SOG PowerAssist Multi-Tool: Southpaw Approved
Last November, I saw an advertisement for the SOG Reactor and decided that I absolutely MUST have it. The reason I was so excited about the idea of a multi-tool with an assisted open blade (that allows access to the blade from the outside) is that I am a lefty. Most multi-tools with a one hand opening blade will not work very well for me, because the blade is usually on the side closest to my index finger, instead of by my thumb. With a spring-assisted blade, I can still open it with my index finger.
The Reactor looks awesome, but I did not buy it. The blade looks tacticool, and the pliers look pretty functional; unfortunately it doesn’t seem as though they put a whole lot of thought in the “multi-tool” aspect of the tool, and went with a bit-type screwdriver that is only held in place by the force of the user gripping the handles together. Not ideal in tight spaces. With that in mind, the Reactor is more of a pocket knife than a multi-tool, and I was in the market for the latter.
While researching, I saw another offering from SOG that caught my eye. Enter the SOG PowerAssist. This multi-tool manages to be sleek and sexy looking, while still being functional and built like a tank. It comes in two finishes: Satin Polished and Black Oxide. Both are made with 420 stainless steel, and have 16 tools. This PowerAssist is pretty large, compared to many other multi-tools, weighing in at 9.3oz, and having a length of 4.675 closed and 7.125 opened.
This is not something you are going to want to keep in your pocket; however it comes with a very nice black nylon sheath that attaches to your belt with a durable clip.
While the blades are accessible from the outside, you still have to open the main body to access the actual tools. There is a door on the handle, covering the tool compartment, that keeps the tools from biting into your hand when using the pliers. (This door can be removed easily if you decide it is not necessary.)
Each of the tools locks into place, when opened, using a piano lock system.
The SOG PowerAssist has two, count them, two 2.75 inch assisted opening blades: One Serrated and one straight edged. The blades are accessible from the outside, and open in a flash; thanks to SOG Assisted Technology. If you are a southpaw, like all the rest of us cool people, the serrated blade will be opened using your thumb; and the straight edged can be flicked open using your index finger. (If you are a boring right handed person, it will be the opposite.)
Both blades lock into place when opened, and have a safety switch to keep them closed when you are not using them.
Pliers/Wire Cutter/ Crimper
The robust pliers on the PowerAssist use SOG’s Compound Leverage Technology; which is basically a set of gears that add about twice the leverage you would get in a standard multi-tool. This makes cutting wire and crimping much, MUCH, easier.
File/Large Flat Tip Screwdriver
The file on the SOG PowerAssist comes with both a rough side, and a fine side. The rough side is suitable for metal/wood filing; while the fine side is better for fingernails and other light duty filing.
At the tip of the file, is a large flat tip screwdriver that can also be used as a scraper or mini pry bar.
Medium Flat Tip Screwdriver/Bottle Opener (Cap Lifter)
Next to the file, you will find a second (medium) flat tipped screwdriver that doubles as a bottle opener; much like the kind you would find in most other multi-tools and Swiss Army style knives.
Phillips Screwdriver/ Wire Stripper
The SOG PowerAssist has an actual dedicated Phillips screwdriver. I use this on Phillips screws, more than I do my Swiss Army Knives, because it feels like it can take more abuse than the soft steel found in the SAKs.
At the base of the Phillips driver, is a small notch that is designed for stripping wire. This works well on thin wire; such as speaker wire.
This PowerAssist has yet another medium sized flat tip, in between the Phillips driver and the can opener. This one is slightly thicker though, and appears to be more suited for heavy duty driving, and prying tasks. There is also a second wire stripping/bending notch at the base of this tool; much like the one found at the base of the Phillips driver.
Can Opener/Small Flat Tip Screwdriver
The can opener on the PowerAssist is much like the can opener found in Victorinox SAKs; in that it has a screwdriver tip, and works by moving it down and forward as you open the can.. The screwdriver tip is very small, about 2mm, and seems pretty durable for its size.
This tool is really cool, and useful. It is basically made like a standard seatbelt cutter. It can be used for cutting cord, seatbelts, and even paper.
I really like this tool, and it has found a home on my duty belt. I got mine in the Satin finish. My partner bought one, soon after, in the Black Oxide finish.
The SOG PowerAssist comes with a lifetime warranty, and their customer service is excellent. One of the screws that holds the pliers head in place was a little loose, and fell out, so I asked for a replacement. Not only did they send me a replacement screw; they also sent a replacement for each of the other screws on the tool, and even sent me an extra pliers/wire cutter tool.
Did I mention that each tool on the SOG PowerAssist is replaceable? They are.