SOG Powerlock S60 ReviewJune 15, 2013
- “Compound Leverage” needle nose pliers
- 1/4" Drive
- Can be taken apart, reorganized or repaired with ease
- Scissors that can cut through 12ga wire—Wow!
- Handle covers pop off pretty easily
Besides the handle covers, this multi-tool functions with ease and determination, making it a welcome addition to the novice or professional’s every day tool-kit. Some folks may find the Powerlock to be a bit big for their pocket, but SOG has included a heavy-duty belt sheath for them. I think this tool would really shine on automotive tasks, but heck, I’m convinced it can really do anything you want it to.
The SOG Powerlock S60 is a powerhouse of a multi-tool. Featuring SOG’s patented “Compound Leverage” gear mechanism on its needle nose pliers, this tool was built for light and heavy use—allowing the user to get almost two as much grip as any other multi-tool on the market today. Fifteen other components, including a 1/4” bit drive round out this beast, which comes complete with a heavy-duty belt mountable nylon sheath.
This tool was obviously designed for a higher purpose than most tools in its price range. The geared pliers are revolutionary and cannot be beat. As par for the course with SOG, this tool is over-built, but when you add in a blasting cap crimper, you are aiming at a more complex crowd. That doesn’t mean an average handy person wouldn’t benefit from having this on their belt or in their pocket.
Construction and Materials
Like most other SOG multi-tools, the ability to be able to “unscrew” the Powerlock completely and break it down is really impressive. What’s even more impressive is that it’s still a very solid tool. The handles and most of the tools are made from stainless steel and the knife blade itself is made from 420HC, which will keep the rust at bay. The only negative aspect of this tool is the handle covers—I understand their function but they add in an extra step to allow the tool to function, and they fall off way too easily.
Utilizing a liner lock on a multi-tool is a guarantee that your tools won’t fold in on themselves, unless you accidentally actuate the button. To further limit that from happening, SOG has made sure that the lock button is level with the rest of the handle. (Now I get where the name comes from!)
I think it could benefit of a materials upgrade to S30V or 154CM, but at the price of the tool, 420HC will do just fine. It might not be the best for cutting through anything sappy or any type of corrosives, but on the flipside, 420HC is known to have fantastic edge retention.
Because this tool can be completely broken down, reorganized and rebuilt, it’s very easy to maintain. There aren’t any complex moving parts or bushings, so this tool is the perfect choice for something that will be abused.
As per the blast cap crimper, SOG has aimed this tool at some of the hardest working people in the industry—the military. Not only do those folks work hard, but they abuse the tools they use. That being said, I have no doubt the Powerlock will stand the test of time. However, and this is by no means a deal-breaker, the handle covers have to go. I would rather see the handles rolled over for a comfortable grip, instead of having to worry about one of these covers popping off and vanishing into the mist.
Pliers and Wire Cutter
These are the strongest pliers in the multi-tool market. They are oversized and aided with a gear system (the aforementioned, “Compound Leverage”) that makes the gripping power unbeatable. Based on design, the wire cutters also benefit from this gear system, and can shear multiple nails in half.
Like a pocketknife, having a blade that has a plain edge and a serrated edge will only benefit you in the long run. The two other tools that really stand-out are the overbuilt scissors, which can cut tin and thicker wire easily, and the 1/4″ bit driver, which allows you to expand the tool endlessly.
As a little aside: For those “civilians” wondering what they are going to do with the blasting cap crimper, it can also be used to crimp butt connectors and quick-connects.
Design/Ease of Use
Having used the SOG Paratool at the same time as the SOG Powerlock, it’s like night and day. The Powerlock is a true, full-sized, heavy-duty multi-tool. The Compound Leverage system makes using the pliers and wire cutters almost effortless, and the internal components open out and lock into place with easy. The negative, again, is the handle covers. They pop off when installed, and the frame is designed to be used with them in place (otherwise, it hurts like hell.)
There are better steels that will hold a better edge, but none will hold an edge as well as 420 HC after being sharpened so easily. A few passes over a stone or a piece of ceramic could leave a good edge on this blade for quite some time. The serration will prove to be a little more of a challenge to re-sharpen, but that won’t be for some time down the road.
“Compound Leverage” Needle Nose Pliers
420HC Serrated / Plain Edge Knife Blade
Blasting Cap Crimpers
Hard Wire Cutter