My first impression looking at the SOG PowerDuo blister pack with the picture and quote of “Gunny approved”? Well, I’m not a fan of anyone approved products by anyone other than people who really use the tools. But, if it is Gunny approved it has to be good right? Hoorah!
Opening the blister pack was the usual issue: I have to use another tool/blade to open it. It did open with ease though, better than I expected and I did it without receiving any mortal wounds. In the pack was the PowerDuo itself and a nifty nylon belt pouch. Let’s start with the tool. The tool kind of felt like a Generation 4 Glock to the touch. It has the same type of reverse stipple pattern. The polycarbonate plastic handles with toothpick and tweezers built in were very Swiss Army Knife like. The frame is a metal skeleton with mini rivets and torx heads holding the rest together. This was done in great taste without any gaudy impressions. This is surely a hybrid between a knife and a multi tool and sets an example for others to follow. Take away the pliers and you have a doppelganger of Victorinox 111mm multi-blade pocketknife. I’m very impressed with this setup.
The blade is 2.9 inches in length, with a black in color non-reflective coating. It also has an easy one hand open thumb hole. This works seamlessly with either the left or the right hand. The locking setup for this blade was a great surprise being a mid-lock setup. The mid lock is not usually found on a multi-tool. It was a great plus as far as I was concerned. With the lock back opened, it had a great in hand feel for opening boxes and sharpening sticks etc. I was really impressed with how ergonomic it really was.
The plier side was executed very well on the PowerDuo. It has needle nose pliers with the inner curved bolt grip and great wire cutters. Additionally they use the SOG renowned Compound Leverage system along with one-handed flip opening capability. I found out that even in tight areas the needle nose tips will grasp with no problems. This was used many times on fuel line clamps and it worked very well with no slippage. I also found out in a pinch that the tip, while closed, will fit in a square Scrulox screw head. This was a neat addition to the already stocked toolset it holds.
As with any multi-tool the PowerDuo has all the usual additional everyday tools. The Phillips head screwdriver was just the right length and head size for what I needed to do. I found the tip to be smaller than usual and thought that this was a great change. I have found with other tools, the tip is too large to work out those pesky Frearson heads in an emergency. This was not the case with the PowerDuo’s screwdriver tip, it was perfect. There is also a bottle opener flat tip screwdriver combo. This held up easily to all those non-twist beer bottle caps. This is very important at the end of a late work day. The addition of a can opener also helps open those cans of whatever is stuck in the bottom drawer of your desk at work. It has the visuals of the Victorinox type of opener, not the Wenger type I, which I prefer as it seems to glide rather than punch a new chunk every cut.
The pouch is a bit large for the tool. When you put the tool inside, and pull the flap down tight the two squares of Velcro do not meet up. I would call that an engineering flaw. Or maybe this pouch is used for a more than one tool. The poly clip on the back is great because you do not have to feed your belt through a loop. I like the idea that it can be taken off at any time without taking your belt off.
Pros: The PowerDuo has a great blade with a good factory edge and itt has a great feel when locked open. The super SOG Compound Leverage system is also a great plus in my book. The neat unintended idea that you can use the tip for square Scrulox screw heads was a great find. The belt clip on the pouch was a great addition. Last, I really like that they have added the toothpick and the tweezers.
Cons: The patches of Velcro do not line up. I would have made some sort of adjustment there. A pocket clip on the physical tool would have been wonderful also. If they had taken the thin pliers side handle and had added a wedge or pry tool that would have also made some great additions.
All in all this is a pretty awesome little addition to anyone’s EDC gear, or woods kit. When you add everything you are receiving in this package, I don’t understand how you could not buy it. It is neither knife nor tool, but an equal combination of both nested in a compact form. Take away the pliers and you have a multi-blade pocketknife with a full size locking blade, screwdrivers, can/bottle openers, tweezers, etc. Take the knife side away and you have SOG’s renowned Compound Leverage pliers with one-handed flip opening capability. Put the two together and the Power Duo gives you options in an ever-changing volatile world. The PowerDuo is listed at an $80.00 MSRP on SOG’s site but as always some judicious online shopping should net you an even better deal.
Blade Length 2.9″
Weight 6.3 oz.
Head Type Needle Nose
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