Let me just begin by stating that the SOG PowerAssist may well be the most sophisticated multitool ever made. High tech features abound. Every aspect of this tool is an evolutionary step up from the SOG’s that came before. No portion of the tool can be described as “ordinary.”
On top of that, the PowerAssist is an exceptionally high quality tool. Every individual component is perfectly formed, then given a bright high luster polish. Function is butter smooth without a slightest hint of a flaw. This is clearly the flagship of the SOG multitool line.
The SOG Powerlock has been out for quite a while and has remained the company's flagship. SOG is a company that is slow to make changes in their tool line. They feel that what they make is darn good and they make changes to their products when they feel the time is right. SOG took a second look at their very popular Powerlock model, made a list of all the pros and cons they have noticed over the years and decided to give this old gal a facelift. Some of the things that SOG focused on with this remodel were the gears that drive the compound leverage of the pliers, new locking system for the tools and the ability to keep their tools from clumping when finding the tool you need.
The first thing you notice when handling the Powerlock 2.0 is the new plier head. SOG worked on a collaboration effort with Paladin tools to create a multitool line for the telecom industry. Those tools became a testing ground for what would become the new Powerlock design.
All I can say is, “Wow!”
From the moment I opened the box it was clear that this was no ordinary multitool. On the contrary, it may well be the most industrial-strength multitool ever produced. No thin, flimsy sheet metal construction is to be found on it anywhere. The handles are all solid cast aluminum, just like a big Rigid brand pipe wrench. The shears themselves are two slabs of hardened stainless steel ground to perfection, and they pivot on a massive 1/4” diameter bolt. The whole device simply oozes quality and strength.
I used to carry a well known name brand multi-tool until I found a couple superior options ( based on 40+ years as a fire fighter, police officer and bomb disposal ( EOD ) technician ). I have owned most every multi tool out there and abused them all ( that's why the good ones have a lifetime warranty ) . The two best suited for emergency service in my opinion are the SOG Powerlock S60 Made in the USA and the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife SwissTool RS made in Switzerland, both with lifetime warranties.
Sooner or later all good things must come to an end and us old guys get put out to pasture to allow the young blood(s) in an organization rise to the top. Semi retired now I find my self more in the teaching mode of the nuts + bolts of how things work rather than being on the front lines leading the charge. Consequently with more free time to work around the house, truck and and other boy "toys" I took a serious look at the two multitools I had carried over the years and evaluated them against getting something more fitting for my current needs, something that would be used everyday, lighter weight and not have all the life saving tools featured on my previous EDC ( Every Day Carry ) multitools I had been carrying on the job. It should be noted there is a SOG S60 in the console of my Avalanche and a "RS" in my wife’s Honda Pilot glove-box just in case !
The SOG ToolClip is another one of those fascinating designs that help define what we know today as the “multitool.” It is one of the more successful permanent mount plier type multitools, but unfortunately was apparently not successful enough since it was discontinued some time ago. Made in Seki City, Japan for SOG, the ToolClip and Micro ToolClip are extremely well built, sturdy tools that every collector should experience at least once.
Gerber has kind of a soft spot in me even though I don’t own a lot, I own more Victorinox than anything else. But what got me started was a Gerber Multi-Lite; then later on I graduated to a Compact Sport 400. I was content with the 400, the one hand opening was cool and the tool suited my needs. Then one day I go into the hardware store and I was introduced to the new breed of Gerber tools, the Gerber Legend. The Legend and it’s brother the Urban Legend set a benchmark in Gerber’s life where they wanted to try something different and play with ergonomics as well. I saved up and paid more than I care to admit on that tool and I thought it was the hottest thing out there (this is before I found out about the LM Wave).
Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT for short) has been well known for their fair priced knives made from well known and respected members of the knife community. CRKT makes a knife for virtually every kind of task you can think of and the only thing they haven't ventured into is the multitool market, until now that is.
About six months ago CRKT announced on their website that a division of their company called I.D. Works (which is an acronym for Inspired Design) is producing two multitools that will be released in June. The multitool enthusiasts and the general market alone was not only welcoming them with open arms, but the market needs a fresh face to it. So many of the tools out there are being made by manufacturers that have been making them since time began, and it was time for someone new with a fresh perspective to add something to the picture.
It seems lately that most manufacturers are trying to make the biggest tool because that equates to the heaviest duty and the best bang for the buck. Well, the Core is the replacement to Leatherman’s Super Tool and Super Tool 200 , and the predecessor to Leathermans other big boy, the Surge .
I have owned this Tool for over 2 months now and apart from one item I can find no fault with it and it has become my EDC along with the 600 that is soon to be modified to make it more useful for my needs. First the criticism the tin opener is a joke, it is far too short for it’s job, in fact it can hardly look over the top of a can to use it for puncturing a can just to get a start at opening it. The Philips screw driver is made out of the same gauge steel as the one on the Recoil and the Diesel, Gerber have made a bit adapter to fit, so all three can use any ¼” bit including the Leatherman bits and those long double ended bits if you need get in to a deeply embedded screw. I am guessing it will hold the bit magnetically like the standard one now does so the long ones should hold fast, I will be getting the bit holder ASP so will let you all know.
When you first see this tool, all you can think of it “wow.” This is one of the most massive multitools you are likely to encounter in life and that’s something you will be glad for! Based on the 120mm Ranger Series Wengers, the SwissGrip is likely to be one of the most effective plier tools available.