Grim Survival Tools: Slim EDC Gear for Any Situation

In a world full of “survival kits,” I’m always a little leery to mess with them. Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of credit card-sized tools and products marketed as slim survival kits. The reality is that just about all the metal kits I’ve seen have been made out of cheap steel that bends or breaks during the first use. When a set comes pre-cut, like a model kit, once you pull one of the tools out, you can’t put it back. The overwhelming majority of kits like this should be avoided.

Grim Survival, on the other hand, has put some serious time and thought into their products. These are tools that not only can be used, but they can be used more than once. Each tool is literally the thickness of a credit card, but they pack serious functionality into that extremely slim package.

Grim Survival Tools Grim key card lock pick set holding in hands
Grim Survival tools dogtag fishing kit close up in open hand

Grim Survival not only uses actual 400-series hardened stainless steel for their tools, but they also have a double-sided adhesive that allows you to remove the tools for use and then put them back, exactly where you got them from the kit. The tool side of the adhesive is black, which not only holds the tools in place until you need them, it also does a great job of highlighting which tools have been removed for easy accountability. The white side of the adhesive is “permanent,” which means you can stick the tool kit anywhere you’d like for easy access. I’ve seen them stuck inside bags and pouches, on car visors, inside metal cabinets, and really anywhere else you’d like.

Yes, They Have a Tool for That

Grim Survival Tools come in three different basic configurations. They have the classic credit card-sized tools, dog tag-sized tools, and finally their micro-tool line. The credit card-sized tools are great for fitting in small, Altoid-shaped tins or your every day carry wallet.

Some of the types of tools and kits you can find at Grim Survival include:

Credit card-sized survival tools are available in a variety of different and highly-functional configurations. For example, I tested the Grim Key Card for the video review and this article. Lock picks are extremely helpful to have around if you ever have an accidental lockout situation, and the handcuff key and shim are also very handy should you ever find yourself illegally handcuffed.

Grim Survival Tools Grim Key Card Lockpick Set and Fishing kit dog tag lockpicks removed next to handcuffs
Grim Survival Tools Grim Key Card Lockpick Set with handcuff key and handcuffs

Please understand that I am NOT implying or advocating the use of any of these tools for any illegal purposes, especially escaping police custody. If you get out of cuffs that you deserve to be in, you’re going to have a very bad time. One primary use for these micro-handcuff keys and shims are for military and law enforcement officers to have emergency backups. Another use could be a stage magician doing an escape act. Again, DO NOT use any of these tools for any illegal use whatsoever. Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get back to these awesome tools.

Grim Survival Tools Grim Key Card Lock pick Set opening a master lock no5
Grim Survival tools key card lockpicks and tension wrenches upclose

The Grim Key Card lock picks that I tested were able to open two Master padlocks I have, and the handcuff key worked multiple times, as did the handcuff shim. Overall, some of the picks have a little bit of bending in them after the overly rough picking I was doing in testing them.

I was intentionally being a bit rough with the picks to make sure they weren’t going to bend easily or break from relatively normal use. Really, the only actual complaint I have with this Grim Key Card lock pick set is that the tool edges are very sharp. Because of that, I inadvertently cut the tips of my fingers several times while using them. An easy fix for this would be to remove the picks from the adhesive and give the edges a quick sanding to take the sharpness down to a more tolerable level.

showing cut fingers from Grim Survival tools lock pick set
Holding Grim Survival tool key card handcuff key and shim over handcuff teeth

Gone Fishing – Anytime, Anywhere

In addition to the Grim Key Card, Grim Survival also sent one of their dog tag-sized hook and lure kits for me to check out and review for you. This little piece of metal could mean the difference between life and death in a real-world survival situation. The kit is made with the same high-strength, 400-series, hardened stainless steel like all of their other tools, so you don’t have to worry about the hooks breaking or bending when pulling in fish.

Grim Survival tools dog tag fishing kit in grass
Grim Survival tools dogtag fishing kit close up in open hand

The only real complaint that I had about the Grim Key Card tool edges being very sharp turns out to be a definite advantage in the case of this fishing kit. A sharp hook makes it more effective, so no complaints at all for this one.

Grim Survival has several different variations for fishing kits in each of their tool sizes, so you can easily find the right set of tools for your specific intended end-use.

Big Names in the Bushcraft & Survival World

In addition to their own designs for tools, Grim Survival has worked with several very well-known survival-oriented content creators to release specifically designed “signature cards.”

Collaboration kits with other content creators include:

Grim Survival Tools for Escape & Evasion

The dog tag-shaped kits, along with the many other offerings Grim Survival has available, make them perfect for military use. The first thing that came to mind for it would be part of an escape and evasion kit. If you have a high-risk job that puts you in a position for a possible E&E situation, Grim Survival tools are a legitimate resource to look into for parts of your kit.

Grim Survival Tools Grim Key Card Lock pick Set handcuff key closeup
Grim Survival Tools Grim Key Card Lockpick Set using the handcuff key to open real handcuffs

For example, you could sew several micro tools into the hems of your uniform and have them hidden on you at all times. Even after a basic pat-down search, you would most likely still maintain possession of whatever micro-tools you had sewn in your clothing. It could be a huge advantage for you, not to mention the potential difference between life and death.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

Grim Survival Tools pack serious function and dependability into very small packages. These are NOT dollar store “survival” kits you buy for novelty stocking stuffers (although they would make great stocking stuffers…). They are real tools with real world uses in mind. Each kit has been carefully designed with as much functionality as possible, and the folks at Grim Survival clearly know a thing or two about the fine art of survival.

If you have any kind of high-risk job that might put you in an escape and evasion situation, I would very strongly suggest picking up several Grim Survival micro-tools and sewing them into the seams of your clothing. If the worst case scenario happened, you would at least have some tools with you, ready to help you survive and escape.

Overall, I’m very impressed with the strength and usability that Grim Survival tools offer. I have no problems recommending them for any kind of survival kit for hunters and hikers or military and police.

Full Disclosure: I reached out to Grim Survival, and they very generously sent these three different items for me to test and review for you. I was not otherwise compensated in any way or told what to say about the tools. All of the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.