SOG EDC Pocket Multitool Review


In your everyday-carry setup, or EDC, where does a good multi-tool fall on your list of priorities? My personal EDC multi-tool, a Leatherman Squirt I’ve had for about a decade, is functional but basic. Given that it’s small, I’ve always been hesitant to use it hard. SOG’s Powerlitre is similarly diminutive, so can it be used to help finish my Yamaha XS400 project in ways the Leatherman can’t?

SOG isn’t a household name such as Gerber or Leatherman, but this Lynnwood, Washington-based company has been making high-quality knives and tools for 35 years. I personally own two of SOG’s pocket knives, which is why when reviewing multi-tools for The Drive, I gravitate toward their products.

The Powerlitre was first released in 2018 and has been well reviewed by others. This older model in SOG’s lineup is actually preferred over some of the brand’s newer multi-tools. To see what everyone was on about as well as to satisfy my own curiosity, we picked one up on Amazon for about $65. 

That’s not cheap for such a small EDC-type multi-tool with somewhat limited capabilities, but it’s reasonable for a quality bit of kit. Between the name and my past experience with the brand’s knives, I had high hopes for the Powerlitre. And it lived up to those expectations.

Unboxing and Initial Impressions of the SOG Powerlitre Multi-tool

The packaging is very basic, just thin cardboard and plastic holding the tool. It was unboxed and in my hand in less than five seconds. I get what SOG’s doing here. Rather than spend money on nice packaging, the company kept it simple, hopefully in order to put that money into the multi-tool. 

On the back was a photo of the Powerlitre with all of its tools deployed and labeled. SOG also listed a link to a short video that walks you through the Powerlitre’s features.

The Powerlitre is 3.2 inches long while closed and 5 inches open with a weight of 4.6 ounces. I verified this with my own scale, and the SOG’s claimed weight was spot on. This particular model comes in a handsome stonewashed finish and has a feeling of quality and solid heft in hand.

The SOG Powerlitre contains 18 tools:

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Scissors
  • Inch ruler
  • Bit-holder latch
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew and foot/lever
  • Awl
  • Jewelry driver
  • Hook cutter
  • Millimeter ruler
  • Straight-edge blade
  • Wire crimper
  • Protractor
  • Bolt gripper
  • Magnetic bit holder

Using the SOG Powerlitre Multi-tool

  • Good: Build quality and features
  • Bad: Can be a bit fussy to deploy some of the tools 
  • Check Latest Price 

The first thing I noticed when opening up this multi-tool is how smoothly the main pivot moves. The entire mechanism has a high-quality feeling, almost like the action you’d expect of multi-tools in the $100-plus category.

Once open, all the tools lock into place solidly. To retract them, depress the release that doubles as part of the ruler. The knife and the hook cutter were sharp enough to cut thick zip ties, and the needle-nose pliers have a strong grip. As for the wire cutters, they easily cut through speaker wire as well as 16-gauge wire and a quarter-inch rubber vacuum line. The bit driver holder works as advertised, however, you will have to supply your own quarter-inch bits. 

I was able to use the bit driver to reinstall some bolts into the side cover of my long-neglected XS400 project and use the vacuum lines I cut to run a piece from the gas tank down to the carburetors.

The pliers and the can opener allowed me to finally get the rear window struts changed out on my Honda Element. It was a simple job; the can opener was able to get under the retaining clip, and then the pliers were used to yank it off. Talk about using what you’ve got.

Over the course of my time with the SOG, I not only used it on personal projects, I also handed it off to a few friends to get their opinions. One was a plumber who has used multi-tools at nearly every price point. He came away impressed with the quality not only of the mechanism but overall quality and the SOG’s features. He actually liked it better than his personal Leatherman Surge, for which he paid more than $100.

Another person who got his hands on the Powerlitre is a knife guy. His only knock is that he would prefer a better steel than the 5Cr15MoV used here, but given the price point, he thought it was fine.

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