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Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge) 1197

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« on: February 09, 2018, 02:49:16 PM »
This tool review is part of a challenge, to find the best tool I can for $10 with shipping and tax included. The main thread to the challenge is linked below, if you care to see other contestants in the competition.
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,75705.0.html

The tool was purchased new. It costs $8.86 at the time of this writing and with tax came to $9.67. I got it from a big ubiquitous retailer whose name sounds like 'Malwart'.

So, what do we have here?


The tool is mostly stainless steel, with black plastic handle liners on the outsides. It comes with a rigid nylon belt pouch, which has a snap closure, and single loop on the belt, for vertical belt carry. The tool also has a pocket clip. All tools except for the plier head can be accessed from the outside, and all of them lock. The locking tabs at the ends of the tool's arms create secure lockup, although there is play in the tools in open position. The plier head has an internal spring, like the Leatherman Wingman/Sidekick models.

This is a fairly large tool, 4 3/8” (111mm) long, 1 7/8” (48mm) wide, 1” (26mm) thick. It weighs 10oz (283g). I have medium size hands, and it feels a bit oversized in them.

Here's a group photo, the old style Ozark Trail Mt on the left, the Mossy Oak, the new Ozark Trail 12-in-1 tool, then the Leatherman Wave for scale comparison.


I previously reviewed the Ozark Trail 12-in-1 tool here...
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,75175.0.html

And the Old Ozark Trail tool here...
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,44471.0.html

While the old Ozark Trail tool is somewhat larger, the Mossy Oak is a heavier.

I reviewed the old Ozark Trail tool in April of 2013, and at that time, it cost about $10. This tool, at the same price point seems almost in all ways a better tool. I say 'almost', and I'll get to that later.

My general impression of the tool is that it is about the best 'cheap Chinese MT' I've ever seen. It is the level of quality tool that often gets rebranded with some other company's name, and sold for $20.

I can immediately, and without hesitation say that it is considerably better than the Camillus Les Stroud Engage. :D

Tool testing to begin shortly.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 04:06:17 PM by Lynn LeFey »
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 Challenge)
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 03:33:04 PM »
The Pliers

The immediate thing I noticed with the pliers is that the handle splay was pretty pronounced.

Here they are with jaws open.


And closed.


The tip of the pliers is fairly precise. (sorry for the blur. apparently, my camera is convinced that I LOVE nice, crisp images of my disposable tablecloth)


The formation of the teeth and wire cutters of the tool are fairly good.


There is just the slightest looseness in the pivot.

The tool worked well grabbing the 3/8” bolts holding together shelves in my basement.


And equally well at the larger 1/2” nuts holding the steps into my basement together.


This is one place where I'd say this larger size tool worked great. Considering how wide the jaws open, it would still be able to grasp a bolt of considerably larger size. Whether or not you could grip it well enough to turn it is a different matter.

Seeing as these seemed to be fairly robust, I went straight for the 'hard' test for the wire cutters, a wire coathanger.


It cut it so easily the first time, I had to try another, to make sure it wasn't a fluke. Nope, no fluke. They just cut coathanger really well.

I then tried the regular portion of the wire cutter against 12/2 Romex. That's 2 strands of 12-gauge wire in sheaths, plus a third 12-gauge ground wire, plus external sheath for the three. It cut all but a small bit of the external sheath in one cut. It required more than moderate force to achieve, and at this point, I noticed the fairly good ergonomics of the handle under force.


But, it's not all rainbows and kittens in the land of Mossy Oak. There is a bit of a fatal flaw in the tool. The backstop for the plier head in the tool handles doesn't have a solid connection to the tool frame. It relies only on the strength of two small screws. I haven't felt any play from what I've done so far, but hard use could shear the screws.


I also though it worth mentioning that under torque, the jaws flexed a good bit. Here it is bending coat hanger. The jaws came right back into shape after flexing, but I don't know how far you could bend them and have them come back.


Another issue is that the wide tool body does not taper at the plier head, meaning that there are washers on either side of the plier head to fill in the gap. This causes 2 problems. First, it could make grabbing flush bolts difficult, and second, it makes the hinge pin longer, and more prone to being bent under force. For instance, don't stick a nail in the wire cutter and step on the handles to cut it, like the Leatherman test. Either the hinge pin will bend, or the screws holding the backstop will shear... or both.

In short, the pliers are pretty great... at medium duty tasks. I would not press them further with confidence.

Pliers: PASS, for medium duty
Wirecutter: PASS
Ergonomics for smaller hands: VERY iffy.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 05:21:30 PM »
The blades

There is a clip point plain edge blade and a sheepsfoot serrated blade. The cutting edge on both are  about 2 3/4” (70mm).

Both have holes in the spine of the blade, in theiry for one-hand opening, I guess. The tension on the tool is such that I can one-hand open the plain edge blade, but the serrated blade is too stiff to open that way. It's a bit strange because the only implement on the tool that I can't open easily is the serrated blade. Neither blade had any side-to-side play, and both had a little bit of play foreward-back in the locked open position. I think I mentioned this before, but ALL of the tools have a little bit of play foreward/back in the locked open position, but it never felt like a concern.

The plain edge blade came very sharp right out of the package. It would cut receipt paper, and even the more stubborn telephonebook paper. In fact, it was hair-popping sharp.


I then did 10 cuts through corrugated cardboard.


It then went back to the receipt and telephone book paper, and still cut cleanly along the entire length of the blade.

I don't really have a good test for a serrated blade, so I gave it a go cutting denim, paracord, and jute twine. It managed all of these tasks fine.


I ran it through cardboard a few times, but honestly, I hate cutting cardboard with serrated blades, because it kind of makes a mess, with a bunch of little shreds. If anyone has a testing protocol they'd like to see for serrated blades, let me know, and if I can do it for little/no money, I will.

I have a great deal of confidence in the locks on this tool, but as a bit of a test for a thrust, I stabbed the tool into my wooden bench (Don't worry, it's just made of 2x4s. No quality furniture was harmed in the making of this image).


The blades feel quite secure.

Both blades PASS, although the straight edge is better, due to being one-hand open.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 06:19:57 PM »
The drivers

The tool has 3 drivers, a phillips, a large flathead, and a smaller flathead.

All are formed fairly well, but have minor rounding. This didn't seem to affect the driver's ability to grip in screws.

I ran around the house, testing the phillips on screws in my cabinets and such, and it seemed so solid, I decided to do the test of the woodscrews in the bench on my back porch.


It had no problem with the long woodscrews. There was a lot of flex between the plier head and handles while torquing the tool, but it didn't really affect performance, just felt awkward. The locking function on the tools allows a LOT of force to be applied, while still ensuring you're not going to have the tool collapse on your knuckles.

The flathead worked fine on the screws in our door hinges. They're driven into hardwood, and require fair force. I didn't feel any need for caution and just went at them.


Feeling nicely confident in the tool, I took it to the 'crusty paint can' pry test, and it had no problem. Some other tools also work pretty well as impact tools to close the cans back up, but the handles of this tool aren't great at it. The scales stick out farther than the rest of the tools, so you don't have a flat surface for striking.


And with it having done so well in THIS test, I then went on to pressing the large flathead between two 2x10s in my basement to see if it would work as a stronger pry tool. I gave it a 15 or so degree flex.


And... not great. It took a permanent bend surprisingly easily. If it's any consolation, it was JUST as easy to bend it back straight.

 This is the first time I felt a real disappointment in the tool, and it was quite disheartening, considering how good the rest of the tool has been performing. As the large flathead is the beefiest of the drivers, I don't think any of them would handle real severe force, in any dimension.

A final note. With the larger flathead takign pry duty, I didn't do much more than check if the smaller one would slot into screws cleanly, which it would. I wouldn't bother with more than very light duty with it, but it works.

Drivers: Pass
Flathead as pry tool: Pass for light duty
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,955 Born to multitask.
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 06:45:02 PM »
Can you please measure the Phillips driver's thickness? Is it the same square thickness as a Rebar or another LM square shank Phillips?

I am going back and forth on this tool. I saw a review and the guy had a locking tab break on him when he was using a blade.
Good read so far, keep it up.  :cheers:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 06:58:50 PM »
Here are top and side views of the Mossy Oak (right) versus Rebar (left), both side and top view. The background is 1/4" grid paper for scale.

Also, feel free to link that other review you saw in this thread. The more info available, the better, IMO.



Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 07:25:01 PM »
Other tools

The Saw

The saw on this thing has teeth that are much better formed that most low-cost tools. It worked well to cut through an inch thick ash branch, and didn't seem to dull from the cut. I stopped before finishing the cut completely to take the picture, so you could see how thick the blade is, how much material it has to remove, in comparison to a Victorinox or Leatherman.


The saw cuts only on a pull stroke, and the blade isn't terribly long. It's as good as the best saws I've ever encountered on low-cost tools. That's not saying loads, but the saw DOES work.

File

I'm never impressed with bargain tool files. This one isn't 'impressive' but does have some function. It was able to file down both the 12-gauge wire and wire coathanger I cut in earlier testing. Not 'amazing' but marginally functional for real work.


Wire Stripper

There's a wire stripper notch on the small flathead/caplifter. And... yeah. It worked fine. I pressed the 12-gauge wire into it with my thumb, ran it around once, and pulled the sheathing free.


And, of course...
The Cap Lifter

Yep. Works great. Very well formed and proportioned.


That's the good news. The bad news is that the nail nick on the small flathead/Caplifter/wirestripper tool is kind of low, and getting to it requires long and strong nails, or pulling up the saw, then the large flathead, THEN the caplifter.

The pocket clip.
Okay, that is one STIFF pocket clip. Stiff, springy and the shape looks pretty good. I found it annoying trying to get it to hook on a pocket, but it would. Although, for a tool that weighs 10oz., I'm not so sure I'd ever want to pocket carry this thing.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 07:31:43 PM »
EMERGENCY UPDATE.

I was watching a review on the tool on Youtube, and came across this interesting little tidbit. If, somehow, the locking tab is opened while the tool is locked open and under force, it can hyperextend. The only thing keeping tools from hyperextending is the locking tab.



The reviewer had it happen with the serrated blade under force. None of mine would, but it seems to be a potential issue. And a not-funny one, I might add, seriously raising questions about the safety of the tool.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 07:33:56 PM by Lynn LeFey »
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2018, 08:08:41 PM »
Some final thoughts, on this tool.

Like the previously reviewed Ozark Trail 12-in-1 tool, EVERYTHING WORKS! It might not be the best version of it, but it WORKS.

More than that, a few really important functions work pretty well. The blade is sharp, and opens and closes one handed. The pliers and wire cutter do their job, and do it pretty well. The drivers lock open, making them a fair bit more reliable than tools you usually see at this price range.

That's the upside. On the downside, the thing is big and heavy for what it does. I would have also liked to have seen an awl. We finally get a budget MT with locking tools, and no awl.

I'll be honest in saying that it missing scissors and a can opener are, in my opinion, both good things. The can opener isn't needed, and if you can't do scissors well, don't waste the space. And for the most part, budget tools and good scissors aren't seen together.

I really like this tool... assuming I don't have to CARRY it in a pocket or on my belt. It would be a fairly good option in an emergency bag, for someone with limited needs.

Pliers, wire cutters, sharp plain edge blade, serrated blade, phillips, 2 flatheads, saw, file, wirestripper, and a cap lifter. For 10oz and $10. Good basic tool kit. I don't think this is the tool for 'serious' users, except maybe in instances where you fear damage/loss of your more expensive tools. So, fishing, or lending to your idiot friends who always hand your tools back broken, stuff like that. :D

However... I absolutely would check tool lockup on the one you get, to make sure the detent for the blades hooks solidly into the lockback tab. This was no problem on MY copy of the tool, and as I'm only testing the tool in hand, I'm not knocking it's 'grade'. But it is a known issue. If you get a bad copy, I'd take it back for a replacement ASAP.

That said, this might be the best new $10 tool I've ever had. Ever.

PASS!
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,955 Born to multitask.
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,955 Born to multitask.
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2018, 09:18:28 PM »
If you get one with good locking tabs, it's a very nice tool fro the price.

I can see this one winning.  :cheers:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2018, 09:37:50 PM »
This is the same video I mentioned above, and the same locking tab issue. Nothing's actually 'broken'. It's just that on his, for whatever reason, the serrated blade will slip under the licking tab. Also, on mine, if this happens, the spring tension on the tab is strong enough that it will push the tools back into locked position.

Still, troubling on his.

As for it winning... Mmm...
Certainly against what's come so far. And certainly it's the best NEW tool I could find at this price.
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 61,270
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2018, 12:38:41 AM »
Great review Lynn :like: :like: Love the pics and all the tests of each tool :salute: :like:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,549 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Mossy Oak 11-in-1 Multitool (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2018, 03:16:48 AM »
Awesome review, Lynn (as others have mentioned)!. Thank you!
The Mossy Oak is a cheapo favorite of mine. Added some washers to the plier joints on the handles on mine(removed handle play) and it is definitely a stand out tool in its' class!

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.

 

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