West Marine Performance Sailing Tool
« on: February 11, 2016, 10:44:01 AM »
This is a brief review after having carried this MT on a daily basis for a while.
This tool was made by SOG for West Marine, and basically it is a modded Powerassist, with dedicated implements for nautical use. As far as i know it has been discontinued, though it could still be found for sale on West Marine pages now and then. I think it is a shame it is no longer made since it was the only modern plier-based multi dedicated to sailing/boating activities. The construction is basically identical to the Powerassist with two outside accesible blades, though the assisted opening feature is absent. The first thing accesible for right-handed is the combo sheepsfoot blade with thumb-stud for OHO; i haven't seen this blade variant on any other sog so i guess it was produced specifically for this MT and then discontinued along with it. It was very sharp out of the box, and it is a chisel-ground edge, this could be an issue for some. It could make precise cuts almost like an utility knife and went through 20mm wire without excessive effort. I had it dented on the flat edge portion but that was up to me misusing it a bit. The lock has always worked well on this implement though i have never asked too much from it.
The other outside tool is the marlin spike; like the blade it was specifically made for this tool and it cannot be found as single implement on Sog catalogues. It has a nice curved shape and does its work well, if you don't misuse it, as i did. I once used to do some uncareful prying and the lock snapped. It did not broke completely, it still goes in place and stays there but at the minum downward pressure the lock disengage. I managed to get around this problem by inserting the security lock once it is in the open position(security lock is normally used to prevent accidental opening while in closed position), in this way the spike locks firmly and will not fold even with consistent pressure on the back.
The inside tools;
As in any Powerassist there are some minor implements on the inside of the handle, hidden by the Sog folding cover. The only "special" implent found among these is the file, which has a small shackle-breaker slot which can indeed come handy around boats. The file can easly double as a big flat and for small prying tasks. The other implents are a philips, not good as old LMs but can still save you from tool-box trips, a Sog can/bottle opener (not the best around), a flat head driver, a combo tool with three slots made to fit common nuts sizes and a laynard loop.
A lot has been written about the "piano-locks" so i won't take the disturb to describe nor judge it.
The same could be said about Sog pliers, i just give my opinion saying they are probably the strongest around. Very pricise, too. I once removed a tick from my cat with total ease and precision. He didn't even realized it!
The lock release/security system is, as all Powerassist, intricate and a lot has been already written about it. I just add that since there is no assisted opening on this version there was zero need of it. But i guess it would have been a greater cost to remove it.
The sheath it came with is the standard Sog large nylon sheath with velcro closing and the plastic clip, which i appreciate much for it keeps very tight to your belt yet it can be removed very quickly without taking off your belt. The only gripe is that it becomes a really bulky carry with the tool inside.
Special implements for nautical use
Outside accesible blade and spike
Intricate lock release and security system
Heavy and bulky
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