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Multi tool durability vs design features 299

Full Member Posts: 159
Multi tool durability vs design features
« on: June 04, 2020, 10:46:26 PM »
it seems there are 2 basic design types, tools opening up from the handle while closed and the other from within the handle after it has been opened. is any particular design more durable than the other? Quality of course changes from brand to brand, but are liner locks better for blades than spring loaded stop notches etc? The wave and rebar come to mind with this, one has much more surface area to hold it in place, the other just metal to metal across the back of the blade.
No Life Club Posts: 1,537
Re: Multi tool durability vs design features
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2020, 12:39:35 AM »
I'd say there are many more variations of multitools than that.

Durability is part of a balancing act where durability is just one factor. Cost, weight, size, easy parts manufacture and assembly, easy of use... It is a long list.

As for locking systems you can make most lock designs real strong and durable if you're willing to throw enough material at it. Cost, size and weight will increase of course but if lock strengh is your primary concern those might mean less to you? A more pointed question what be what lock is strongest per weight/ size/ cost?

Personally I tend to focus on just one question: Will the lock work with normal use and have a realistic safety margin on top of that? If it does it is all good by me regardless of design. (No lock at all is fair be me for many tools too as long as you know what you got. The ones that scare me are the ones with failing locks. In general I try to treat all tools as if they have no locks at all).

I actively avoid over the top locks that take whatever is thrown at them in destructive tests - to me that says I would be carrying around more weight and volume than actually needed.


"If only simple wasn't so hard" - me
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).
No Life Club Posts: 1,500
Re: Multi tool durability vs design features
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2020, 12:57:48 AM »
Better Quality = More Durable; I don't believe inside vs. outside opening tools have anything to do with it.

I do think outside opening tools have two distinct advantages though.  First, the tools are quicker to access because one doesn't have the added step of opening the handle first.  Second, when using the pliers, one's hand is on the generally smooth part of the handle, as opposed to pressing on the backs of all the closed tools as with inside opening tools.

Never trust a lock if you value your fingers.

 :cheers:
No Life Club Posts: 4,322
Re: Multi tool durability vs design features
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2020, 01:55:48 AM »
Better Quality = More Durable; I don't believe inside vs. outside opening tools have anything to do with it.

I do think outside opening tools have two distinct advantages though.  First, the tools are quicker to access because one doesn't have the added step of opening the handle first.  Second, when using the pliers, one's hand is on the generally smooth part of the handle, as opposed to pressing on the backs of all the closed tools as with inside opening tools.

Never trust a lock if you value your fingers.

 :cheers:

:agree: the advantages you point out are one of the main reasons, I love the Spirit. 

The one downside I see of having all outside opening tools is that they are more likely to get dirt and debris.  But as long as you clean it like any other SAK, it isn’t a problem.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,405
Re: Multi tool durability vs design features
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2020, 01:27:35 PM »
Would you consider a tool durable if it could fail in a dusty/dirty environment?

I had an implement on my Vic. Spirit once getting very very gritty and not snapping closed.
Some small dust particle went into the tiny spaces of the locking mechanism.

Pic for illustration...




I've got it working smooth again (took some effort though).
It left some marks on the implements tang as you can see here (second from left)..




Compared to the most simple tool locking mechanism I can think of (Leatherman original Supertool) this could not happen. It should work in dusty, muddy and sandy environment just fine...







That durability comes with some inconvenience though  :dunno:

Formerly known as MTMatt
No Life Club Posts: 1,537
Re: Multi tool durability vs design features
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2020, 02:50:37 PM »
Would you consider a tool durable if it could fail in a dusty/dirty environment?

Yes. To me that would just make it less allround and not something to bring to dusty/ dirty environments. I would consider it less universally reliable, but not less durable. In its intended environment it is likely both reliable and durable.

Much in the same way I have lots of otherwise reliable tools that I wouldn't use in a salty environment at sea for instance.

Ideally though of course the more environments and use cases a tool covers the better. (Unless stretching the range starts diminishing functionality). 

"If only simple wasn't so hard" - me
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,405
Re: Multi tool durability vs design features
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2020, 03:28:54 PM »
I completely agree with you Vidar  :salute:

I just wish the manufacturers would indicate the "suitable environments" so one knows beforehand.

Formerly known as MTMatt
No Life Club Posts: 1,537
Re: Multi tool durability vs design features
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2020, 04:16:52 PM »
I just wish the manufacturers would indicate the "suitable environments" so one knows beforehand.

Yes, that would make it easier. I share that wish.  :cheers:

It might come down to whether the manufacturer's focus is on the customers need and long term happiness, versus focusing on just selling something regardless of whether it is suited for the customers use or not. In the latter case it will likely be a once and done customer.

(An added twist here is that the gift share of the market is fairly large. It can be argued that for many gift buyers the knowledge and focus is less on actual functionality, but more on the perceived value as a gift (which is their use of it). And for those cases the end user experience will likely reflect less directly back on the manufacturer sales?

"If only simple wasn't so hard" - me
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: Multi tool durability vs design features
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2020, 08:41:26 PM »
If you want durable, just get a Gerber MP600 blunt nose with normal cutters, and you can beat the snot out of it and never have a problem. I've stood on mine to get it to crimp a really heavy gauge connector, used it as a hammer on numerous occasions, and just generally abused it. And it still looks great and works perfect.

Charles.

 

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