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Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one 3752

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« on: March 28, 2013, 12:28:56 AM »
So, I ordered a Mountain Edition MT from Northern Tools for about $15 with shipping.

What I ordered, here...
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200326683_200326683

And what I GOT, shown here...


Are OBVIOUSLY not the same thing.

I called their customer service, and after a bit of discussion, was told they'd send me out the right item at no cost, and no obligation to return the item they shipped me.

I strongly suspect that means I'll get ANOTHER one of these tools in 5-7 days.

So, anyway, in the mean time, here's the review of the tool I DID get.

This tool is 4 1/2" (114mm) long while closed, 1 1/4" (32mm) wide, and 3/4" (19mm) thick, and weighs
8.34oz (236g). It comes with a nylon belt pouch and an 11-piece standard size bit set. The tool and the bit set have separate compartments in the pouch.

All tools, except the plier head assembly, are outside accessible. Here's a look at the tool load...


On one side are the Scissors, and bit driver. On the other side is a plain edged blade, awl, can opener, Flathead driver/cap lifter, and file.

The scissors are what you'd expect for a bargain tool. they have a good deal of play, and don't want to cut much beyond paper and string. I didn't do a full test on them, but they refused to cut 550 paracord, and did a very poor job at cutting t-shirt.

The bit driver has a strong magnet retaining the bits.

The blade came paper-cutting sharp, but with a strangely blunted tip.

The awl has a decent edge and tip.

The flathead has a little rounding of the tip, but not too pronounced, and did a fine job with screws.

The can opener (with a major caviot I'll get to later) worked okay.

The file is 3-sided. The notching edge is not great, but would notch a pine 2x4. The single cut side is enough to file your nails. The crosscut side is actually one of the better files I've seen on bargain tools. Not great, but not utterly useless either.

The plier head has significant play side-to-side. This doesn't seem to affect the needlenose head as much as it affects wire-cutting ability. It has a hardwire cutting notch, and cut 12-gauge copper wire easily, if more by crushing than cutting.

The ruler is stamped into the tool. English on one side, metric on the other.

Overall construction: The frame of this thing is made like a frickin' tank, and held together with knurled bolts. Opened in plier configuration, the rounded edges of the tool give a comfortable hand hold. Minimum flex in the frame, and the method of attachment of the plier head make it seem like a rock-solid tool. With the plier assembly closed, the unfinished edges of the frame are painfully sharp. As it came, the can opener is in the center of the tool, and useless. The hook won't grab the rim of a can because the tool's body is in the way. A little cheap and cheerful surgery fixed that, and the fact that the tool is held together with bolts, not peened pins, allowed the mistake to be corrected with minor effort.

The tools don't lock, but because they're held in place by a backspring formed from the insanely thick metal of the frame, this tool has possibly the strongest non-locking tool retentions I've ever encountered. The bit driver and flathead are both designed also so that force on them should push them toward the locking side.

One of the unfortunate design problems with this tool is that the 3 center tools on the side with 5 tools can't be individually opened. The good (?) news is that even with washers between the tools, there's still considerable tool clumping. So... yay?


It's a little hard to get an idea of how big this tool is. I was expecting one the size of the Leatherman PST. Here's a shot of it next to my Sheffield PST clone for comparison.


So, the big question is... Is it worth it? Hmmm... If you buy it in their store, for $8, I'd say without a doubt, yes. If you tack on another $7 for shipping, it starts to look a lot more questionable.
No Life Club Posts: 2,791
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 12:46:15 AM »
I hate cheap tools that are also giant. For the price it is on par, with shipping I would just by a secondhand sidekick or wingman and get much better quality. A bit driver could be a plus, but I don't want the screwdriver taking up that much space! Overall this just seems like an average cheap tool. I don't know if this is intentional but if you look at a close up of the springs, they don't even begin at the same point.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,517 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 01:17:29 AM »
Me likey  :D

Cheap,
Scissors AND awl AND bit driver 
Outboard and non-locking 

Sometimes I wish the bigger manufacturers would emulate the cheapo's instead of the other way round  :whistle:



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Newbie Posts: 13
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 03:26:31 PM »
I got one similar to this used, on Ebay, for $5.43, including shipping, with a case. The brand on the knife base is Fury and it seems to have been sold by Capitol Supply.  For a "cheapo", this thing is solid!!. I Was able to put a pretty good edge on the knife, and, at least in my case, the pliers are solid, with no play. I like the fact that the pliers have a wire stripper at at the base of the cutter, and that all of the tools are outboard deployable. Having a magnetic bit holder with common size bases gives you the ability to mix and match 10 of your most used bits. I like solid tools and this one fits the bill. At the very least, you could bludgeon someone with it. I'm not a small guy, so a little extra weight doesn't bother me at all. Goes to show that not having a "Big Dog" name doesn't always mean you have to stay on the porch!!..........in mho.......... :gimme:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2013, 05:42:17 PM »
I think this thing would be a pretty good bargain at $6 shipped.

I had a few more comments I thought I'd add after a little more time playing with this thing. I took a file to the sharp edges of the handle, and knocked it down to just 'uncomfortable' instead of 'painful'. I can honestly live with it. I'd suspect that most of the time when you're applying excessive force to an MT would be while clamping the plier head closed, not while using the externally accessible tools. This design is fine in plier configuration.

A few notes on the bit holder: First, I closed it with the largest flathead still in the holder, and there was no obstruction. So, along with the bits in the little plastic carrier, you could stow another bit in the holder itself, and not interfere with the tool's function. Next, the strong magnet of the bit holder transmits its magnetism through the bit. This means you could use a bit to pick up small items made of ferrous metals, like small screws or other bits. The weight of a hex bit is right on the edge of what can be lifted. The strength of the magnet holding the bit in the tool will hold (I'm guessing) about a pound. That doesn't sound like a lot, but when you try to pull the tapered philips bit out, it seems like a ton. The magnet is strong enough that if you hold the tool only by the bit, it won't pull out. Very, VERY impressive retention. The case is large enough to allow another set of hex bits to be stuffed in with the set included, so you could have a good deal more than are even supplied with the tool.

I would have liked to see a saw on this tool. The tool that holds the bits has a base that is considerably wider (maybe 2mm) than the barrel that holds the bits. I think a little work with a file would make room on that side of the tool to squeeze in a modified hacksaw blade.
Newbie Posts: 13
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2013, 12:56:33 AM »
that would be a really useful mod. Post some pictures if you are able to make it work, and you might inspire me to try the same on mine. :sak:
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,163
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2013, 10:02:16 AM »
Me likey  :D

Cheap,
Scissors AND awl AND bit driver 
Outboard and non-locking 

Sometimes I wish the bigger manufacturers would emulate the cheapo's instead of the other way round  :whistle:
Exactly.  I suspect that if this was made by LM it would be hailed as a sucess.

Nice review Lynn, cheers. :tu:

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,555

Zed gb

******** *
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2013, 10:19:27 AM »
I have this same tool as was given too me  :tu: it reminds me of bears & sons mt's my only gripe I found was some of the tools are fiddly too open,but a very well made tool and UK legal, nice review lynn  :tu:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,555
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,555
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 04:38:34 PM »
Nice! Does yours get any actual use?

Mine, sadly, is not likely to live a very adventurous life.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,555

Zed gb

******** *
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 05:21:07 PM »
Nice! Does yours get any actual use?

Mine, sadly, is not likely to live a very adventurous life.

Not really lynn,but i'm going too do a bit of modding to mine at some point,  :tu:
Sr. Member Posts: 481 See Saw Seen
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 09:48:42 PM »
Just wondering...any comparison shots of the size of the plier head on this compared to any other well-known tools?  I've always wanted an oversized pair of plier jaws like on a Super Bear Jaws, but I'm suspecting this isn't quite that big...

Half-ass done wholeheartedly!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2013, 10:08:50 PM »
I'm afraid I don't have a lot of full size big-name tools at the moment.

Here's what I DID have for comparison. The Sheffield PST clone (which as I recall was pretty dead on to scale with the PST).
Then the Mountain MT in question.
The Victorinox Spirit X.
The Kobalt 15-in-1
and the Gerber Bear Grylls 'Strata'

Comparing it to the picture in this post by Neal...
http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,10339.msg192241.html#msg192241

I think the head is about the same length as the Super Bear Jaws, but with smaller standard plier area, and more needle nose section.

Hope this helps somewhat.

Sr. Member Posts: 481 See Saw Seen
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2013, 10:16:10 PM »
Yeah, I think you're right on that.  We have a Northern store up here, so I might go take a look in person.  Thanks for the pic!

Half-ass done wholeheartedly!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2013, 10:43:51 PM »
Feel free to enter the give-away for one of these that I'm running right now (drawing on April 17, 2013). Here's the thread...

http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,44144.0.html
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2013, 07:16:28 PM »
An update here. The giveaway mentioned in the previous post has finished. Now, I hope AdmSlc will give us his thoughts on the tool once he's had a chance to play with it a bit.
Hero Member Posts: 545
Re: Northern Industrial Multitools 'Mountain Edition' ... take one
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2013, 06:33:38 PM »
   I have two of these multi tools! I have had them for years, maybe 10 or so.  I got them at a gas station when we lived in Raleigh, and liked the first one so much, I went back and bought a second! Mine have no brand name on them though. I will agree that for a cheap tool, it is very well made. I mainly like the way the bit holder is made on it. I actually like that better than any multi tool I have, and I own a ton of them!

 

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