Bitter memories of standard-issue military gear always make me skeptical of manufacturers who produce military-style products like the SOG Power Assist EOD Multi-tool. This time, SOG meets more than military standards and creates a tool which should be a first-choice item.
Several good improvements are included here, and I’d have been happy with just one. I don’t count the tactical black non-glare coating, which is handy for the military user but not important for the rest of us. The best feature of the SOG B67-N is the compound-gear of the pliers. This is what makes or breaks a multi-tool, and it usually breaks them. In desperate situations, the pliers will be used like a wrench, and most will fail. Either the tool itself will twist, or there won’t be enough leverage to do more than chew up that important nut. Success has a better chance here, since the compound gearing provides nearly twice the gripping power of ordinary plier jaws. The tool handles still aren’t as strong as a simpler pair of forged steel pliers but are better than the ordinary multi-tool.
Two assisted-opening blades also simplify one of the most awkward features of the do-everything multi-tool — getting the knife blade open. Finding it and separating it from the herd of other tools can be a frustrating issue. SOG helps with the spring-loaded Power Assist system. Push the blade partly open with the thumb and the Power Assist takes over, opening the blade the rest of the way. One-handed knife blade opening in a multi-tool is just too sweet. Don’t expect it to work unless you clean the multi-tool regularly.
Several tools meant for the modern soldier are included — electrical crimpers, a fuse lifter, and a three-sided file will find uses in trades other than bomb disposal and missile maintenance. Although multi-tools are handy, I’ve broken several good ones just trying to use them for normal things, and I do like to see a better version come along. This is it.