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Reviews > Cook Gear > Utensils > MSR Titan Tool Spoon > Owner Review by Selena LeonardOWNER REVIEW: MSR TITAN TOOL SPOON
REVIEW BY: SELENA LEONARD
REVIEW DATE: NOVEMBER 16, 2009
Name: Selena Leonard
Height: 5’7” (1.7 m)
Weight: 145 lbs (66 kg)
Email Address: SelenaALeonard AT gmail DOT com
City, State, Country: Des Moines, Iowa, USA.
I'm a repeat-offender thruhiker, with my overall mileage somewhere near 10,000 (16,000 km). The hikes have been in the continental US in forests, plains, deserts, mountains, swamps, et al. As with thruhiking's nature, I have dealt with all kinds of weather, and have had to hike through it or camp in it. I've also backpacked in provincial Canada, and in the Alps. For weight, my pack generally is light- to mid-weight for the season and terrain. Two to seven days of food is regular, carrying 0.5 to 6 liters of water. Generally, I hike 15-30 miles a day (24-48 km).
Manufacturer: Mountain Safety Research (MSR), a division of Cascade Designs
Year of Purchase: 2006
Listed Wt: 0.79 oz (22 g)
Actual Weight (in 2009): 0.79 oz (22 g)
Color: Natural Material
Length: 6.9 in (17.5 cm)
Manufacturing Country: Thailand
MSRP: $16.95 USD
The titanium Titan Tool Spoon is not just sold as a lightweight, durable spoon. It also has the tools a person needs, with "a spoon on one end with a jet-and-cable tool for maintaining your MSR liquid fuel stove on the other." (MSR's website) The handle has two sizes of wrenches, a square hole, a long slot, and three small round holes.
Official Photo (Photo from MSR website, accessed February 2009)
Modified Spoon (Photo taken February 2009 by Selena Leonard)
On the Appalachian Trail in 2005, I carried a stainless steel spoon. I never liked the taste of it; but, I was able to use it for high temperature cooking, such as stirring a pot on a fire. Lexan spoons work; but, I've also had them break on me. And, it's never fun being in the middle of the woods, hungry, and now a proud owner of a finger scoop.
Following that trip, I looked in every shop in Des Moines for a titanium spoon - any titanium spoon. Three months and a half-dozen outfitters later, I came across this spoon. So, I bought it, just in time for the Florida Trail.
I've been carrying it ever since.
This spoon has been used for countless meals. It is my pot stirrer, a peanut butter scoop, an ice cream spoon, my eating utensil, and many other things, including a mini pry bar. It has been through everything. Weather, water, and heat have not fazed it. I plan to use it, indefinitely, for future outings.
For me, titanium is the ultimate, lightweight dinnerware. It currently is expensive; but, it has little taste to it, is strong, heat resistant, durable (doesn't dent/bend easily), and cools quickly.
In recent years, I have seen four designs of titanium spoons on the market. One is a spork. The trouble with a spork is that it is difficult to scrape the bottom of the pot; and, it is difficult to ladle soup or other watery foods.
Second: the long handled spoon. This is a nice idea, since fingers don't get soupy when eating from a deep pot. I've never used one. Comparing handle sizes, I was able to fit my old stainless steel spoon in my 0.8 liter titanium cook pot; but, the MSR Tool Spoon does not fit. The handle of the MSR spoon is just short enough that it is easy to get food on one's finger knuckles when eating out of a Jetboil pot, a quart-sized freezer bag, or a freeze dried meal bag, where a long handled spoon would have an advantage Regardless, the tool spoon is approximately the same length as a standard teaspoon, and does fit into my Jetboil pot when the igniter isn't in there.
Third style: the standard titanium spoon with no tools. This type of spoon is typically sold as part of a set, along with a fork and sometimes a knife. Conveniently, this MSR tool spoon does not force me to buy more than I need. The advantage of these non-tool spoons is that they are the most simple, full handled, titanium spoon designs around; and, I'll get to why simple is usually better.
Which brings me to the fourth style: the multi-use MSR tool spoon. Not being a MSR stove user, I have yet to find a use for any of these tools. The two wrenches are six sided; but, bolts are a rare find in the woods. I have actually duct taped the end wrench [see photo] because it was poking holes into my otherwise hole-free food bag (I allow the spoon to float around in my food bag, so each night it's like going on a treasure hunt). Duct tape has solved that problem. The tape job has held up to many rounds in the dishwasher, too.
Also on the tool spoon are three small holes, of descending size, along the handle [again, see photo]. I'm not sure what they're for (visual stimulus?), and they are my biggest complaint with the spoon. These holes are close enough to the eating end of the spoon that food gets into them; and, the holes are small enough that the food can't easily be cleaned out. The smallest hole (and closest to the spoon bowl), has to be cleaned with something as small as a safety pin. Personally, I find this situation a little gross; but, I can't figure out how to fix it, since ratty duct tape would be gross-er, and eating epoxy can't be good for the body.
In summary, the use of titanium in a spoon is good, due to flavor. I also like that I can buy only a spoon, and not a whole set of silverware. The spoon is a decent, standard size; but, if it were shorter or longer, it would be more efficient in fitting in pots or reaching the bottoms of pots, respectively. I do not use an MSR stove, so I cannot comment on how functional the tools are; but, I have found that the wrench tool on the end is too sharp for my lightweight backpacking gear. And, finally, the little holes on the handle near the eating end get food in them, and make it difficult to clean the spoon thoroughly. Overall, this spoon works for me; but, I do plan to replace it, someday, with something simpler in design.
Features I like about the Tool Spoon:
• Relatively tasteless
• Low heat conduction
• Doesn't melt when cooking
• Won't break
• Good length to hold
• Standard teaspoon size
• Sold individually
Features I dislike about the Tool Spoon:
• Holes in handle get food in them
• Difficult to clean because of small holes
• Wrench on end of handle is sharp
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Reviews > Cook Gear > Utensils > MSR Titan Tool Spoon > Owner Review by Selena Leonard
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