 0
 Its like air pumps in seatposts... oh sure on paper its a good idea....in practice nobody ever used them.
  • 2 2
 I have got this one for some years now. The spoke key is the best thing about it. The rest is also ok. Tiny bits cause issues when bolts are kind of hidden. If normally exposed there are no problems at all. Light, small and useful. I can recommend it giving 9/10. The pump really works. It's an emergency item, but it works. Pumping should count in hundrets of cycles, but it can be done. In some cases I could even pump up a tire with it.
  • 3 2
 And spend NONE of your day actually riding...... I could inflate a tyre to 30psi using my lungs faster.. Or a shock for that matter!
  • 3 0
 Poor you.
  • 4 0
 Good idea, bad execution
  • 2 0
 Thanks for an honest evaluation
  • 1 0
 If they just made the whole thing twice as long it would still be compact for what it is, and might work
  • 1 0
 looks rather wide with stubby little tools to get into a lot of spots on some bikes ill give it a c-
  • 2 2
 Do we think it was the engineering department wanted the challenge of building the pump or public demand drove them to it?
  • 3 0
 Just a gimmick that some people will buy the tool for, without realizing you'd have to pump it 300 times to go up 5 psi.
  • 1 0
 Have you ever consider the feeling of the shock...
  • 1 0
 This thing is so cute... It's like... A tool, for little demon toddlers.
  • 1 0
 Great evaluation! Thanks for that.
  • 1 2
 I will never use a shock pump without a gauge on it stupid idea the think multi tools are the worst invention ever without throwing a shitty pump on it
  • 1 0
 I dont think you'll be a "two pump chump" with that little pump.
  • 1 0
 looks like it is only for tiny people and tiny bike
  • 1 0
 Great comments!
  • 1 1
 'A' for effort?
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