These might be the best knives you’ll ever own. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
The Opinel No8 is hardly a new gadget, but when something is this good, why change it? I’ve been using the wood-handled French pocket knives for around 12 years since I was given a carbon steel No8 as a gift. That knife is still in daily use, and has since been joined by several others, including one made for children (more on that in a bit). I even have a tiny No3 that I use for sharpening pencils.
Why am I writing about a 120-year-old knife on the Cult of Mac? Because age doesn’t matter when something is this well-designed. Also, I figure if you’re a fan of Apple gear you will appreciate good design wherever you find it.
If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly shuffling around town (or around the country) with bits. No, not those bits; you know the ones I’m talking about: pens, cables, more pens, headphones, USB sticks, pocket knives and pens. They get shoved into a small pocket in a bag, where they sit, unharmonious and disorganized, until I fumble around for them.
David and Calvin Laituri of design outfit Onehundred have a better way. The father-son team have come up with Ledr, a leather strip that organizes all that stuff and rolls it up into a compact toolkit.
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As nerds, one of our Christmas holiday duties is to fix the computers of family and friends. And if the past is anything to go by, fixing Macs can mean opening them up for kitchen-table-top surgery. Hell, there’s even something to be done about common iPhone problems, too: switching out a smashed glass back on an iPhone 4/S, for example.
But a real doctor doesn’t go to work without a proper set of tools. I’ve stripped enough screw heads with cheap screwdrivers to know this. What you need is VisionTek’s new “12 Piece Toolkit 900671.”
I love this case: It’s a plain old polycarbonate shell for the iPhone 5/S, but it comes with a bunch of handy pull-out tools in embedded into the plastic itself. It’s like the pen and tweezer tools from Swiss Army Knives, only all of the tools are like that.
I remember the crushing fetish we all had for Titanium back when I entered the cycling fraternity. (It’s fallen out of vogue now, of course — most likely thanks in part to the rise of carbon fiber, or perhaps something to do with the economics of materials I don’t fully understand.)
It’s an exotic material, with accompanying exotic pricing, thanks to the difficulty and expense of processing it. Still, we’ll pay an exorbitant surcharge for things made out of the magic metal because it’s so near-unbreakable, corrosion-resistant — and just plain wicked.
Which brings me to Tuls. David Laituri — you may or may not remember him as the man behind Vers and their super-green, handcrafted audio toys — has laser-cut tools, iPhone stands and other thoughtful solutions out of slivers of Titanium.
Steve Jobs has changed the world four times, by my reckoning. One year after his death, is the world different? What is his legacy? Is it the company that he started, journeyed outward from in disgrace, and ultimately returned to in triumph? How about the devices he had an enthusiastic hand in bringing to market? The business of music and film? What is the world now that it would not have been without Steve Jobs?
It’s all of those things, of course. Jobs’ legacy is not something we can distill into a simple slogan or tagline. Steve Jobs worked for a world in which the design, manufacture, and marketing of consumer electronics enhances our lives in a very human way.
My sense of proportion has been hopelessly corrupted by a lifetime of telling girls that six centimeters is actually six inches, so I’m very excited by the prospect of an app that can tell me the size of something just by taking a photo of it.
That app is called CamRuler, and it works by comparing the size of an unknown object to that of a known object. If you ever put a coin or a small model dinosaur into a photo to help show scale, then you already know how it works.