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NexTool Flagship Pro Multi-tool Review 434

Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,385 Born to multitask.
NexTool Flagship Pro Multi-tool Review
« on: October 31, 2019, 02:42:35 AM »
The NexTool Flagship Pro is an update of the NexTool/Xiaomi Huohou, itself an update of the original NexTool Flagship. Has multi-tool evolution been kind to the Pro? Let's take a closer look.



Dimensions and other info
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Dimensions
Length: 4.25" (10.8cm)
Width: 1.57" (40mm)
Thickness: 0.63" (16mm)

Weight
Tool: 8.78oz (249g)
Tool and sheath: 9oz (255g)

Fasteners
Handles: Torx 8
Pocket-clip: Torx 6
Scissors pivot: Torx 8
Wire-cutters: Torx 6

Materials
Blade: 50Cr15mov
Cord cutter: 420J2
Wire-cutter: YG8 Carbide alloy
Pliers: 30Cr13
Glass-breaker: Ceramic

Cutting edge lengths
Blade: 3" (77mm)
Saw: 2.6" (66mm)
Scissors: 1.38" (35mm)

Also known as NexTool Flagship 5020
Price at time of review: $38
NexTool is the tool division of NexTorch.

Warranty (from the included pamphlet)
1. NexTool provides free maintenance service for products with quality problems under normal use within 1 year since the purchase date.
2. NexTool will provide paid maintenance service for products damaged by improper use, refitting or beyond the one-year free warranty period.


Implement list
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Pliers; spring-loaded (hidden spring), needle-nose
Wire-cutters; removable
Hard wire-cutters
Scissors; spring-loaded (hidden spring), adjustable pivot (Torx 8 )
Blade; locking (liner-lock), oho, drop-point, plain edge, hollow grind
Saw; wood, bi-directional, locking (liner-lock)
Phillips #1-2
Cord-cutter
Flathead; 13/64" (5mm)
Bottle-opener
Can opener
Wire stripper
Glass-breaker
Ruler; 7cm, 2 3/4" (1/16" increments)
Pocket-clip



The tool comes in a cardboard box, with a velvet pouch and a pamphlet with information in English.

The pouch is much like those for sun-glasses, single stitched, with two nylon cords for closure. There were scuff marks here and there. Still, it will keep the tool lint-free, and prevent it from scratching or getting scratched by other items in a bag or pocket. Certainly better than nothing.


Ready to use with no opening required are the glass-breaker and scale.

The scale is engraved flawlessly onto the scissors handle, crisp and easy to read. Measurements do not begin from the end, so it cannot be used as a depth gauge, but for small items, it will do. It takes up no space and one could argue that it provides traction when holding the tool.

The glass-breaker is a ceramic bead embossed to the bottom of the handle. As it barely protrudes and is not pointy, it does not snag on clothing, it will not scrath skin, and it will not damage any pocket, sheath, pouch etc the tool finds its way into. At the same time, it does not protrude along the axis of the main body, but rather at an angle, at one edge of the handle. With conventional carbide glass-breakers found on multi-tools and knives, it is very intuitive to just hold firmly and strike a surface with the tool at a right angle. With this, a specific angle of impact is required, for the glass-breaker to actually make contact. A few degrees off, and the handle with take the brunt of the blow, possibly damaging it and making the scissors hard to deploy; or worse, leaving the window unharmed while you are trying to flee a car that is sinking in a river. Ceramic bead glass-breakers are only surpassed by carbide ones, but combined with the bluntness and positioning, this may be further down the tier list. Comfort-wise, is wins. When it comes to performance, you may or may not flee that sinking car. Their heart is in the right place. Their glass-breaker is not.


The blade is one-handed operable, thanks to a nicely positioned and finished thumb-hole. The hole's 90° edge allows the thumb to push along and deploy the blade in one motion, aided by the bronze washers.
The blade locks with a liner-lock, has no play and held firm throughout. The liner also provides retention to keep the blade closed. The liner-lock engages with room to wear, and should it eventually reach 100%, the pivot screw will prevent it from overtravelling, keeping it against the blade's lock-face.

The edge was ground properly, and sliced through different materials with ease. The drop point profile worked nicely for draw cuts while also piercing easily.
Ergonomics are good. The main hotspot is the woodsaw's spine, which is sharp and will dig into skin when squeezed hard enough. Otherwise, quite good.

The blade's tip is visible through the cut-out. Small fingers may find their way in there and get a nick, just big enough to illustrate the necessity of attention when handling the tool.


On the opposite side, we have a woodsaw. It also locks with a liner-lock and has bronze washers. It cuts both on pull and push strokes. The spine has been ground thinner than the toothed edge, reducing binding. It also has 90° edges, to allow scraping. Ergonomics are better than the blade's. Performance was excellent. It cut effectively through wood and plastic, with no rolled teeth or play afterwards.


Next to the saw we can find the shorter implements, the cord-cutter, the can opener, and the bottle opener. All three are slipjoint and deploy independently. Good retention both closed and opened.


The cord cutter is ground on both sides, and properly at that. It zipped through seat-belts, clothing, parachute cord, and plastic, never binding or slowing down.

On the cord cutter tip there is a Phillips screwdriver. While it fits #1 and #2 screws well, it is a little too thin to take on stubborn screws. Also, it does not lock and there is a sharp edge behind it, so care must be taken when using it.



The can opener could not open a can. The little hook that engages the bottom of the rim is rounded off to the point of it slipping as soon as force is applied to the edge. The edge itself is blunt and only makes matters worse. Using it left-handed eliminates the poorly shaped hook, but the blunt edge and lack of a piercing point still make the process frustrating, especially when taking into account the fact that most people are right-handed.
During testing, the can opener did not survive its very first can. The little stop pin bent, and now the can opener has play in the open position.
When closed, the can opener's tip protrudes from inside the handle, so it is possible to close the pliers and have them hit the can opener tip, ensuring its dullness.


The can opener also has a wire-stripper notch. This worked much better than the actual can opener.


The bottle opener works as well, removing caps in a single motion. Seeing how using the can opener managed to bend the stop pin, it seems possible that the bottle opener could do the same, and damage the pin even more.


On its tip we can find a flathead screwdriver. Again, this is a little thin but fits screws well enough. One side has been ground perfectly, but the other side has rounded-off corners.


Opening one handle we find the pliers, crisply formed, spring-loaded, and needle-nose. There is no play between jaws and the action is smooth. The tips meet to a nice point.
At the back side, we have hard wire-cutters. These cut through coat hanger wire easily, with no flexing.

The soft wire-cutters are removable. They could also be replaceable if there were readily available parts, but there do not seem to be. Still, in theory, these could be removed and ground as needed, and it is possible that replacement parts with eventually be offered.
Ergonomics are good. Two edges of the handles are wide and rounded, the other two are not as wide. Smaller hands may experience some trouble with handle splay, as the tool is on the larger side.


Last, but definitely not least, we have scissors. The tolerances are excellent, which made the action flawless, which made performance outstanding. Properly sharpened, long cutting edges, long handles, these were a joy to use. The pivot is also adjustable, should the need arise.

When the two blades are fully opened there is some overlap near the pivot, with about 5mm of edge that cannot be utilized. The usable edges are still 35mm, so longer than most multi-tool scissors, although they could be even longer if this issue had been spotted during assembly.


The pocket-clip is rock solid, and positioned well. The tool remained in the pocket with no tendency to slip. Not a deep carry one. There will be 25mm of the tool exposed, but the tool and pocket-clip are long enough to make up for it.



Construction Quality
Nothing had any play out of the box. Everything pivots around smoothly. Implements snap into place firmly. Retention for everything when retracted is excellent. Liner-locks are at 50% and even at 100% the pivot screws would prevent over-travel. Flawlessly engraved scale. Bronze washers for blade and saw.
Properly ground thumb-hole for the blade. Well sharpened, too. Properly ground saw teeth, line cutter and scissors.
Nicely polished screws and pocket-clip.
Nice matte finish on the tool, dull but crisp.
The pocket-clip properly attached with no wobble whatsoever.

The can opener is a disaster. Poorly shaped hook and edge, it failed miserably. Also, its edge protrudes when closed, and the pliers may bump onto it when folding them.
The stop pin of the three shorter implements is quite thin, and was bent when the can opener was used. Now the can opener has play in the open position.
The scissors have 5mm of unusable cutting edge.
The blade's tip is visible through the cut-out, and the cut-out is big enough for a finger to get in there.

Most of the important aspects are good, and many of the shortcomings are not too important.




Design
The tool is compact. It may seem wide, because it is, but it is also thin, which makes it feel less bulky in hand. Gentle curves, rounded handles, and crisp, clean surfaces make it a very elegant piece. The blade and saw have minimal cover, which gives a sense of industry. Logos are modest. The little ceramic glass-breaker is humble, like a tiny gem. The screws and pocket-clip are polished, contrasting nicely with the matte body.

Admittedly, the glass-breaker could be positioned better. The cut-outs could be narrower and not expose the blade tip. The can opener could be differently shaped, and not protrude through the handle when closed. The pocket-clip could carry the tool deeper. The Phillips could have no sharp edge behind it and be thicker.



Performance
Performance ranged from outstanding to outright failure.
The scissors are wonderful. Tolerances, action, long handles, sharpening. These have everything.
Pliers, wire-cutters, blade, saw, line cutter, scale, all those are perfectly adequate for everyday tasks.
The screwdriver tips are piggybacking on thin implements. Not the strongest around, and the Phillips also has a sharp edge behind it, while also not locking.
The glass-breaker is tricky to use. Unless you get the angle right, the glass-breaker will miss.
The can opener failed horribly. Its hook is rounded off making it slip off the rim, there is no piercing point, the edge is blunt, and the stop pin bent.



Conclusion
The Flagship Pro is yet another take on the double butterfly design. Many things changed with this. We got additional shorter folding implements, locking longer implements, removable wire-cutters, even a glass breaker. This is also the update to the Xiaomi Huohou, which did not have a locking blade or measuring scale.
Sadly, many new design aspects have shortcomings, some more significant than others. How much this affects its appeal depends on what you value the most on a multi-tool. The can opener is a waste of space. It would take some grinding to sharpen the edge and fix the hook, but even then, the stop pin is quite thin. Similarly, the glass breaker may or may not work, which is not what you want when it matters. The blade's tip is visible and accessible through the cut-out, but you could get used to handling the tool carefully.

Undoubtedly, most functions are just fine, and if you are only interested in those, then it should be alright. The scissors are great, although they would have been greater if the entire cutting edge was usable. The blade and woodsaw are fine. The pliers are also good, but as of yet replacement wire-cutters are not being sold anywhere.

Ultimately, I do not think I can recommend such an unreliable multi-tool. There are just too many issues that should have been addressed before they released this tool. It did many things right compared to other members of the Flagship family, but at the same time, the lack of attention to detail is disheartening. Hopefully, another update will be released, without all these issues. Until it is, maybe look around a little more, or be prepared to train yourself to handle and use the tool in specific ways to eliminate as many of the issues as you can.


Pros
-Excellent scissors, pliers, hard wire-cutters, blade, saw, cord cutter.
-Great action and tolerances.
-Competitive pricing.

Cons
-No readily available wire-cutter replacement parts.
-Glass-breaker placement demands specific angle of impact.
-Can opener cannot open cans.
-Blade tip is accessible through the cut-out when closed.
-Light duty screwdrivers.
-Limited warranty.


Reviews of other multi-tools in the series:
NexTool Flagship
NexTool KT5024
« Last Edit: October 31, 2019, 05:08:40 AM by ReamerPunch »

Hero Member Posts: 521
Re: NexTool Flagship Pro Multi-tool Review
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2019, 09:39:39 AM »
   Great thorough review with nice pics! I really like this tool, but I have one more negative thing to say about it. They should get rid of the useless pouch that comes with it and replace it with a sheath. I think that would be more practical. I put mine in a spare sheath that I had and it frees up space in my pocket for other things!  :tu:
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 59,527
Re: NexTool Flagship Pro Multi-tool Review
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2019, 10:57:34 AM »
Great review, RP :like: I love the pics and the write-up :cheers: Looks like a very nice tools and look at those scissors :o :dd: Thanks for taking the time to do this :salute: :tu:
Wielder of the Bow of Banishment. Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 31,707 El Presidente del Fan Club Micky D
Re: NexTool Flagship Pro Multi-tool Review
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2019, 12:25:47 PM »
Awesome review RP.  :hatsoff:  Damn shame about the can opener but how many of us really need one these days?  I also honestly hadn't noticed the Phillips on the strap cutter until you pointed it out. 

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,385 Born to multitask.
Re: NexTool Flagship Pro Multi-tool Review
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2019, 02:24:09 AM »
   Great thorough review with nice pics! I really like this tool, but I have one more negative thing to say about it. They should get rid of the useless pouch that comes with it and replace it with a sheath. I think that would be more practical. I put mine in a spare sheath that I had and it frees up space in my pocket for other things!  :tu:

That pouch is really an afterthought. Even the small NexTool comes with a sheath.

There is a version of the Pro with two-handed blade that also comes with a sheath. And a nice sheath at that. And nice, proper packaging.





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6AQcD3_7cQ
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,385 Born to multitask.
Re: NexTool Flagship Pro Multi-tool Review
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 02:26:07 AM »
Great review, RP :like: I love the pics and the write-up :cheers: Looks like a very nice tools and look at those scissors :o :dd: Thanks for taking the time to do this :salute: :tu:

Thanks Poncho! If only it had a little better QC. :tu:
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,385 Born to multitask.
Re: NexTool Flagship Pro Multi-tool Review
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2019, 02:29:48 AM »
Awesome review RP.  :hatsoff:  Damn shame about the can opener but how many of us really need one these days?  I also honestly hadn't noticed the Phillips on the strap cutter until you pointed it out.

Well, if someone does need it it would not be difficult to put a bevel on it, but you'd need to also fix the hook so that it can stay on the can.
That Phillips is alright. I'd honestly rather have it than not have it. It works well enough. Sanrenmu puts it on their strap cutters too. But the NexTool has much better retention so it does not fold. As long as you're careful with it, you'll be fine. A shame tough. The original Flagship Phillips is one of the most robust ones in the industry. :salute:

 

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