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Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge) 793

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,890 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« on: December 19, 2017, 12:11:45 AM »
This is the first tool I'm testing for my '$5 Challenge'. Here's the link to the main thread.
https://forum.multitool.o...ex.php/topic,75094.0.html

Oh... boy.

I've bought a lot of cheap tools. A lot. I mean... A LOT. But I had never purchased a $1 new multitool.

To date, the record belonged to the Coghlan's 7-Function Army Knife, which I carried for 30 days and reported on in this thread...
https://forum.multitool.o...ex.php/topic,62289.0.html

That knife was on clearance. And on a side-note, a quick search on-line and I can't find that knife for less than $8.95. Wow.

But we're talking about a different beast now. We're talking about this thing.


Isn't it lovely?

So, what is there to say about this thing on initial impressions? It feels more fragile than any other Chinese-made swiss army knife knock-off I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot. I own a fair number. Most of them are just 'bad'. This thing goes beyond bad, to 'really?' As in 'someone really, actually wasted their time to go through the process of making this thing?'. That's the initial IMPRESSION. That might not be reality. And I intend to TEST the reality.

But first. Why does it FEEL so fragile? The thickness of the layers. The metal it's made from is a very thin gauge.

Here it is on the left, Coghlan's in the middle, and a Victorinox Tinker on the right.


First thing I did on this tool was test the edge. It was marginally acceptable, so then I tried side-to-side blade-play. That was NOT acceptable. So I pulled the scales off and peened the pin holding the blade in. For those that don't know, 'peen' means 'put one side of the pin against a vice, and smack the other side with a hammer'. :D

That removed the blade play, although it might have created other problems. But now I feel confident enough in it that it simply won't fall apart during testing.

Stay tuned. More to follow.


Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,890 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 12:54:25 AM »
So, first vital function of a knife based tool is, how does it function as a knife?

Out of the box, it would JUST cut regular paper. It would just kind of mangle/tear receipt paper.

You can see the cuts on the regular paper at the far left of the pic, and the ragged tear center of pic just above the blade.



Okay. Can it be sharpened?

Yes. I used a standard kitchen knife sharpener, followed by ceramic rods. With little effort, it came up to a level of sharpness where it was cutting the receipt paper easily.


So, having it almost hair-popping sharp, i decided to take it outside to see how it worked for whittling.

And... it doesn't. The blade has essentially no retention. That backspring is pretty much pointless, so if it catches under a curl of wood, it collapses closed when you try to pull it free. But you don't really need to worry about that, because the blade just won't bite into hard wood. And as the stock is so thin, you can't really push against the back of the blade to assist it. And... the blade flexes. I don't know if you could imagine trying to whittle with a filleting knife. It kind feels the way i'd imagine that feeling.

Well, that's the BAD news. The GOOD news is, after whittling or at least trying for 5 minutes, I brought it into the kitchen to cut some stuff, light cardboard, multiple passes through jute twine, etc. And for that, it was fine. Quite acceptable for light-duty pocket-knife type stuff. I'm confident it would handle package opening duties.

So, that's the cutting ability. Then comes the issue of closing the blade. And the 'issue' is... the scissors are kind of in the way. I might need to bend the scissors slightly. They seem to have wandered out of their own layer. We'll talk about the scissors next. Oh... BOY will we talk about those things.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,890 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 01:12:45 AM »
Oh my God.

The.. 'scissors' on this thing are...

They're not scissors. They're in the SHAPE of scissors. There are two pieces, and a hinged joint, and a spring to assist them open. You know what they DON'T have? An edge of ANY KIND. None. Not even a crappy half-smurf badly ground one. No attempt was made at sharpening them.

Not even kidding...


For those who've never read any of my stuff, I kind of made a rating system for multitool scissors. Here's the thread.
https://forum.multitool.o...ex.php/topic,36798.0.html

Here's a summary of the scale:"The materials tested were paper, corrugated cardboard, T-shirt, The seam portion of old khakis (4 layers thick), suede leather, PETE plastic bottle (as a stand-in for blister packaging), Cardboard box (non-corrugated), heavy gauge screw-on plastic lid (from a container of ‘country time lemonade’, about 1mm thick), and 550 paracord. I scored these in one of 4 caregories: Fail (-1), Barely Adequate (+0), Pass (+1), Pass with distinction (+2)"

Previously, the worst tool was a -3. This one is -9, failed EVERYTHING. They are completely worthless.

I can't BELIEVE my $1 knife has bad scissors!  :rofl:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,951 Hidalgo, Castillo del Hook
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 01:17:17 AM »
Another Lynn test?  :ahhh :ahhh
This is so exciting!!! :ahhh :ahhh

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!

Small knives can do what big knives do, just slower.

My 30 day pen challenge! Pretty(?) Pictures inside:
Official 30 Day Pen Challenge!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,890 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 04:21:04 AM »
Thank you, thank you...  :hatsoff:  :D

Okay, other functions...

Cap lifter. It lifted a cap. I'm drinking a hard cider now. I need to, with this thing.

Can opener. Well... uhh... In stock form, I'd call it a fail. It was more than 'slightly uncomfortable' to get it to cut a can at all.


Ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch. That was after managing to get three cutting strokes from it. Which took WAY more than three attempts. It didn't hook the rim well, so it was a lot more like just shoving it through the can by brute force, and i believe I already mentioned that the layers were thin. Yeah, so while you're shoving the front through a tin can, you're shoving the back through your thumb. And that, using technical language here, 'sucks'.

HOWEVER! Not to be deterred, I bent the can opener hook very slightly to engage the can rim better. And...


Oh... holy smurfbuckets is that thing uncomfortable. However, I would upgrade it from 'complete failure' to 'very marginal pass'.

The BAD news is it makes nasty grinding sounds when you open and close the tool now.  :rofl:
No Life Club Posts: 1,658
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 04:31:43 AM »
I had a predecessor to that, bought at the same store, although mine had blue plastic handles. Broke pretty quickly. Scissors (and the rest of the tools) on mine were incredibly thin and soft, and bent when I tried to use them.  All cheapies tend to call the fish scaler a "saw" for some reason.

My advice, don't bother with the cheapies, unless you want to experiment (I see hundreds of people EDCing these crappy little knives, when I'm sure they'll fail when one's life depends on it). A used Classic is around $3, 1-2 layer SAKs not much more, and they'll always be able to be counted on.  My grandmother picked up a pink Classic knockoff that I'd left laying when I cleaned a bulk lot, and told me she was going to carry it. I told her, it's crap, I have a couple extra Classics, and I'll give you one of those. She said it was OK as it was, and I left it at that.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 04:37:59 AM by cody6268 »
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,890 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 05:09:27 AM »
Okay.

Screw drivers.

There are two, a flathead on the cap lifter, and a backside philips.

The flathead on the caplifter wouldn't slot on any flathead screw in my house. ANY of them. My house was made in the stone age, and every stinking piece of hardware is held together with big honking flatheads, and while the stupid screwdriver on the cap lifter is narrow side-to-side, it is THICK for a screwdriver blade, with no taper. I tested on the screw that held the faceplate on a light switch, a door hinge screw, and a cabinet screw. Apparently the door hinge screw is a 7, and the cabinet was a 5.

The phillips looks to be a #1. I tested it on two screws, one held a handle on a cabinet, where it managed the light task. The other was a wood screw in a bench, and I had to stop before the tool tore its center pin out.

Flathead: Complete fail
Phillips: good for VERY light duty work.

I tried a light-duty pry job with the flathead. If it's no good as a screwdriver, it might still be good as a light pry tool. Well, for VERY light stuff, it was okay. Other quality tools i have when bent from prying will just spring back into shape. This one... didn't. After messing up the center pin with the philips test, I didn't feel like over-torturing this poor thing too much, so as soon as I thought permanent distortion would show, I stopped. And there WAS permanent distortion. I don't think it would handle prying the lid off of a fresh can of paint, let alone a crusty one. It would PROBABLY handle prying legos apart, if you could get that fat blade in there somehow. :D

As a pry tool: very light duty.

Working with what you got: While the flathead wouldn't turn small screws, the blade tip could. One of the main reasons I think swiss army style knives are better than just plain slipjoint knives is that having a flathead driver to use as a pry tool can save your blade from unnecessary damage. That's not the case here, and it kind of makes me sad, like failure of one of its primary duties.

Other bits on the knife...

Nail file: No, terrible, worthless. And the under-nail cleaner tip at the end of it is too fat to be useful. Double fail.
Corkscrew: I'm sorry to say that I find the corkscrew so very dubious that I'm not going to risk screwing up a $2 bottle of wine breaking that thing off in it's cork. Untested, scary fragile looking.
Lanyard ring: You know... it's shockingly not bad. The ring layers seemed to have decent spring to them, returning to shape.

What's that leave as a total package? A blade that is fairly functional out of the box, a working cap lifter, a very light duty phillips,  and a can opener that would eventually chew through a can in the zombie apocalypse... and a handful of pokey metal bits that might find some light-duty use.

To be slightly more useful, the thing needs some work. The be MUCH more useful, it would need an hour with a belt grinder.

So, is it worth it?
If what you need is a light-duty, easily portable knife, then yes. It cuts light materials right out of the package. If you expect much more from it, it starts to disappoint rapidly. While I haven't yet reviewed it, I'd personally save my money, and get the Walmart SAK-knockoff for $4.

I have personally never found a knife, even in the little plastic tubs at the register of gas stations, where I could buy a knife for less than a dollar. And i have a number of $1 knives. Pretty much none of them are better at being JUST knives than this thing. Most of them weren't even paper-cutting sharp. This one was at least that sharp. So... yes... worth your hard-earned $1.09 (sales tax may vary in your area, tax and title included, void where prohibited, no promises made or implied, warranty voided if you stick it in a lightsocket, don't do this at home, stay in school, kids)
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,890 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2017, 05:16:19 AM »
A used Classic is around $3, 1-2 layer SAKs not much more, and they'll always be able to be counted on.

WAS.

I've been looking hard, and finding a used classic (shipping included) for the $5 challenge is essentially impossible. Shipping's $3 at least these days, on most stuff.

At the gun and knife show I was just at, I didn't see a single classic that wasn't at least $5. And those were pretty banged up ones. But they DO seem to be available at around $6 shipped, in good condition.

However, I CAN seem to find 2-layers 91mm SAKs at around $7 each (including shipping). And that is a pretty killer deal.

Global Moderator Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 43,781
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2017, 12:46:35 PM »
So your telling me that the one dollar SAK clone is a bad one :D

Interesting :think: :rofl:

No Life Club Posts: 1,679
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2017, 01:01:40 PM »
Nice review, thanks :tu:
Another thing that would've deterred me slightly from investing in anything like this is the almost incredible thinness of the liners, as seen in the pic. I can sympathise with your less than perfect confidence in any parts of this knife being able to deal with any torque - period...

Cheers!
Dutch_Tooler

Location: Southern Germany, most of the time
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 11,402 Firm believer of Sturgeon's Law
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2017, 01:10:44 PM »
Ok, this is acceptable for $1.
But, only the time you've spent writing this and testing it out it's probably x10 worth the knife's price.   :rofl:

It reminds me of Cutlerylover's infamous SAK Knockoff video   
I've had a coule or three of these. On one, I literally broke the metal scales presing with my index and thumb and pushing them in opposite directions.
on the other, I broke the scissors trying to cut a shoelace,
the saw is the usual "fish scaler" that won't bite or cut anything.

and the drivers are always too thick, I also bent irreversibly the flathead and Phillips on two of my knockoffs with minimal force.  :oops:

As for the blade, well, it's the only part that works for actual cutting, but only brute cutting (cardboard, plastics) without any finesse at all. They also profit from a regrind and thinning in any case, but the material you lose from the stone and the time you spend are usually way worth the knife's price.  :facepalm:

And even if it cuts. if you only want a cheap throwaway knife for cutting only (recycling, workbench beater...) then a Box Cutter with replaceable blades, a $1 single blade knife or a paring knife will be tougher, thinner (better cutters) and lighter than this metallic chunk that wants to be everything but achieves nothing. And sometimes cheaper (at this thing's usual selling price)
That's my $0.02 anyway.

Even my time reading your (interesting) opinion and thoughts was worht more than $1.09!!!  :ahhh

My toys:

MTs: Surge (2x), Skeletool CX, Rebar, Blast, Fuse, Micra, Squirt (3x), Wave, Crunch, Mini, Spirit (2x), Pro Scout, MP700 (2x), Diesel, Powerlock, PowerPlier (2x), PocketPowerPlier, Blacktip , ST6 (2x), 5WR, A100

SAKs: Bantam, Executive, Ambassador, Minichamp, Classic Alox, Champion, Farmer, Explorer, Swisschamp, Golf Tool, Wenger Champ, EVO 52, Pocket Tool Chest
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,890 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2017, 06:20:25 PM »
And even if it cuts. if you only want a cheap throwaway knife for cutting only (recycling, workbench beater...) then a Box Cutter with replaceable blades, a $1 single blade knife or a paring knife will be tougher, thinner (better cutters) and lighter than this metallic chunk that wants to be everything but achieves nothing. And sometimes cheaper (at this thing's usual selling price)
That's my $0.02 anyway.

Even my time reading your (interesting) opinion and thoughts was worht more than $1.09!!!  :ahhh

That's the thing. I have been looking for YEARS now for inexpensive stuff for emergency kits. 'Budget bugout' if you like. There are almost no knives of any quality whatsoever available for $1. None. I've found ONE model (new), and they were comparable in quality to this tool. I HAVE found a couple better quality blades used at $1, but that's SUPER rare.

As for your time reading this being worth more the cost of the tool, well.... yeah, probably. But it's entertainment time, and THAT is time well spent.

Reading about Lynn suffering is HILARIOUS.  :rofl:
Head Turd Polisher Administrator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 59,226 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2017, 11:12:01 PM »
A used Classic is around $3, 1-2 layer SAKs not much more, and they'll always be able to be counted on.

WAS.

I've been looking hard, and finding a used classic (shipping included) for the $5 challenge is essentially impossible. Shipping's $3 at least these days, on most stuff.

At the gun and knife show I was just at, I didn't see a single classic that wasn't at least $5. And those were pretty banged up ones. But they DO seem to be available at around $6 shipped, in good condition.

However, I CAN seem to find 2-layers 91mm SAKs at around $7 each (including shipping). And that is a pretty killer deal.

[free-plug]

I have a huge box of Classics, Esquires and similar knives that I would be willing to include with any store purchase for $3.  As you said, they just aren't worth the cost of shipping them nowadays, but if anyone wants to add it to an existing order I'd be happy to do it.

[/free-plug]

Def

NEW!   NEW!   NEW!   NEW!   NEW!   NEW!   NEW!


NEW PRODUCTS ADDED DAILY!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,951 Hidalgo, Castillo del Hook
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2017, 11:55:22 PM »
A used Classic is around $3, 1-2 layer SAKs not much more, and they'll always be able to be counted on.

WAS.

I've been looking hard, and finding a used classic (shipping included) for the $5 challenge is essentially impossible. Shipping's $3 at least these days, on most stuff.

At the gun and knife show I was just at, I didn't see a single classic that wasn't at least $5. And those were pretty banged up ones. But they DO seem to be available at around $6 shipped, in good condition.

However, I CAN seem to find 2-layers 91mm SAKs at around $7 each (including shipping). And that is a pretty killer deal.

[free-plug]

I have a huge box of Classics, Esquires and similar knives that I would be willing to include with any store purchase for $3.  As you said, they just aren't worth the cost of shipping them nowadays, but if anyone wants to add it to an existing order I'd be happy to do it.

[/free-plug]

Def
Spaaam!  >:( Please mods, remove this as quick as possible.  :angel: :P

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!

Small knives can do what big knives do, just slower.

My 30 day pen challenge! Pretty(?) Pictures inside:
Official 30 Day Pen Challenge!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,890 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 07:02:25 AM »
I most certainly will take Grant up on that offer at some point in the future. $3 Classics are worth it all day every day. And at the rate I buy other knives from the MTO store, I'll be handing out classics the way I hand out Fauxton lights. Like frickin Oprah. "A classic for you, and a classic for YOU, and a classic for YOU!"  :rofl:

I have legitimately found several deals on ebay where I can certainly beat $5 for a Classic. And if I wanted to get like a HUNDRED of them, I could maybe get down to almost a dollar per. But... I think even I would find a hundred Classics excessive. :D
Head Turd Polisher Administrator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 59,226 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2017, 03:31:54 PM »
I have Fauxton lights in stock too... :P

https://store.multitool.o...ts/fauxton-light-144.html

Def

NEW!   NEW!   NEW!   NEW!   NEW!   NEW!   NEW!


NEW PRODUCTS ADDED DAILY!
OCD Squad Leader Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,926
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2017, 04:23:48 PM »
A used Classic is around $3, 1-2 layer SAKs not much more, and they'll always be able to be counted on.

WAS.

I've been looking hard, and finding a used classic (shipping included) for the $5 challenge is essentially impossible. Shipping's $3 at least these days, on most stuff.

At the gun and knife show I was just at, I didn't see a single classic that wasn't at least $5. And those were pretty banged up ones. But they DO seem to be available at around $6 shipped, in good condition.

However, I CAN seem to find 2-layers 91mm SAKs at around $7 each (including shipping). And that is a pretty killer deal.

[free-plug]

I have a huge box of Classics, Esquires and similar knives that I would be willing to include with any store purchase for $3.  As you said, they just aren't worth the cost of shipping them nowadays, but if anyone wants to add it to an existing order I'd be happy to do it.

[/free-plug]

Def
:spamkiller:
As requested

Emergency Kit: Ovo Sport, chocolate, cheese, crispbread and a coin
Global Moderator Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 43,781
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2017, 05:10:26 AM »
So I guess you are saying that



 :D

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,890 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2017, 07:46:00 PM »
Nice.  :like:

There is an untested function on this MT. It is... sketchy. 'Dangerous' is how I'd describe my feelings on this. The corkscrew on this MT looks like failure waiting to happen. But what kind of crappy tool tester am I if I'm not willing to risk permanent injury for a moderately amusing thread post?

So, I reached deep inside, and mustered the courage to test the corkscrew. And I had some assistance. Say hello to my little friend, Minerva.


The whole time I'm setting up to do this, I'm thinking 'This stupid thing is going to shear off, and I'm going to gash myself in the arm with a jagged piece of metal ,and I'm going to have to go the the ER on Christmas Eve.

But.... nope. Worked.


Corkscrew: Pass... but it felt SCARY.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,345
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2017, 08:02:56 PM »
It's kind of sad that these things are even made... so much time and energy and resources put into making of this quality

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” - Mark Twain
Sr. Member Posts: 412
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2018, 09:05:47 PM »
I never imagined finding the review of a 1$ multitool so interesting!
Now I switch to the challenge and start reading the thread.  :tu:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,890 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2018, 09:51:00 PM »
I never imagined finding the review of a 1$ multitool so interesting!
Now I switch to the challenge and start reading the thread.  :tu:

Thank you.  :hatsoff:

And i hope you enjoy the rest of the threads related to the challenge.
No Life Club Posts: 2,721
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2018, 07:04:25 PM »
Damn, I wish I'd read this before Xmas! That woulda solved the whole stocking filler problem in one swoop!
(But then I'd have filled our house with even more junk so maybe it's good I missed it!)
Great and very funny review about one of those tools we've all seen but never had the guts to go anywhere near. Well, most of us.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,890 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Dollar Tree $1 SAK-knockoff (Lynn's $5 Challenge)
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2018, 03:03:01 AM »
Damn, I wish I'd read this before Xmas! That woulda solved the whole stocking filler problem in one swoop!
(But then I'd have filled our house with even more junk so maybe it's good I missed it!)
Great and very funny review about one of those tools we've all seen but never had the guts to go anywhere near. Well, most of us.

I like to say "I waste my money so you don't have to."  :rofl:

In all truth, a site dedicated to multitools ought, I feel, to cover the stuff at the bottom as well as high end stuff.

 

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