Today I had a great chat with SOG founder Spencer Fraser, and members of his team. Spencer is retiring and we wished him the best on behalf of the fine folks here at MTO.
But what's going on with SOG? We all know that SOG has produced some really interesting designs over the years. Their compound leverage tech for multitools is effective too. But as you can see through the threads on our forum, the quality has not always been up to par. My conversation with SOG leads me to believe that they're listening. They're changing up what they're doing and they'll be moving away from lower end retailers like Wal-Mart, and Amazon, meaning they won't be catering to that price point market.
I was happy to hear that they've been reading threads here on our forum. They heard how annoyed MTO members were with the giant flashy SOG logos on all of their products, and the concerns over material and workmanship.
They're currently in the middle of a re-brand and they say they're going back to their founding roots. They're moving away from “SOG” and going back to “Studies and Observations Group”.
Their newest multitool was designed prior to the changes and re-brand. I will admit that I am not sure it will be one of my favourites, however I am really into their new knife line up. They feel very good in the hand, and the quality to me matches the clever design.
I'll be posting more about the knives when I have a moment later, but I wanted to share something with you ahead of time. I had an opportunity to see where Studies and Observations Group is headed for 2021 and I am pumped. It looks like, for the first time in a long while, we might have a unique plier-based multi tool. I viewed some early designs which I wasn't permitted to take photos of, or describe. But I will say that we have something to look forward to in 2021. And I think SOG will be one to watch. SOG has always been good to us at MTO, and our fingers are crossed that their new multis are what we're hoping for!
Seen at SHOT Show 2020:
The rumours were true! Victorinox has released beautiful Aqua Blue Alox for 2020.
Classic SD, Cadet and Pioneer
What do you think of the colour? Let us know here.
(UPDATE below) Today I chatted with Gerber's Kalon Pilmanis about the Armbar multitool series. I know, I know, we had a thread on this tool back in June. But this was the first time I had an opportunity to have these plier-less multitools in my hands. The release date on these tools is Spring, 2020.
My first-impression is very positive. I love the way these tools fit in my hand. The edges feel smooth and finessed. And I am pumped about the features on both of them. I will always carry SAKs. They're beautiful and functional. But there's something to be said about a tool that you don't mind getting scratched up. Could thisbe that tool?
The Armbar Driver is Gerber's answer to the SAK. It's a great looking, great feeling tool that's ideal for EDC in your pocket. Aimed to stop folks from abusing their knife, the Armbar has a bottle opener, pry-bar and an awl. The bit in the driver can easily be replaced with a cheapy from the hardware store—I like this. It also has a one-hand opening blade with a frame lock, that is indeed easy to open.
Best of all, it has... wait for it... scissors! And it's a pretty good pair of scissors too. It's a small tool, but they have a hammer feature on there too.
It comes in onyx, urban blue, and orange.
I really like this tool, but it's sister tool, the Armbar Cork (is even better
Save the day with the Armbar Cork! No really,when you carry a tool with a cork screw, I promise, there will be a time where you'll be the hero. Unfortunately, through a bit of carelessness, I've broken the corkscrews on two of my favourite SAKs. They're bent out of place from desperately trying to get the cork out of the wine bottle. And this tool might be the answer.
To me, the Armbar Cork, is an ideal tool for camping and general every day carry. In fact, I really want one of these for EDC. Like the Armbar driver, it has the same one-hand opening blade with a frame lock, scissors, bottle opener, and hammer. But it has a fabulous cork screw. Why is it fabulous? It comes with, what appears to be, an effective lever (like a bartender's corkscrew) to ensure you safely remove the cork from the bottle. No desperately holding the bottle with your legs which trying to yank the cork out (maybe I'll stop breaking my favourite SAKs?) This also has a can and package opener.
I believe this tool comes in onyx, gold, and orange.
Both tools are retailing for $39 USD.
UPDATE, Jan 22, 2020: After having another good chat with Hal and Eric at Gerber, we brought in a 91mm Victorinox Spartan to compare sizes. Here are a few photos for comparison purposes.
What do you think? Would you consider carrying one of these?
Don't forget to join the conversation here.
New for 2019, the KT5024 is NexTool's latest offering. A few elements we've seen, along with a few new ones to round off the tool. Let's see what it is all about.
Recently a member on our forum had an issue with a new Gerber Diesel multitool. As was to be expected, Gerber replaced the Diesel under warranty, something we have come to expect from all major manufacturers. But this issue was far from over.
It’s 2019, and somehow that arbitrary change from 2018 is supposed to make a difference in people’s lives. If you are one of those people that have successfully made a positive change in our life, then all power to you. For the rest of us, change is inevitible, like it or not!
Here at Multitool.org we pay close attention to industry trends and changes to legislation that could impact our Members. As always, we promote the safe and enjoyable use of multitools, fixed blades, folding knives, one piece multitools and more.
A Canadian love affair with folding knives.
Many of our Members are campers, hikers and general outdoorspeople. We use folding knives as tools for our everyday life - as useful extensions of ourselves. Folders (folding knives) are extremely popular for a multitude of reasons, especially safety and convenience.
Although extremely popular, fixed blades have been known to pop through a leather sheath or two, but a folder tucks neatly inside itself for safety's sake. Their modest size makes them the perfect carrying knife for cutting up apples on a hike, to cutting a piece of rope while setting up camp.
One handed opening folding knives are extremely convenient for the busy Canadian camper. Cold, wet hands can making opening up a traditional Swiss Army Knife quite difficult. Whereas one-handed opening blades like the Victorinox one-handed Trekker are simple and efficient.
This week, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) rendered a decision in Appeal No. AP-2017-012, T. LaPlante v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency regarding knives which open automatically by centrifugal force (centrifugal knives).
Why this decision matters.
CBSA has modified their prohibited weapons classifications to include a very large selection of folding knives. And they're calling them 'folding knives' by name! Not just 'centrifugal or gravity knives'. That means, that this large selection could no longer be legally imported into Canada. It's also worth speculating that they could become prohibited weapons by law in the future. This is setting precedent.
The new definition states that centrifugal knives will be classified as prohibited weapons if the following conditions are met:
A) a knife has a blade that opens by centrifugal force, when the blade is released from the handle into the fully ejected and locked position with a simple and brisk outwardly flick of the wrist; and
B) it includes knives that require some preliminary or simultaneous minimal manipulation of either a flipper or other non-edged parts of the blade.
But what does it really mean for folding knives in Canada?
When you look at point 'A' it doesn't cause much of a concern. But “B” changes everything. A non-edged part of the blade could include an opening thumb hole or a stud. It could mean that you gently released the blade yourself with your thumb along the side of the blade. Once released, many if not most folding knives will open easily or after 2-3 tries with a 'brisk outwardly flick of the wrist'. The full CITT decision allows for multiple attempts. We are extremely concerned that the majority of folding knives in Canada will be classified as prohibited weapons as this new definition lacks specificity.
We tested the CBSA definition on common folding knives – the results weren't good.
We went through our vast collection and tried out many folding knives found at Canadian Tire, Cabela's and other popular stores. Of course, some folding knives were easier to open than others. But once you add the definition of knives 'that require some preliminary or simultaneous minimal manipulation of either a flipper or other non-edged parts of the blade' - almost all of the folding knives we tested failed the test.
For example, the popular Swiss Army Knife, the Victorinox Trekker or the Forrester M Grip (seen in the gif) failed the test and would be classified as prohibited based on the CBSA definition. With a very slight manipulation of the thumb hole, and with a 'brisk outwardly flick of the wrist' the knife blade locks into place. We also tested the Pictou, NS Canadian-made Grohman R300S Lockblade – it failed the test and would be classified as prohibited as well.
Multitool.org's stance on the CITT decision and CBSA notice regarding Centrifugal Opening Knives
We believe that the CITT decision and CBSA notice do not reflect the Canadian government's intention or the spirit of the law.
The Criminal Code of Canada classifies a prohibited weapon (knife) as ' a blade that opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife'.
And we firmly believe that the spirit of this law is to protect Canadians, especially law-enforcement. We do not believe that Canada's Parliamentarians would call for a ban on basic folding knives which are so popular from coast to coast to coast.
What can we do?
Continue to be law-abiding users of the tools you own. If you're in Canada, reach out to your Member of Parliament and let them know your concerns. Let them know that you believe the CBSA notice does not reflect the spirit of the Criminal Code of Canada.
In the off chance you have not yet seen it, CRKT has released a new plier based multitool, the Technician:
Multitools have been a part of our lives for several decades and have been engineered to be a do it all tool box. Manufacturers include everything but the kitchen sink to ensure that we have the tools we need for any occasion and to keep us prepared. The downside to this is the tool is not specialized for a specific task and this general design makes the tool heavy. It also can be a deciding factor in which tool you purchase or edc if you have a collection like me. Several tool companies are designing tools that are specific to a job title, recreational activity or task and the Leatherman Signal is one of those tools. The Signal is patterned after the Leatherman MUT design and scaled down so it’s not such a massive beast. Weighing in at only at only 7.5oz the Signal is enough tool for the task and light on the tools so it's easy to carry where ever your headed.
Multitools comes in a vast variety of shapes and sizes and certainly have had a lot of changes to them since the first Leatherman was issued. In spite of all those changes the general look and functionality hasn't deviated much. Tools are usually clumped into two categories; Swiss Army style or plier based which is what most people associate with.
Back in the golden age of multitools; we'll say late 90s early 2000s there was a lot of manufacturers getting in on the game. Everyone from Buck to Kershaw was producing a multitool and some of the designs were very forward thinking. Schrade cutlery was one of those companies and they produced what they called the Tough tools. Both the Tough Tool and the Tough Chip did well for the company and we're proudly made in the USA.
Schrade had some financial struggles and was purchased by Taylor Brands LLC back in 2004. Taylor kept a lot of the lines alive that Schrade had such as Old Timer and Uncle Henry. Manufacturing was moved overseas and we saw quality control take a dip. Schrade continued to manufacture the Tough Tools but they don't have the durability of the once famed brand.
In the first quarter of 2016 Schrade brought some new products to the market which included some multitools. One of those new tools was the Schrade ST11. The ST11 or Schrade Tough Tool Multitool; is an interesting new take on an old design.
It has been a while since a multitool has come along that has generated so much excitement and anticipation as Gerber is doing with the new
Center Drive Multitool.
I don’t believe any tool has created this much of a stir since the releases of the Victorinox Spirit and Leatherman Skeletool. Best of all we should have one on the way shortly for a review!
I know we said we were giving away a ton of things here at MTO for our 10th Anniversary.
But we meant it.
This custom Swiss Army Knife is gorgeous.
It's a Syph007 custom milled titanium SAK! It's been specially made to celebrate Multitool.org's 10 Year Anniversary!
This custom SAK comes complete with MTO Logo engraved Ti scales, Ti liners and nickel silver tweezers.
The SAK incorporates the liners for an even slimmer yet tougher design! AMAZING!
Want one? Want in? We're giving it away!
Visit the forum and enter the draw here. You know you want to.
As part of the 10th Anniversary Celebration we are offering these Limited Time Multitool.org Shirts so that you can celebrate with pride!
What we have are two designs, in three colors each, for a total of six different shirts.
Leatherman USA has launched the New Skeletool RX First Responder Multi-Tool. In a release last week the company explained that the new tool will help first responders “be ready to respond quickly and safely in emergency situations.”
It looks like the tool has many of the same features of the regular Skeletool with a few minor changes. This model contains a carabiner/bottle opener, hybrid needle nose pliers/wire cutters, 154CM serrated knife and a replaceable carbide bit- strong enough to break windows.
As always, we’ll post a review as soon as we’ve had a chance to really use the New Skeletool RX First Responder Multitool.
Have you used this tool? Let us know at forum.multitool.org.
According to our friends over at Knifenews.com (full story HERE) the famous firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson has purchased Taylor Brands LLC for $85 million. For those who don't know, Taylor has long produced knives and multitools with the Smith & Wesson name on them, and I have often commented on the quality (more accurately, the lack therof) of Taylor knives, whether they are marked S&W, Schrade, Uncle Henry or Imperial.
For years I had labored under the impression that the folks at S&W were blissfully unaware of the crap that Taylor was producing with their name on it- I am a big fan of Smith & Wesson firearms, and that name has become (in my mind at least) synonomous with quality revolvers. I had assumed that someone at Taylor had arranged for a dump truck full of cash to arrive on a bi-monthly schedule at the house of S&W's licensing manager, and that as a result, he or she just didn't ask any questions. It seems that isn't the case, and that S&W is fully aware of the crap that Taylor is producing, and that is very disapointing to me.
The worst part is that S&W doesn't appear to even want to fix it- they seem content to merely take advantage of the distribution network that Taylor has, so that they can make their own in house accessories more available. As if having their name on crappy knives wasn't damaging enough to the brand, now Smith & Wesson will be selling their actual merchandise on the shelves right next to crud, strengthening the connection.
This is one of those times when I really hope I am wrong. As I said, I have lots of respect for S&W, and I hate to see them take a bad decision (like giving a license to Taylor in the first place) and make it worse.
What kind of people would write collect and review multitools? Quite simple really- we are designers and do-ers, outdoors types and indoor types, mechanics, doctors, problem solvers and problem makers. As such, we have, as a world spanning community, put every type, size and version of multitool, multifunction knife, pocket knife and all related products to every test we could manage in as many places and environments as there are.