SOG Power Lock B61-N

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I have had many mulitools in the past–most of them cheap Leatherman knockoffs. Others were good tools inherited from my auto body repairman father and mechanic grandfather.  Multitools are never a professional’s  primary tools. Many say, “It will never replace the right tool…”, but since we can’t always carry the right tool, they’re the popular option for EDCs.

As an engineer, I personally get a lot of use out of a multitool. Recently, I wanted to add the best multitool possible to my EDC. My criteria for selection included quality, color, locking tools, pliers, and the ability to strip wires. The SOG mulitools were one of the few options available that had all the features that I required.

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Features

This multitool has a geared set of pliers that use “Compound Leverage.™” This gives mechanical advantage for improved plier griping with less effort. This also allows the tool to always open smoothly and evenly, which is not the case for the Leathermans I used in the past. The diagonal cutter on the pliers work better than any other pair I have ever used.

The tools lock into place with the “Powerlock” system, which is a metal piece that fits in a groove in the back of each tool. All of the tools click into place and do not move once deployed. To fold a tool back into the handle, simply press the button to disengage the tool. Some of the tools included are a serrated knife, a file, a saw, awl, can opener, 1/4” bit driver.

There is a set of metal covers that protect the user’s hands when using the pliers. These must be folded up and down to deploy any tool. This is somewhat annoying, but the covers can easily be removed.

My tools have an optional wire stripper that has replaced the scissors. For my use, I find the wire strippers more useful, and they work surprisingly well. There was no longer a black oxide coated wire strippers available, so mine shipped as the chrome version. SOG has all of the compatible tool replacements and options on their site here. Different tools are easily exchanged with a small allen wrench. This makes the tool customizable to fit many user preferences.

The 1/4” bit driver is a useful tool. SOG sells an accessory bit kit, but I find that all 1/4” drive bits work well in the tool. It is rare to find a multitool that accepts standard sockets. Most tools only have a hex driver or adaptors.

This model is the Black oxide version. This coating is incredibly resilient. After months of use, it still looks new.

This tool is large and heavy. It may be too large for some users. It is 20% larger than my Leatherman and 1.8 times as heavy. It is perfect for my hands, but too bulky for my pocket. I keep it in my bag when carrying it.

Specifications

  • 12-17* tools
  • 420 RC51-53 Stainless steel
  • Mass: 273.4g

Closed

  • L:120mm
  • W:39mm
  • D:15mm

Opened

  • L:180mm
  • W:59mm

Sells for $70 online

*SOG counts multiple usage of some tools as more than one tool.

 

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