Kilimanjaro Gear Rappel II 910067 ReviewJune 18, 2015
- Spring-loaded pliers/wire cutters
- Ergonomic design
- Full-sized drop point knife blade
- Highly visible handle scales
- On-board tools are hard to deploy
- Tools do not lock (the knife does)
- Wire cutters cannot be replaced
In terms of an affordable and reliable multitool, there isn't one better than the Kilimanjaro Rappel II on the market today. It's a heavy and bulky tool, but you'll never have to question it functionality or effectiveness. But because of this, you may be better off stuffing it in a belt pouch, or in your pack. I had a lot of fun working with it—and Kilimanjaro as a whole. With the right marketing, they could really put some of the veteran knife makers on high alert.
CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS
From the weight alone, you can feel that the Rappel II is built to last. It’s black oxide coated steel frame, tools, and aluminum handle scales are held together with Torx screws, which allow you to maintain it in the field.
A majority of the on-board tools featured on the Rappel II nest via detent and do not actually lock. The only locking tool is the knife blade which utilizes a standard liner lock which has not failed me yet.
Kilimanjaro Gear almost exclusively uses 8Cr13MoV for their knife blades, so I would assume the same steel is used here on at least the knife blade—which held up extremely well in testing. The saw and file were not as durable as I expected and though I wouldn’t call them “warn out”, they are tired.
The Rappel was pretty greased up out of the box and I haven’t had to reapply any lubrication to keep it in working order. The cutouts in the handle do allow dust and grime to collect, which is easy to remedy, but it’ll drive aesthetic junkies insane.
Besides a couple of chips in the handles, the Rappel II is holding up like the star quarterback. The file and saw are in need of a little TLC, but are still pretty functional.
Without fail, non-replaceable wire cutters always get damaged and the ones on the Rappel II are no exception. While these got slightly dented in testing, they still work terrifically and the spring is very spry. It’s one of the few multitool pliers that still meet up flush when I close them after all of the testing I’ve done.
The Rappel II is one of the few affordable multitools that features a coating and not a plating on its tools. Plating rounds off the edges of the tools and limits their effectiveness, so it’s nice to see a value priced multitool that is coated.
Putting the file on the side of the flathead made it more difficult to use—to the point where it was almost not worth having—but it didn’t take up any extra room. However, I believe this led to the expedited degradation of the file.
DESIGN/EASE OF USE
The design of the Rappel II is classy and modern. The high-visibility handle scales are an added benefit for night use, or when you’re scrambling to find it in general. Unfortunately, besides the knife and pliers, the other tools are a bear to use. They’re really jammed into the frame—nail-biters beware.
In regards to edge retention on the knife blade, the drop point style blade on the Rappel II is still cutting like it’s brand new—and there aren’t any chips or burrs in the blade. The saw blade is a little worse for wear, and I believe this is due to design and cannot be avoided. This saw’s cutting ability is still better than some of the other multitools I’ve tested, but I know it’s going to be difficult to sharpen.
The Kilimanjaro Rappel II is the most expensive multitool in Kilimanjaro Gears’ line up—at $40, which is a steal for a multi-tool. You’d be hard-pressed to find another multitool on the market with a full-sized knife blade and spring-loaded pliers that work as well as the ones featured here.
Spring-loaded Long Nose Pliers
Full-sized Drop Point Knife Blade
Medium Flat Head Screwdriver
Large Flat Head Screwdriver