SOG Powerlock BO Review
This is my first proper SOG, I’ve had a Paladin PT510 for a while now and like that quiet a bit so had high hopes of this SOG.
Looks: This thing is gorgeous!! I have always been a fan of BO since my first tool (BO MP600) it just looks stunning. It's also a very industrial looking tool, exposed gears (which some love to hate) the hex bolts holding it together...and the size! It's not a small tool, about on par with a Swisstool but slightly longer when open.
Feel: A bit of a personal preference subject this, everyone likes different feels to their tools. When closed up I find it a very comfortable tool to hold, the exposed gears don't bother me, in fact the handle covers are the most annoying part of its feel! The end (next to the tool pivots) has some quite sharp edges that dug into my hand so off they came, this might make the tool less comfortable to use in the plier position but it's only as bad as a Supertool! The tool opens up into the plier position very smoothly and can be "butterflyed" if you want to! All the implements fold out smoothly but there does tend to be a bit of clumping, which again might bother some but not me
And nothing feels like it is going to fall apart!
Fit and Finish: The finish is great, the BO looks spectacular even with a bit of wear on it, it will still look good (maybe not to everyone but I like it!!). The fit is of a generally high standard however there are a couple of niggles about it, the bottle opener has a habit of closing further than it should which means that the other tools don't always engage the lock properly, easily sorted you just pull it back out a bit but still not the greatest piece of engineering that one! Also on my sample (don't know if it is a production wide problem) the handles don't quite line up when closed, I only noticed this once id taken the handle covers off and its only a half a handle sheet thickness out but quite noticeable. These things however don't detract from the quality of the tool in my eyes.
Locks: A very simple design of locks on this, very similar to the way the original Supertool locks, except the Powerlock has a much easier method of unlocking them! (although the Supertool method does still work!) The tools lock up fairly well, a tiny bit of play but hey not even the Swiss can get rid of that
A quick note that I don't think I have ever seen mentioned is that the philips driver can be locked at 90 degrees (see pic), this is I assume to allow you to apply more torque to the driver
Pliers: They feel very capable, the wire cutters worked well on microphone cable, the only gripe I have (and this goes for all SOG's with compound leverage) is that to get the cable in you have to have the handles open almost too wide for you to get your hands round them, but for thinner wire it shouldn't be too much of a problem. The tips line up well and meet very snugly and with the compound leverage you should be able to grip onto things pretty well. There is a bit of flex in the handles (i.e. when you grip hard the handles move closer together at the back end but not the front...make sense?...I hope so!)
Blades: Plain edge: V ground (thank you!!) much better than the chisel grind on my Paladin! Cuts well (only use it for light duties so far) and should be fairly easy to sharpen.
Serrated edge: Not used yet, but it looks very similar to the ones on my Gerber’s which perform admirably so I expect it to be able to handle rope etc quite well.
Saw: Setup for pull cuts, did a quick test on a bit of plywood and it cut through with out too much fuss, tapered to the spine and the cutting edge runs right from the tip to almost the base. Seems like quite a competent tool.
File: Identical in everything but colour to my Paladins one which is an OK file, nowhere near as good as the diamond ones on certain Leatherman’s but still capable especially when it’s the only one you've got (which is what a MT is designed for surely!!) It does have a metal saw on the bottom, but for some
strange reason the cutting edge is a lot shorter than the actual blades length, not quite sure why they did that
Philips: I do like SOG's philips, seems to fit a wide range of screws and is not very slippery so bites in well. Able to lock at 90 degrees which is a cool addition
Can Opener: Again very similar to Gerber’s offering, with an unsharpened bit that does the cutting, so I may have to rectify that like I have on my Gerber’s. Does have a small flat head screwdriver on though which should come in handy
Bottle Opener: Works well on bottles and as a flat head screwdriver, also has a wire stripper similar to that found on Leatherman’s combo bottle/can opener and various Victorinox implements.
Awl: Sharp and pointy!
What more do you need! Note a huge awl user so can't really comment on how it compares to the other brands awls.
Flat Head: Comparable to Gerber’s USA offerings not as long as Leatherman's or Victorinox but are perfectly capable of turning screws just not deeply recessed ones They appear to be well ground and not as slippery as Vic's.
Overall: I like it!! My first proper SOG and I can't see it being my last
It's not the most refined tool in the world but it does what you expect of it without fuss, yes it may not be a world leader in each category but it can still hold its own. Its big but doesn't really feel that big and I have smallish hands. Definitely a recommendation from me
P.S the pics are for Nomad, we know he can't read so we do our best to help him