SOG products are well known for their innovative designs and forward thinking that has made them one of the more popular toolmakers in the industry. Before receiving the CrossGrip and CrossCut, I was expecting something closer size wise to a half pint Pocket Power Pliers ; instead I was surprised to see something more along the lines of my Gerber Clutch . Initial impressions; I was fascinated by the quality and how SOG keeps making tools with those gears, but this time on a much smaller scale.
Gerber Legendary Blades has been making multitools for what seems like forever, they seem to be about as old as Leatherman themselves. Before Gerber was owned by Fiskars they had released their first tool and it has definitely changed over the years. The first version had no locking system (much like the LM PST) and was simple in nature. Time progressed and locks were added as well as some small changes in tool design, but the 600 stays true to its roots as a testament to what kind of tool that Gerber tools were made of. The 600 can be seen as a classic or a retro tool; it reminds us of the multitools of our past. Sure Gerber has new tools like the Freehand, Recoil and the Diesel etc. And the 600 gets a lot of trash because it’s being compared to the current designs on the market. I mean; come on…how many of you remember when the PST had 3 different screwdriver blades…..all the same, did we complain then?
It’s good to see SOG staying in the multi tool game by teaming up with Paladin Tools, a large producer of professional-quality electrical and telecommunications tools. As the general-purpose multi tool market becomes more and more saturated, I believe manufacturers will begin to target these specialty niche markets in order to sell their products.
The PowerPlay PT-510 is largely based upon SOG’s Pocket PowerPlier model S44. The handles and plier jaws are the same size, but there have been some improvements, along with a few special features for electrical/datacom work.
If you’ve never handled any of the Squirt tools by Leatherman, think of them as a cross between a Juice and a Micra. The handles have brightly colored aluminum scales, with outside opening blades, like the Juice family of tools. But the Squirt is small, like a Micra, and uses the same type of “spring-loaded” jaws as a Micra.
Leatherman continues to dominate the multitool market; this is due in part by two things, advertising not only to its pre-existing customer base but to the newcomers as well and most importantly it’s the drive to continually innovate on the designs of their tools, Leatherman is constantly refining and changing the shape of the tools themselves and how the public as a whole views them. I believe most of Leatherman’s success is just the shear dominance of name brand, they pioneered the market and ever since 9/11 they have become more common place as they are more appealing to the public than a regular pocket knife.