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The key shaped multitool that puts a tool box in your pocket.
The key shaped multitool that puts a tool box in your pocket.
4,226 backers pledged $83,087 to help bring this project to life.

General Update

Posted by Sean Connell (Creator)

Hi Kickstarters, 

I wanted to provide a general update regarding order fulfillment and the status of the black units. 

Order Fulfillment: To date, I have shipped out 1,075 stainless steel ATOMs to domestic backers. Also, I recently received the next batch of stainless steel units from the manufacturer. The order contained a total of 1,400 units before inspection. I will start shipping international orders this week. The manufacturer will ship the remaining units by April 7th. So, I anticipate completing all the stainless steel orders in the next 2-3 weeks. 

Status of Black Coating: The black coating has proven to be very difficult. The intent was to provide a titanium nitride finish, but the manufacturer is not able to produce a consistent coating. Recently, the manufacturer was able to produce a consistent and relatively durable hexavalent chromium coating. Hexavalent chromium is one of the most commonly used chrome plating options. However, hexavalent chromium poses several environmental and health related issues. So, I have decided not pursue a chrome plating finish for safety reasons. 

Unfortunately, that leaves us with very few options.  We may have to cancel the black coating  and replace those units with the stainless steel version. I would really appreciate feedback before moving forward. The feedback will be a critical component of the final decision. Please let me know your thoughts. 

Patent: The design patent for the ATOM tool was granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. So, ATOM is officially patented! Thanks again for the support!

Looking forward to the feedback, thanks!


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    1. Missing avatar

      Aaron Allen on

      I ordered black. Black would be still be my preference. But I would take stainless if there's no way of figuring it out. Especially if it meant I would get it soon, I'm a little tired of waiting.

    2. Missing avatar

      John on

      I ordered black. I'm in for stainless since I would rather not wait.

    3. Missing avatar

      Damien Gy on

      I would definitely have prefered to have a black ATOM, but looking at the disappointing results, I will go with a stainless stell version.

    4. Sean Connell 2-time creator on

      I really appreciate everyone's comments. I'm making sure that I have investigated all the feedback and exhausted all the options. Thanks for the patience!

    5. Missing avatar

      carlos mitsu salas rendon on

      Im happy with the stainless steel atom, the black coating was so cool but oh well, Id rather have the product in my hands then being delayed even longer. Thanks for all the updates =)

    6. Missing avatar

      WhiskyDevil on

      Hi Sean. Just curious, but I ordered a SS ATOM. Based on your comments I think all the domestic SS units shipped. But I have not received mine. Can you tell me if it has gone out yet?

    7. Zach Bronstein on

      I agree with those that have said that you need to contact a knife manufacturer (e.g. Gerber) and find out how they finish their tools with a black coating (or even a silver-black coating). While the stainless steel option may be "fine" for most people, it does not seem like you have exhausted your options for investigating the black coating. I look forward to hearing how you will continue to attempt to fulfill your Kickstarter promises.

    8. Graybaby on

      Black was certainly preferable to stainless steel, but if black is proving to be a technical impossibility, I'm happy with stainless as an alternate.

    9. Vince on

      If the black coating can't be done, I'm good with the stainless steel.

    10. Sean Connell 2-time creator on

      Steve, thanks for the support!

    11. Sean Connell 2-time creator on

      Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'll be posting another update shortly with a summary of the feedback and a final path moving forward.

    12. Missing avatar

      Henrik Nordin on

      Stainless works for me.

    13. Missing avatar

      Kevin O'Malley on

      Happy to switch to stainless

    14. Kelvin Kwan on

      i would be more than happy just take the stainless steel... asap would be nice though

    15. Joseph Czarnecki on

      Just get me the stainless.

    16. Missing avatar

      Tom Weber on

      I am ok with a switch to stainless. If you ever get a good black coating I will buy one.

    17. Patrick Thomson on

      I agree 100% with Steve

    18. Missing avatar

      Owen Chang on

      I'm also one of the domestic, early bird, SS backers that hasn't yet received anything. Any idea when the rest will be shipped out?

    19. Steve Frey on

      I think it's imperative for others to remember exactly what it is you "bought" here on Kickstarter: an investment in an untested/unknown and new product. There are always delays and roadblocks in new product development. Yes, we've had numerous emails that indicated that the black units were close to being finished, and obviously they've not come through. It's not like Sean is intentionally causing the delay, nor did he swindle anyone out of their money. This is part of the normal product development growing pains for any type of new widget. There is no reason to cop an attitude against anyone here other than principles of chemistry.

    20. Kenn Jordan on

      I'll like to switch to stainless steel version thanks.

    21. George Mack on

      Hexavalent chromium, like the PG&E Erin Brockavich story from Hinkley, sign me up!

      No in all seriousness, I still want black

      I think your manufacture is less than capable but I also think there became a point when you had invested too much money with them to move to another manufacture. What are our options of waiting?

    22. Missing avatar

      Vanessa Gollaher on

      I'd switch to stainless as I simply thought the black was a cool and unique design characteristic. Functionality is most important.

    23. Joel Loftin on

      Black is what I want. Find someone to do a black DLC. Or black oxide coating.

    24. Matt Hinker on

      I'd take a stainless. I'd prefer to get the product sooner rather than wait for something that might not happen at all.

    25. John Ryan on

      I was thinking you guy would use a product like this:

      I feel like you're over thinking the solution. I've purchased plenty of tools and knives that have a black coating of some type. The type usually depends on the coat of the gear I'm buying. If I'm buying a $200-300 knife it has a higher grade ceramic coating... some have a powder coat, or have Black Oxide, like the link I listed above.
      I'm OCD and based on how long this is taking I'm guessing you guys are too... but I feel like you are trying to make sure the coating will never come off... but honestly even some of the expensive knives I've had over the year that have black coatings will eventually wear... its the nature of a coating of any type really.
      I'm sure it will pain your soul not to produce the product you designed as you envisioned it... I know exactly how that feels like when you can't produce an end result as designed and engineered, I'm and engineer/designer myself) but sometimes what you want and what is possible are 2 different this case an indestructible coating.

      Anyway... that's my .02. I would rather have it in black honestly. Its been almost a year at this point... what's a another 8-10 weeks ;) lol

    26. John Ryan on

      Have you considered contacting a knife manufacture that produces knives with black coated blades? My Benchmade SOG and Gerber all have a black coating...
      A friend of mine works for Gerber. I could ask him to try and get some info if you'd like.
      It seems like it would be pretty easy to find a solution. Course I'm not the one dealing with this daily... lol

    27. Missing avatar

      David Scott on

      I'll be a sheep and go along w/the majority.

    28. Missing avatar

      Tim Fryer on

      I'm ok with switching to stainless steel

    29. Brandon Heidepriem on

      I would pay a few more dollars if it would help to still find a black coating that worked. I like black ;)

    30. Missing avatar

      Dean Isaacs on

      Switching from black to stainless is fine with me.

    31. Missing avatar

      Rebecca Reeves on

      Black would have been nice, but if it poses health risks, I wouldn't mind stainless steel.

    32. Roland Cooke on

      My stainless steel version turned up this week. It does LOOK awesome on my keyring. I'm going to trial it in USE for a couple of weeks, and then maybe place orders for more.

    33. Sean Connell 2-time creator on

      I just wanted everyone to know that I'm here following the comments. I wanted to take a moment to read and understand everyone's points before posting another update or more comments.

    34. Missing avatar

      Joshua Carmody on

      I'm fine with stainless steel. It doesn't really matter to me much.

    35. Henk Puister on

      Would have liked a black one, but stainless steel is also fine. Better a good SS, than a bad BO.

    36. Michael Tran on

      Stainless steel works

    37. mattias on

      Stainless steel will be fine.

    38. Missing avatar

      Joe Zambataro on

      Have all the Early Bird Special units been shipped? I have not received mine yet.

    39. Missing avatar

      Aaron Locke on

      wanted a black unit but would rather have a SS now than keep waiting. is there a way to change my order to SS?

    40. DeeEmm on

      I've recently EDC'ed some gear with this black coating and I am not a fan of how it wears. Given that this is a tool I intend to use fairly often, I'm fine with the switch to SS and thank you for the update.

    41. Missing avatar

      Brad Johnston


      Is this update stating that all Domestic Early Bird SS orders have been shipped? I'm only asking because I have yet to receive mine, and based on the comments of others experiences, I assume that I should have by now. Let me know. Thanks,

    42. Matt Ronan on

      Would've liked a black version, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Sign me up for the stainless steel!

    43. Missing avatar

      snowchief on

      I'm good with getting a SS unit. Thanks.

    44. Missing avatar

      schmogue on

      SS is fine for me.

    45. Missing avatar

      Craig Burns on

      I would have liked a black unit, but if I change to SS, will I at least receive my product in due time?

    46. Erik Johnson on

      I would like a black unit. That is what had drawn me to the project in the first place.
      What is a realistic timeline if I was to wait?

    47. Missing avatar

      Rich Braund on

      SS version will be fine!

    48. Missing avatar

      J17th on

      A good tool is a good tool regardless of color. Sign me up for the SS version.

    49. Missing avatar

      James Acton on

      please switch mine to SS. Looking forward to receiving.