Believe it or not, I carry this SOG Power Assist multitool, SOG Aegis knife and Fenix L2D flashlight just about everywhere I go. In fact, the only time you'll find me without at least one of the above is on the other side of airport security. Carrying all this means I'm prepared for breakdowns, emergency repairs and the occasional bear attack.
SOG Power Assist:
Know how a quality gun or the precise mechanical components on an
exotic motorcycle just feel so damn good in your hand? This multitool
is equally evocative of perfect function.
Its headline features are the two assisted-opening blades (you push the
thumb stud on the blade to trigger a spring, unlike button-operated
switchblades, this is legal) and the compound leverage system that
doubles input force at the pliers. Both features are super handy and
can be operated one-handed -- invaluable when you're holding something
heavy in the other hand or are clinging to the top of a ladder. The
blades speak for themselves, but the genius of the compound leverage
only becomes apparent once you need to loosen a seized bolt or cut
thick wire. With the force of a firm handshake you can cut quarters in
half with the wire cutters, this means you have an excellent grip on
bolts or whatever ever else you're grabbing onto, making those tasks
much easier. My only gripe is that the wire cutters aren't made from
the hardest of steels, as you can see I've damaged them cutting the
heads off tenpenny nails. Doing that probably qualified as "abuse," but
that's the kind of confidence the tool instills.
That doesn't detract from the overall build quality of the whole tool.
Both blades and all the small tools in the other handle can be
exchanged for new or alternate tools. I ditched the V-cutter for
scissors and swapped in some other general tools like the honest-to-god
phillips head and the sharp-as-hell wood saw. Replacement parts are
super cheap and available directly from SOG. I actually use this as my
primary tool for most general automotive, bike and home work now. In
addition to a handful of cable ties and a sleeve of allen wrenches,
it's pretty much all I need to work on bikes.
The whole knife weighs just 3.1oz thanks to a Zytel (glass embedded
plastic) handle. There's no steel sleeves or similar, but I haven't
detected any flex or weakness due to that. The steel is AUS 8, which
takes an excellent edge, but doesn't hold it as long as I'd like. Like
the Power Assist, the blade is assisted opening and flies open with the
flick of a thumb. The shape of the 3.5" blade is super versatile, with
a fat belly for cutting, a spear tip for penetrating and a full grind
for strength. Holding the knife is extremely reassuring thanks to the
heavily textured grips and slip-free handle and the balance is spot on.
The best features, however, are the pocket clip and tip-up stowage. You
won't even notice the Aegis is in your pocket until you need it.
Fenix L2D CE Premium Q5:
All you need to know is 180 Lumens, 2 AA batteries, 2.5 hours of
perfect, digitally-regulated LED light (55 hours at 12 Lumens). In
addition to being invaluable while working at night, I like carrying it
in New York in case the Subway breaks down and I use it in strobe mode
on my bicycle at night, blinding drunk pedestrians and drunker taxi
SOG and Fenix