Reviews & articles for shooting sport enthusiasts.

Blades and tools

Multitasker Tools – Setting the bar on AR platform field tools?

Multitasker-01

As shipped, The Multitasker Series 2

Here at TPF we’ve had the pleasure to review a pair of tools built primarily for the AR-15 platform. The TUBE and the Ultralight have been reviewed prior, and showcase some of the quality and design excellence which has become expected by Shane Keng and his Company, Multitasker Tools. Here is the rub however, the tool that is featured in this installment of TPF is not the newest design released by Mr. Keng, it is however the tool which launched Multitasker into becoming so well known for it’s platform specific tools.

Enter Multitasker’s Multitasker Series 2, AR platform field multi-tool. The Series 2 has some changes over the initial build of the Multitasker, which are mainly in regards to tool location and the addition of the now common #8-32 Male thread for OTIS cleaning attachments and the ever present cleaning pick. Unlike many other companies, Multitasker has made it a priority to improve upon their tools and take into account critiques and suggestions for improving their products. The Multitasker reviewed by TPF is in fact a later Series 2 model noted by an alterations to the plier jaws that improved cutting ability and the jaws themselves were upgraded with a roller bearing joint for smooth operation.

Multitasker-03

Sheathed in G-10 grips, the Multitasker Series 2 Multi-tool

The Multitasker is similar in construction to the other quality tools manufactured under the Multitasker brand. All metal components contained in this tool are machined parts with only the Springs and plier-stops being the exception. From scraper to screwdriver the whole mutli-tool is made from stainless steel which is treated with a black oxide finish. The liners, tool arms and springs are manufactured from 420 stainless steel where as the knife blade is 440C stainless steel. The main jaws are precision machined from D2 tool steel and the attention to detail is evident by the nearly seamless nesting of the teeth when the jaws are closed. With the outer handles covered by extremely durable G-10 fiberglass panels, the grip on the Multitasker is very good in form fit and function.

Multitasker-04

The seven tool arms contained in the handles of the Multitasker Series 2

All seven tool arms contained in the Multitasker handles. There are a total of seven tool arms on the MultiTasker Series 2, AR15/M4/m16 specific platform tool.
All tool arms are made to have the position/resistance springs retain the arms in a closed or open position.

Tool #1- The first tool is the versatile and effective Tanto styled blade which has a thumb stud for one handed opening and is the only “tool arm” which has a liner locking mechanism to secure the blade in the open position.

Tool #2- The Larue wrench. A 3/8″ hex wrench for tightening nuts on the very popular Larue Tactical scope mounting components.

Tool #3- The Screwdriver/File tool arm. A large flat blade screwdriver with good thickness for any sort of torquing operation and a combined file for some additional versatility. The sharp edges of this tool allow it to double as a carbon scraper for larger surfaces.

Tool #4- A Castle Nut Wrench for cinching up loose stocks on Carbine/collapsing stocks. Multitasker does warn that the tool is not for assembly and proper torquing, but field fixes.

Tool #5- The 1/4″ hex magnetic bit driver. Originated in the Multitasker and carried over into both the in the TUBE and the Ultralight, it is one of the most acclaimed features of Multitasker’s tools. As always the driver comes with the 4 prong A2 front sight adjusting bit installed.

Tool #6- OTIS attachment arm. With the robust and very effective cleaning pick installed, the arm sports a male #8-32 thread enables owners to connect many OTIS attachments and use the Multitasker as a cleaning handle. As with the bit driver, this attachment feature and pick is carried into the other previously mentioned Multitasker tools.

Tool#7- Form fitting carbon scraper for cleaning the bolt of the AR15/M4/M16 platform. With the tip made with the same radius as found on the bolt, the carbon scraper allows for simple and efficient cleaning. Also with a thumb stud for opening ease, this scraper is another common feature across this line of platform specific tools, albeit slightly differently mounted on the tube.

Multitasker-09

Jaw tooth interlocking is typical of Multitasker's attention to detail

The pliers themselves are very durable and incorporate a roller bearing for flawless functionality. As discussed earlier, the jaws are CNC machined from a single billet of D2 tool steel which allows for nearly seamless tooth interaction. In addition, the pliers are mounted very securely and allow for considerable pressure to be exerted through the jaws. The cutting surfaces of the jaws are also sculpted to allow for a great effectiveness on a variety of wire types and construction. You will not find any forged pieces or weight relieving cuts which would otherwise reduce the strength of the jaws themselves. This was a mandate by Mr. Keng and his designs; No sacrifices to quality and performance in order to save costs and mass.

Multitasker-06

Carbon scraper, OTIS arm w/pick, 1/4" driver & included bits

Multitasker-05

Showing the machined brass washers and the liner lock for the tanto blade

Of lesser notation, but still of importance, are the small attentions to details that are shown in the excellent material selection and quality. Machined brass washers between the tool arms for a perfect mating and for durability and survivability. The usage of fiberglass comprised G-10 covers on the handles for durability, resistance to chemicals and general wear are typical of the designs produced by Multitasker. A small ring for attaching a lanyard is also incorporated into one of the tool’s handles.

Multitasker-07

Showing the Multitasker sheathed with the extra bits stored behind in the hidden pocket

Multitasker-08

The holstered Multitasker Series 2 compared with a round of .223 Remington and a Mini-Mag Flashlight

The Multitasker Series 2 comes with a Molle compatible nylon pouch which has a compartment for holding the additional ten (10) driver bits. The black, 1000 denier nylon pouch is very rigid  and has a strong snap clasp for holding the flap closed and retaining the Multitasker when stowed away. The overall size of the Series 2 Multitasker is fairly large and it is not a lightweight in the mass department. However, the Multitasker Series 2 multi-tool is not meant to be used for EDC. It is firearm specific and aside from the utilitarian knife blade, is designed to be a miniature armorer’s kit for the AR15/M4/M16 platform.

Those interested in acquiring the Series 2 Multitasker; can do so through Brownells where it is listed for $104.95 USD. As always however, it is up to the reader to decide if Multitasker’s Multitasker Series 2 AR15/M4/M16 platform specific multi-tool is: Practical, Tactical or Fantastical

Multitasker-10

Multitasker product size comparison: Tube (l), Ultralight (c), Multitasker (r)

Multitasker-02

A clear representation of the components carried on the belt with the Series 2 Multitasker


The Showdown! – Multitasker Ultralight vs. Gerber eFECT

Ultralight vs eFECT

Multitasker's Ultralight Vs. Gerber's eFECT

It was a statistical given and was only a matter of time as TPF has given an overview of both AR-15 specific tools in the past. Multitasker’s Ultralight and Gerber’s eFECT are good tools in themselves and are both quality products. However, in this installation of TPF we will be comparing the similar features of both tools and focusing on the differences between them. We will be reviewing various categories and features and giving our opinions. GASP! That is correct, TPF will be rating both on various features and details. So without further ado, let TPF’s first showdown begin!

PHYSICAL SIZE:  The Ultralight, while narrower than the eFECT, is longer by nearly 25mm (1″) and is heavier by nearly half again.

Carbon Scraper

Carbon Scraper, Ultralight on left

TOOL ARMS: Ultralight 4, eFECT 6. However, two of the eFECT’s arms are for attachments.

  • Front sight adjustment tool. The eFECT has a switchable bit for either 4 or 5 prong AR-15 front sights, where the Ultralight only comes with a 4 prong (A2) version.
  • Carbon scraper. The Ultralight has a design which is dedicated to cleaning of the bolt from the AR platform, where the eFECT has a large, very effective scraper for any long linear areas.
  • Flat screwdriver. Both tools have a large flat tip screwdriver, the eFECT’s being mounted to have a decent reach for tight fits. The Ultralight’s version is meant more for surface usage (tightening of slotted nuts and screws for attachments). Both can double as an additional carbon scraper.
  • Attachment arms.  The eFECT has two (2) with female threads versus the single male threaded version of the Ultralight.
  • eFECT ONLY: A dedicated push pin arm.
  • Ultralight ONLY: First. Part of the screwdriver arm incorporates a butt stock castle nut wrench for field tightening of the aforementioned nut. Second, as briefly mentioned, the one arm is a dedicated 1/4″ hex bit driver.
Showdown Comparison

Screwdriver, Sight Tool, Dental Pick/Otis Attachment (eFECT on left)

LOCK MECHANISM: For each trio of arms on the Gerber, there is a spring loaded sliding lock. Simple and reusable for both sides. The Ultralight uses a combination of lock styles for each individual arm.

CONSTRUCTION: The eFECT is comprised of stainless steel sheet metal for the liners and the stamped punch and screwdriver arms. The remaining 4 arms are cast and held together between two polymer panels. The Ultralight is made from stainless steel and all major components are machined and/or wire EDM’d. The entire package is wrapped in G-10 fiberglass panels and includes a wire EDM’d pocket clip.

Sheath Showdown1

Ultralight (l) vs eFECT (r) - Sheaths

INCLUDED ACCESSORIES:

  • eFECT: A Molle compatible sheath. The reversible front sight bit and the dental pick and bristle brush for the attachment arms.
  • Ultralight: A Molle compatible sheath. The A2 sight bit, plus 10 more common bits for the 1/4″ hex driver. Only comes with the dental pick attachment, but is far more robust than that of the eFECT’s.

COST: Multitasker has an MSRP of $74.99 USD versus $79.99 USD for the Gerber eFECT.

So now we do the comparison showdown.

  1. Physical Size – eFECT wins. While the size and heft of the UL makes a more solid and secure feeling tool, the mass alone makes the eFECT the winner for a carried item.
  2. Tool Arms – Ultralight wins. The quantity of tool arms does not quite overcome the sheer robustness and versatility of the UL. The included pick on the eFECT is pitiful compared to the robust one that comes with the UL. Besides, how many OTIS connections can you use at once anyways? One. The bit driver alone puts the UL over the top in this category.
  3. Lock Mechanism – Tie. The UL has very solid locking devices for each of the four arms, but there are 3 different types. The eFECT has a lock for each set of three arms and they are identical. Simplicity versus strength results in a tie.
  4. Construction – UL from manufacturing edge. Both tools are well conceived and manufactured for light maintenance work on the AR platform, the detail to the processes used for construction goes to the UL. Both would most likely hold up to long term everyday usage, and I’m positive that people will break the UL more often due to misusing the castle nut wrench, however, the eFECT has the appearance and feel of being made as cheap as possible through the use of stampings and castings.
  5. Accessories – UL hands down. The inclusion of 10 additional driver bits (with many more customs ones being created) gives the thumbs up to the UL.
  6. Sheath – eFECT, barely… The Gerber eFect sheath is more compact and velcro closing which is good for storage and mounting comfort. The UL sheath is bulky due to the size of the tool and the accessory bits and is a snap enclosed pouch with a more rigid construction.  Comfort edges out apparent robustness.
  7. Cost – UL. Cheaper by $5 USD is pretty self explanatory.

CONCLUSION: Now if you are looking for a smaller more comfortable tool that will still do nearly everything needed for routine maintenance on your AR-15, one would be hard pressed to go wrong with the Gerber eFECT. However! The higher quality manufacturing and the apparent versatility over the eFECT coupled with a lower MRSP make the Ultralight TPF’s chosen winner.

WINNER of the first Tactical, Practical & Fantastical Showdown – Multitasker’s Ultralight

TPF's Choice!

TPF's Choice!


Gerber Answer 3.25 – SAO with attitude!

Gerber - Answer 3.25

Gerber's Answer - SAO

Several weeks ago, TPF did a review of SOG’s Flash II.  Today a look is given to a version available from another manufacturer; Gerber Legendary Blades. Gerber’s Answer is a spring assisted opening knife, self catagorized as being a “Clip Folder” and appears to be constructed with durability in mind. Gerber SAO’s use what is trademarked as the F.A.S.T. system. From Gerber’s website; F.A.S.T. is “a proprietary name that stands for Forward Action Spring Technology: Spring assisted blade opening mechanism designed for Gerber by custom knife maker Butch Vallotton.”

Gerber - Answer 3.25's Slider

Slider in "Locked" Position

With handles crafted from black anodized aluminium, textured inserts (read skateboard tape) for additional non-slip gripping and sporting an 84mm (3.3″) nitrided stainless steel blade , the very ergonomic Answer has a substantial mass at 153gr (4.9 oz). There are only two controls on the Answer, the first being a saftey/release slider which determines the available actions of the blade. From the closed position the slider can be switched front and back with nearly zero effort. When the red dot is exposed by shifting the slider towards the pivot point, it signifies that the knife safety is disabled (red dot meaning “armed”) and is  GTG (“Good to go”) for opening. When not showing the “armed” dot, the blade is locked into position, irregardless if it is in a closed or open position. In the open position the slider forced into away from the blade pivot and must be actuated in order to release the blade for closing.

The second control is the dual thumb studs on the blade itself for ambidextrous opening which is very simple to acomplish. Use the thumb stud to manouver the blade open to a point where the F.A.S.T. mechanism takes over and locks the blade into open position. Compared to the aforementioned Flash II, the Answer’s opening speed is not as fast, but feels much more solid as it locks into open position which may be a result of not using any obvious polymer/plastics in construction of the knife. The pocket clip for the answer in NOT reversible and is located at the blade pivot, on the opposit side of the slide pivot. This means that when the Answer is clipped into your pocket, the blade pivot side sticks up (AKA Tip Down position). The EDC knife of TPF’s author sits in the same fashion, but some individuals may not desire that orientation.

Gerber - Answer 3.25 opened position

Gerber's Answer 3.25 SAO Knife

The Answer itself has few variations. The model reviewed has a drop point straight edged blade design, however, a sister model of the same blade length and mass is offered with a Tanto blade shape incorporating a partially serrated edge. Two other versions of the Answer also exist. The Answer SM is a smaller version of the model reviewed here with a 71mm (2.8″) blade and massing 81gr (2.6 oz). The Answer XL is the tanto version enlarged to a 102mm (4.0″) blade and massing a hefty 218gr (7.0 oz).

Gerber - Answer Spine view

More branding. "Gerber" on the spine

The Gerber Answer 3.25 reviewed (model# 22-01971) has a MSRP of $72.99USD and is available at a great variety of knife stores across Canada. Like SOG, Gerber allows prospective customers to purchase many (if not all ) products direct from the Gerber website.  The SM and XL versions list for MSRP’s of $63.99USD and $84.99USD respectively.

Gerber Legendary Blades: Answer 3.25 – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?


SOG Flash II – It is quick…

In between the author’s federal party volunteer work, getting taxes complete, paying employment, and shooting hobbies, as well as family on top of that; TPF is pleased to be able to take a look at SOG’s Flash II, assisted opening knife. The model we are looking at today is the black polymer handled, drop-point, straight-edged version; specifically the FSA-8.

SOG - Flash-II

SOG’s Flash-II

SAO knives (Spring-Assisted-Opening) are perfectly legal in Canada. As has been described to the author by those with far more knife knowledge than TPF; as long as you have to mechanically or physically move the blade before the spring takes over and finishes opening the blade to full extension it is 100% good to go. Ones that do not move the blade are the automatic, and ones which you can open with the “flick of the wrist” or through centrifugal force are considered prohibited devices. So your old 1980’s lock-back knife that is loose to the point that the blade falls out of the handle when you hold it certain ways is a bad thing in Canada. Our laws make about as much sense as giving a murderer three-for-one credit for time served while waiting for trial…

SOG - Flash-II Clip

Single cap screw for reversible clip & safety lever

Back to the SOG Flash II. The knife uses the patented SAT opening mechanism (SOG Assisted Technology) for its mechanism for completing the opening once the thumb stud on the blade is engaged. It is fast and solid in operation. The model reviewed was equipped with black Zytel handles and includes a reversible pocket clip. This clip actually protrudes past the handle and allows for the knife to be carried in one’s pocket with the most minimal visual clues. As SOG states, the clip allows for “the lowest, most discreet carry possible.” TPF has to agree, and the clip is mounted to allow for minimal hand repositioning or manipulation, when withdrawing it from the pocket and opening the blade.

Now for the operation of the Flash II. Opening the blade is a two-part process. Firstly the safety must be manipulated into the unlocked position, which is denoted by a bright red indicator. This safety appears to have a detent as it does require a decent amount of effort to shift and there is a noticeable mechanical “unlock/lock” when used. The safety was included as an additional measure to prevent unwanted blade opening, which sounds like a CYA statement to TPF. The opening of the blade is accomplished only through the use of the blade mounted thumb studs mounted on opposite side of the blade itself. For closing of the blade, the pivoting stud located in the handles is pulled back and unlocks the blade, allowing for closing. This pivoting stud is easy to use and allows for one-handed closing by using the thumb to unlock the blade and then pressing the back of the blade against any object, such as a pant leg, and into the closed position.

SOG - Flash-II

The most basic version of the Flash II

Both the safety lock and the blade release are located on the same side of the knife, the only true issue with the knife is if you reverse put the pocket clip. Manipulation of the safety looks as though it would become much more difficult due to how close the clip sits to the safety lever. The 89mm (3.5″) stainless steel, straight blade is housed in the encompassing and surprisingly comfortable and firm grips. At 97 grams (3.1 oz) this knife masses very light for its size due to the thorough use of Zytel.

SOG Specialty Knives and Tools has numerous variations available for this knife including tanto shaped blades, black TiNi coatings, partially serrated edges and numerous colour options for the handle similar to the SOGZilla reviewed earlier by TPF. Also available is an aluminum machined handle version which increases the Flash II’s mass to 131 grams (4.2 oz), and a rescue version which has a serrated sheep’s foot contoured blade with a black or orange Zytel handle.

The SOG Flash II reviewed (FSA-8) has a MSRP of $75.00 USD and is available at a great variety of knife stores across Canada. SOG’s website can help prospective buyers to decide on the option they like best and even purchase it direct, but be aware that shipping costs may be unbelievably high. Most versions of the Flash II have MSRP’s under $90 with the exception of a few select configurations which top out at nearly $145.00 USD.

SOG Specialty Knives and Tools’ Flash II – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?


Multitasker Tools – Ultralight

Ultralight Box

Anticipating the tool...

Earlier TPF reviewed another weapon specific tool from Multitasker. The TUBE. It was a purposely engineered piece of kit that was meant to allow for a simple, multi-purpose, EDC for basic routine maintenance of the M16/M4/AR series of rifle platforms. The next step in evolution for Multitasket Tools? The Ultralight!

The Ultralight is a small self contained multi-tool akin to the Swiss Army knife, with one specific difference. Where a tool with clumping may contain five to six small stubby tool arms for each full size one, the Ultralight has only four tool arms… TPF can hear the collective question from you; What do you mean only four tools? Is it some sort of scam? Talking to Multitasker Tools, TPF was able to learn a couple things about the design ideals and ethics (yes we said ethics) of Multitasker Tools. Mr. Shane Keng was able to shed a bit of light on the subject and the following points give a basic summary of the reasoning behind the choices and decisions in regards to the company’s engineering practices.

  • No quality will be sacrificed. That includes high quality, custom manufactured bushings. It is not a contest to make the most profitable tool by using cheaper materials, but the best tool out there from a quality standpoint.
  • Clumping of tools is sure sign of not having a defined audience and it detracts from strength of those tools both in functionality and aesthetics.
  • It is not a race to see who has the highest tool count on their product. That is a marketing gimmick and Multitasker prides itself on thorough engineering and use of focus groups for designing the best tool for the purpose audience.

It is evident by looking at the Ultralight that Multitasker Tools takes those guidelines to heart. Stainless steel components coated in a matte black oxide finish and wrapped by nicely patterned G-10 panels. Those chosen four arms are impressive and solid, both in construction and function. From upper right and going clockwise (as per image):

Ultralight Displaying the wares

Extended and showing it all.

  • Arm 1: The Scraper. The scraping arm is very similar in design to the removable one on the TUBE, in that it is rounded to fit the radius of the M16/M4/AR15 bolt carrier and can, if needed to, be used as a bolt hook (Not recommended by the manufacturer, but is mentioned by them). Thumb stud opening, and liner-lock release.
  • Arm 2: The Cleaning Arm. Brandishing an #8-32 male thread, this arm come with the proven and effective cleaning pick by Multitasker. The threaded nature of this arm allows for usage of a multitude of cleaning options to allow for cleaning a firearm from bolt group to flash hider and pretty much everywhere else. This arm is opened with a thumb nail slot and locked in place using a second separate liner-lock.
  • Arm 3: The Bit Driver. Yet another common and extremely useful addition for any serious maintenance it the 6.4mm (1/4″) magnetic hex-bit driver. Akin to its smaller cousin (the TUBE), the Ultralight comes with an A2, four prong sight adjustment bit, and unlike the TUBE, come with an addition set of 10 other common bits. Opened simply by and operators fingers due to the size of the component part (and the 4 prongs work well for is using gloves), this arm has a substantial spine lock that is anything but weak.
  • Arm4: The Wrench. This is the key component which sets the Ultralight apart from most of the other multi-tools. The receiver extension nut, aka Castle Nut, wrench. Multitasker insists that it is meant for field fixes. However, the construction of this tool in itself makes TPF believe that you could easily over torque the castle nut with this tool. Also includes an 8.0mm(5/16″) flat screwdriver on the end of the wrench. Opened using a protrusion/lug of the wrench and another strong spine-lock to keep it in open position.

A small lanyard loop and pocket clip complete the Ultralight itself, but it also comes with a black nylon, belt pouch which is also Molle compatible. This pouch has an internal pocket, securely containing the plastic carry strip which holds the 10 additional driver bits. With physical dimensions of  108mm x 25mm x 19mm  (4.25″ x 1.0″ x 0.75″) and massing a mere 180gr (7oz), the Ultralight is no more obtrusive than a typical Swiss Army knife as compared to earlier…

Ultralight Closed

Ready to store and be carried.

For those interested in Multitasker’s Ultralight, it can be ordered from Brownells for $74.99USD.

Multitasker’s Ultralight – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?


Gerber eFECT – Weapons Maintenance Tool

For those who have never once gone camping or have next to zero experience with blades of any type, Gerber is just the name of a prominent baby food manufacturer. Fortunately that Gerber isn’t the one being looked at today.

Gerber Legendary Blades has been around in one form or another for over seven decades. over these years, knives manufactured by Gerber have been used in nearly every possible application ranging from kitchen cutlery, issued military equipment, wilderness survival, to EDC companions. They have run the gambit.

eFECT1

The Gerber eFECT : Weapon Maintenance Tool

However. . . Most multi-tools are not geared towards specific purposes. Despite being released into production over a year ago, the Gerber eFECT (yes that is the proper spelling and punctuation) seeks to fill the perceived gap for routine field maintenance of your AR15 rifle platform. The eFECT is a 113gr (4.0 oz) tool whose tools are blackened stainless steel and comes with a simple black, Molle compatible,Velcro closing, sheath. Sporting a compact size, 32mmx25mmx90mm (1.25″x1.0″x3.5″); the eFECT is very small when you compare it to many of today’s available multi-tools.

The eFECT is a multi-tool which contains three lockable tool arms on each side. Now these tools and attachments include the following:

  • Arm 1- The carbon scraper which is very robust and simple in design. A cylinder with 1/4 of the length removed for creating the scraping edges.
  • Arm 2- A long pin punch to help disassemble your upper and lower halves of your AR platform.
  • Arm 3- Tool attachment (Female threaded 8-32), complete with a nylon brush which is threaded into the aforementioned screw thread.
  • Arm 4- Tool attachment (Female threaded 8-32). Only this one has a removable wire pick for cleaning the hard corners.
  • Arm 5- Large flat screwdriver which doubles as a scraper.
  • Arm 6- A mounting stud for a magnetically attached A1 & A2 front sight adjuster.
eFECT2

Displaying all six arms and their features

All arms are lockable in the fully extended position via two short sliding lock mechanisms; arms 1-3 and arms 4-6 respectively. By locking an arm out, a solid working platform for that specific tool/attachment is created. The arms themselves are easily opened through the use of either a large finger nail hook or the shear physical size of the arms themselves. The eFECT was designed to fully interact with many Otis cleaning products as attachments to facilitate further care and maintenance of your AR series firearm. All of the eFECT’s arms and attachments allow for the care of a multitude of other black rifle platforms.

MFG-556-EFECT

An Otis/Gerber cleaning combo

Recently; Otis technologies had announced that they will be offering, in conjunction with Gerber Legendary Blades, a full cleaning kit which incorporates the eFECT with several additional Otis attachments.

The Gerber eFECT weapons maintenance tool is available at Brownell’s for a retail price of $79.99 USD.

The choice is as usual up to you, the reader. Is the Gerber eFECT weapon maintenance tool Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?


SOG SOGZilla – A basic folder.

As stated in the previous post, TPF was given the opportunity to review knives and multi-tools from several manufacturers over the upcoming weeks and months. First up is a basic level folder offered by SOG Specialty Knives and Tools, more commonly known just as SOG.

SOG - SOGZilla03

SOG - SOGZilla

A basic knife with a lock back folding blade, the SOGZilla comes in two sizes, large and small with blade lengths of 96.5mm(3.8″) and 82.6mm(3.25″) respectively. Both sizes feature nearly identical characteristics from a design standpoint. Since TPF received a small blade version, that is the focus of this review.

SOG - SOGZilla

SOGZilla with blade locked open

The SOGZilla folder has been out now for a couple of years and has been marketed as a cost-effective folder for EDC usage. There are several design features which stick out at prospective owners of this knife. With a fairly large profile spear point blade and a back lock design, the SOGZilla doesn’t win any technology contests but sticks with classic, well proven, designs which have been in use for a long, long time. Some added features bring this knife into a more accepted design with modern knives. The addition of a broken loop/hole on the spine of the blade is meant for one-handed opening and can be accomplished with some practice. The Zytel plastic handle, sporting a version of the SOG logo, makes for a lighter mass knife and creates a decent grip pattern which, in conjunction with the finger grooves, makes it feel secure to hold.

SOG - SOGZilla

SOGZilla reversible clip detail

Another nice feature about the SOGZilla is the reversible pocket carry clip held in place by a single screw assembly. Coming in a variety of colours and available with optional partially serrated blade or black nitride coatings, the SOGZilla has several variations to choose from. At 125g (4oz) the small blade SOGZilla is a relatively lightweight knife, although the large blade is slightly heavier at 150g (4.8oz) with an additional stainless steel handle option adding another 25g (0.8oz).
The following is a video (without sound) showing the SOGZilla features and general lines of construction.

SOG’s SOGZilla is available at many knife stores across Canada, both online and at retail locations, as well as direct from SOG themselves. MSRP for the reviewed SOGZilla is $43.00USD and ranges up to $55.00 MSRP for the larger bladed, Stainless-Steel handled version.

SOG Speciality Knives and Tools’ SOGZilla – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?


Blades and Multi-tools – EDC and otherwise…

EDC items

S&W Spec-Ops knive & SOG Power Pliers

Lets be frank. I am not a knife guy. I will be the first person to tell you that, when it comes to any sort of blade or edged tool, I have very little experience and knowledge in regards to quality and metallurgy. Like many people, knives are simple tools to have around in case it is needed. As such, knives with price tags in the several hundred dollar range ar just as effective to me as those in the tens of dollar range. I’ll take a multi-tool over a knife everyday for usefulness. That being said I do carry both a knife and a multi-tool for every day carry (EDC). An SOG multi-tool has been a part of my wardrobe for over a decade and having it on my belt was part of my morning ritual and basically second nature, it has seen several countries and logged many thousands of kilometers with me. It has even been mailed home from the airport twice in recent years due to its common place at my side. The knife is newer to me as I only started having one for EDC in the last couple years.

Backgrounder:
This year at the SHOT Show, I meandered to the SOG booth in order to see about donations for fundraisers for the CSSA and while there I asked them if they could tighten my nearly 15 year old set of SOG Power Pliers. I had since worn out the awl and the blade to a bluntness best described as spoon-like, and the whole assembly was loose enough to give a balisong (butterfly knife) a run for it’s money in ease of opening. SOG surprised me by offering a brand new version to replace my old version (which still had Patent Pending on the handles). I accepted, and after a couple of weeks feeling naked with out the familiar tool at my side, a new one arrived. With it was a note stating that the donations for the CSSA were coming and that some sample products to review were as well.
The SOG booth was not alone in offering to let me review their products, and in every single case I told them that I was not that knowledgeable with blades. They all seemed to want to make me into a knife guy. I do pride myself in having an open mind and always seek new knowledge, and so it was with very little hesitation that I accepted their offers.

Upcoming in future TPF installments are coverage of blades and multi-tools from companies such as SOG, Gerber, and CRKT amongst many others. Stay tuned!


Multitasker Tools – TUBE

In this installment of TPF we take a peek at specific purpose tools meant for the AR-15 platform. Whether you have a old slab side Colt from the Vietnam era, or a brand new tricked out Armalite, these tools may interest you.

Multitasker has made three different levels of tools specifically for the AR-15.

TUBE2
TUBE Parts
TUBE1
The TUBE

The TUBE, Ultralight, and the company’s self named Multitasker, are their different levels of tools geared towards the field maintenance of the popular AR-15. At the 2010 SHOT Show, I was fortunate to talk to Mr. Shane Keng of Multitasker and talked to him about their AR platform specific tools and conduct a review of them. In today’s review we will be looking at the simplest product offered by Multitasker; The TUBE.

A simplistic description of the TUBE is an aluminum pen-like chassis with two removable aluminum caps. The caps are threaded on utilize o-rings which prevents the caps from coming loose and getting moisture inside the tool. The upper cap with the retaining clip  has a built in pin pusher for AR upper/lower take down. The spring steel retaining clip doubles as a small (3/16″) flat screwdriver. The lower cap is plain and has no additional features.. Breakdown of the chassis of the TUBE has two distinct areas. The upper part contains a magnetic 1/4″ driver socket which comes with a removable A2 sight adjustment tool (4 prong). The lower part incorporates a male threaded #8-32 mounting for the included carbon scraper and hook shaped steel pick, but also allows for a variety of cleaning attachments to be used such as those from OTIS. The TUBE can be carried like a pen in a pocket when assembled (scraper and pick contained in the lower cap), or in a Molle loop with the clip holding it securely. At under 2oz in mass, it is very lightweight.

TUBE_Kit1
Expansion Kit

TUBE Expansion Kit:

Offered as well is a small carrying case with internal pockets and a ten piece 1/4″ bit set. While without a loop or other fastening device, the expansion kit makes an already specific tool have far more potential applications. Made with a fairly sturdy nylon covered case and a heavy duty zipper for securing the case close, the expansion kit is rugged and built for abuse and every day carry wear.

For those interested in Multitasker’s TUBE, you can order it from Brownells. Where the TUBE and it’s accessory package are listed for $39.95USD and $19.99USD respectively.

Multitasker’s TUBE – Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical?

P.S: Some images of how much can be stored in the accessory kit. Included: Multitasker TUBE, expansion case w/bit pack, chamber flag, .223 chamber brush, 24″ wire Pull, 3 lock-up swabs, .22 bore brush , dry lube, and a bore reflector.
TUBE_Author1