Picture of Pocket Multi-Tool for Women
multi-tool for women.JPG
tool in use.JPG
This idea came to me after reading a forum discussion here at Instructables regarding whether or not women carry pocket knives or scissors.  I was wondering if perhaps it was because pocket knives and multi-tools tend to look too manly.  They are often  too bulky to carry in one's pocket and not something you'd want in your purse.

When coming up with an idea for a multi-tool that women might want, I came up with the following criteria.

It needed to be:
  • Small -can fit into pocket or purse
  • Discrete, not obtrusive,
  • Looked nice
  • Functional
  • Had an assortment of tools
  • Can be made with my skill level
  • Can be created with the tools that I had available.
Here is what I came up with: a multi-tool disguised as a tube of lipstick.  In this instructable I will show you how I made it.

Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
  • Lipstick
  • Magnetic Bit Holder Set (I picked mine up at a dollar store, it looked something like this)
  • Utility blade
  • Sugru or a thermo plastic like Plastimake
  • Nail
  • Magnifying sheet
  • Plastic wrap
  • Ruler and protractor
  • Saw
  • Epoxy glue
  • Hot Glue
ChrysN (author)  danzo3212 years ago
AmyCat592 years ago
I normally carry a Swiss Army Knife with about 20 tools (including six different screwdriver-tips for a hex-holder, pliers, scissors, etc.), a mini-Leatherman, a keychain Swiss Army Knife with five tools, a full-size Leatherman-knock-off, and a keychain Exacto-knife in my purse... and wear lipstick maybe twice a year (if I remember to put some on for family Christmas dinner, etc.). Even the "girly-girls" I know tend to carry at least one pocket-knife with tools (if only one like my keychain S.A.K., which has nail-clippers, tweezers, toothpick, and nail-file along with the knife-blade, so maybe it counts as "personal grooming" rather than "tools"). No woman with an ounce of sense would refrain from carrying something useful like a S.A.K. or Leatherman because it "doesn't look 'feminine'..." After all, if it's in your purse who'd see it unless you need to use it? ...in which case you're like a Girl Scout, being Prepared.
That said, this it cool enough that I'd carry a "lipstick" if it had this inside!
You have such an awesome attitude! Yep, tools like swiss army knives are definitely not just for guys! I should know, being a guy!
fuzzynurse2 years ago
My wife carries a pocketknife on her car keys and she's about as "girly" as you can get (though in a slightly hippie way). I have quite a few friends at work who might like this, however.
newbeatle2 years ago
well , first let me congratulate for this great instructable, that works not only 4 girls but also for some boys!! :P jaja seriously, this little thing you make can be upgraded a lot , and i think that a "mens" version can be easily adapted from , by example, a tube with a flat black paint coat or something like that. i love to make this kind of "kits" sinse i was a kid , but the time to improve and innovate sopmething has gone for me. so nice instructable, maybe you can add a laser-light in some part of the lipstick (i think you have seen that pens that have that in the cap, a laser and a little white LED light....thats the idea ).

grettings from mexico !!
Don't really see how this is "sexist". It's pretty clear multi-tool is for a woman. Men CAN use it, but I think it would look pretty strange for a guy to have a tube of lipstick. Plus, it would fit well in a women's bag or purse discreetly (which WAS the initial idea). Love this idea. You're not any less of a woman for using a traditional Swiss army knife either, but I personally like the combination of fashion and function.
londobali2 years ago
Great idea! I'm a follower! :)
What do you think: if i use some sort of oil spray inside the bit holder (then dusted?), and let the sugru cure inside (or partially cured), will i be able to pull it out? will it be a tighter fit?
ChrysN (author)  londobali2 years ago
I think the best release agent for Sugru is soapy water (dish soap). You could try slathering the inside with soap and let it cure.
dizzipoet2 years ago
I think this probably would appeal to women who wear pink things and kitten heels (not meant to be an insult, they're just a different breed to me) but i rarely even carry lipstick so i'd probably forget it anyway..plus although i like having some tools in the house to do stuff (normal ones) unless i'm out on my bike why would i need to carry tools around with me anyway? sorry, I'm probably not helping the feminist cause here, but i don't understand why i'd need to carry tools around with me. A penknife with a few things on i do have somewhere, but i think i only ever used the knife to scrape resin off trees. Do most men carry tools around with them? when they're just walking?
srchu2 years ago
Put a pretty whistle on a jewel-like chain, then solder the end of the chain to the bottom of the holder so it looks kind of like a key chain fob.
ChrysN (author)  srchu2 years ago
That's a great idea, thank for the suggestion.
dulciquilt2 years ago
You can buy very small craft mirrors. A round one could be glued to the bottom or a rectangal on one side. Sand edges for safety. There are also tiny bubble compasses the would fit on the bottom. I wonder if an epoxy putty like kwikwood could be used instead of sugru. It's easier to find in town. One problem with hit glue. It melts in hot cars, so be aware of that unless you use the high heat glue and high heat gun
ChrysN (author)  dulciquilt2 years ago
A mirror or compass would be a great addition. Thanks. I didn't realize hot glue melts that easily, I will have to watch out for that.
I had a found object sculpture fall apart after The gallery set it in the sun. I put it back together with E6000. I think I got the compass off a keychain at sporting goods place, but can't remember. They were about as big around as a lipstick tube
gthorsnes2 years ago
Really cute idea! I like it. Although, I have always carried a pocket knife (AND pepper spray!) in my purse. I even have a cute purple pocket knife that's shaped like a lady's high heel. (But I'm good with a Wagner Swiss Army knife too!) Then again, I was a Girl Scout and they taught me to use one when I was 9. Maybe they should make more girly looking knives, but I think the problem somewhat lies in the fact that a lot of women don't know how to use tools. Thanks for this great idea!
germeten2 years ago
You might also want to put it on a necklace chain, always easy to access.
ChrysN (author)  germeten2 years ago
That is a good idea, it usually takes a while to find things in my purse.
Robecca2 years ago
Can't wait to make mine! Thank you!
Creativeman2 years ago
I'm on the side of voting this amazing, inventive and impressive. Good job Chrys!
ChrysN (author)  Creativeman2 years ago
There are more solid low temperature Thermo plastics that might be better than sugru for this job,.. such as a product called Plastimake. But i do like the idea.
ChrysN (author)  bfedorowytsch2 years ago
Thanks, that is a good point. I will mention that in the materials. I used Sugru because I am more familiar with it and had some on hand.
bulwynkl ChrysN2 years ago
there is an instructable here somewhere on a sugru substitute using silicone glue and cornflour... google anyone?
ChrysN (author)  bulwynkl2 years ago
germeten ChrysN2 years ago
Actually I would use JB Weld or 2 part plumber's epoxy putty.
bulwynkl2 years ago
it also turns out that the mouth of a lipstick is the right size for a USB port.... so you could easily stick a USB drive in a lipstick case...
ChrysN (author)  bulwynkl2 years ago
That is a really good idea!
eh. female spies
scrutables2 years ago
My multi-tool is just that, a multi-tool. And my lipstick is my lipstick. Part of why I like carrying tools with me is to signal that just because I wear eyeliner and heels does not mean I can't take care of myself. This wouldn't make me feel cute, it would make me feel ditzy.

It's an inventive idea and well executed but the idea that there need to be versions of tools just for women is offensive to my personal sensibilities. Clearly other people feel differently but I wouldn't want a woman to feel like she can't be feminine while wielding a decent set of pliers.
Well put! My dad taught me to fish and to clean my catch; he also taught me to love music. My mom taught me to hang shelves and pour concrete; she also taught me to cook and garden. I'm 51; even 40-odd years ago it wasn't totally black/white, masculine/feminine, tough/delicate.

On the other hand..... I totally admit to being amazed at how many people of ANY age and gender haven't a clue how to change a tire. Maybe if they carried something like this (no matter what it looked like) they'd learn to use it!
miriam832 years ago
wow, this is amazing!!! brilliant thinking
Dakotamouse2 years ago
Lots of thought went into this project. These would make great gifts. Personally I carry a pocket knife. My grandfather always had one with him. I was impressed by how you could always count on him to be able to help. So I carry one.
ysabet2 years ago
Nice, though a touch sexist; might want to rethink your titling-- it kinda sounds like the line 'Picture books for women, written books for men' from the old Streisand movie. I'm female; I work in an office, dress like I choose to dress (yes, feminine), wear makeup when I want to... and carry a minimum of one jack-knife and a credit-card type multitool at all times in my purse. I don't think you're being deliberately sexist; I think you're trying to be helpful, and this is a clever idea. But... just my two cents, hmm?
dazmom2 years ago
Great product! This appears to me to be something that should be patented. I believe that it would sell, just like the pink household tool kits for women. Good luck!
-chase-2 years ago
Really looks... pretty... but functional. A Designer mini tool... hey don't stop with this one - she needs a set of designer tools!

Which is just  what every woman should have in their purse. That way It would be handy for when I or she needs it to pull a Macgyver.
abaneyone2 years ago
This is cool concept, but my wife and my mother or sister in laws would probably not use it, they'd just ask me to help them with my own tools. My wife carries a Swiss Army knife in her purse though. I'm gonna follow your design and give it to one of them anyway. The xacto blade and the nail can be seen as concealed weapons LOL. Again, this is a great project and concept!
MPomerleau2 years ago
This is a cool project and a great idea. I'm going to make one for my wife.

Did you find that the Sugru was strong enough? I've never worked with it. Most of my work is done using polyurethane epoxy or "JB Weld".

My wife doesn't use lipstick, so I'll probably start looking for a fancy aluminum or plastic cosmetic tube to make hers.
Pinkly2 years ago
Cute idea, though I prefer to just carry an actual multi-tool in my bag. It's a victorinox Swisstool RS and it's heavy, but I have more confidence in it than I would in a lipstick tube. LOL
FWIW, there are small multis. Leatherman has their "Juice" line which is made up of smaller, lighter tools with different tool combinations. there's also a small tool called the Swiss-Tech Utili-key, which clips onto your keyring and looks like just another key hanging there, but has a small knife blade, phillips screwdriver, flat screwdriver, micro-sized flat screwdriver and bottle opener.
machinaex2 years ago
neat! although i find it a little sexist that only woman are supposed to have something like this. im gonna build my own right away...
hygicell2 years ago
if women would use this tool in my navel, the cheeks of my butt are likely to fall off !!!