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.
In the multitool market, manufacturers primarily create tools with pliers as their primary function. Occasionally we see interesting designs that depart from the norm and are pretty much in a league of their own. When CRKT/I.D. Works created the Zilla and the Guppie; there was a surprising acceptance by the multitool community. Someone had decided to try something different with a unique flair to them and they appeared to be an instant success. After the original release there were some folks claming that the tools where too large. A small and more compact version of the tools are what would hit that certain sweet spot with the consumers. With reduction in size came compromises. The Zilla Jr. could not accept standard hex bits anymore and the ‘Lil Guppie no longer had the ability to use bits at all and was reduced to using drivers that were part of it’s design. I.D. Works came up with an excellent solution to remedy the problem. A hex driver, one that would not replace the smaller tools but would compliment them instead. Thus was born the Get-A-Way Driver, a unique hex driver that is more than ordinary and features an impressive array of tools that defiantly make a complete package with the new CRKT tools.
Small, yet deceptively versatile, the Get-A-Way Driver works well by itself or with other tools
Ever since Columbia River hit the scene with their tool line by the I.D. Works division, the knife/tool community has kept an eye on what is new from CRKT and the imaginative guys behind the tools (Launce Barber and Tom Stokes). Besides the release of the Get-A-Way Driver, they have released a carabiner tool that sports some neat features.
OK, this really doesn’t fall into the traditional, mainstream “pliers-scissors-screwdriver” multi-tool category but it’s still a neat multi-tool so I thought I’d share it with you guys. It shows us that multi-tools can be of all shapes and sizes.
My father was a BIG tobacco smoker back in the 1970’s and 80’s. According to him, he would smoke cigarettes in the morning, a cigar for lunch and a pipe in the evening. He quit smoking in the late 1980’s and about 10 years ago, gave me an assortment of cigarette lighters, cigar cutters and pipe tools. I never really looked at them and always kept them in a cigar box but this past month, I rummaged through the box to see what I had. When I saw this neat little item, the first thing I thought was “cool, it’s like a mini multi-tool.”
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:
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.