I like browsing through inexpensive multi-tools. They always look promising, nice and shiny, in pretty pictures. Often, appearances can be deceiving, and once the tool arrives, the execution leaves a lot to be desired, its looks alone not enough to make up for its price. Still, I keep buying them, hoping that maybe someday, among the beaters, loaners, and paperweights, a new gem shines through, its execution as good as its design, ready to perform, as well as turn heads.
A new and unique design, the Roxon Storm has taken the world of multi-tools, by...
Implementing the massive scissors we have seen on a few other multi-tools, this goes a step further, to include many more tools and features, enough to make one wonder if this really is as good as it looks in the pictures. Well, let's find out.Dimensions and other info
Length: 3.94" (10cm) or 4.13" (10.5cm) if we count the glass-breaker.Implement List
Width: 1.57" (40mm)
Thickness: 0.75" (19mm)
Tool weight: 11oz (315g).
Tool and sheath: 12.5oz (354g)
Handle fasteners: Allen 2 and 2.5
Wire-cutter material: Tungsten alloy
Wire-cutters are non-replaceable.
Cord-cutter material: 3Cr13
Blade material: Sus 420
Blade length: 2.56" (65mm)
Saw cutting length: 2.56" (65mm)
Scissors cutting edge: 1.57" (40mm)
Price at time of review: 30$
Warranty: 10 Years
Roxon is an own branding team under Chamfun Industrial Co. Ltd.
Pliers; spring-loaded (hidden spring), needle-nose
Wire-cutters; non-repleceable, tungsten
Scissors; spring-loaded, massive
Blade; locking, oho, tanto, plain-edge, hollow grind
Saw; wood, bi-directional
File; two sided, with flathead
Phillips #2; locking, compatible with Ganzo/Leatherman/Gerber square shank bit kit
Bottle-opener; oho, also corkcrew assist
Corkscrew; can hold Victorinox eyeglass bit
Glass-breaker; tungsten, not removable
Metric scale; 8cm
No lanyard hole
The tool comes in a cardboard box with a presentation window. Included are a nylon sheath, and a brief instruction manual.
Also available is a set of multi-tool, sheath and bit set, but I did not get that.
The sheath is nothing to write home about. Typical rigid nylon sheath. Single-stitched, velcro closure, vertical carry only. A nice touch is the artificial leather with the logo at the front.
With the multi-tool inside, there is still space available, probably for the bit set, although there is no pocket inside for one.
As it is, the multi-tool can rock back and forth, although it will not fall out.
Ready to use with no opening required are the glass-breaker and metric scale.
The tungsten glass-breaker is a separate piece attached to the end of the handle. After striking various surfaces, not including glass, the coating held up, and there is no damage to the tip itself.
It is not detachable and it is very pointy, so when handling the multi-tool, the point may scratch you just enough to remind you it's there. Over time it may possibly damage the sheath, bag, pocket etc it's in. This is not something you'll want to toss on a table.
The metric scale measures 8 centimeters. It is engraved onto the handle, and very easy to read. It does not begin from the very edge of the handle, but it will do. The handle's straight edge and flatness of the side allow the tool to be placed flat on a surface and use a pencil to draw a straight line against it. The deployment nubs for the small tools on the side protrude somewhat, interfering slightly with the flatness of the handle. Regardless, a good enough addition for no extra room or weight.
Staying on the same handle, we find the blade.
It is a drop-point "tanto" design, with 54mm straight edge, and another 11mm above the secondary tip. It was properly sharpened out of the box, with a hollow grind, and the thumb-hole allows for one-handed deployment. It cut easily through cardboard, plastic, and denim, retaining its edge.
A liner-lock secures it in the open position. The lock is at 50% and there is no blade play. When closed, the retention is excellent.
The ergonomics are pretty average. The handle edges are somewhat rounded-off, but they still dig into my palm if I squeeze hard enough.
Not ideal for heavy or prolonged use, especially if we also take into account the weight of the tool. Still, a very decent blade for a multi-tool.
Next to the blade, we have three smaller folding implements, the cord-cutter, the hook disgorger, and the can opener.
All three have little nubs for deployment, and each implement rides on its own back-spring. No clumping and good retention.
The cord-cutter is ground only on one side, but it is very sharp. It cuts clothing, nylon straps, and cord extremely effectively, zipping through material with a curiously effortless single pull. Not a fast-deploying one; the blade would be the better option in a real emergency.
The hook disgorger is of questionable worth. There are already pliers on this tool, much easier to use, and with far better reach than the hook disgorger. It removed staples very easily, and could come in handy for paint cans, or plastic bubble packaging.
The can opener is not the sharpest one out there, but that is not the problem. Unfortunately, it is located too deep in the handle, and thus cannot hook on the rim and open the can. I only managed to mangle the top, and can only admit failure.
Moving to the other handle, we have a woodsaw. Properly sharpened and with the spine narrower than the teeth, it made short work of wood and plastic. It has an opening hole, but there was too much resistance to open it with just one hand. Not a real issue. It cuts very well, it does not bind into material all that much, and it stays open when being used.
The corkscrew assist/bottle opener is one-hand operable, and performs effectively. The corkscrew is well positioned, and no doubt will dig into a cork. Also good for pushing into tight knots, or to carry an eyeglass screwdriver bit. Most corkscrews on multi-tools and knives protrude from the handle and are uncomfortable. This one barely sticks out of the handle frame. It is the lowest profile corkscrew I have seen.
Opening the bottle took just one try. It hooked onto the cap and removed it effortlessly.
The file is two-sided and not too aggressive. The cross-cut side is slightly finer than the single-cut. It is more effective against fingernails, wood, and plastic, than metal. Still, when rubbed against something, there is material removed, so it passes. The glass-breaker extends right next to the file, thus blocking a few teeth, and in danger of striking the item being filed. No teeth on the edge for sawing through metal.
There is also a 5mm flathead screwdriver at the tip. Flatheads on files are arguably an oxymoron, but it is there. To deploy the file you have to first open the corkscrew assist.
Tucked inside is a Phillips screwdriver.
There is a liner-lock for it, and the lock-up is good. There is no play, and it never budged while turning screws. Very well formed, and the shank is properly robust.
It bites into #1 and #2 screws very well, and even extends along the center axis of the tool, which is apparently very important.
It is also the exact width to hold a bit set adapter that many multi-tools use. This multi-tool can also be bought with a bit set, but mine only came with the sheath.
Opening the tool, we find a pair of spring-loaded, needle-nose pliers.
The tips meet precisely and can grab a hair, among other things. Not as needle-nose as others, but narrow enough.
The bolt-gripping teeth are not too aggressive. They grip, though. The wire-cutters seem to bite into the bolt-gripping area.
The edges of the handles are rounded-off and it is exceptionally comfortable to hold. No hotspots whatsoever. I was also pleased to see that my hand does not slip towards the pliers when using this. Despite the tool's weight, it remained in my hand. Even with sweaty hands, the tool stayed in place, which is very refreshing to see in an off-brand multi-tool.
Handle splay is always a concern. Thankfully, this does not suffer from it all that much. Typical for a full size tool, I'd say.
The wire-cutters cannot be removed. A shame. Looking this tool up, there are some pictures, probably photoshopped, with screws in the wire-cutters instead of pins. Perhaps the prototype was envisioned with replaceable wire-cutters. Well, it is what it is.
They can cut cables and steel wire, within reason. Up to coat hanger wire, there was no visible damage to the cutters, although it took some force to cut it. And it is comfortable, did I mention that?
Lastly, we have scissors. One handle must be unfolded to allow the scissors handle to be deployed. A tiny bit of hassle, but with great reward. The scissors are massive, spring-loaded, and quite comfortable to operate. They cut effortlessly through cotton cloth, denim, parachute cord, plastic packaging, credit card plastic, card stock, cardboard. Truly a joy to use. The action is amazing. The tolerances are on spot, and the feel and sound of these is very satisfying. The only issue is that the tool as a whole is heavy, and possibly bulky and awkward for some cutting tasks. Given the size of the tool, and it using a long handle for the scissors, this may not be ideal for small hands.
The tips close flush, and do not cross-over into that snaggletooth eyesore that will rip paper. Stellar design, execution, and performance regarding the scissors.
There is no pocketclip, which is understandable, given the tool's weight. Feel, quality, construction, design
So, is this really as good as it looks in the pictures?
Searching for an answer to my question, I used this multi-tool curious. Having used suspiciously similar pairs of scissors on other multi-tools, it was no surprise that this tool's scissors were exceptional. Still, the Storm had so much going for it. It certainly looked the part. Nice finish, black accents, a promising compactness, and a great selection of features. I was pleased with how it looked, but alas, that is the trap we tend to fall for. Appearance is good. What about execution?
The construction quality is high. Advertised as "industrial level fineblanking
process," Roxon promises "smooth surface and high precision." Well, they delivered. The tool is very well made and finished. It is smooth all over, with excellent tolerances and action for the moving parts. Nothing was grimy, loose, or bent. There are no unfinished edges or molding marks that illustrate cutting corners. It is a solid piece of many little, precisely formed pieces, which have been put together very well.
High marks for the comfort when using the pliers. The edges are excellently rounded-off.
Using the other implements, there are some edges that cause some minor discomfort, like the scale edge. Since it is emulating a dedicated scale's straight edge, the angle is understandable, and a useful feature in its own merit.
The available space has been used efficiently. Every nook and cranny got filled with something. Well, the corkscrew leaves some space, but it has to by design.
The design is elegant and efficient. Despite the high number of features, and the odd-shape corkscrew breaking the straight lines, the handles do not feel "busy". Sure, there are decorative holes, and screws, but the design is clean. The logo is modest. The finish is very akin to bead-blasted, dull but crisp, wear and corrosion resistant, and it does not collect fingerprints.
The can opener failed, there is no denying that. Even being dull, it might have made it through the can, but it is in the middle of the handle, and cannot be used for its intended purpose. Too bad.
The file is very average, as it is extremely difficult to tell which side is finer than the other. Neither did well against metal. Good enough for softer materials, so not a total loss.
A small hit has to also be acknowledged regarding washers, as there are teflon ones for the blade, saw, and file. Not ideal, but the tool is put together with screws, and the washers can be in theory replaced if the need arises.
The multi-tool performed extremely well. Everything deploys promptly, pivots out smoothly, snapping into place with authority, and stays open, while being used. The Phillips is head and shoulders above the typical rounded-off, thin imitations of a Phillips found on inexpensive tools. The scissors are arguably the star of the show, being extremely efficient. With the exception of the can opener, no other implement fell short regarding its intended use, as well as other, more unconventional applications. Nothing loosened up, nothing chipped or snapped, nothing got bent out of shape. Some paint was removed from the glass-breaker, and the handles have some tiny scratches that were not there when it arrived, but no complaints can be made. The only thing holding it back, literally, is the weight. It definitely is heavier than it looks, due to how compact it is. Nevertheless, its wonderful performance prevails.
In short, yes. This really is as good as it looks in the pictures. It is also a new design in the market, and with this quality behind it, it just might make other manufacturers think creatively. Just do not rely on it for opening cans easily.Pros
-Great toolset, with locking blade, locking Phillips, saw, large scissors, glass-breaker etc.
-Quality construction and feel.
-Phillips is compatible with other brand bit sets.Cons
-Can opener cannot open cans.
-Heavy. Lots of implements, but heavy.
-Sheath is too wide for it.