SOG's PowerAccess Deluxe is nearly full-featured and brings some leading innovations to its form and function. We like the mechanical advantage of the pliers and the clever socket/bit driver. The main blade is small and some of the built-in features are redundant with those that are included as accessory bits. The construction leaves some vulnerabilities in the handle strength. We also wish there were scissors. Still, this tool has plenty of functions and bits for a wide array of applications. It's well-built and useful enough to earn its price tag, which isn't as much as the high-end multi-tools we've tested while its performance comes pretty darn close.
SOG PowerAccess Deluxe Review
Cons: Vulnerable parts of handle, small knife blade, no scissors
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|Pros||Many functions, innovative adapters, strong pliers squeeze,||Compact, light, with multiple carry options, smart, effective tools||Comprehensive, well-made, aftermarket accessories and carry options||Inexpensive and well-made, spring-loaded pliers, scissors, pocket clip, one-handed blade||Tiny, well made, excellent bottle opener|
|Cons||Vulnerable parts of handle, small knife blade, no scissors||Few features||Proprietary bit driver, no pocket clip included||Hybrid straight/serrated blade, squashed Phillips driver, short main blade||Package opener is specialized, screwdrivers are tiny|
|Bottom Line||A highly featured tool with innovative inclusions and a few redundancies||A multi-tool that optimizes ergonomics and portability by reducing the tool set to the most important ones for daily use and carry||A full-function tool from a great manufacturer at a reasonable price||A budget tool with real value and function, this model is compact with a feature set that does much of what you want and little that you don't||A keychain tool whose utility belies its tiny stature|
|Rating Categories||SOG PowerAccess Deluxe||Leatherman Skeletoo...||Leatherman Wave+||Leatherman Wingman||Gerber Dime|
|Construction Quality (25%)|
|Specs||SOG PowerAccess Deluxe||Leatherman Skeletoo...||Leatherman Wave+||Leatherman Wingman||Gerber Dime|
|Number of functions||21 + bits||5 + bits||18 + bits||10||9|
|Weight (ounces)||8.6 oz, 13.0 oz with case and bits||5.0 oz||8.5 oz, 9.5 oz with case||6.8 oz, 7.8 oz with sheath||2.3 oz|
|Locking tools?||All but pliers||All but pliers||All but pliers||Scissors and blade||None|
|Pliers type||Needlenose, regular||Needlenose with 2 wire cutters||Needlenose, regular, wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, crimper||Spring-loaded regular and needlenose||Spring loaded needlenose pliers|
|Tools accessible without deploying pliers||All||Blade||Blades, saw, file||Blade and scissors||All|
|Blades and type||1 straight, 1 serrated||1 straight drop point||1 straight, 1 serrated||1 hybrid serrated/straight drop point||1 straight blade|
|Number of screwdrivers||14 included. Infinitely more available as aftermarket bits||4 included, more available aftermarket for proprietary driver||5 included/integrated. More available aftermarket for proprietary driver||3||2|
|File?||Yes||No||Yes, wood/metal and a diamond-coated file||Yes||No|
|Openers||Can, bottle||Bottle||Can and bottle||Can, bottle, and a unique box opener||Bottle, package|
|Other important features||One-handed blade. Protractor. 1/4 drive, square socket driver.||None||Ruler||Very small ruler||Tweezers|
|Other carry options||Carabiner style clip, pocket clip||Pocket, Pocket clip||Key ring attachment|
|Closed dimensions (Length by thickness, in inches)||4.5 x 0.6||4.3 x 0.6||4 x 0.7||3.8 x 0.7||2.8 x 0.6|
|Open length (pliers, in inches)||6.6 in||6.2 in||6.3 in||6.2 in||4 in|
|Open overall length (primary blade deployed, in inches)||7.1 in||6.8 in||6.9 in||6.4 in||4.1 in|
|Length of primary blade effective edge (inches)||2.5 in||2.6 in||2.8in||2.4 in||1.4 in|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The SOG PowerAccess Deluxe is this company's most feature-rich multi-tool and a competitor to the other top-end products in our review. It has many of the attributes we look for, super smooth pliers, and serviceable other parts. In some ways, its construction is notably good while in other ways, its construction is a little "behind."
As SOG's most feature-filled tool, we were pretty hopeful when first reviewing the PowerAccess Deluxe. It does indeed have some cool and unique attributes, but it isn't revolutionary. There are some notable omissions (scissors? Where are the scissors, SOG?) and some redundancies (what's with all the screwdrivers built-in, given that they include two different bit drivers and auxiliary bits?).
The blades, pliers, openers, built-in drivers, file, and saws are all pretty standard. The main blade is rather thin for such an otherwise robust tool, especially given SOG's pedigree with sturdy blades on other products. The most unique features on the PowerAccess are the protractor and the bit/socket drivers. The protractor can be used to make rudimentary measurements of certain angles. This is cool and could be included with any balisong-style multi-tool.
The bit/socket drivers deserve further explanation. There are two drivers on this product. One is a "squashed" 1/4 inch square socket driver, similar to what you'd find on a ratchet and socket set, but with two of the four corners cut off. You can drive any 1/4" socket on this driver. SOG includes one socket. The socket they include is 1/4" female hex drive. You can turn 1/4" bolt heads with this socket, just like with any other socket. You can also turn any of essentially infinite accessory 1/4" hex drive bits. SOG includes a starter set of 1/4" driver bits. You can turn these bits with the socket on its adapter or with a bit holder on the "back end" of the plier jaws. When the tool is closed, the reverse end of the plier jaws is shaped and aligned to come together in such a way that they pinch the included (and aftermarket) driver bits. One-half of this bit grabber is magnetized to keep the bit in place until you apply squeezing pressure via the tool handles.
Having two drivers (socket and bit) of accessories is cool and innovative. With the included socket, though, the pliers-bit-holder is redundant. If you lose the included adapter/socket, the pliers-bit-holder finds much greater value.
The pliers deploy smoothly and with even friction. We have come to expect this super-smooth pliers action on SOG tools. The PowerAccess Deluxe has mechanically advantaged pliers much like we have tested extensively on other SOG tools. We notice at least a little greater holding power from pliers like this.
All the non-pliers functions on the PowerAccess deploy without activating the pliers. This is the modern standard and we are glad SOG has gone this route with this tool. The main blade deploys, with some practice, with one thumb, though other tools (including tools from SOG) have easier-to-engage main blades.
A full-size, accessorized tool like this is closer to a small toolbox than it is to a daily-carry item. The PowerAccess Deluxe is about as heavy and bulky as a multi-tool gets. When you add the sheath and accessory bits/adapters, the whole package is large enough to require a belt on your pants. That is ok. You choose a tool like this for extensive use and in-depth tasks.
We had no issues with the durability or construction of the SOG PowerAccess Deluxe. We broke a different SOG tool in the past, so we're a bit gun-shy. Also, there are some vulnerable places in the construction of the handle of this product. To "fit it all in," the handle of the PowerAccess Deluxe is made with metal that is thinned down to what seems like the bare minimum. We had no problems with it, but it's worth noting. We can envision where and how a break could happen here.
This is a craftsperson's tool. You pay a premium for the feature set. Aside from potential breakage that we deem unlikely but possible, the tool will last a long, long time. All the individual components are sturdy. If you want and need all the functions, you will justify the cost and you will take care of it. For the price, no other model has as many functions and hex bits included, so there is good value here.
The PowerAccess Deluxe is SOG's next step in their process of refining and improving their multi-tool line. Overall, this company isn't yet in the same league as other players in the category, but they are working in that direction.
— Jediah Porter
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