Schnelle Keys and Tools - organize your pockets! (Canceled)
With wrenches, pry bars, drivers, and openers, these unique tools put a toolbox in the palm of your hand.
Hi, we're Chris and Sarah Schnelle, sibling mechanical engineers from West Chester, Ohio, and cofounders of Schnelle Engineering. In June, we completed fulfillment of our first Kickstarter project, which featured the Pigfish (B103) tool. (Check it out here if you missed it.) We're back again with new designs - tool keys and two new pocket tools!
Do you ever find yourself unable to carry a full-sized multitool or perhaps just wishing for a more space-conscious alternative? Perhaps you travel through airport security on a regular basis. Perhaps you wear dress pants or dresses and find the added bulk of a fullsize tool annoying. Perhaps you always find your pockets and purses so full of cell phones, wallets, PDA's, and keys that you just don't have the space for a large multitool. Or perhaps you just enjoy carrying the most innovative everday-carry tools available. We present for your consideration Schnelle tool keys. Our full lineup is currently comprised of five designs - three wrench keys and two driver keys, as shown below.
All tool keys are offered only as blanks, and they are available in two styles - Schlage SC1 and Kwikset KW1. You will need to have a locksmith grind them to match your locks. The blanks are made from 17-4PH steel - an Aerospace-grade stainless steel which offers extremely high strength and outstanding toughness, along with the corrosion resistance needed for daily carry in all environments.
Please note that 17-4PH steel is significantly harder and more difficult to cut than standard key brass, so you'll need a locksmith with carbide key cutters to grind your lock's tumbler pattern onto these blanks. Approximately 1/3 of our local locksmiths seem to have this capability, so be sure to check local availability before pledging.
We are currently pursuing patent protection for our tool key concept.
Here are a couple close-ups of the precision machining on the bows (heads) of these key blanks:
Schnelle Pocket Tools
Some tasks require a larger, stronger tool than our keys. Enter the B202 and B401 multitools. We designed these to offer more utility features than any other single-piece multitools of comparable size, and their robust construction ensures they'll hold up to heavy use.
Here's an overview of the features offered by each tool:
Here are a few zoomed-in shots of the precision-machined features on these tools:
And a few pictures of the B202 and B401 in use:
Please note that we will mark all tools and key blanks with "Schnelle" before shipment, though this has not yet been added to the prototypes above.
Materials and Testing:
Through careful selection of high-strength materials (Titanium-6Al-4V for the tools and 17-4PH for the keys) and extensive finite element analysis, we have designed these tools to offer superior strength in a lightweight, visually attractive package. All tools and keys will be finished in a vibratory tumbler to provide a smooth, matte surface finish.
We feel that hardware testing is critical to proving our designs prior to market release, so in addition to performing finite element analysis, we test the strength of all prying and torque application features on each tool prior to release in order to ensure they meet our expectations. All tests outlined below were performed on Titanium-6Al-4V tools and 17-4PH keys from our initial prototype lots.
Pry tip capacity - 100 lb test. PASS
Hex wrench torque capacity - 100 in-lb test. PASS
1/4" square socket drive torque capacity - 100 in-lb test. PASS
Bottle opener - 30 lb "double load" test. PASS
Hex wrench torque capacity - 50 in-lb test. PASS
Nominal length: 2.37 inches
Nominal width: 1.72 inches
Nominal thickness: .25 inches
Nominal weight (Titanium-6Al-4V): .64 ounces
Nominal length: 4.15 inches
Nominal width: 1.72 inches
Nominal thickness: .25 inches
Nominal weight (Titanium-6Al-4V): 1.30 ounces
Since both of these pocket tools are designed for pocket carry, none of the edges are sharpened to a knife edge; the thinnest edges, the pry tips and package opener, measure .020" nominally at their thinnest immediately after CNC machining. Even so, these tools are not toys, so please use caution when handling them, and keep them out of the hands of children.
Unique Features of Schnelle Keys and Tools
Tools integrated into key bows - Minimizes space requirements of your pocket tool set.
Countermilled wrenches - Our uniquely machined wrench features allow us to dramatically increase the wrench count on each tool.
1/4" socket drive - Rarely seen on pocket tools, a socket driver may come in handy in a pinch, and increases the breadth of your wrenching capability severalfold.
12-point 1/4" hex drive - Making the 1/4" drive a 12-point design ensures that you'll be able to find just the right angle, even in confined quarters.
Precision-machined features - Instead of relying on stamping, forming, or casting operations, most of our 3D features are applied using a CNC mill, providing you with tight-tolerance tools that won't let you down in a pinch.
The B101 Tool
Included in our 'EDC Enthusiast' awards is a B101 tool, which offers a bottle opener, a pry tip, a 3/16" wrench, a 1/4" wrench, and a 5/16" wrench. The two 'Enthusiast Pack' awards will include color-anodized Titanium B101's, identical in size and shape to the black-anodized Aluminum B101 shown below:
Why Kickstarter? We bring this project to Kickstarter because advance funding these tools will allow us to dramatically increase our initial order quantities, which helps us drive down costs. By buying material in bulk, we can access discounted material vendors, and we are able to spread set-up labor costs over a greater quantity of parts. Furthermore, buying larger lots makes multi-piece CNC fixturing an economical option, and our waterjet and laser vendors can utilize long-run programs on oversize material sheets to minimize operator input labor. These factors all work to drive down our costs, which in turn drives down your price.
In an effort to continuously improve our tool designs and our business, we actively seek your input. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please contact us!
Risks and challenges
As engineering project managers by day, we are well-prepared to execute our production plans after funding. We have built close relationships with several waterjet, CNC machining, anodize, and laser marking vendors from around the USA in manufacturing our current product lineup. We utilize vendor redundancy not just as a means of keeping costs down but to ensure that production delays are minimized.
We utilize a concurrent design process in which our Engineering team and Manufacturing vendors work closely together. We do this so that our vendors are both kept aware of design updates and can provide manufacturing input which is crucial to the design of the parts. Working together in this manner ensures timely production of our designs.
If unforeseen obstacles do arise, we'll respond the same way we do in all our endeavors - immediately, intelligently, and with full disclosure to all our stakeholders.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)