Since Zoidberg asked me in my Reviewer Merit Badge Thread
if I had any more recent reviews I figured it's only fair that I post some more. Here is the first new one that will be posted on the Main Site shortly (eventually
Like many manufacturers of “regular” tools, DeWalt has decided to enter the multitool market, largely following the same path as everyone else- find a manufacturer overseas, customize something they already produce a bit, slap your logo on it and sell it cheap on an end cap at some big box home improvement store. DeWalt has a respected name in the power tool industry so I was curious to see how well their multitool line was.
The M16 is so named because it has 16 functions, and possibly also to elicit the sexy and serious mystique of the firearm of the same name. That aside, the M16 won’t be mistaken for many other tools largely due to the blocky handles in a black and yellow design reminiscent of the DeWalt line of power tools. This tool is a bit of a handful as a result and people with smaller hands (ie not “manly men” insert rolling eyes here) may not be comfortable with this particular model.
Not only is the M16 wide, but it is also quite short, which makes for some stubby tools inside. This isn’t a big deal with tools like screwdrivers or bottle openers, but really limits the size of scissors, knife blade, saws and files, all of which benefit from extra length.
In one handle we find a stubby, partially serrated knife blade which locks open with a liner lock. There is a small bit of play in the blade when locked open, but not enough to make it feel like the blade is going to fold in use. The biggest drawback to it is that it is a bit stubby as mentioned above, and that the edge is partially serrated, which basically cuts the useable edge down to half of stubby. It is still functional enough for most tasks though.
Rounding out the blade handle side is a can opener with screwdriver tip similar to those found on Victorinox and SOG tools, a bottle opener with screwdriver tip and a barely useful inch long file with an inch and a half ruler on the flip side.
Hiding in the other handle is a flathead slightly more robust than the one on the bottle opener, a folding lanyard ring, a Phillips screwdriver and a pair of scissors. While many of the tools on this are quite stubby, the Phillips driver is actually quite lengthy in comparison to many multitool Phillips drivers which will be appreciated by anyone attempting to deal with recessed screws.
It’s also noteworthy to mention that all of the handle tools are accessible without opening the tool which is handy. Additionally, none of them lock open other than the blade, which can be a drawback for screwdriver usage, particularly on stubborn screws. Also there appears to be a tool missing on the scissor handle between the scissors and Phillips driver. Spacers have been placed in the space, but an additional tool could easily have been put in there.
Folding the handles out reveals the pliers which certainly do look nice, being painted black with portions ground off so the shiny metal offsets the black. In addition to looking pretty, the pliers are sprung, meaning they open by themselves when you aren’t squeezing them. Some people like that but I personally am not a fan. The head itself is a standard multitool plier head, not quite blunt nosed, but not quite needle nosed but somewhere in between. At the base of the jaws there are also wire cutters for all your wire cutting needs.
The bottom line with this tool is that it is decent enough for the light user- it makes a good tool for a weekend handyman that doesn’t need to spend the money on a serious tool, which flies in the face of the DeWalt name. DeWalt power tools are heavy duty tools not usually associated with the cheap end of the spectrum, but that you see on a lot of job sites because they are built to be abused and keep working. The M16 is not that kind of tool. If you are a tradesman looking for a hard use tool that you can use hard and put away knowing it will be ready the next time you reach for it, get a Leatherman like the Core, Surge or SuperTool 300, a Victorinox SwissTool, or a SOG PowerLock because this DeWalt is not the DeWalt you are used to.
• Bright color makes it easy to find if you drop it
• Phillips screwdriver has some serious reach
• This is not the DeWalt you are looking for
• Stubby tools
• Non Locking screwdrivers