Multitools have been around for a long time and even before Tim Leatherman came out with original PST the multitool had a purpose; it was a pocket tool box. For years companies have made multitools a jack of all trades and cram as much as they could into a tool so someone didn't have to go back to the tool box unless they really needed too. That's the reason we love multitools, they are our constant companion that can tackle any task.
Things have changed over the past few years and there is a trend developing to meet a niche or demand in the tool market. Companies are releasing minimalist style tools that feature a basic set of tools and leaving out stuff that they feel a person would not use on a daily basis. I'm not sure if the design changes are because of culture or city/urban life but they they seem to be a hit with people concerned with needing a multitool no matter what their profession.
Whatever magical creature you may think brings new toys during the holdays has done SOG a big favor and visited Wal Mart with a brand new SOG set, complete with a surprise to make serious multitool collectors rejoice!
With all of the excitement currently centering (no pun intended) around the Gerber Center-Drive you may have missed that SOG has begun hinting about some new cool stuff they will be releasing soon.
I have been thinking of getting a small trailer for my bike to carry camp chairs and the like. While driving around the neighborhood yesterday I got a little lost and came across this:
I called the number on the for sale sign, the guy came out and we discussed price until we finally agreed on a good number.
The trailer was far too large for my needs, being about four feet wide!
Almost immediately when I got home out came the tools. First the box came off- this is one of those roof rack pods that people put on top of cars, and is the main reason this trailer was so wide. I'll list the box for sale on a local classified site and probably make much, if not all of my money back.
Once the box was off it was a simple matter of removing the hitch bar (which will also need to be modified once the trailer is thinner) then disassembling the frame.
Once the trailer was in pieces I decided to use the central pipes to cut a couple of shorter rods to attach the two outer frame pieces directly to each other rather than over a foot apart.
It was a hard go using the SOG PowerLock but I made it! I have a hacksaw but it is in my Jeep which is at the dealership for service right now. I also have jigsaws, reciprocating saws and angle grinders which would have been a great help too, but they are in my garage a thousand miles away.
So it's up to hand tools and a small drill that I have here. By the time I killed the drill battery I had managed to get fairly close to having it pretty well put back together.
As you can see it is significantly thinner than it was before, and if I can get my hands on a power saw I can make it a few inches thinner yet.
Megan wants me to put some sidewalls on it and I want to put some d rings on it to have places to tie things down to it. So, there's still some work to do, but I'm done for now since I have to wait for my drill to charge.
I'm thrilled with it so far, although I haven't tried towing it yet. I pulled it with the seller's bike before I bought it, and it was surprisingly easy to haul then. I'm imaging with the pounds it has lost by taking the cargo pod off and removing a couple of feet of pipe it should be even easier.
The rain finally subsided today so I had another chance to go out and work on the trailer again. I had to cut the hitch back somewhat- the curve was set for the original width, which would have made the bike too far off center to be towed properly once the extra width was shed. Unfortunately there was a casualty.
My poor Powerlock got it's lock broken, and now the metal saw/file won't lock open. Before anyone takes any shots at the Powerlock, this one has seen an awful lot of use and I don't think any other tool would have fared any better. At any rate, I am sure SOG will look after it, although I hope they fix this one and not replace it with a newer PowerLock or something else. But, that's a discussion for another time!
I pulled out my Leatherman ST300 to finish the cut and, while it did just as good a job as the PowerLock was doing, I still missed having an actual hacksaw. Or a reciprocating saw, jigsaw or grinder. Luckily I'm heading back to my old place next weekend, so I'll probably take the opportunity to pick up a few tools, but that doesn't get the job done in the meantime!
So here is the finished (for now) product. I'm hoping that once I get my tools I will be able to thin it out a little more so that there is no gap between the deck boards, although I may decide to leave it as is. I dunno- I'll leave it as is for now, and try it out. If it's acceptable the way it is I may keep it like this. The bike is also a little off center, but again, I'll wait until I decide how wide I want it before finalizing that.
It is towable now and doesn't actually feel off center, although TBH I don't really have enough experience hauling a trailer on a bike that I wouldn't necessarily know if it was or not.
I jumped a few curbs with it and the deck boards came loose so I may decide to use some U brackets or bolts to lock them down. Once I decide how long the hitch needs to be I also need to round it off so that it allows for easier turning without catching the rear wheel axle. It doesn't really seem to do that now, but I'm the paranoid type and once I have my grinder it will only take a minute to do.
All in all I'm pretty happy with it as it is now, and once I get my hands on some of my trusty power tools I will make it even better.
If you have any thoughts, questions or comments, feel free to have your say on our forum!
After Megan and I had finished swimming for the day at a friend’s cottage (ie the impending thunderstorm chased us out of the water!) we decided to relax and open a bottle of wine. The only problem being that the rose we had bought had a cork, and we had no corkscrew as I’d misplaced my trusty yellow scaled Compact after our last trip. Luckily I have since found it, but that didn’t help us then!
Going without wine wasn’t an option, so I had to dust off an old trick that Tim Leatherman himself taught me. I’d say that he would be proud of me for remembering it, but as the only tool I had was a SOG PowerLock, I think the shine might come off that a bit…
Following the latest trend of “Tool Knives” SOG has released the Kilowatt, which is basically a one handed opening tactical type knife with some wire stripping features. While I was curious, I have to say I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about this one, but then again, electricity has never been my strong suit.
An often-overlooked entry into the keychain size MT market is the SOG Crosscut. I was talked into buying one from ‘Sharper Image’ or some such mall shop many years ago, and as overpriced as it was, I would have paid it again. The original Crosscut was an absolutely excellent tool. It has been replaced by the Crosscut 2.0, with only a few refinements, and a fairly major drop in build quality since production switched from the United States to China. While it’s not what it used to be, it’s still an excellent option for keychain carry.
The Power Plier is one of those tools that seemed to disappear from the collective conscious when it was discontinued. The predecessor to both the Pocket Power Plier and the PowerLock the Power Plier is well worth tracking down. And not just for collecting purposes; but as a great EDC tool that has some advantages over the PowerLock. Don't be mistaken, it does show it's age during use; the tools clump, implement finish is slightly lower quality than current production tools and none of the blades lock. But it has the sleek simplicity of an earlier time and the rugged functionality that the industry was born of.
SOG Specialty Knives and Tools has been one of the top competitors in the multitool market for a long time. In my opinion they are second in status, with Leatherman of course being the top dog. They have come along way since their toolclip and they continue to produce models that are nothing short of unique. SOG is one of those companies however that does not release new models every year and is slower to innovate than most people in the industry today. I believe SOG has the philosophy; that “if it’s not broken then don’t fix it.”
For the longest time we thought SOG would never release anything new into the tool market. Then they totally surprised us with the release of the Powerlock 2.0. The new model was not much different than the original model but had some key features that showed that they were willing to do some innovating. The new Powerlock featured a gear cover, so the teeth don’t dig into the palm of our hands as much and what SOG calls “Piano Keys”. The keys are there to aid in preventing the tools from clumping when getting a tool out of the handles. Both designs that were introduced on the Powerlock 2.0 were a testing ground for a new breed of SOG tool they had in the works. Dubbed the PowerAssist it was to be the first tool in the world with dual spring assisted blades. Needless to say the public was divided in two; those who thought this was a cool idea and those who thought this was just a marketing gimmick from the folks at SOG. Only time would tell if the PowerAssist lived up to the hype and would help launch SOG into a future that is full of mystique.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) recently (circa 2007/2008) began issuing a customized version of the SOG PowerLock EOD Black Oxide to its troops. As far as I know, this is issued to ALL recruits entering Basic Military Training as P.E. (Personal Equipment), which means its yours to keep and not something you have to draw and return from your unit's Quartermaster. It can also be purchased from the SAF eMart (SAF equivalent of the PX) if you want it for about S$70, either using your own money or eMart credit. (eMart credit is a credit-only stipend for purchasing military equipment that gets worn out such as uniforms, boots, webbing, packs, etc).
What I've gathered so far is that this is an SOG PowerLock EOD Black Oxide (not the 2.0) that was procured by ST Logistics (Singapore Technologies Logistics) via Sheares Technologies Pte Ltd for the Singapore Armed Forces. Singapore Technologies is a publicly traded company that amongst other things, manufactures arms, ammunition, military vehicles, naval vessels for Singapore's military and for export. Sheares Technologies is a private company with a storefront that deals mainly with the gadgetry most of us are familiar with, such as tactical flashlights, knives, multi-tools, etc.
This is what the package comes with: