By John Benson
Every now and then, we all get a Ben Franklin or Thomas Edison moment where while driving or brushing our teeth or even dreaming we come up with a great invention.
Aside from telling a coworker around the water cooler about your idea (with the caveat they have to cut you into the profits if they steal the concept), that’s usually as far as the notion goes.
For Chicago native and Cleveland resident Tyler Lacor, his idea for a pocket all-in-one 30-plus function tool seemed more like a calling than a fleeting dream. The result is the EDC Card: The Ultimate Everyday Carry Pocket Multi-Tool, which is a high quality S35VN blade steel that can do literally everything with its metric ruler, closed hex drivers, phillips screwdriver, lanyard hole, beveled edge, flathead screwdriver and more.
For the past 18 months the inventor has moved the project out of the research and design phase into the production stage. The problem is capital, which is why he’s currently mounting a Kickstarter campaign to see his goal come to fruition.
Cool Cleveland talked to Lacor about the evolution and future of his handy tool.
Cool Cleveland: How did you dream up the EDC?
Tyler Lacor: I got the idea probably March of last year. I think everybody finds themselves needing something just like this. Like, “I wish I had a tool I could use.” It’s for guys and girls who have to do that quite often. The response has been really good. Every time I tell somebody about it they say, “I needed that yesterday.” So it’s for everyday people. And, it’s so small, you never know it’s there.
When did you first think about needing something like an EDC?
What’s weird, it literally came out of the blue. I was already making paracord bracelets. I was thinking along the lines of survival tools, everyday carry stuff. I just liked the idea that a multi-tool made into a card even existed. I looked on the Internet and found out it was done a lot but my big thing was none of them were made of good quality steel or wasn’t thought out very well. I thought I’d upgrade the idea to reach its potential. By that time I already knew a little bit about these steels I’d been working with and that weight felt really good to me.
Looking back to your childhood, were you a Lego kid?
I was totally a Lego guy. I had every single Lego out there and every single Star Wars Lego. I’d have those 2,000 piece kits I’d build in a day. My mom hated buying them for me because I’d have them built the next day and she’d say, “Oh, that was a waste of money.”
Do you think that was a waste of money?
I don’t think so. I think it shaped who I am to be able to build things and create things.
Tell us about your company name CHA / O / HA.
It’s Lakota and it means to be among the trees. And I guess it was Crazy Horse’s birth name, and it means to be with nature. I saw that and thought that was really a great name.
So what can’t the EDC do?
I’m sure there are a lot of things it can’t do but I’m so happy with it right now I can’t think of any.
Finally, and not to diminish the capability of the EDC, but it’s reassuring to see it also doubles as a bottle opener.
It is [laughs]. I found out about that on accident. I had the idea to do it, and I didn’t know how well it would work but it ended up the geometry of it makes it fit perfectly. It opens up a bottle easily. The one thing I didn’t like about all of these other cards was you had to take up all of this space just to put a bottle opener on it. I thought it was a waste of space. So this works really well.
When he’s not writing about music or entertainment, he can be found coaching his two boys in basketball, football and baseball or watching movies with his lovely wife, Maria.