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Thursday, 16 November 2017 11:38

Ganzo G302-B

Written by ReamerPunch

It seems that more and more companies are giving the multi-tool format a whirl. In recent years, Ganzo is yet another company producing these useful and quirky steel butterflies.
In an attempt to gauge their quality, usability, and value, we will be looking at their most expensive and popular multi-tool, the G302-B.

Ganzo G302-B

Length: 4.09" (10.4cm)
Width: 1.89" (4.8cm)
Thickness: 0.63" (16mm) or 0.79" (20mm) if we count the screws.
Tool weight: 10.1 oz (286g).
Tool, bits, & sheath weight: 14.1 oz (400g)
Bits included: PH1-3, H2-6, Flat 3, 5, & 7

Steel used: 440C
Handle fasteners: Torx 8 and Torx 6 screws.
Wire-cutter fasteners: Torx 8.
Wire-cutter material: Tungsten alloy

Blade length: 2.12" (54mm) for both blades
Saw length: 1.93" (49mm)
Scissors cutting edge: 0.787" (20mm)

Country of manufacture: China
Warranty: 10 years
Price: 27 USD

The "B" in G302-B denotes the black coating. It is just paint, but will help with corrosion, and possibly stealth.

Warranty (From the included pamphlet):
Ganzo Hardware series products which are purchased through authorized distribution channels can enjoy the qualified after-sales service for ten years from the dealing day.
Ganzo Hardware promises to be responsible for any quality problems caused by product quality. If failure or natural damage occurred in the use of our products, or any fault spotted in the material or manufacturing process, after verification, Ganzo Hardware has the right to decide whether it should be repaired, renewed or properly adjusted. In order to take advantage of the convenient after-sales service, please contact authorized sales outlets or Ganzo Hardware Industrial Co. Ltd.

Ganzo G302-B

The tool is accompanied by a nylon sheath and a rubber holder, which stores eleven 1/4" standard bits, and a bit adapter.

Ganzo G302-B

The sheath is nice enough. It is rigid, offers horizontal and vertical carry, and fits the tool and bits nicely. It is single stitched and closes with a snap button. The belt loops for horizontal carry appear a little thin for the amount of weight they have to support, but their stitching is re-enforced.

Ganzo G302-B

The bits are highly polished, which helps with corrosion, but they are very slippery, and therefore not easy to extract from their tight rubber holder.
Once you do manage to remove them, though, they do fit their adapter well, with very little room to move. There is no rattle, but rather, a silent, almost non-existent wobble, which causes little concern. These are standard 1/4" bits, so they can be fully substituted with others.

Ganzo G302-B

The adapter fits the square shank extremely well, and is magnetic. Despite having a bit in an adapter which is itself fitted on the shank, there is very little wobble at the tip, and driving screws is quite easy to do.

Ganzo G302-B

The bit adapter will also fit Leatherman and Gerber square shank Phillips screwdrivers. It will, however, magnetize their tips in the process, so consider whether this could interfere with what you are working on.

Ganzo G302-B

Moving on to the tool itself, we have a butterfly-opening multi-tool, with the implements accessible without opening the handles.

All implements lock securely. To disengage the lock, push the knurled edges of the locking plate downwards.
Detent is great. The implements are held closed securely, as are the handles.
The construction quality is quite good. There is no rattling, no stripped-out screws, no play in the implements, no gritty action, no gaps where there shouldn't be, no nail-nicks obstructed by other tools.
A note on construction: While it is not 100% metal, the tool does not rely on its plastic parts structurally. There is a plastic ramp at the bottom of either handle, which is ridged, in order to provide grip when using the pliers.

Having one end of the tool wider than the other helps ergonomics, and the tool stays in your hand.
The tool is quite comfortable to hold and use. The handle edges are rounded-off, and nothing digs into my palm while using this.

Ganzo G302-B

The stamped Ganzo emblem is pleasing to the eye, but the hole it creates has 90° edges, and will collect gunk very easily.
This applies to the decorative holes as well, but they do allow the blades and saw to be identified when closed, in order for you to deploy the implement you want.

Ganzo G302-B

In one handle, we have a plain-edge blade, spring-loaded scissors, a small flathead driver, a lanyard ring, and a can/bottle opener with a wire stripper notch.

Ganzo G302-B

The other handle has a serrated blade, a wood saw, the bit adapter shank, and an awl with sewing eye.

Ganzo G302-B

The plain edge blade and saw can be opened one-handed, with the right hand, and the serrated blade one-handed with your left hand.
The other implements have nail-nicks and are easy to deploy. They are easily identifiable when closed, and there is no clumping when deploying an implement.

The plain edge blade is properly sharpened. There is no blade play, which applies to all implements, and is very comfortable to open one-handed. It is nigh impossible to close one-handed though, because the lock is just too strong. It is in fact so strong, that my fingertips go numb after unlocking a few implements, because the knurled surfaces pushed to unlock the implements are too narrow, and do not offer much traction, which in combination with the strong spring on the lock, forces me to apply a lot of pressure on very small surfaces.

Ganzo G302-B

The serrated blade was rather blunt out of the box. It will tear through straps and cardboard, but the cutting edge is 100% covered in paint, and the sharpened portion is hindered from doing its job properly.

Ganzo G302-B

The saw is very aggressive, and cuts both when pulling and when pushing. Its spine is narrower than the toothed edge, which reduces binding in material. The issue is that it is too short.
All three one-handed implements are rather short, compared to the length of the tool, because the pliers springs occupy a fourth of the handle's length.

Ganzo G302-B

The rest of the implements are nicely done. The scissors, can opener, and awl are sharp, the shank serves its purpose, and the flathead will turn small screws. A minor issue with the scissors is that the handle you operate them with is a bit thin. Otherwise they are excellent, and cut very well.

The lanyard hole pivots from the opposite side of the pliers, which is nice, but from the same side as the blades, which is not as nice. It is useful to have a lanyard hole, but it is a shame to have it pivot out like the rest of the implements, when that space could have been used for something else. The lanyard hole could be an extended part of a liner, or a removable piece on the exterior of the handle.

The absence of a pocket clip is understandable, given the weight of the tool, and the fact that it is sold as a set, with additional bits. The only fixed screwdriver is a small flathead, so you're better off carrying the whole set anyway.


Ganzo G302-B

Opening the handles, we find a pair of needle-nose pliers, with an external spring, which is removable, and tungsten alloy wire-cutters, which are also removable (Torx 8 ).
While removable wire-cutters are nice, one could argue that the amount of material removed to accommodate them compromises the strength of the pliers. Should this concern you, there is a model exactly like this, but with integrated wire-cutters.

Ganzo G302-B

The pliers pivot action is smooth, and the tips meet precisely.
The regular pliers teeth are a little smooth, as a result of the paint, but they do manage to hold items securely.
The edges of the handles are rounded off and the additional knurled inserts help widen the surface that you have to bear down on, making the affair quite comfortable.

Ganzo G302-B

Note that the pliers open no wider than 1.22" (31mm) at the very tips, therefore limiting the bolt gripping section to a maximum of 0.63" (16mm) bolts.

Ganzo G302-B

The real issues here are the handles. There is too much splay when holding onto something. When the pliers are 100% closed, the handles are already quite far apart, and when you grip something, it only gets worse. I have large hands, and can barely keep up with the handle splay. Furthermore, the paint makes the handles slippery, despite the plastic tabs and knurled steel edges that were added for grip. The weight of the tool only adds to the slippage.

Ganzo G302-B

Conclusion
I was not expecting much out of this, but it certainly surprised me. It is solid, everything locks with no play, the pliers' pivot is smooth, the main blade was sharp (too bad for the serrated one).
Unfortunately, there are some issues with this, which will prevent me from carrying it around, mainly the handle splay, the weight, and how easily it slips out of my hand when using the pliers. It will find a place in a car or as a gift, but I do not see myself using it, when there are lighter multi-tools available, with less handle splay.
Having said that, there is a lot to admire about the G302-B, and it is arguably head and shoulders above other multi-tools in its price range, and would certainly handle most tasks its user would encounter. The quality is definitely there, especially considering everything it has to offer. If anything, the bit adapter fits many other tools, and there are many less expensive Ganzo models that include it.


Pros
-Quality construction.
-Full set of implements, with bits, sheath, and replaceable wire-cutters.
-Bit adapter fits many tools and accommodates standard 1/4" bits.

Cons
-Too heavy for its size.
-Handle splay when using pliers.
-Uncomfortable unlocking system.

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