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X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool

J-sews · 24 · 6887

us Offline J-sews

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X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
on: August 04, 2007, 06:08:13 PM
It's Saturday morning as I'm writing this. I received my long-awaited Zilla-Tool earlier in the week, but have been too busy to give it a thorough workout yet. I'll try to put it through its paces over the weekend, but here are a few casual observations as to how the Zilla-Tool compares to the Buck X-Tract in size and function.



As has been stated by others, the first thing one notices about the Zilla is how darn long it is. 6-1/2" overall length, compared to only 4-1/2" on the X-Tract. Even with the pliers on the X-Tract extended, the Zilla is over 3/4" longer. (19mm)



Now admittedly, the pliers on the Zilla-Tool seem like they are a LOT more usable than the Buck. Both sets of pliers are spring-loaded (nice) and both sets of jaws are about the same size. But where the Zilla steps up is in the length of its plier handle and the ergonomoics of the grip. It feels rock solid, and the amount of leverage makes me feel it would compare well to a dedicated set of pliers this size.
 


The little handle on the X-Tract pliers just does not compare.



But back to the overall size issue. From a design standpoint, the mission was to combine a folding knife and a set of pliers into the same tool. Buck chose to put the knife and the pliers side-by-side, minimizing total length. CRKT on the other hand put the knife and the pliers end-to-end, which makes for a much longer total length. One would think that this tradeoff would result in the Zilla-Tool being thinner, but as you can see from the photo above, both tools are about the same thickness.



The Zilla-Tool knife blade has a really nice shape to it. I can't wait to try it out later today. The size (length x width x thickness) compares nicely to most other multitools on the market today. Lock up is solid with a well designed liner lock. But the X-Tract is a tool that is built around its knife blade, a "real" knife blade some would call it. More testing to follow, but my initial preference is for the Buck.

Side note: The X-Tract has a thumb stud for one hand opening. It works well. The Zilla uses a flipper, which is supposed to be actuated by one's index finger. I'm still getting used to that. No opinion yet.



Final catagory of comparison is the screwdrivers. I've used the X-Tract a few times. It has a sliding bar, with a flathead on one end and a phillips on the other. Being able to access it one-handed is the selling point. The downside is that the screwdriver is off-center, making it sorta clumsy to use on stubborn screws. As drivers go, it works if nothing better is available.




The Zilla uses standard hex bits, two of which can be stored in the contoured handles. (Like the Leatherman knives.) The bits fit into a hex receptacle at the far end of the tool. Obviously, it takes a bit of messing around with two hands to get the screwdriver ready for action. (advantage X-Tract) However, once ready, the Zilla makes a far better screwdriver. The shape of the handle in your hand feels natural, and the bit being almost on center makes it much easier to drive stubborn screws. (advantage Zilla-Tool)



There's more of course. The Buck has a one-handed liner-locking can opener, the Zilla doesn't. The Zilla has a pocket clip, the Buck needs one desperately. Etc, etc. But as minimalist tools, ones that center around the "big three" functions of pliers + knife + screwdriver, these two tools are both far better than previous ones like the Meyerco Paradox. (shown above) It will be interesting to see how the both of them compare to the Skeletool that Leatherman promises to bring out later this year.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2007, 06:10:19 PM by J-sews »
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #1 on: August 04, 2007, 06:16:17 PM
Interesting comparison... 

Which one do you think you'd find yourself carrying?

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #2 on: August 04, 2007, 06:19:27 PM
Interesting comparison... 

Which one do you think you'd find yourself carrying?

Def

I have an initial opinion, but I'm going to hold off saying so until I spend some more time with the Zilla-Tool
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #3 on: August 04, 2007, 06:22:12 PM
No what fun is that?   O0

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


Offline supratentorial

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #4 on: August 04, 2007, 06:47:22 PM
...But where the Zilla steps up is in the length of its plier handle and the ergonomoics of the grip. It feels rock solid, and the amount of leverage makes me feel it would compare well to a dedicated set of pliers this size.  The little handle on the X-Tract pliers just does not compare...

I had the same opinion about the lack of leverage on the X-tract.  Great minds think alike I guess.

The pliers are a little small and I don't think that little metal handle will provide much leverage (see photo from DavidBinGA's review). 
http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,1922.0.html

Although I'm not a fan of either tool (especially the fixed pliers on the Zilla), the ergonomics of the handles on both the X-Tract and the Zilla look favorable compared to the Wenger Ranger 75.  The Wenger Ranger has a long handle which should provide more leverage in comparison to the Buck X-tract.  But I'm skeptical of the ergonomics of the Ranger 75 handle.  A similar handle on the Aitor Al ligator is not very comfortable to use.  I hope the Wenger Ranger 75 will be better.  Kudos to Buck and Zilla for using what appears to be a more ergonomic grip.


Offline zackhugh

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #5 on: August 04, 2007, 11:47:40 PM
Nice review!

Makes me think I need a closer look at the X-Tract.  I haven't been real interested in Buck tools, but maybe this is a good place to start, especially with the low price point relative to other brands.


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #6 on: August 05, 2007, 12:05:21 AM
Don't be quite so fast to dismiss the Buck offerings.  The old Bucktools were pretty cool.  Well built too, and with some nice details too.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


Offline zackhugh

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #7 on: August 05, 2007, 12:13:08 AM
Yeah, you're right.  I pre-judged a lot of tools without a good look at them.  The problem is that I tend to hold tools/knives to the Victorinox standard for fit and finish, but who's going to meet that standard besides Victorinox themselves?  The bar is set high! 

Fortunately, (or unfortunately for my wallet) other manufacturers seem to have risen to the challenge and I'm more open to looking at other tools with a more open mind.

Just think, I probably wouldn't give this X-Tract a second look if it weren't for MT.org.  Again, should I thank you or curse you?  :ahhh ;D


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #8 on: August 05, 2007, 12:16:18 AM
I'd suggest thanking me.  The cursing me line is much longer and you could be there for a while.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


Offline zackhugh

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #9 on: August 05, 2007, 12:19:39 AM
I got time.  ;D


Offline zackhugh

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #10 on: August 05, 2007, 12:20:13 AM
Whoops, sorry to hijack your thread, J-sews.

Back on topic, would you consider clipping the Zilla?  It looks a little big to be carried that way.


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #11 on: August 05, 2007, 12:23:10 AM
6 1/2 inches is indeed a pretty big, awkward tool.  when you get a chance, can you snap a pic beside the Wenger SwissGrip? 

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #12 on: August 05, 2007, 02:28:31 AM
Here ya' go. The Zilla is a good 3/4" longer than even the massive SwissGrip. (But the SwissGrip is still wider)

Clipped, the Zilla bottoms out in my jeans pocket before the clip catches fully. Not good. Works okay in the cargo shorts I'm wearing today though.

* ZSG10.jpg (Filesize: 62.18 KB)
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #13 on: August 05, 2007, 02:54:16 AM
Bigger than the SwissGrip!   :o :o

I never thought I'd see the day!

So now this begs the question- how do you see the Zilla classified?  Is it a knife with pliers and a screwdriver, is it a plier based multitool, or something else entirely? 

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #14 on: August 05, 2007, 03:03:31 AM
Good question. I suppose it differs from person to person, but I put them in the "Plier Multitool, With Folding Knife" category.

(As opposed to the X-Tract, which to me is a Folding Knife, With Plier Accessory.)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


us Offline prime77

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #15 on: August 05, 2007, 06:52:55 AM
Great stuff Bob. I agree with Def, I never thought there would be tool bigger than the SwissGrip.
"


Offline ringzero

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #16 on: August 05, 2007, 10:08:19 AM
Interesting comparison... 

Which one do you think you'd find yourself carrying?

Def

I have an initial opinion, but I'm going to hold off saying so until I spend some more time with the Zilla-Tool


Thanks for an excellent comparison and pics, J-sews.

Zilla-Tool does offer some advantages over X-tract:  better pliers and greater versatility with its standard bit driver.

But, it does seem awfully long...

Not sure I'd want to EDC a multi that long even in a belt sheath...  I sure as heck wouldn't want to carry it clipped inside my front trouser pocket!

Strange that X-tract - which looks to have good potential for carry clipped to a front pocket - doesn't have a clip.

Strange that Zilla-Tool - which looks way too long for comfortable pocket carry - comes standard with a pocket clip.

Looking forward to reading your conclusions on X-tract vs. Zilla-Tool.


.

N


us Offline J-sews

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #17 on: August 09, 2007, 05:01:55 AM
One thing keeps bugging me about the Zilla-Tool and it has nothing to do with the construction (plenty strong) or the quality (very good). It is that for a tool this honkin' big, there should be a LOT more functions. Honestly, I spent a confused couple of moments when it first arrived, flipping the thing over this way and that, looking for how some more blades and drivers unfold from it. But there aren't any others. (besides the knife)  :(

In my mind, the size and weight of a multitool should be directly related to how many functions it has. A tool with only pliers, a knife, and a bit driver ought to be damn compact and lightweight. On the other hand, a device the size of the massive Zilla ought to be able to replace half the tools in my garage toolbox!
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


us Offline David Bowen

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #18 on: August 09, 2007, 10:58:02 AM
I am glad someone has the same thoughts that I do, I feel that there is a functionality-weight ratio. The Zilla does not come close in that catagory at all. It is strong, and nice to use...but falls short and leaves you will a feelings of wanting more.

David


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #19 on: August 09, 2007, 02:31:43 PM
I agree- size to function is an important aspect to consider, but I feel that the addition of solid mounted pliers is worth a little extra weight.  How does it compare (other than lack of tools) to other solid plier models like the SwissGrip, the Al Mar and the ToolClip?

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


Offline Tom Munch

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #20 on: August 09, 2007, 03:33:18 PM
I'm still waiting on mine.  I guess I'll join in on the comparo when I get mine at the end of August (from the last update).

Tom


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #21 on: August 09, 2007, 04:20:46 PM
You and me both Tom... Mine has yet to arrive as well.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #22 on: August 10, 2007, 03:09:35 AM
I agree- size to function is an important aspect to consider, but I feel that the addition of solid mounted pliers is worth a little extra weight.  How does it compare (other than lack of tools) to other solid plier models like the SwissGrip, the Al Mar and the ToolClip?

Def

The Zilla-Tool does have some strong points. Chief among them is ergonomics; whether using the pliers (on one end) or the knife blade (on the other) it fits my hand perfectly.

Pick up a lump of soft clay and squeeze it tightly in your fist. The shape you have made...that's the shape of a Zilla-Tool. Much nicer contours than the other solid plier models you mention.
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: X-Tract -vs- Zilla-Tool
Reply #23 on: August 15, 2007, 04:48:18 AM
Maybe when Bob gets back he'll give us an update...  :pok: 

In the meantime we'll have to keep hinting about it! :P

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


 

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