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The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL) 6306

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« on: March 08, 2009, 10:19:59 PM »
Yesterday, I received my very first Bear & Sons multitool from Gadget Guy. Lucky for me, it was the one that I'd had my eye on for quite some time, the Bear Jaws 155 EL, Electrician's tool.

I don't know if I'm typical or not, but many of the DIY jobs I have to do around the house involve some simple wiring, whether it be connecting new light switches or fittings, rewiring plugs or whatever. Since my fascination with multitools started a couple of years ago, I've used almost no other tools for any of these tasks, but rather have "made do" with whatever happened to be in my pocket at the time. I have used the Squirt E4 for stripping wires a few times, but it's diminutive form makes it quite difficult to get a good grip, so I've been on the lookout for a good electrical multi for a while.

I had read a number of comments about the Bear Jaws 155 EL on here previously, so I had a good idea what to expect, or at least I thought I did. I had expected a comparatively crude tool, more about function than form, but not so. This is an extremely well built tool that looks like it will last forever.

The tool conforms to the accepted "standard" multitool size, i.e. 4" long x just over 1" wide in the closed position. Shown here next to a Leatherman Charge TTi:



Obviously, the 155 EL's main claim to fame is the plier head that incorporates wire strippers and gauges, although they have been designed to leave enough at the tips to be considered viable needle nosed pliers too. Interesting to note that wire gauge sizes are provided in both imperial and metric scales too, quite useful here in the UK, as both systems can still crop up.



The other tools on 155 EL are also very well made and very functional. There is no question of them being an after-thought following the design of the plier head. All tools are outside-opening and lock solidly. The levers that you can see in the following picture are for releasing locked tools. They protrude slightly from the handles, and to release the lock, you press them in towards the handle. This is perhaps a flaw with this design, as it is possible (if difficult) to release the lock when torquing down on a screw for example.



I use the screwdrivers on my multitools probably more than anything else, and with two carefully selected flat driver sizes, and a very well thought out phillips design, this tool will handle most electrical tasks that an amateur like myself is likely to face. This phillips design incorporates everything I like about the Leatherman Core's driver (chunky and non-slippy), and loathe about those of some other manufacturers. You can also see in this picture the lock release lever in place, just ready to be squeezed to release the phillips (deliberately or otherwise).



The main blade on the tool is a combo, part serrated clip point, reminiscent of one of my favourite blades, the "PST Sabre". It is reasonably hefty, thickness wise, and due to the outside opening, very usable. The fully serrated blade is reminiscent of the Core's sheep's foot blade (another one of my favourites), although somewhat smaller. Both blades are razor sharp. I find myself wondering if the combo blade is original to the tool, given that there is a dedicated serrated blade too.



In addition to the tools mentioned above, the 155 EL also sports a decent wood / metal file and the almost obligatory bottle / can opener.



If the much lauded "fit and finish" criteria is one that's important to you, then a Bear Jaws might not be for you. The quality is absolutely top notch, but there's been little time spent on making this tool look pretty or incorporating natty features. This is the antidote to all of that stuff. It really is just the bare necessities.

There is a "solidness" about this tool that inspires confidence, and I can confidently predict that mine will get a lot of use. The thickness of the steel in the handles, the reassuring snap as the tools lock open together with the pure functionality of the tool make me a believer. I really can't wait now until my Super Bear Jaws arrives ;)

Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2009, 10:31:03 PM »
A fine review there Dave! :salute:  I do believe you have captured the essence of the entire Bear line. (Solid, with minimal frills.) And the electrician model is a great one to have for your first Bear. :)

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Global Tuffy Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,078 Just Awesome! And a Slayer of Polar Bear!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2009, 10:33:01 PM »
That looks great.

Good write up too.  :tu:

I'm back!!
Chief of the Absolutely No Life Club! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 42,959 Why haven't you got a Farmer yet!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2009, 10:35:11 PM »
Top write up there fella :tu:

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2009, 10:54:40 PM »
I do believe you have captured the essence of the entire Bear line. (Solid, with minimal frills.)

That's pretty much what I expected to be honest, but the precision and quality is far better than I expected having heard that.

Did I read somewhere that this is the tool upon which Victorinox based the Swisstool's external opening blades? The similarity is too great to be coincidence I'm sure. I really like it, and want more ;)


No Life Club Posts: 2,886
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2009, 10:57:13 PM »
Great review Dave.  :multi:

"
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2009, 12:25:54 AM »
I do believe you have captured the essence of the entire Bear line. (Solid, with minimal frills.)

That's pretty much what I expected to be honest, but the precision and quality is far better than I expected having heard that.

Did I read somewhere that this is the tool upon which Victorinox based the Swisstool's external opening blades? The similarity is too great to be coincidence I'm sure. I really like it, and want more ;)



Nice reveiw Dave , I would like to own a Bear Jaws/Toolzall one day.I think in one of spoony's reveiws he mentioned how Victorinox owned Bear&Son as a means to utilize their patents , was it his Spirit reveiw  :think:


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2009, 12:35:48 AM »
Cheers guys. Looks like I got what I was trying to say over :tu:

Mat - I'm sure I read it somewhere, and I'm sure it was on here!

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2009, 01:02:57 AM »
Cheers guys. Looks like I got what I was trying to say over :tu:

Mat - I'm sure I read it somewhere, and I'm sure it was on here!




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Re: Photo Essay: SwissTool Spirit.
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2008, 11:09:18 PM »
   Reply with quoteQuote
Quote from: ringzero on January 30, 2008, 01:29:01 PM
Quote from: Spoonrobot on January 29, 2008, 10:24:28 PM
The SwissTool Spirit presents something of a conundrum to the American tool user....There are no extra embellishments, no art deco holes or blended forms in the metal, just cold European function with the faintest hint of heritage from the American South.
What is that hint of heritage from the American South?

It was J-sews or lonediver that put me onto this first so they may know more than I about it. But, as I understand it Victorinox bought out Bear MGC (based in Alabama) in order to, among other things, acquire their patent for the Bear Jaws tool. Properties of which are incorporated into the Spirit/SwissTool.

Article  http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=105&STORY=/www/story/04-16-1999/0000911114

Info from Soony's Spirit review


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 01:12:33 AM »
Cool. I suspected it was the "daddy" all along ;)  8)

Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2009, 02:21:28 AM »
Yep, it's true. Victorinox bought Bear MGC and acquired the patent for outside-opening blades, which they soon incorporated into the then-new SwissTool. :)


From the article:

J. Merrick Taggart, president and chief executive officer of Swiss Army
Brands, said, "We are deeply pleased by the addition of Bear Cutlery's high
quality knives and multi-tools to our product lines, and we welcome the men
and women of the company to our ranks.  We believe Bear is an innovative and
growing player in the multi-tool business.  They presently hold several
state-of-the-art patents which we are confident will have a dramatic influence
on the direction of the multi-tool business in the foreseeable future
."

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2009, 02:23:02 AM »

B
No Life Club Posts: 4,490 <*();::::::::;~
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2009, 02:28:46 AM »
Very nice tool, Dave!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2rS_QwHwWQ

Forget the video, where are your pix of his knife?  :pok:  :D
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2009, 02:30:34 AM »
LoL. You set yourself up for that one LM123!

Great song that, although I definitely prefer Baloo's version.

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,568
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2009, 02:31:30 AM »
Haha, indeed I did..

Mark my words, I'll eventually have pics of it!  :angel:

B
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2009, 03:20:47 AM »
Well it looks like I've got a ready made Bear collection coming  - woohoooo  :ahhh

No Life Club Posts: 1,757
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2009, 03:32:41 AM »
Haha, indeed I did..

Mark my words, I'll eventually have pics of it!  :angel:
Hurry.   Get the pics before you lose the Knife.  :pok: :pok: :D

Dennis
Global Tuffy Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,078 Just Awesome! And a Slayer of Polar Bear!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2009, 12:08:02 PM »
Haha, indeed I did..

Mark my words, I'll eventually have pics of it!  :angel:

Yeah righto!

I'm back!!
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 61,625
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2009, 10:11:17 PM »
Great review Dave :tu: I have the Crescent Toolzall version  of that tool :D I have a saw instead of the fully serrated blade (which I would rather have the fully serrated blade than the combo blade that comes on it :-\ )

Here's my review :D http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,7783.0.html

It is a great tool for occasional wiring like I myself would do as well ;)
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2009, 10:33:00 PM »
I remember that review now poncho - thanks for reminding me :tu:.

I've got a Toolzall Maintenance Pro, coming too. And a coupe of other Bears ;)

Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 61,625
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2009, 02:32:18 AM »
They very nice tools I don't have any plier based ones yet :D but from the quality of the rest I'd say they are good tools as well :tu:

You will be glad you got them they have a similar appeal to me as the early LMs :o :D
No Life Club Posts: 2,026
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2009, 05:11:03 AM »
Thanks for an other great review!!! :salute:
No Life Club Posts: 4,490 <*();::::::::;~
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2009, 05:33:24 PM »
Haha, indeed I did..

Mark my words, I'll eventually have pics of it!  :angel:

 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Chief of the Absolutely No Life Club! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 42,959 Why haven't you got a Farmer yet!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2009, 05:45:09 PM »
Haha, indeed I did..

Mark my words, I'll eventually have pics of it!  :angel:

 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
:D :D

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
No Life Club Posts: 2,278 Ruler of the E01 society!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2009, 07:15:38 PM »
Thanks for that Dave. Do they do a BO version  ;)

Gabba gabba hey!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2009, 07:28:10 PM »
Dunno to be honest. I've never seen one, but then again, you don't see that many Bear tools, period.

Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 61,625
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2009, 10:31:21 PM »
 :think: I don't think Bear tools come in BO :-\

But TBH I don't know for sure perhaps Bob or Dennis will show up and clear it up they seem to know quite a bit about Bear Tools :tu:
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2009, 11:52:38 PM »
I've never seen a black oxide Bear.

Closest thing was a Mini-Bear with black powder-coat handles, but that ain't quite the same. :-\



In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 61,625
Re: The Bear Necessities. (Bear Jaws 155 EL)
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2009, 03:07:17 AM »
I've never seen a black oxide Bear.

Closest thing was a Mini-Bear with black powder-coat handles, but that ain't quite the same. :-\


(Image removed from quote.)

Very pretty though :drool:

But not BO :-\ :D

 

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