kelvin.23 review: useful multi-tool with a hammer, screwdriver, leveler, light, measuring tape…

First published on May 20, 2009

When you’re living in a tight space, it’s advantageous to have fewer things and to have smaller versions of the essentials. The kelvin.23 is a tool that combines many “tool box” tools into one item that you can keep close-by in a drawer and that fits in your hand. This tool was invented by Vancouverite Kevin Royes (although it’s not that green or local as it is made in China).

kelvin.23 in hand

The introduction video is what sold me on the product, and the video does quite a good job at outlining the tool’s features and uses. The kelvin.23 includes the following:

  • hammer
  • screwdriver with magnets on the sides
  • 16 screwdriver bits, including several Philipps, Allen, and slotted varities
  • 6-foot measuring tape
  • flashlight
  • liquid level

kelvin.23 opened

The kelvin.23 is useful for many day-to-day tasks, such as: assembling new furniture; hanging things; tightening screws around fixtures; measuring short distances; and inspecting corners and other dark spaces.

Including shipping, it costs between $33 and $40 if you purchase it directly from the Canadian website.

General comments

The kelvin.23 works as advertised, and all of its parts are downright useful.

I recently used it to hang a framed picture, and took advantage of the following:

  • the measuring tape to make sure that I placed the hooks on the back of the picture evenly
  • the hammer to put nails in the wall
  • the liquid level to align the frame properly (see below)

kelvin.23 liquid level

The flashlight is bright enough for small spaces. The included screwdriver bits, while they obviously don’t include some larger varieties, will handle most of the screws around the house. And of course, the kelvin.23 fits nicely and conveniently in a drawer (and your glove compartment if you have a car). It would be of use around some office environments as well.


After the picture hanging exercise, I noticed that the top compartment, which opens up to reveal the screwdriver bits, is stiff to open. I don’t know if this was caused by the hammering (the hammer part doesn’t feel as sturdy as it could be) or just a stiff design.

Update: The top compartment is plain difficult to open if you don’t use the correct technique. I had a group of 6 people try out the kelvin.23 and every one of them had trouble opening the top compartment at first. One of them even pinched one of his fingers (causing it to bleed a small amount) trying to open that compartment. Do not try and use brute force to open it — grip the kelvin.23 firmly with one hand, and apply medium pressure to either side in order to wedge your first and third fingers into the grooves on either side.

Also, for me the everyday usage scenario would be satisfied by the kelvin.23 if it had a knife of some sort for opening packages.

Other nice features

The screwdriver can be used straight out, or locked at 90 degrees for extra torque and better maneuvering in certain circumstances.

The magnets on the side of the screwdriver and not only handy for holding screws and the like, but they also hold the screw bit firmly in place — a simple feature that is definitely lacking in my cheap screwdriver.

Although the kelvin.23 comes in a clamshell package, I do appreciate that there are little tabs to pull open the plastic. This way you have less chance of injuring yourself and can open the package faster.

kelvin.23 friendly pull-tab packaging


The kelvin.23 is well thought out. It could use some small improvements, and you should keep its limits (mostly relating to the size of its items) in mind. However, overall it is likely to come in handy and help you to get most of your minor household tasks done!


6 Responses to “kelvin.23 review: useful multi-tool with a hammer, screwdriver, leveler, light, measuring tape…”

  1. Spencer Hemming says:


    I have one of these tolls in Orange, I must say I use more than I ever believed, it is definately a kitchen drawer product or even the glove box. I didnt have any problems opening the back of mine, This problem has been fixed. But generally better tah nayting you will find out there, and its a funkylittle design, Bottle opener would have nailed it down at the caravan this week !! Definatley buy one of these, brilliant gift item for a birthday present and they do a nifty Pink version for the misses. Im sure we will see a few of these in the Santas sack this year..

  2. DK says:

    I saw these on the Dragon’s Den on CBC and bought 5 !
    I have opened 2 of them and the level is not accurate on both! When you reverse it, the air bubble changes location!
    Any one else?

  3. jason brown says:

    works fine for me,good product,for amatuer tool a pinch its good!

  4. David Turk says:

    Good little tool, however it is missing 2 key components in order to make it complete. Needle nose pliers and some sort of cutting blade.

  5. Baz says:

    I got one for christmas.
    Being an ungratefull sod…I don’t like it!
    I don’t like the way it feels in your hand, unbalenced and awkward.
    The screwdriver bits seem poorly made. One of the magnets on the side is unstuck already.
    Awkward to open, as has been said.
    Hammer is useless.
    Level is completely inaccurate.
    I found this site trying to look up the price my son paid for this piece of rubbish.

  6. paul says:

    Have u ever considered having real multitool? Check leatherman or swiss tool… kelvin looks like worthless piece of plastic crap in comparison to i.ex. surge.

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