I work as a Stagehand; a job that requires you to be uniquely portable. So, I’ve always been very keen to take note of the latest multi-tasker style tools. Unfortunately, the reality of multi-taskers is often disappointing. The more tasks you add to the tool, the less effective that tool becomes with each task.
It seems to be the general rule.
The Trucker’s Friend from the Innovation Factory is arguably one of the most unique multi-taskers that I’ve come across. It has a hammer, a nail puller, a ripping tool and a hatchet edge all built into a very solid and hefty head. It feels good; it feels like it can make a difference.
I wasn’t feeling too optimistic about the hammer function. There’s a lot of business happening on the head of this tool so I was having doubts about the accuracy of the hammer. I was pleasantly surprised. It was easier to aim than I expected and the blow was solid. The nail was in on two strikes with little to no effort.
The nail puller built into the hammer gave me what might be one of the more enjoyable nail-pulling experiences I’ve ever had (because we all find pleasure in pulling nails . . .right?). You start out with your knuckles parallel to the wood surface, giving you practically 180 degrees of room to pull that nail out. The handle length gave me an almost ridiculous amount of leverage, the ripping claw provides a nice assist by pivoting along with the pull.
The ripping toll is probably best used for 1X lumber. The piece of 2X4 I had, laughed at that thing trying to get its claws around it.
My first impression of the hatchet was “this is a pretty dull edge” and I was right about that. I wish the edge were sharper, though that is easy to fix. Having said that, it did hack into that poor little 2X4 pretty nicely and it didn’t take me long to make a mess there. it would be nice if the bottom edge of the hatchet blade didn’t go all the way back to the handle, if it could come short and have a divet added. That way the Trucker’s Friend can be carried in a hammer loop.
The Innovation Factory definitely got the grip right! This is my favorite grip. I had a mallet with a grip like this years ago, and it was nearly always my first choice. It digs back into the hand so the harder you swing, the better the grip gets. Besides that style of grip, it simply fits the hand comfortably.
The overall length of the Trucker’s Friend is 19”; I wish it were no longer than 17.5”. I’m one of those guys whose entire tool storage system is built around 6 gallon-sized Milk Crates. The 19” length is an awkward fit for those crates…but after talking to a trucker friend, it’s probably for the deeper set windows!
I am not entirely clear who this tool is actually for as I have a hard time figuring out what a Trucker may need to chop up. I can see this tool being a better fit in a shipping department. The tool description explained that it can make short work breaking down pallets. This tool is pretty cool as far as demolition goes. I’ve never noticed a demolition tool with a hatchet edge. Also, I think this would be a pretty handy camper’s tool. If I can sink a nail with little to no problem, then sinking a tent stake should be just as easy. The demolition claw would be nice for pulling the stakes back up, then there’s the hatchet edge.
As far as multi-taskers go, I wasn’t terribly surprised. All the components (save for the nail puller, which was exceptional) were so-so. I like this tool, I look forward to having this thing around, always lingering until that moment when you find yourself in a situation, and there it is. It retails for only $59.99 and comes with a replacement guarantee — that alone, makes it a super cool gift idea!
As a final thought, when the Zombie Apocalypse happens, the Trucker’s Pal will be an indispensable!
Now, here is the really cool part-you can buy it from a company called American Certified! ALL the items on their site are MADE IN THE USA!!! ((LOVE THAT!!!)) They carry this innovative tool and SO MUCH MORE!!
Make sure you jump in on this $150 gift certificate that they are giving away — it runs through 12/1
Disclaimer: while we were provided the product for purposes of review, we were not compensated in any other way. All thoughts are entirely our own…or should we say they are the creative ramblings of Brooks, Ann’s husband, LOL