Coast C5799B LED145 LED Pocket Pliers Multi-Tool
I had several Coast flashlights, and I was very satisfied, so I thought I'd get a multitool, just to see if it's worth it. It costs less than $30 US, sheath included. I got it for $24.
Throughout this review, I will be comparing it in general with the Leatherman Wingman, as well as other multitools for specific implements.
➤ General observations
• Build quality: Quite solid. Not like those no-name multitools at convenience stores.
• Assortment of tools: Very complete. Includes scissors, awl, wood saw, and file, which are often left out of budget multitools.
• Individual backsprings for the tools. Tools are extracted individually, without clumping. Springs are very strong, maybe too strong.
• Half-stop: The tools snap at both 90° and 180° angles. Useful for screwdriver tips, and for safely closing sharp tools.
• Convenience: Tools are accessible without folding the pliers open. The pliers are also spring-loaded for ease of use.
• It comes with a very well-made sheath. Vertical and horizontal belt-carry. The vertical strap has velcro and a snap button, for quick attachment to belts. It even comes in a nice thick cardboard box.
• Comfort: The handles are wide, making it very comfortable to hold and operate. The rubber inserts give some traction, and there are no sharp edges to dig into your hands.
• Built-in light. Granted, it is not very bright, but it is adequate for looking at what you're working up close.
• Price: Very well priced. If the only thing different was the brand name, it would cost much more.
• Slipjoint: In some countries it is illegal to have locking blades, or one-handed opening blades. This is slipjoint, so there should be no issue there.
• Weight: 0.9 pounds.
• Length: 3 15/16 inches. 9.9 cm
• Width: At the widest point, 1 7/8 inches. 4.65 cm. 1 1/4 inches at the pliers side.
• Thickness: 7/8 inches.
➤ Tool review
• Led light.
The light is 2 lumens bright, and takes two CR1220 batteries, which are stored in a little drawer behind it. Easy enough to replace, though the type of battery is not that common.
No momentary mode, or any mode, really. Push to turn on, push again to turn off.
The pliers are spring loaded, which is nice. The spring is too strong, though. I feel like I'm fighting the spring, and were I to use the tool for any length of time, I'd eventually switch to another multitool.
They are needlenose, but do not come at as fine a point as the Wingman. There is some play between them, but if I push them together, I can cut paper. I can also cut small gauge wire, but it will not be a clean cut.
• Can opener.
Modeled after the Victorinox can opener, with the 3mm flathead on top.
It has the bevel on the opposite side of the Victorinox can opener. It does fit Philips #2 screws, but it flexes if the screw is tight. I am confident it can open cans, but the paint will be removed. I removed two screws with it, and the paint did not survive.
The 3mm flathead matches the one on the Wingman's file.
• Philips driver.
Nice reach, and it is not flattened. The head is a tad smaller than a true #2, I'd say #1.5. The main issue with this is the thickness. It is the thinnest I've seen, and does not inspire confidence. The Wingman's is thicker.
Coast, Spirit, Rebar, SwissChamp
• Bottle opener/large flathead.
Modeled after the Victorinox one. Again, the issue is the thickness. It will work for bottles, but it is too thin for stubborn screws, or for prying.
• Wood saw.
Not as aggressive as i would like. By-directional, cutting at both push and pull. It has a notch to allow access the bottle openers nailnick, which is not all that necessary, and weakens the saw. It is of comparable size to a standard SAK saw, or the Wave/Charge one, but not nearly as effective.
SwissChamp, Coast, Charge
Modeled after the SAK scissors, and it even has the notch under it, to keep the spring in place. There is some play between blades, and it is not as sharp as a SAK pair. Smaller spring too.
Wingman, Coast, SwissChamp
Modeled after the SAK blade, but smaller. Drop point, plain edge, slipjoint, with nail nick (aka two handed deployment). It did not come sharp. The Wingman's is one-handed, locks, is longer, somes sharper, and has is partly serrated.
It is three-sided, but all three sides are equally disappointing. All sides are too fine to remove any material. You could run your finger nail on one for an hour, and it wouldn't make any difference. The metal saw side is laughable, as there are no teeth to speak of. Just some hairline notches, which are all but useless.
The point is pronged, not unlike a fish hook remover on a SAK.
This is what a metal saw is supposed to look like: SwissChamp and Spirit above Coast.
• Medium flathead.
4mm flathead. Not precicely ground. Too smooth to keep in screws, and the paint will chip off.
An awl would be welcome in a budget multitool, had it been done properly. This is not.
The tip is so rounded, it does not even puncture paper easily. The edge is not sharp either. Neither an awl nor a reamer, this seems more like a small marlin spike for untying knots.
Rebar, Coast, Spirit, Farmer.
Coast, Spirit, Farmer, Rebar.
The awl's nailnick is blocked by the small flathead.
Flathead deployed (first tool), revealing awl(second tool).
Flathead closed, awl nail nick is not accessible.
• Small flathead.
2mm flathead. Again, too slippery and rounded to stay in a screw, and the paint will get removed with use.
Great for sliding in a knot though. The Wingman's smallest flathead is 3mm, on the file.
Rigid nylon, fits the tool well. Velcro closure in front. Both horizontal and vertical carry. The strap for vertical carry has a snap button and velcro, so you could attach is to a belt without taking it off, or even molle. Stitching is rather good, considering how much the tool costs.
➤ Overall feel, comfort, usage etc
When you first get it in your hands, it feels solid. It is heavy, heavier than the LM Surge, and quite bulky.
When using the pliers, the handles are very comfortable. They are thick and rounded, with some extra traction offered by the rubber inlays. The pliers are spring-loaded, but the spring is too strong. Combined with how heavy this is, you won't be using it for long.
Using the other tools is not easy either. The tool is so thick, it is very awkward to hold. Its weight does not help. The Philips driver comes out of the wide side of the tool, is not in the middle, and is at a slight angle.
It is nice that each tool has its own backspring, and thus each tool is deployed individually, with no clumping. However, the back-springs are too strong. About half the tools are too difficult to deploy with just my finger-nail. This includes the blade, which is dangerous.
Because of its weight and bulk, the only viable carry option is a sheath. In a bag. In a drawer.
It does not have a pocket clip, which makes sense. It is huge. It weighs more than the Surge, and is wider.
Lets pretend its tools were properly made. Sharp awl, aggressive wood and metal saw, properly sharpened blade, scissors on par with SAK, thick Philips screwdriver... Would it be a viable option? Probably. It would still be heavy and bulky for everyday carry.
But lets come back to reality. This multitool is of very average quality. Most of its implements are vastly ineffective, compared to ones on similar sized multitools.
The Leatherman Wingman beats this out in every respect. Tool for tool, it is better, and it's much lighter and thinner, and comes with a pocket clip. Granted, the Coast multitool does have more tools, but it makes little difference.
Lots of people carry the Wingman in a pocket. I doubt anyone carries this.
I do not regret buying it. It made me appreciate my other multitools even more. Sure, this one is half the price of the Rebar, and one forth the price of the Spirit. But what good is that, if I can't use it? I could have used that money towards another multitool.
• Inexpensive, and includes sheath.
• Built in light.
• Large tool set.
• Heavy and bulky.
• Mediocre quality tools make them ineffective.
• Low quality control.