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New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise

us Offline hawkchucker

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #30 on: January 22, 2008, 01:25:37 AM
I like the Utube, and I think the tool would kinda make a good tackelbox piece. I think I just might have to look more into the tool. On a side note I just got a gift from Paul Mason over at buck. Some new clips for my Buck Strider. Never loan a knife to a friend they allways end up playing with them and losing parts. :pok:
S


Offline walt_uoob

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #31 on: January 22, 2008, 01:45:32 AM
Yeah, I did have concerns about the pliers, but I don't see them getting heavy-duty use they can't handle.  My search for a tool is mostly motivated by an upcoming backpacking trip through South America that will include some camping and some hosteling and a lot of whoknowswhat.  So weight is a big concern for me, keeping me away from the big 8+ ounce tools.  (By the way the x-tract weight listed in the chart on this site is higher than in either of the reviews or the Buck website, so I think it weighs in at 5.6 ounces.)  Other than this trip, I'll probably use it on weekend hike-in hike-out type camping trips, mountain biking trips, and only sometimes at home, where I have plenty of regular tools and plenty of space for them.
   In the weight range of the x-tract are the Fuse, Skeletool, the Paratool, and of course lots of pocket tools.  I figure X-tract beats skeletool for me because it has a can opener instead of the carabiner/bottle opener thing, and is much cheaper.  Neither the Fuse nor the Paratool has knife access without opening up the whole tool.  My main need for a file would be to sharpen the knife, which (correct me if I'm wrong) you can't do when the knife and file are on the same tool.  I do foresee a need to cut a lot of wood, which is why I decided to get a little hand chainsaw instead of demanding a saw on my multi.  So, not being quite handy enough to think of necessities for things like an awl, etc., I figure the only thing I'm likely to really lament not having is a pair of scissors.
   I figure with an x-tract, complemented with a separate sharpener/file, fire-starter, hand chainsaw, an adapter and some bits, I'm up into the weight range of the huge tools like the Surge but each of my main needs is very adequately covered: I'm making campfires, fixing the bike on the fly, keeping the knife sharp, and, you know, cutting stuff.  And in my experience you can not have too many conveniently placed LEDs.
  I don't know why I decided to write all this, but I guess I'll wait to make an order until tomorrow, just in case someone wants to try to talk me out of this decision.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #32 on: January 22, 2008, 01:50:35 AM
Howdy Walt, and welcome to the forums!

That is fantastic news.  Thanks guys.  Follow-up: Leatherman lists two bit adapters on their site: one for the Core and another for Juice, Blast, Kick, and Fuse.  Which did you try?  And the Leatherman adapters are NOT the simple 1/4" square hole, right?  They're rectangular?

The only difference between the "Core" adapter and the "Juice/Blast/Kick/Fuse adapter is that Leatherman includes a larger sheath with the "Core" version. The adapter gadget itself is identical.

Check out these pictures and review on the Multitool.org home site that some knucklehead wrote ::) http://www.multitool.org/leatherman-tool-group/accessories/leatherman-removable-bit-driver.html


Oh by the way, I only semi-agree with Def on the worthiness of the X-Tract pliers. They are useful in a pinch, but don't expect to do any serious work with them. The knife blade is definitely its strong suit.
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #33 on: January 22, 2008, 02:04:55 AM
Quote
I don't see them getting heavy-duty use they can't handle

I don't see them being useful for even light-medium duty use.  Anything more than glorified tweezer jobs seem somewhat beyond them.

Quote
by the way the x-tract weight listed in the chart on this site is higher than in either of the reviews or the Buck website, so I think it weighs in at 5.6 ounces.

All of the weights listed in the Comparative Tool Weight Chart were weighed by me personally.  In fact, just in case I made a mistake (which happens more than I'd like to admit!) I did it again just moments ago...

Def

* Xweight.JPG (Filesize: 34.35 KB)
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline 665ae

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #34 on: January 22, 2008, 02:08:15 AM
Normally I'd make a "Canadian Conversion" joke to expain the difference in the weights... but I can't even do that anymore :(
If you took all the intestines out of your body and stretched them end to end... you would die.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #35 on: January 22, 2008, 02:16:11 AM
Quote
I don't see them getting heavy-duty use they can't handle

I don't see them being useful for even light-medium duty use.  Anything more than glorified tweezer jobs seem somewhat beyond them.

Def

In your opinion, how do the X-Tract pliers compare to the fold out pliers on Vic and Wenger SAK's?
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #36 on: January 22, 2008, 02:42:41 AM
I really think that the smaller fold out pliers on SAKs are much better than the ones on the X-Track.  The design of the pliers on the X-Tract is kind of flimsy and the manufacturing of it seems to be pretty bad too- typical of what folks always refer to as Chinese junk.

There really isn't much of the XTract that I did like to be honest.  While the one handed features are often touted as being great, try being a lefty and using it!  I'm glad I'm not a southpaw or it would be even worse in my opinon!

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #37 on: January 22, 2008, 02:55:28 AM
I really think that the smaller fold out pliers on SAKs are much better than the ones on the X-Track.  The design of the pliers on the X-Tract is kind of flimsy and the manufacturing of it seems to be pretty bad too- typical of what folks always refer to as Chinese junk.

There really isn't much of the XTract that I did like to be honest.  While the one handed features are often touted as being great, try being a lefty and using it!  I'm glad I'm not a southpaw or it would be even worse in my opinon!

Def

Are you sure you didn't get a Chinese-made knockoff of a Chinese X-Tract?! Mine isn't all that bad. Yes, the pliers are weak, but its part of the compromise of having a big knife blade. The whole thing is a knife-with-slide-out-pliers, instead of the usual multitool which is pliers-with-a-fold-out-knife.

The southpaw point - you got me there, I'm a lefty, but I've been "conditioned." It's pretty sad when a Vic OHT in my left hand feels "weird." :'(
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


us Offline hawkchucker

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #38 on: January 22, 2008, 03:03:25 AM
But now Def. Would ya feel ok leaving it in a tackel box to work on reels and other fishing gear?
S


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #39 on: January 22, 2008, 03:10:37 AM
I was wondering the same thing- it's got all the right markings and I bought it from a reputable dealer so I am pretty certain it's the real deal.

I could see myself hauling a hook out of a lake trout with it, but that's about all I could see myself doing with it.  It does have a nice large ring for hooking a bobber or lanyard to so you don't lose it over the side when the big one that's trying to get away is putting up more of a fight than you expected.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline hawkchucker

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #40 on: January 22, 2008, 03:19:22 AM
Well thats it ya sold me.

On the Kick for the box ;)
S


Offline Tom Munch

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #41 on: January 22, 2008, 04:46:23 PM
Tell us how you really feel about the X-Tract, Def.


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #42 on: January 22, 2008, 05:43:50 PM
I actually have an XTract review written.  I haven't posted it because it seems overly negative, but honestly, I wouldn't suggest anyone spends money on this thing.  It's in the same price range as the Spirit, which I think is a much better choice.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


Offline ringzero

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #43 on: January 22, 2008, 05:52:31 PM
I have been holding off posting my own review of the X-Tract as I wasn't nearly as impressed with it as others were.  In fact, if you plan to use the pliers for anything, I'd suggest looking at just about anything else as the X-Tract's pliers are virtually useless.
Def


Isn't this statement somewhat hyperbolic?  (Hyperbolic, as in "ridiculously over the top.")

After using my X-Tract for several months for a variety of tasks, in no way would I describe its pliers as "virtually useless!"

Compared to the pliers of my Gerber Clutch, Vic Mechanic, and Wenger Handyman - the X-Tract pliers are more capable.

Compared to the pliers of my Leatherman PST, Gerber Suspension, and SOG Powerlock - the X-Tract pliers are less capable.

The closest match for the X-Tract pliers that I'm aware of would be the Leatherman Juice series pliers - quite similar in size and capability to X-Tract pliers IMHO.

I do recall Def offering at least some favorable comments on the Juice series pliers.

I've seen pliers on LM Juices break on several occasions.  The cause?  Their owners attempted to use Juice pliers on jobs that needed bigger, tougher pliers.  I'd imagine the X-Tract pliers would fail in a similar manner if pushed to do a job outside their capabilities.

The best way to avoid this scenario is to go and grab more capable pliers when needed.  Or, just carry a multi with more capable pliers when you forsee tough pliering tasks.

.
 


N


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #44 on: January 22, 2008, 06:06:15 PM
Maybe, but I don't see the pliers being in the same class as the Juice models.  On several occasions I have tried carrying the XTract just to see if it was as bad as I thought, or was I just in a bad mood.  Sure enough, it doesn't do much for me.  I would class it lighter duty than the Juice models, and on the same level as the Victorinox and Wenger fold out pliers.  And as far as that comparison goes, the pliers on the Vic are built much tighter, and Wenger's pliers have the slip joint and better spring system, so they rank higher IMHO.

It all comes down to opinion and personal preference.  I'm glad you are happy with it, but it doesn't do a whole lot for me.  I am also disapointed in the tool itself.  Buck is a legend, and the original BuckTools were on par with Leatherman as far as quality of manufacture goes, even better in many ways, and the XTract is kind of a letdown.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


Offline ringzero

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #45 on: January 22, 2008, 06:45:05 PM
I actually have an XTract review written.  I haven't posted it because it seems overly negative, but honestly, I wouldn't suggest anyone spends money on this thing.  It's in the same price range as the Spirit, which I think is a much better choice.

Def


My X-Tract was $26.99 when ordered a few months back:
http://www.lighthound.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=2439
(Still available at that price.)

A good price for the Vic Spirit is around *twice* that much.

.
N


Offline walt_uoob

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #46 on: January 22, 2008, 07:36:30 PM
  Okay, what about a Juice S2, given my intended uses?  It adds scissors, the pliers are at least as good.  The knife opens out (one-handed?), but is it substantial enough to be the most commonly used part of the tool?  Can it handle cutting all my food, splitting kindling off a larger log, whittling a toothpick, and generally being my go-to knife?  That concerns me.  But it is very light (a plus), my hands are smaller so I think it will be comfortable, and the scissors would be nice.

 Oh, and I've seen them online for about $30 new, which is the range of the x-tract.


gb Offline Mike, Lord of the Spammers!

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #47 on: January 22, 2008, 07:47:32 PM
I'd be very wary of using any folder to split kindling mate :-\
Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #48 on: January 22, 2008, 10:15:14 PM
I actually have an XTract review written.  I haven't posted it because it seems overly negative, but honestly, I wouldn't suggest anyone spends money on this thing.  It's in the same price range as the Spirit, which I think is a much better choice.

Def


My X-Tract was $26.99 when ordered a few months back:
http://www.lighthound.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=2439
(Still available at that price.)

A good price for the Vic Spirit is around *twice* that much.

.

I paid around $40 for mine and Felinevet sells Spirit's for $50.  If I'd paid $26.99 for my XTract I might think more highly of it as well.

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


us Offline J-sews

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #49 on: January 23, 2008, 02:03:22 AM
  Okay, what about a Juice S2, given my intended uses?  It adds scissors, the pliers are at least as good.  The knife opens out (one-handed?), but is it substantial enough to be the most commonly used part of the tool?  Can it handle cutting all my food, splitting kindling off a larger log, whittling a toothpick, and generally being my go-to knife?  That concerns me.  But it is very light (a plus), my hands are smaller so I think it will be comfortable, and the scissors would be nice.

 Oh, and I've seen them online for about $30 new, which is the range of the x-tract.

Hey Walt, the S2 is a fine tool, but it has a different set of strengths and weaknesses than the X-Tract. The knife blade on the S2 for instance is probably suited more to urban situations than out in the wilds of South America. Scissors are a nice feature though, as you point out.
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


us Offline J-sews

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #50 on: January 23, 2008, 02:11:08 AM
Blade comparison pic:

* Buck-Juice.jpg (Filesize: 91.74 KB)
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools


Offline ringzero

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #51 on: January 23, 2008, 04:25:30 AM
Blade comparison pic:


Excellent blade comparison pic, J-sews!

If you would post another pic comparing pliers of the X-Tract and Juice against that ruler, it would be very helpful indeed to the ongoing discussion in this thread.

By The Way:

The jaws of my X-Tract pliers are roughly twice as large as the jaws of my Vic Mechanic and Wenger Handyman pliers - twice as long and twice as wide.

X-Tract jaws are roughly twice as thick as the Wenger jaws, and half-again as thick as the Vic jaws.

Useful jaw opening of the Wenger slipjoint pliers can nearly match that of the X-Tract, but the Mechanic jaw opening is much less.

The Vic and Wenger pliers are indeed handy for certain delicate jobs such as grasping electrical fuses and PC board jumpers, small parts, etc.  I like these little pliers a lot for those and similar uses, where they can effectively substitute for hemostats or small needlenose pliers.

However, neither is anywhere near as capable as the X-Tract pliers.  Unfortuantely, I don't have a working camera to post comparison pics of X-Tract, Handyman, and Mechanic pliers, but perhaps someone else will post some pics.

.
N


Offline walt_uoob

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #52 on: January 23, 2008, 09:18:46 AM
you people are amazing.  Thanks a ton J-Sews.  That pic really steers me back toward the x-tract, or at least away from the Juice.  I either need to do some more serious thinking about what's most important, or I need to start a collection.


england Offline Benner

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #53 on: January 23, 2008, 11:32:35 AM
you people are amazing.  Thanks a ton J-Sews.  That pic really steers me back toward the x-tract, or at least away from the Juice.  I either need to do some more serious thinking about what's most important, or I need to start a collection.

Why don't you bullet point everything that you will need or want it to do.  Then we can look into a few options for you (it's what we do best ;)).
I'm back!!


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #54 on: January 23, 2008, 03:23:39 PM
Blade comparison pic:


Excellent blade comparison pic, J-sews!

If you would post another pic comparing pliers of the X-Tract and Juice against that ruler, it would be very helpful indeed to the ongoing discussion in this thread.

By The Way:

The jaws of my X-Tract pliers are roughly twice as large as the jaws of my Vic Mechanic and Wenger Handyman pliers - twice as long and twice as wide.

X-Tract jaws are roughly twice as thick as the Wenger jaws, and half-again as thick as the Vic jaws.

Useful jaw opening of the Wenger slipjoint pliers can nearly match that of the X-Tract, but the Mechanic jaw opening is much less.

The Vic and Wenger pliers are indeed handy for certain delicate jobs such as grasping electrical fuses and PC board jumpers, small parts, etc.  I like these little pliers a lot for those and similar uses, where they can effectively substitute for hemostats or small needlenose pliers.

However, neither is anywhere near as capable as the X-Tract pliers.  Unfortuantely, I don't have a working camera to post comparison pics of X-Tract, Handyman, and Mechanic pliers, but perhaps someone else will post some pics.

.


I certainly cannot argue about the size- you are absolutely correct on that.  And, the XTract's handle is longer, giving more leverage.

However, the XTract's pliers are all cast while Vic and Wenger's are machined.  The tolerances of manufacture and assembly are also significantly higher on the Mechanic and Handyman, and instill much greater confidence in me as a result.  By comparison, the XTract's pliers feel flimsy to me.

If you want to compare it with pliers of it's size, then the Alinghi and other New Ranger's pliers from Wenger are on the same scale and I'm pretty certain you'd see the difference there!  Of course the Alinghi and 120mm Rangers are somewhat more expensive so that's understandable.

As a tool for under $30, the XTract wouldn't be too bad.  For the $40 I paid, there is much better available.  Each person's mileage may vary though- that's why there are so many different options!

Def
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


Offline Tom Munch

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #55 on: January 23, 2008, 04:14:23 PM
Not all cast pliers are bad.  We've all seen & sung the praises of Knipex pliers, & they are cast. 

I'll agree that the X-Tract pliers do not have the grip that LM or SwissTools have, but they still are useful.


Offline Tom Munch

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #56 on: January 23, 2008, 04:18:11 PM
Walt,

I'm looking back over your intended use.  Do you have dedicated tools for your mountain bike?  Maybe we should be approaching this from that angle & then supplementing.

Tom


Offline walt_uoob

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #57 on: January 23, 2008, 05:14:42 PM
I'll work on a bulleted priorities list and post it later on.


Offline Tom Munch

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #58 on: January 23, 2008, 05:26:27 PM
When I taught backpacking many years ago we never recommended taking anything more than a medium-sized blade on the trail.  In fact we didn't even like guys taking a standard BSA knife.  We were absolute minimalists & didn't believe in having any extra weight that was not absolutely necessary.  I had a little locking Gerber knife that was fine for cutting paracord, making firestarter sticks, & opening food packets.  At the end of the day being prepared has to be weighed against the extra bulk & hassle.  We even bought the lightest boots we could find - figuring that each step added that much more weight & fatigue over time.

I'd personally find the lightest multi that would cover most of the bases now for a backpacking trip.  That would probably be the Juice S2.

Just my $.02.


ca Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: New X-Tract Review up, with a surprise
Reply #59 on: January 23, 2008, 06:59:17 PM
Not all cast pliers are bad.  We've all seen & sung the praises of Knipex pliers, & they are cast. 

I'll agree that the X-Tract pliers do not have the grip that LM or SwissTools have, but they still are useful.

You are right, not all cast pliers are bad.  Some are better than others though.

Just to keep everyone up to speed, here are the ones we've been discussing so far:

Clockwise from top left- Wenger Alinghi, Buck XTract, Leatherman Juice Kf4, Victorinox Mechanic, Wenger S557.

Def

* pliers.JPG (Filesize: 83.07 KB)
Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.


 

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