by Pat Cascio, Survival Blog:
Many folks ask me what types of things they should put in their Bug Out Bag (BOB), and this is a hard one for me to answer. We all have different needs and different ideas about this. When I tell some of these folks what I put in my BOB, they question some of my choices. If they are smarter than I am, then why are they coming to me for advice in the first place? I don’t claim to be an expert in anything; I’m just a serious student in a lot of fields. However, over the course of the past 25 years as a writer, I’ve tested all kinds of products, including firearms, knives, camping gear, survival gear, and many other products. So, I feel I have a good grasp on what works and what doesn’t work. I carry a firearm every day, as do a lot of people. One never knows when we might need it. I also carry one or two knives each day. This comes with testing knives for articles. Ditto is true on the firearms. Each day I also carry a multi-tool, which is the tool I use most on a daily basis.
The original Swiss Army Knife, while a great idea, was never to my own satisfaction, and I’ve owned quite a few of these multi-purpose knives. To be sure, there are actually two official Swiss Army Knife makers. Of course, there are a lot of cheap (and I do mean cheap quality) clones of Swiss Army Knives out there. These clones simply are not worth a dime, if you ask me. I wouldn’t carry one or use one, and I have tested them. They are junk, plain and simple. The original Swiss-made army knives are very high quality. Still, they aren’t meant for hard use. I’ve had more than one literally come apart in my hand under hard use.
Enter the multi-tool, which are being produced by several different companies these days. Once again, buy quality. Don’t buy cheap junk for a couple bucks; they will only fail you when you need them the most. One of the leaders in the mutil-tool field is SOG Knives, and they are constantly coming out with new multi-tools. It’s hard to keep up with them. Most folks think, “Well, I already have a multi-tool. What’s new about this one?” There are many new features that someone should take into consideration. When I run across a new model of multi-tool that does everything my current one does and then some, it has my interest.
Enter the new SOG Power Play multi-tool. The Power Play is a smaller package; it isn’t a full-sized, overly large multi-tool. It falls into that “just right” niche, if you ask me. I’ve had large multi-tools in the past, and I only carried them for a short time because they were too big for my use. One of the main features on multi-tools are the pliers. Some are just plain-Jane, everyday pliers, while some have multi-uses, as the Power Play does. More on this later.
One complaint I have with many multi-tools is that you have to open them in order to access one or two of the knife blades. It shouldn’t be that way, if you ask me. When I pull out a knife blade, I want it fast and easy with nothing complicated. The Power Play allows you to access a straight edge plain blade as well as a fully serrated blade without opening the tool. Thats nice! I also like the SOG compound leverage when using the pliers. It doubles the gripping strength of the pliers, without doubling the amount of hand pressure you have to use, which is a great idea!
here’s hardly a day that goes by where something on my small homestead doesn’t need a repair of some type, from simply tightening a screw on a handgun grip to cutting wire to opening packages from FedEx, UPS, or the USPS. I don’t enjoy having to run back into the house when I run across something that just needs a minor repair and then having to dig through my tool box, which is always a mess, to look for the right tool for the right job. The multi-tool eliminates many of these back and forth trips into the house for the right tool. I’m not talking about overhauling the engine on my pick-up truck, but at times all that is needed is to tighten the clamp on a leaky radiator hose, and multi-tools have several different screw drivers that can get that job done.
Let’s take a close look at all the tools that are contained in the Power Play, and there are 18 of them listed below:
¼-inch bit driver
Bolt grip channel
Fully serrated blade
Hex bit kit
Large flat screw driver
Medium flat screw driver
Needle nose pliers
Phillips screw driver
Small flat screw driver
Straight edge knife blade
Whew! That’s a lot of useful tools in some compact multi-tool, and keep in mind that these are quality tools rather than junk that will break easily. Also, should something break on your multi-tool from SOG, they will repair or replace it, period!
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