SOG EOD PowerLock 2.0

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools (SOG) released several new multi-tools this year, including the first multi-tool to feature assisted opening blades (PowerAssist) and a multi-tool with a combination wire cutter/stripper instead of the pliers (PowerCut).  The new multi-tools are largely based on the design of their popular PowerLock multi-tool and the PowerLock itself has been updated a bit this year (PowerLock 2.0).

The original PowerLock was introduced around 1998 to replace the PowerPlier (from ~1996) which lacked locking tools and handle covers.

The old PowerPlier was the first multi-tool to feature compound leverage pliers.  It's a simple but effective design: a set of gears allows greater handle travel in relation to pliers jaw movement.  The result is that by using the same hand strength, twice the wire cutting and pliers gripping strength is generated compared to conventional pliers.  This also allows better control of the pliers since they require less force.

The EOD PowerLock 2.0 updates the original version with new pliers, covers for the compound leverage gears, a new locking system, and a C4 spike for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD).

The gear covers are intended to address a common complaint that the exposed compound leverage gears prevent a comfortable grip of the handle when using the knife, drivers, and the other internal tools.  The same gear covers have been previously used on PowerPlay multi-tools, SOG-based multi-tools with specialized instruments for telecom and datacom professionals.  The newly designed pliers are also similar to the pliers on one of the PowerPlay multi-tools, the PowerPlay PT-525.  The cutters are larger and have a better edge than those on the previous PowerLock.  I have enjoyed these features on the PowerPlay multi-tools and was excited to see SOG incorporate these improvements in their own line of multi-tools.

The newly designed locking system, "Piano Locks" is a bit peculiar.  The original locking bar has been replaced with a series of bars such that each of the tools is locked indepently.  I'm not sure of any real benefit to this design and don't know why SOG chose to change the locking mechanism.

Other than the C-4 punch, the rest of the tools are essentially the same as the ones on the original PowerLock.

Here's a list of the implements:

Compound Leverage Pliers
1/2 Serrated Blade
3-Sided File
Large Screwdriver
#1 Phillips Screwdriver
Combination Can Opener/Small Screwdriver
Combination Bottle Opener/Medium Screwdriver
Wire Crimper
Wire Cutter
Blast Cap Crimper
C-4 Punch

The original PowerLock multi-tool featured a 1/4" and an optional adapter for standard hex bits.  The EOD PowerLock 2.0 features a C-4 punch instead of a 1/4" drive and saw.  A 1/4" drive and a saw can be purchased separately.  One of the extraordinary features of SOG multi-tools is that they can be completely customized with parts available for purchase direct from SOG.  I'm not an EOD technician so I'm planning to remove the C4 punch and customize the tool selection.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with the PowerLock 2.0.  The original PowerLock was the multi-tool that I used the most and I am happy to replace it with the new and improved PowerLock 2.0.

* Compound leverage pliers
* Easily disassembled for cleaning or replacement of worn or broken tools
* Gear covers facilitate an ergonomic grip (new feature)
* Improved wire cutter (new feature)

* Accessing the internal tools requires opening the pliers and the handle covers
* New locking mechanism adds complexity with no real benefit (new feature)

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