Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


SOG PowerDuo Review: a Multi-Tool with a Full-size Knife

“Aren’t there enough multi-tools in the world—whoa, that’s really cool!” As I held it in my hand for the first time, this was my reaction to the SOG PowerDuo. What caused this kind of reaction? Keep reading. There’s a lot here to get excited about.


At first glance, the SOG PowerDuo stands out from other multi-tools in its distinguishable design and features. While other multi-tools like the Leatherman Kick, offer pliers with two equally-sized handles, the PowerDuo changes it up. In order to add a full-size knife to this multi-tool (yes, I said full-size knife), SOG had to design it in a way to keep it sleek, useful, and not too bulky. Hold the knife, and you’ll notice that it doesn’t interfere with your ability to use the pliers. This is because the pivoting handle rotates to keep the big knife out of the way. At the same time, when completely closed, the knife can be easily unfolded with one hand into its locked position—safe for most any job. The handle that pivoted to unleash the pliers is also tucked away when the tool is wielded for knife purposes.

SOG-powerduo-side

SOG PowerDuo Features

Like the other SOG multi-tools, this one is loaded with a geared compound lever, which allows for increased force at the plier jaws and wire cutter. As a guy with many multi-tools, I have to tell you that I love the gear component because it offers superior leverage and strength. As I see it, this is an area where SOG really dominates the market.


Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 10.17.02 AMBut we have to go back to the integrated full-size knife. As a guy who loves knives, I’m usually very critical of the multi-tool blade. In this case, however, SOG incorporates an excellent full-size blade that is easily unfolded with one hand and safe enough for any task. The blade is 2.9 inches in length and housed in a comfortable 4.3-inch glass reinforced nylon handle (polycarbonate for the clear PowerDuo). Because the handle is thicker than a typical knife, it fills the hand more, which allows for better control and better grip—there’s no slippage. I mentioned that it’s very safe, and this safety comes from the locking mechanism that other SOG knives also carry. One press on the spine of the handle and the knife folds back into place with no problem.

The PowerDuo offers three other easy-to-access folding components, each embodying several features (I counted 6 in all). It’s in this arena, however, that I have my biggest critique. It is undeniable that the locking mechanism for the three smaller folding tools is difficult to move (watch SOG’s video and even they appear to stumble folding them back in place). You must press very hard with your thumb to unlock the tools when in position, and even then the small handle interferes with folding them home. As a result, there is a bit of an annoying learning curve to be overcome.

The PowerDuo is true to its name in that it offers a powerful set of pliers and a beastly knife. This Duo is unlike any other multi-tool on the market, and with its retail price of $80 I recommend it for multi-tool and knife lover alike.

Now, the question is: which color do you go for? Do you get the clear case or the all-black? The Clear PowerDuo (PD01-N) is a clever design and allows you to see the moving components, but for me…give me the Black model (PD02-N) to match the included nylon sheath! It just looks mean as hell and ready for anything. I like that in a tool—especially one that offers a six and a half inch folding knife.

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