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SOG PowerAssist and PowerLock Multi-Tools

SOG has been producing blades since 1986 and multi-tools since 1990. With a reputation for tough, reliable knives and tools, we were pleased to have the opportunity to try out two of their products.

We reviewed the SOG PowerAssist S66 and the PowerLock S62. Both stainless steel tools are stored in a heavy-duty nylon pouch with velcro closure and a sturdy belt clip. Both tools share the same fundamental design. Two handles unfold to reveal narrow nose pliers. The compound leverage gears allow great force to be applied with ease. We tried cutting a washer in half, as seen on the company's website, and found it easy to do with no grip discomfort.

The tool assortment is accessed by opening the handles and lifting the cover plate. A minor annoyance for us was the covers are held in place with spring tension (they are intended to be removable) and they popped off occasionally when they were opened. The tool selection can be customized by purchasing additional individual tools and exchanging them for unused ones.

The tools and blades lock solidly in place. They are released by pressing the mechanism on the back of the handle. Not all of the tools are as easy to access as we'd like, but that was not a significant issue. On the other hand, the blades are designed to be operable in one hand with the flick of a finger; this can be very convenient. Each of the tools are durable and reliable and the blades are surprisingly sharp.

The S62 model offers the larger selection of tools, split between the two sides and includes one blade. The tool list includes pliers/grippers, wire cutter, foldable 1/4” socket drive, V-cutter, partially serrated knife, Phillips screwdriver, small/medium/large screwdrivers, three-sided file, bottle/can opener, double tooth saw, lanyard ring, awl, and a ruler. The S66 model trades two blades on one side of the multitool for the saw, socket drive, serrated knife and awl, while it adds a blasting cap crimper. The two models are about 4.6 inches when folded and weigh roughly 9.6 ounces. Both are available in polished finish or black oxide.

We really like these tools solid construction. They are really made to work...hard. Where other multitools may be competent to their task, this one we'd trust for our survival.

Retail Price: about $115

[August 2010]

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