A new tool is set to hit Irish shelves across the country which will likely be of interest to many livestock farmers.

Dubbed the “Boundary Blade”, this gadget combines a pocketknife with a fence tester for a simple but effective pocket tool for farmers on the go, which can also serve as a makeshift spanner or bolt turner, its maker says.

Speaking to Agriland about his invention, owner of Boundary Blade Aidan Murphy gave a little background to his company and how the idea came about.

“We’re an Enterprise Ireland backed company; we went through the Competitive Start Fund there recently and we went to full production with the product.

“It’s basically a five-level fence tester and pocket knife tool for farmers. It allows them to easily check the current in their fence – you can walk away knowing that your animals are safe; they’re secure and the perimeters are secure.

“We’re actually also currently in talks with a couple of companies in South Africa as well, because it’s also a good tool for perimeter security in countries where they would have an electric fence as their second line of security settings,” Aidan added.

While Covid-19 proved to be a setback in getting things started, the Irish firm’s ambitions are undimmed, with a new website up and running and funding secured from Enterprise Ireland.

In terms of how he came about the idea, Aidan – originally from Co. Armagh but living in Dublin for almost 20 years – explained:

“I’m a software developer by trade. One day when I was looking at building apps. We were trying to see what the possibility would be to have a fence tester inside your phone. It’s just not really possible without an add-on or some sort of device to get a bit of accuracy.

“We were playing around looking at all sorts of devices, and just thought ‘it’d be great if you could just build a real fence tester in your pocketknife’.”

Feedback has been “great” so far, Aidan said, noting that before going into full production 200 units were initially made for Ireland, with a few shipped to Australia and New Zealand.

“There was phenomenal demand for it – everybody just seemed to love it,” he claimed, with the simplicity in particular noted by people.

However, things are progressing rapidly, with a second knife already in development.

This, Aidan says, will involve more ‘agri tech’, with the plan being to insert an SOS button that a farmer can press if he or she is working alone and gets into bother, with a GPS locator. This is expected to make an appearance next year, he added.

In addition, to help its growth, Boundary Blade is seeking to bring in a sales person with international experience to help grow sales abroad in markets such as France, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa. People with such experience are encouraged to get in touch, the Armagh man added.