After a versatile multi-tool without the bulk? I’ve been testing out the SOG PowerPint multi-tool from SOG Knives, £47.95. This smaller design weighs just 119g but still sports 18 different tools. Here’s how it fared with camping and DIY.
Legal note: Before you buy a multi-tool make sure you’re up to speed with where and how you can legally use a locking knife in the UK. In England and Wales under Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 it may be an offence to have any bladed instrument in your possession in a public place unless you are able to show good reason (such as camping and bushcraft activities) for doing so.
Review of the SOG PowerPint multi-tool
At first glance: Here’s exactly what’s included in the small but mighty SOG PowerPint: an awl, a serrated blade, a straight blade, a bottle opener, a can opener, a three-sided file, a flat screwdriver, a gripper, a hex bit driver, a jewellery driver, a line cutter, needle nose pliers, a Phillips screwdriver, a protracter, a ruler, scissors and wire cutters for hard and soft wires. The PowerPint is, in general, a real pleasure to use – it feels comfortable and solid when held in your hand and folds up easily and neatly. Each component locks in place and feels like great quality, which can’t be said of other affordable multi-tools I’ve owned in the past. And despite being smaller than some heftier, heavier multi-tools, the PowerPint’s tools don’t feel too mini or fiddly too use.
Camping: The PowerPint is a great little camping companion. The straight blade is ideal for preparing camp food, and can even take on bigger jobs such as gutting a fish. Wire cutters, scissors and a can opener all come in handy around camp, and of course, no campsite is complete without a few beers, so having a bottle opener ready to go in your pocket will make you very popular. The only thing I’d change is that the serrated blade, while great for cutting the odd bit of kindling, isn’t tough enough to deal with thicker wood, so you’ll need a separate saw for your campfire prep.
DIY: I use my SOG PowerPint most often when I’m working on my van conversion. It’s so useful to have two screwdrivers and a handy pair of pliers in my pocket rather than constantly digging around in our massive tool box for what I’m after – nine times out of ten I just need a Phillips screwdriver for a quick bit of work (we’re taking out old fittings and building shelves in our vintage campervan at the moment). The ruler is brilliant for rough on-the-go measurements, and the clever magnetic bit holder is useful for jobs that don’t need a drill. I’d have liked a regular size flathead screwdriver rather than a mini one, but for this size and weight you can’t have it all – and what you do get in the PowerPint is great. The pliers are the stars of the show, and are just as tough and reliable as regular pliers.
Verdict: Multi tools come in all shapes and sizes – and if you’re a hardcore survivalist or work outdoors every single day you might want to go for a full-sized multi-tool with more options. But if you want a pocket-sized, versatile multi-tool you can use at camp or for practical projects, the SOG PowerPint is a great quality (and well-priced) choice.