SOG PowerAssist

I received the SOG PowerAssist today and I was anxious to share some initial impressions--a full review will be posted later.  The PowerAssist is very similar to the PowerLock (reviewed earlier).  The PowerAssist and the PowerLock are the same overall length and share most of the same components.  The PowerAssist has all of the improvements which were added to the PowerLock earlier this year: improved pliers and wirecutter, gear covers, and piano key locks.  The main difference between the PowerAssist and the PowerLock is the assisted opening blades.  The PowerAssist is the first multi-tool with assisted opening blades! 

There's one plain edge (double ground) and one serrated blade (chisel ground) which are both accessible without opening the pliers.  According to the instructions, "to deploy a knife blade...slowly apply pressure in an outward motion until S.A.T. activates and fully deploys the blade into the open position".  Mine stopped part way.  I found it necessary to loosen the pivot pins before the S.A.T. would fully deploy the blade--it works great now.  A drop of oil to the pivot may also work. 

The blades on the PowerAssist are a bit larger than the blades on the PowerLock and they use a different locking mechanism.  The blade is unlocked by pushing a release on the side of the handle.  There's also a safety to keep the blade from deploying accidentally.  The blades and the mechanism for assisted opening occupy one entire handle (limiting the available space for other tools) but SOG managed to load the PowerAssist with a good selection of tools in the opposite handle.  The S66 has a combination file and large screwdriver, a large screwdriver, a combination medium screwdriver and bottle opener, a combination small screwdriver and bottle opener, a #1 Phillips screwdriver, and a v-cutter.  An EOD version of the PowerAssist with a C4 spike is also available.  See SOG's "multi-tool component chart" for a quick comparison of the PowerAssist, the EOD PowerAssist, and the other SOG multi-tools.

A handle cover covers up the tools when they aren't in use and provides a comfortable grip for the pliers.  The design uses a ball and detent to keep the cover closed.  This design was previously used on the PowerPlay PT-540, a multi-tool which was the product of a collaboration between SOG and Paladin Tools.  It's a nice touch and I prefer this design over the design of the cover on the PowerLock.  The cover is removeable for those who prefer quick access to the tools rather than a comfortable grip for the pliers. 

The PowerAssist came with either a nylon or leather sheath
.  In case you're wondering, a PowerAssist will fit inside the leather sheath for a PowerLock.  I've always liked SOG's leather sheaths (so does my bloodhound--she has eaten two of them!) but the nylon sheath is pretty good also.

The nylon sheath for the PowerAssist isn't one of those typical pancake-style sheaths.  It's more comparable to the fitted sheath that comes with the Leatherman Surge--except that it has a belt clip rather than a belt loop.  

The clip on the PowerAssist sheath is a bit lower than some so the sheath rides a bit higher.  It seems to work well but I prefer a belt loop rather than a belt clip.  It's mainly just a matter of personal preference but a belt loop seems more secure to me.  Some may prefer the belt clip since it may also be clipped to a pocket or a waist band.  Also you don't need to undress to remove a sheath with a clip!

More to follow...

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