Don't let the simplicity fool you... (09 October 2008)
There are some truly easy to use tools in this kit.
The MM Tool Kit was an early acquisition for me and has been in constant use for nearly 3 years now. This is a solid box full of tools resting in a flocked plastic tray. The box itself is quite heavy and I stopped carrying it with me to classes and crops once I got the AMM Tote.
By far I used the hammer, anywhere hole punch, eyelet setter, tweezers and paper piercer consistently. I have never used the small pair of pliers for scrapbooking as I found the tweezers adequately grasped anything I might use the pliers for (I don't use wire on my layouts.).
The Anywhere Hole Punch is so named because it is a simple metal tube with one of three sizes of hole punch tips screwed into the end. You need a durable mat, or at least a surface you don't care about to use this tool. A single tap of the hammer on the end of the Punch tool is all you need to make a clean hole anywhere in your paper (unlike a traditional hole punch or even the original Cropadile which only let you get so far into the paper due to their design). Unlike a cropadile, this punch is really only good for paper. Thicker papers may require additional taps. This is a hammer tool, so there is some noise when you use the product. I've tried the Silent Setter punch, which also has the ability of being placed anywhere on your page, and the Anywhere Hole punch in this tool kit is both easier on the hands, easier to use, and more accurate in the holes you make.
The paper piercer is sharp and of just the right diameter. I also appreciated the heft of this tool - it was far more comfortable to use than the oversized push pin I currently use.
The tweezers must be squeezed to open which helps prevent accidental dropping of tiny little things. For truly tiny applications, say the dot of the I from the Jasmine Cricut Cartridge, I would grasp the dot with the tweezers and use the paper piercer to help push it exactly where I wished it to go. (Another benefit of having a fairly long piercing piece.)
The eyelet setter has a small raised knob in the center of the end of the setter. You fit this setter into the back of an eyelet pushed through paper, make sure the raised knob is sitting in the eye of the eyelet back, and tap gently with the hammer to bend the back of the eyelet back and over the back of the paper. Some eyelets are easier to set accurately than others - it is important to remember that the metals in the eyelets can vary widely and you should be reserved in how hard you hit the eyelet setter to avoid bending the front of they eyelet as you hammer.
The two needles can be a little difficult to get in and out of the plastic tray but have decent sized eyes for ease of threading. I do not need a threading tool to put a full strand of embroidery thread into these needles.
Really, for the use I have gotten out of this tool kit, I normally would give the item five stars. I rated it three stars because my kit has significantly started to deteriorate in the last year. I expect metal tools to be better made. The pliers have actually began to rust in the box, as did the piercer and hammer. Since I'm working with paper I am pretty concerned about rust smudges. I was also not thrilled with the amount of grease on the hole punching tips. I understand that the grease was probably to make sure the threads of the tips worked properly when screwed into the handle, but again, grease is also not something you want to worry about when working with paper, heirloom memorabilia, and photographs. I've had to stop what I was doing to wash my hands several times.
I probably use the Tweezers the most, and at this point some of the purple plastic grip is separating from the handle and the jaws of the tweezers don't quite line up the way they used to. I have begun looking for replacements.
The paper piercer broke when I used it to pick a lock. Clearly, we can't fault the manufacturer for that. The piercing part snapped cleanly off right at the base. My only problem with this piercer was the difficulty posed by the lack of any sort of cap to cover the business end when I put the piercer into my tool tote.
I would gladly pay much more money for these tools would they hold up over time. I do not want disposable tools or tools that you might as well be renting from the company if you have to replace them every few years. I think the simplicity is dead on in this kit. I just really wish some of these tools would last longer.