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Tuesday, 13 March 2007 17:24

SOG S44 Pocket Power Plier Review

Written by Grant Lamontagne

While the PowerLock seems to be the first tool that comes to mind when one thinks of SOG tools, the Pocket Power Plier is perhaps my personal favorite. The more compact size of the Pocket Power Plier seems to be the more “carry-able” version of the big powerhouse.

SOG S44 Pocket Power Plier

The PPP most importantly features the same compound leverage gears that make SOG tools stand out in a fairly crowded marketplace, and comes standard with a very reasonable tool selection. Of course, as with any SOG tool there is a certain amount of customization that one can do to make the tool fit their needs specifically, but this one is almost perfect just the way it is. On one side you have the standard partially serrated blade, cab opener with screwdriver tip and very sharp reamer. The other handle has a phillips head, bottle opener with screwdriver tip and metal saw/file with screwdriver tip. As anyone familiar with many of my reviews will know, I feel that dedicated flatheads are a cop out, and the Pocket Power Plier proves my point. In six simple implements, SOG has provided ten different tools. Admittedly, three flatheads is excessive, but they are added on to existing tools, not dedicated. This is what I like to see in a tool.

SOG S44 Pocket Power Plier

Another interesting feature of the PPP is the offset plier head. This allows the head to lie flat, rather than have the tips centered like most tools. This can come in handy and allow more precise control when working in very tight areas such as the inside of a computer. It also allows SOG to maximize the tool space available inside the handles while still allowing the pliers to fold properly. Someone was thinking!

My Pocket Power Plier came in a typical SOG quality heavy leather sheath, which I really like. It’s a little bigger than the Leatherman PST’s sheath, despite the tools being similar sizes and the similar construction of the sheaths themselves. I wish all tools had the option of a nice solid sheath like this one, but I’m sure there’s a bunch of stained, rusted or corroded tools out there that would have been happier in nylon.

SOG S44 Pocket Power Plier

The Pocket Power Plier is not without it’s downsides though, although many of these are personal issues. The implements, while well thought out, do not lock, which in my opinion is a serious mark against them. Many fold feel that by holding the handles shut, one doesn’t need a lock, but I have a nice scar on the end of my finger that says otherwise. The non locking implements are likely a result of the time in which this tool was designed, when many tools didn’t have locking implements, and this was likely a cost cutting measure to keep the price well below the bigger PowerLock. Of course, since all SOG tools have interchangeable implements, the implements on the PPP have the same lock notch in their bases, so all that would have been needed was a lock mechanism to accept them.

SOG S44 Pocket Power Plier

Another sign of it’s age, and possibly also another cost cutting measure is the exposed sheet metal edges when using the pliers. I had this discussion with someone the other day, and he said he never places enough pressure on the handles to have them dig into his hands. This is a sensible idea, but doesn’t that negate the idea of compound leverage allowing one to get greater force on the pliers?

SOG S44 Pocket Power Plier

Overall, this is a good little tool, best suited to a casual user or an office or retail setting. It’s a refined looking light duty tool that can handle most lighter tasks, but should stay away from anything major. On a personal note, I feel that the PPP would be better suited in this role by replacing the file with scissors, something I am strongly considering myself. Fortunately with SOG’s easily replaceable tools, this isn’t as much a detriment as it would be on many others.

Pros:

  • Compact size yet still has compound leverage
  • Well thought out tool compliment
  • Solid leather sheath

Cons:

  • Painful sheet metal handles
  • Non locking implements
  • Limited number of implements make it less versatile than others in it’s class
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