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Lynn's 31 day OBMT Challenge and the Coghlan's 7-Function Army Knife

us Offline Lynn LeFey

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That's either some really hard butter or a really crappy blade, or most likely both.

The CAK got a bit of actual use today. Hubby is off on a road trip so I bought myself some chicken and grilled it. That required building a fire (CAK helped) and drinking beer (again, CAK helped).

Here it is after cutting a lime for the beer. I don't normally put lime in my beer, but I got a lime to squeeze over the chicken, and had a slice left.



us Offline Lynn LeFey

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And back on cap lifter duty today.



us Offline Lynn LeFey

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The CAK has done nothing so far today, but the day is still relatively young, and there will be beer. Oh, yes, there will be.



us Offline Lynn LeFey

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Every now and then, I start thinking I might actually like this tool.

Then I have a day when the tool fails horribly at some fairly light scissor task that a SOG Crosscut, Leatherman Micra, or actual SAK would do easily.

Here are the results of trying to snip a tag off a coat. SEVEN attempts to cut it finally chewed through.

 :facepalm:



us Offline sawman

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Bummer  :(
SAW


gr Offline firiki

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Maybe try a litany before using them? :D

Something like,

O, pair of scissors, make the cut
Hurt my feelings, don't do that
Cutting things is what you do
So this is what I ask of you



 :facepalm:
Omnia vincit amor. Vae victis.


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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The CAK playing in the leaves with other (real) Swiss Army Knives.



no Offline Grathr

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Every now and then, I start thinking I might actually like this tool.

Then I have a day when the tool fails horribly at some fairly light scissor task that a SOG Crosscut, Leatherman Micra, or actual SAK would do easily.

Here are the results of trying to snip a tag off a coat. SEVEN attempts to cut it finally chewed through.

 :facepalm:

(Image removed from quote.)

Thats terrible!



Sent from a device made from star dust using tapatalk
-Knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður.
 "A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" old Faroese proverb.


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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I knew going into this how bad the scissors were, from WAY back in my scissor test thread.

http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,36798.0.html


Still, having to face that...

sigh...

This function (or lack thereof) is really THE factor that would make me veto this tool for EDC.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 06:42:04 PM by Lynn LeFey »


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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Thought I'd test other scissors on that little piece of plastic...

(All scissors used left-handed)
Craftsman (scissor based little tool): passed, but I had to apply a lot of side pressure.
Kershaw Two-can: no problem
Victorinox 58mm and 91mm: no problem
Wenger 85mm: no problem
Leatherman Squirt: no Problem
Leatherman PST II: no problem
Leatherman Wingman: no problem

So, in my opinion, this is something that pretty much any pair of scissors ought to be able to handle. I am NOT a fan of the Wingman scissors, and they had not problem with this. Except for the Craftsman, I was certain all the others would handle it, and really SHOULD.

So, I knew the scissors were sub-par on the CAK, but I'm stuck with them for the rest of the week.


ch Offline Etherealicer

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Ahh but its the inner beauty that counts :rofl:

Yeah, I think there is a reason that this is an off-brand and its not because its brand-new, expensive or rare :P
It wouldn't be the internet without people complaining.


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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Having had quite enough of this bull-smurf, I took the CAK (back) out into the garage, and (re) introduced them to the Dremel, to see if anything I did could help the scissor performance.

And, understand... I don't know what I'm doing.

So..

I took the grinder to the insides of the blades, and tried to smooth out the surfaces, then tried to polish them with a buffing wheel and rubbing compound. I don't need perfect, just better than the crap they come in. I assumed that the uneven surface of the ground side would affect the blade edge.

Next, I took the grinder to the blade edge.

Then I took the blade edges to my ceramic rods.

Here's a photo, with an unaltered chinese army knife on the left, and my 'improvement' on the right.



You can see the grind lines on the inside of the scissor blade very clearly on the left side tool. while there is still scratching on my (right side) tool, I hoped to increase performance at least somewhat.

So, here is the results as applied to my scissor test criteria: Paper, pass. regular cardboard, pass. Corrugated cardboard, pass. PETE, pass. 550, barely adequate, Khaki seam, fail. Suede, fail. T-shirt, fail. Plastic Lid, fail. Total 0. That improves it from its initial -3

Which makes them... LESS terrible. :D


no Offline Grathr

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When less terrible is a serious improvement, you know its bad. :facepalm:

Well done though! Turning a turd into a sharpish stone cant be easy! :D


Sent from a device made from star dust using tapatalk
-Knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður.
 "A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" old Faroese proverb.


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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The scissors are the weakest point on the tool, now that it's been repeened. I knew that going in, AND I knew scissors are a major reason I carry an MT. There's just not that much that can be done.

So I soldier on...

And today, The CAK did some 'real' work, opening a can again. And again, t's fine as a can opener.



us Offline sawman

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Lynn, when the month is up will you be tossing that in the trash can?  :pok:
SAW


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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Actually, I won't.

And here's why...

I've been working on designs for 'least cost emergency survival kits'. A kit that's so cheap I could hand it off to someone and absolutely not sweat the loss. THIS knife, while not a great day-to-day user, is pretty good at just being a KNIFE, if not excellent at everything. The drivers work for light duty. The can opener works.

The tag on my avatar is "Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much." This tool is WAY better than nothing.

It's actually sad and annoying to me that the SINGLE most problematic issue with these tools, the (lack of) peening, could make the tool literally fall apart on you. Once that's solved, it becomes, dare I say... 'adequate'? It's never going to be great, but miles better than nothing in a pinch.

That said, I SURE won't be carrying it EDC. Because I'm a straight-up scissor snob.


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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The CAK back on can opener duty today.



au Offline Huntsman

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Hi Lyn
Like you I am trying hard to like this knife ....
And certainly thought the Vic  'Spartan' components would be OK?? Or at least a 'Solo' blade?!!

But it looks like we do have different CAKS - And, as bad as they are, your experiences seem better than mine  :o
See OBMT Challenge main thread ...
  • Your flat head really fits screws - Mine does not - I suppose I could grind it down
  • Your Phillps works without busting the knife apart - Although I will try the repeening too.... And also on the scissors
H


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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Oh, yeah, the philips tearing the tool apart is 100% about the peening. I had another Chinese army knife, one very much like yours, including fish scaler and saw, and it almost fell apart when i tried to use the philips. I took it apart a few days after I did this one, repeened it, and rescaled it, and now it's fine for light duty philips work.

I do think, based almost solely on the fact that the grind on the blade was decent right out of the package, that the Coghlan's MIGHT be a step up from the average, but I don't know. I might have just gotten lucky.


us Offline tinkertailor

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For the grand finale on the 31st you should carve a pumpkin w/ it. Just sayin'...  :whistle:
fledgling knife nerd


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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I cut a cardboard box into 4" by 8" pieces, for reasons.

Used the Coghlans. It required me to stop after every 5 pieces cut (or thereabouts) and run the blade over my ceramic rods a few times. The blade dulled pretty quickly, but also came back very quickly.



us Offline Lynn LeFey

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So, since I don't know how busy I'll be tomorrow, I thought maybe I'd wrap up my thoughts on the Coghlan's 7-Function Army Knife today.



The TLDR: Not as good as a used SAK, loads better than nothing.

I'm going to start with...

The Bad.
The real killer of this tool is that out-of-box the peening is not done well. And that's really sad, because it's fundamental to the integrity of the tool, and it's not that difficult to do. It's a step that's skimped on in the exact time when you shouldn't skimp. Because it changes this tool in stock form from potentially useful to pretty scary bad. Fall apart in your hands bad. And it seems to be endemic of the entire industry of SAK knock-offs.

The next thing that concerned me, but vastly less important, was that the toothpick was essentially impossible to use. In the grand scheme of things, that's so minor as to seem laughable.

The final thing I disliked was that it's just apparently impossible to make good scissors cheap.

The Mediocre
Understand, I'm talking after the tool was repeened here...

The philips. It works for very light duty. The head is actually pretty well formed compared to other chinese SAK knockoffs. It slots well, and doesn't cam terribly. The shank where it connects to the tool is obviously not as robust as an actual SAK, but I suspect the pin holding it in place would fail long before the shank. Good for light duty. But it is GOOD for it.

Corkscrew. I have to be honest in saying that I can count the number of wine bottles I've EVER opened with a corkscrew on a SAK or knockoff on one hand. ALL of them with this tool. It works. I don't know how to come up with anything other than pass/fail here. It passes. The corkscrew on cheaper models of chinese knockoff are square stock bent into a spiral, and uneven. This one is a round stock, and the spiral is uniform. As with the philips, and every other tool, the tool layer is thinner than an actual SAK, and again, I still feel the pin would be the point of failure.

Nail File. Have you noticed how many times I've mentioned the nail file in this review? I think I mentioned it HAD one. That's because that's the extent of my concern about this function. It has one, it works moderately well. The portion at the tip intended for cleaning under the nails is too thick and not useful. Otherwise, it's okay.

Scissors. These start off from stock as 'The Bad'. My rework has brought them to what I'd consider mediocre. I am the kind of user who, given a task that could be done either with blade or scissor, I will go for scissor. Because of this, i often ask a lot of them. This is not the tool for that kind of user. This tool will do the job that scissors do, that a blade is not good for. Close-in thread snipping, hair snipping, paper cutting. In any other instance, due to their poor performance, it's preferable to switch to the blade. I could survive years with this tool, but I would be unhappy, due almost exclusively to this deficiency.

Flathead. It works. It's a bit prone to collapse under pressure, so it's really only for light duty. That matches with the philips. Due to the thin shank before the cap lifter hook, I assume it's not going to be stellar as a pry tool, but considerably better than prying with the blade.

Keyring. It has one, it worked. It looks a little fragile, but I had no problem in my time of testing. Long term use might show a problem. I don't know.

Scales. I dropped this a few times, and scraped it across some hard surfaces. The scales scratch easily, but seem to be soft enough that small drops won't crack them. Of course, I pulled them off the tool to repeen, and had to superglue them back on, but they weren't damaged in the removal, so... meh.

The Good

Cap lifter. A lot of cheapo tools have very vaguely formed cap lifter hooks. This one is actually about as good as this kind of cap lifter gets. it worked fine, and trust me, it was rigorously tested. I think it pulled open maybe 15 caps this month.  :tu:  :cheers:

Can opener. It's not a speed demon. I was getting times around 22 seconds every time I used it. But it worked fine. Like with the cap lifter, it has a well formed hook for catching the can rim, so there weren't any rim jumps. It's a bit dull at the tip, so required a bit more force for initial puncture into the can, but that's not really a big deal.

The Blade. This is really IT, the absolute make-or-break function of a KNIFE-based multitool. And it was quite serviceable. It came sharp out of the package. It took a good edge. It held that edge when whittling. It went dull fairly fast with cardboard, but was easy to resharpen. The only knock, and it was true tool-wide, was weak retention. For some tasks, that can mean you either need to proceed with a great deal of caution, or risk injury. As i'm a pretty cautious user, It was only a concern, and never an actual problem.

Cost. I spent $2 on it. I spent another 50 cents or so to reglue the scales. It's worth every cent of that.

Weight. At about 2.5oz (71g), it manages to pack a lot of functions into a very light weight tool.

Recommendation:
Would I buy this tool at normal retail price (currently about $6)?

No.

Oh, no.  :rofl: Nope.

I have purchased a number of used SAKs from ebay at under $10 delivered. I would prefer any one of them to this tool. And the $4 difference in price is worth every cent.

HOWEVER.

If one CAN be found on sale, and you're willing to pull it apart and repeen it, then it's not a totally terrible option. I've owned a lot worse tools, and while I (and I think most of us) would like to dismiss this as useless, the truth is that once repeened, its a serviceable tool.

Everything about this tool makes me feel like it would be absolutely adequate for short term use. Those cheap 72-hour emergency kits... that kind of thing. For someone who is not a big tool user, whose extent of knowledge of how to do mechanical work is limited, and who most likely just needs a blade to cut cordage or duck tape, and maybe a can opener. The limited ability to retain an edge makes me think that it's not great for long term, and anyone willing to learn how to sharpen a blade is ALSO going to want a better blade to begin with. I'm not saying this is a 'placebo' tool. It actually WILL do more than LOOK like a tool. Just that I wouldn't want to rely on it long-term. After repeening, of course. Always after repeening.
 :facepalm:
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 03:55:49 PM by Lynn LeFey »


ch Offline Etherealicer

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Ok, the following is not for the weak... it also earned me a  :facepalm: from my fiancee ::)

During the Rugby-game, I constantly pressed the button with my fingernail to test how durable it is. I mostly pressed my nail into the gap on top of the button, where it is soft, figuring that this would be the weakest spot. Turns out I was wrong, but see for yourself. And I really like those scales :ahhh

Also, now my thumb hurts :P
obc_20151030_92.jpg
* obc_20151030_92.jpg (Filesize: 37.96 KB)
It wouldn't be the internet without people complaining.


gr Offline firiki

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Well, that's a start. Thanks for taking one for the team.

Now, keep torturing that pencil-erasing SWIZA, please. :)
Omnia vincit amor. Vae victis.


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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Hey, uhh... Etheealicer... did you maybe put that last post in the wrong thread?


gr Offline firiki

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He probably did and if that's the case then he deserves a :twak: 'cause he's OCD Squad ::)  :P
Omnia vincit amor. Vae victis.


ch Offline Etherealicer

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Hey, uhh... Etheealicer... did you maybe put that last post in the wrong thread?
It's the pain... makes me delirious... I mean, sorry... I mean this thread has not been derailed enough so I used the hard method... uumm... :facepalm:
It wouldn't be the internet without people complaining.


ch Offline Etherealicer

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He probably did and if that's the case then he deserves a :twak: 'cause he's OCD Squad ::)  :P
OCD does not prevent errors... it will however prevent me from sleeping because of the error :ahhh
It wouldn't be the internet without people complaining.


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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You KNOW how strict these board are about staying on topic!!!!!!  :rant:

 :rofl:

It's okay. We're all just human. I mean... YOU all are just human. I'm perfect. When it LOOKS like i'm making a mistake, I'm really just seeing if folks are paying attention. That's my story, and i'm sticking with it.  :whistle:


us Offline Lynn LeFey

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This is it. The last day. I somehow survived. I think I did a fair job of exploring the limits of this tool, and honestly think I have a good grasp on what it's capable of. I really think that someone with less need or want for tools would likely find this CAK perfectly adequate for most needs. I think it could work for years as someone's EDC. Just not me. The scissors alone kill it for me. The weak took retention from soft backsprings is another issue.

Anyone wanna guess what I'll be carrying tomorrow? :D



 

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