Jul 30 2013

Pocket Monkey Review

pocket monkey

Pocket Monkey.

Not Trunk Monkey.

Not a Flingshot Screaming Monkey, or a sock monkey.

Not even Jojo the Monkeyboy. Don’t Google that. Just trust me.

Stick to Zootility’s Pocket Monkey, it is far more useful anyway.

I’ve got this mildly twisted compulsion driven by watching MacGyver one too many times. It makes me really twitchy to not have any tools with me. I always have a Swiss Army Knife in my pocket and I normally have a Leatherman on my belt…and an emergency toolkit in the car.

So, I guess it is not a surprise that the TSA gives me utter, raging heartburn. I carried a Leatherman PS Style for a while, but even though it falls within all of the TSA guidelines…I still had to explain that to a couple of agents. Carrying the regulation copies with me didn’t win me any friends with the over zealous security agents. I have donated several pocket tools to them over the years.

The Pocket Monkey may save my life…or at least soothe my heartburn.

The Pocket Monkey is a one millimeter thick piece of stainless steel that has been formed into a batch of useful shapes.

Three of the corners are dedicated to screwdrivers. The slotted style is an eighth inch, the eyeglass type is a 1.6 millimeter and the Philips appears to be a number one. The Philips head only has one of the cross pieces to keep the tool flat but it works quite well. Being a glasses wearer since the seventies, I really appreciate having the eyeglass driver on there!

The bottle opener sits in the middle of the Pocket Monkey, just below the smiling monkey head. It works brilliantly and keeps me from using my wedding ring as a bottle opener, which makes my wife happy.

There is a nested set of five hex head wrenches that are a little pickier to use than the screw drivers, but are still usable. These range in size from 5/16th to a half-inch. You basically slip the wrench section over the nut, put your finger through the bottle opener and pull it tight. Then you twirl. Simple!

The far right side has a straight edge with a short ruler. One inch is marked off on the front and three centimeters on the back. This piece narrows up to the eyeglass screwdriver and can also be used as a letter opener. Pocket Monkey also bills using this as a door latch slip, but it will need to be a very insecure door for this to be effective.

The bottom of the Pocket Monkey has a notch that you can use to peel an orange or nick a banana to start peeling it.

There is also a wavy slot that you can put a credit card through to turn the Pocket Monkey into a smart phone stand. You do need a fairly thick and sturdy card for this to be effective and only one of the cards in my wallet worked well. Thank you Chase!

Although not listed as a tool, the monkey’s head on the Pocket Monkey works perfectly as a substitute to open anything that is intended to be opened with a coin. Since I never have a coin in my pocket, this is actually quite useful.

So, I tucked the Pocket Monkey into my wallet a couple of weeks ago. Eight flights later and no one at any TSA checkpoint has even blinked. It has sailed through every single checkpoint.

The other huge benefit is that there are no moving parts. Sand and water will eventually conspire to trash any folding pocket tool. Stainless steel and nothing folding means that dropping it at the beach is not a problem…

pocket monkey

No problemo…


The Pocket Monkey is simple, sturdy and is made in the USA! It slips through TSA with grace and it allowed me to save the lives of 130 people when I used it to avoid a plane crash in June.

OK, I made that up, but I am prepared if something horrible were to happen. I could at least tighten my eyeglasses so they would stay on. Or break out of the lavatory.

In any case, at $12 there is no downside to the Pocket Monkey and plenty of upside as it nestles right next to my credit cards in my travel wallet.

Highly recommended.

Pocket Monkey $12

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