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Tuesday, 27 March 2012 19:11

Husky 14 in 1 Tool Review

Written by Lynn LeFey

Husky is the store brand available at Home Depot. While they have seasonal offerings, the 14-in-1 multitool is currently in stock year round. It comes with a reasonable quality nylon sheath with a belt loop. As of this writing, the cost on this tool is about $10 US.

Husky 14 in 1

The tool with sheath is 8.6 oz (243 grams). The tool by itself is 8 oz (225 grams). The tool's dimensions when closed are 4 1/8 inches (10.5cm) by 1 7/8” (4.8cm) by 15/16” (2.4cm). Overall length with pliers open is 7 ½ inches (19cm)

Most of the tool is made of Stainless steel. Scales seem to be aluminum, in either uncoated or red anodized. There may be other colors available. The plier side of the handles have rubber grips. Tool wells are lined with plastic. The primary screws holding the tool together are #9 Torx. Secondary screws holding the plier head assembly in place are #6 torx.

This is a butterfly design, with all tools accessible when closed, except the plier assembly. All tools are non-locking with a slip-joint, and fair retention.

The main blade has an overall length of 2 3/8” (6 cm), cutting length of 2” (5 cm). I ran it through a kitchen sharpener, and afterward it would cut paper, so it seems to be fairly easy to sharpen. After sharpening, the main blade would cut 550 paracord with a single pass. It also has a sheepsfoot serrated blade, of the same length. I was unable to get this blade to cut 550 paracord. The line would snag on a tooth, and no amount of pulling would cut it.

The tool comes with a saw that has a cutting area just under 2” (5cm) which may limit its usefulness. It took me 40 seconds to cut into a 2x4 to the depth of the blade, using reasonable pressure.

The combination bottle opener and can opener functions normally.

The three drivers on the tool all have well defined edges, and don't suffer from 'rounding'. The phillips is 3-dimensional. The larger flathead seems very robust and would most likely make an adequate light pry tool. I was able to drive a wood screw about an inch into a 2x4 before camming prevented further driving. In all of this time, I had no problem with the phillips folding on me. I extracted the screw with the flathead, and again experienced no problems with the tool folding.

The awl on the tool is more like a chisel edged small knife blade, much too wide for its intended use, in my opinion, but still functional. When trying to ream wood, the tool folded on me several times. I tested it with a quick thrust and turn in the metal can, and it quickly reamed a large hole with little effort.

Tool extraction is fairly difficult. Tools clump to a degree, which almost becomes a benefit, when trying to get any of them out. Tools with nail nicks on the sides of blades have these nicks cut too low to get a hold of. Those with catches on the spine work fairly well.

The plier head is spring loaded with an external spring which can be removed. The nose comes together with reasonable precision, although the tips are not as fine as many multitools. The rubber grips make for very comfortable use. Hard wire cutters tested on coat hanger worked as expected. There is a great deal of 'flex' in this tool when gripping hard, because of the connection of the plier head to the main body. This means the tool is probably not useful for more than medium duty tasks. I wouldn't try turning a rusted bolt with them for fear of snapping the small torx screws holding it together. My pair, from normal gripping, already have wiggle in the connection between plier head and body.

The tool does not have a file of any kind, an omission some may find important.

Husky 14 in 1

The tool has almost no functions that favor left or right handedness, except for the can opener, which is intended to work right-handed. They comfortably fit in a medium hand.

If pliers are not critical to your needs, then I think this is a reasonable tool. If you need robust pliers, avoid this like the plague. Plier issue aside, if the minor annoyance of difficult tool extraction and having to sharpen the blades can be overcome, this tool has a lot to offer. It is fairly ergonomic, and the tools are good for the price point.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Most tools have external access
  • Very comfortable pliers

Cons

  • Weak connection of plier head to tool
  • Blades need to be sharpened
  • Difficult tool extraction

 

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