Friday, October 14, 2011

SOG PowerAssist Multi-Tool Review

SOG PowerAssist Multi-Tool Review and Test

In 1986 SOG was founded originally to release a commemorative SOG knife.  Today SOG Knives is a well respected high quality knife and multi-tool manufacturer.  Their knives and multi-tools deliver high quality that anyone can afford. My personal experience with SOG goes all the way back to their 1988 Tomcat design which launched SOG into the cutlery mainstream but they have always added a unique spin on designs.  The SOG PowerAssist is another one of SOG’s defining designs and remains one of the highest quality multi-tools on the market.
FINISH, FIT, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONING
FINISH & FIT
SOG has always done a great job with their fit and finish and the SOG PowerAssist is no exception with the jewelry like mirror finish on the standard PowerAssist. Black oxide is available as well for those that feel the need to be “Tactical”.  The sheath is a standard nylon unit that has a plastic belt clip that is far more useful than just a belt loop.  This can be clipped onto just about anything or even inside a pocket and provides a handy feature that makes the PowerAssist easier to deploy.


FEEL
Like most densely feature packed multi-tools, the SOG PowerAssist is a heafty 9.3oz, but utilizing every ounce well. Some multi-tools are not that smooth, however the SOG PowerAssist is very smooth in it’s operation and has always been something I liked about the power assist.

Multi-tools are never the most ergonomic things in the world, but the Sog PowerAssist is not uncomfortable to use.  The blade and tool locks are all simple and easy to operate and with the pliers in use, pressure is applied to the smooth handle sides and are some of the most comfortable to use.

FEATURES
The SOG PowerAssist was the first multi-tool to feature gear driven pliers which double the force on the pliers jaws so this muli-tool can really help out when regular pliers and multi-tools leave you swearing. The two main serrated sheep’s foot and plain edge drop point blades safety lockable to precent accidental opening.  They are also assisted one handed-opening which means you open the blade about 20% and SOG’s Assisted Opening takes over to open the blade fully.  This is safer and faster than a manual thumb operated blade.  Once open the blades lock in place and can be unlocked via the unlock cams with a press of the thumb.

Interal tools are a fine and course file with a standard screwdriver end, a Phillips head screwdriver, standard head screwdriver, can/bottle opener and small standard screwdriver, and SOG V-CUT seatbelt cutter.  All quality tools that take a beating.

Other typically unseen features are the built in lanyard ring and the ability to swap out internal tools to other options.  This is a unique feature in the industry which allow me to say, I want to swap out my V-CUT and standard screwdriver for an awl and double cut saw for about $10 per tool and completely customize my PowerAssist to my needs.  It also allows you to swap out worn or broken components as time goes on without having to buy a whole new multi-tool.  There are seventeen different components in total to choose from to customize your PowerAssist.

FUNCTIONING
Over the last two months I have used the SOG PowerAssist for a variety of tasks including several of the items on Mrs. Pandmic’s stuff to fix list.  The single handed opening main blades are very handy and provided all the utility of my regular pocket knife.  It almost had my considering not carrying a knife in my pocket, however only airports and death will dislodge that practice.  Personally the V-Cut is useless for me so that will get swapped out along with redundant standard screwdriver for the above mentioned awl and saw.


The gear driven pliers are extremely handy and really add a huge margin or utility to the pliers.  Sometimes my Leatherman has me reaching for channel locks and with the SOG PowerAssist I have yet to feel the need to reach for larger pliers.

FINAL THOUGHTS
SOG relies on manufacturing in Taiwan and assembly in the US for most of their product line, however this is not a deal breaker for me.  Someone has to offer a high quality knife in an affordable price point and SOG has done this very well for a over twenty years and maintained their quality along the way.  The SOG PowerAssist is assembled in the US and the quality is top notch. It is not a new design and has certainly been around for a while, but there is a reason... the tool works as it should, durably without fail.  Maybe the reason many a military and law enforcement choose the SOG PowerAssist because it is just so darn handy in a variety of situations.

SPECS
Closed 4.675"
Open 7.125"
Weight 9.3 oz.
Head Type Needle Nose
Steel Stainless
Finish Polished
Sheath Nylon
Components See Chart
Assembled in the USA
MSRP $119.25
Street $75




SOURCES
SOG Knives
http://sogknives.com
SOG PowerAssist User Guide DOWNLOAD USER GUIDE
http://sogknives.com/store/S66.html

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