Schrade Tough Tool
A couple of months ago I bought the latest version of the Schrade Tough Tool, and it has taken me a while to manage to write a review for it, mostly since I’m not sure I can. You see, I have always tried to be impartial when reviewing a tool, and I insist on finding three good and three bad points about each tool I review. Some have been hard to find three good points, others have been difficult to find three bad points. Still, I will do my best for this one, please bear with me.
This latest incarnation of the Tough Tool, of which I couldn’t find a designation on Schrade’s website, featured a steel frame with plastic covers for comfort and grip and spring loaded pliers- something I personally am not a fan of, but some people seem to like so I won’t pass judgement on that.
Inside one handle you find a standard type clip pointed blade, a bottle opener with integrated flathead screwdriver, a phillips screwdriver and a combination fish scaler/hook remover and two inch ruler.
The other handle features a small saw (which for some reason also has a notch at the end, perhaps a backup hook remover?), a flat head screwdriver, a can opener and a metal saw/file with an integrated flathead screwdriver/pry tip.
All of this is contained in a nylon sheath, and is available for $20-30.
However, there is an argument that could be made that the twenty to thirty dollars needed to buy this tool would be better spent paying some neighborhood teenagers to kick you repeatedly in the family jewels. What makes me say that? Well gentle reader, read on as I extol the “virtues” of this particular tool.
This version of the Tough Tool is remarkably heavy for what it is. According to my scale it weighs in at 219g (7.73oz) without the sheath, which according to the Multitool Comparative Weight Chart
puts it heavier than the Leatherman Juice XE6, Gerber Strata, Victorinox Spirit, SOG PowerPlier and even CRKT’s massive ZillaTool.
Then there’s the width- this tool is remarkably fat in the hand, and difficult to hold and use, plus it feels like it sticks a mile out from your belt. And, you have to wear it on a belt- this thing is way too large to keep in a pocket unless you want to be arrested every time you pass a school zone. The worst part is, there’s no reason for this massive size- you’d think it was chock full of functions, but in reality inside both handles you will find HUGE spacers- two on each side, and each one the width of another tool. This means that they could fit a minimum of FOUR more tools in this thing to justify the size.
Getting into the functions it does have, these are my observations:
The blade, saw, file and fish scaler are soft metal, nothing offensive unto itself but virtually useless due to the bulky handles being in the way. The saw teeth are also rounded, straight out of the pack, so even if you did manage to find a piece of wood that you could get between the stubby length and oversized handles you probably wouldn’t actually cut much with it.
The dedicated flathead is pre-rounded from the factory to ensure that no screw will ever be in danger of being adjusted with this tool, while the Phillips is the same horribly cast version found on so many of the cheapest tools. You can bet it isn’t heat treated and will fail on one of the first few attempts to use it.
The can and bottle openers seem like they might work, except that the giant handles really get in the way.
Lastly we come to the sheath, which is what I call a “sock sheath” because it is so floppy that it seems to be manufactured of recycled gym socks. It does however have a nice bright green SCHRADE TOUGH badge stitched into it. This is handy because it means the tool will be easily spotted after the stitching on the belt loop fails and you lose it- some unsuspecting person will pick it up afterwards and think it is their lucky day. After all, misery loves company, right?
In conclusion, I would strongly suggest this tool be avoided by pretty well everyone. The only “Tough” part of this tool is the clam pack it came in, and even that didn’t put up as much of a fight as many others.
• So awkward to hold you will hardly notice the individual tools are virtually useless
• Bright green logos on side of tool and sheath
• Finally a tool you won’t feel bad if you lose
• Not worth even the small amount of money you spend on it
• Pointlessly bulky
• Sock sheath isn’t even one of the better sock sheaths out there