The Blackburn Tradesman Mini Tool has a wide range of tools that are well-considered for trailside maintenance.
It features L-shaped 2mm, 2.5mm and 4mm Allen keys and straight 3mm, 5mm, 6mm and 8mm Allen keys (hollowed out to save weight) along with T25 and T30 Torx keys.
There is a flat-head screwdriver and a disc-brake pad separator with incorporated quick link storage. Built into the on-board chain tool is a chain quick link tool for separating quick links and a Presta valve core tool.
The tools are attached at either end of the body and pivot around an axle that’s tightened with an Allen key. It’s supplied with a rubber band to stop rattles and the tools accidentally opening up.
Its metal construction feels solid and well-made, and my test sample weighed 179g. When folded, it measures 47mm wide, 17mm deep and 90mm long.
Blackburn Tradesman Mini Tool performance
The Tradesman Mini Tool is well-equipped to tackle the majority of possible on-trail bike adjustments or loose bolts, missing only the smaller Torx keys.
General build quality feels good and the tools remained tight on their pivots during testing. The tools’ matt black finish lasted well too, but doesn’t look as good as those with a chrome-plated finish.
Allen key bit sizing accuracy was average, but more than good enough for high torque applications without fear of rounding out bolts. The Torx bits required slightly more care when being used, to avoid slips, though.
The straight Allen keys were long enough to easily access most on-bike bolts, such as on brake calipers and the seat clamp. The L-shaped bits were a mixed bag – the 4mm was easy to use but the smaller 2mm and 2.5mm Allen keys were tricky to operate, especially in tight spaces, such as when adjusting brake lever reach, because their relatively short length caused the tool’s body to get in the way.
The chain tool had enough leverage to break chains without bother and was small enough to operate with the back wheel still attached to the bike, speeding up repair times.
The quick link tool was impressively easy to use with the L-shaped 4mm Allen key and the chain on the bike, relying on the extra space created by the L-shaped tool. It’s no substitute for a pair of quick link pliers, but is a great all-in-one solution for those looking to carry as few items as possible.
The supplied rubber band strap stopped any unwanted tool movement or opening while it was stored and also prevented rattling.
Because the tool is relatively smooth and its bits unlikely to open up during storage, I was comfortable storing it in my shorts and jersey pockets.
Blackburn Tradesman Mini Tool bottom line
The Blackburn Tradesman is impressively versatile thanks to its wide range of tools and, for the most part, there’s enough Allen key length to reach tucked-away places. The smaller bits were trickier to use in certain places, though.
The chain tool and split link splitters worked exceptionally well, helping cement its well-deserved score.
How we tested
I put six mini multi-tools to the test to see which compact solution is best and that you should consider packing for your next ride.
- Birzman Feexman E-Version 10 Multi-Tool
- Blackburn Tradesman Mini-Tool
- Crankbrothers Multi 20 Multi-Tool
- LifeLine Essential 10 in 1 Multi-Tool
- Silca Italian Tredici Bike Multi-Tool
- Topeak Mini P20 Multi-Tool