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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SOG PowerAccess Deluxe
|Price||$78.99 at Amazon||Check Price on REI|
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|Pros||Many functions, innovative adapters, strong pliers squeeze,||Titanium handle, S30V steel blade, modular portability, full functions||Compact, light, with multiple carry options, smart, effective tools||Comprehensive, well-made, aftermarket accessories and carry options||Versatile and comprehensive outdoor tool kit|
|Cons||Vulnerable parts of handle, small knife blade, no scissors||Heavy, expensive, squashed bit driver||Few features||Proprietary bit driver, no pocket clip included||Specialized components, independent parts can get lost|
|Bottom Line||Lots of features; some of them are truly innovative while others are curiously redundant (drivers) and others are curiously small (blade)||The sky-high standard by which other multi tools are compared||Clever and clean, with only a few tools, all of which are executed well for everyday carry||All you should need, with proven pedigree, at a forgiving price||For outdoor adventures and wilderness survival considerations, we don't know of a better tool than the Leatherman Signal|
|Rating Categories||SOG PowerAccess Deluxe||Leatherman Charge+ TTi||Leatherman Skeletool CX||Leatherman Wave+||Leatherman Signal|
|Construction Quality (25%)|
|Specs||SOG PowerAccess...||Leatherman Charge+...||Leatherman...||Leatherman Wave+||Leatherman Signal|
|Number of functions||21 + bits||19 + bits||5 + bits||18 + bits||17|
|Weight (ounces)||8.6 oz, 13.0 oz with case and bits||8.8 oz||5.0 oz||8.5 oz, 9.5 oz with case||7.6 oz, 8.7 oz with sheath|
|Locking tools?||All but pliers||All but pliers||All but pliers||All but pliers||All but pliers|
|Pliers type||Needle nose, regular||Needlenose with wire cutters, crimper||Needlenose with 2 wire cutters||Needlenose, regular, wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, crimper||Needle nose, regular|
|Tools accessible without deploying pliers||All||Blades, saw, file||Blade||Blades, saw, file||Primary blade, saw, sharpener|
|Blades and type||1 straight, 1 serrated||1 serrated gut hook type, 1 straight drop point||1 straight drop point||1 straight, 1 serrated||1 hybrid straight/serrated|
|Number of screwdrivers||14 included. Infinitely more available as aftermarket bits||1 integrated. Many bits included, with more available aftermarket for proprietary driver||4 included, more available aftermarket for proprietary driver||5 included/integrated. More available aftermarket for proprietary driver||2 included. More available aftermarket for proprietary driver. Even more availalbe aftermarket for limited-function, standard 1/4 inch driver socket.|
|File?||Yes||Yes, wood/metal and a diamond-coated file||No||Yes, wood/metal and a diamond-coated file||No|
|Saw?||Wood, metal||Metal and wood||No||Yes||Wood|
|Openers||Can, bottle||Can and bottle||Bottle||Can and bottle||Can, bottle|
|Other important features||One-handed blade. Protractor. 1/4 drive, square socket driver.||Ruler, cutting hook, wire stripper||None||Ruler||Knife sharpener, ferro spark striking rod, whistle, 1/4 inch socket.|
|Other carry options||Pocket clip, key ring||Carabiner style clip, pocket clip||Pocket, Pocket clip, carabiner clip|
|Closed dimensions (Length by thickness, in inches)||4.5 x 0.6||4 x 0.8||4.3 x 0.6||4 x 0.7||4.5 x 0.6|
|Open length (pliers, in inches)||6.6 in||6.2 in||6.2 in||6.3 in||6.8 in|
|Open overall length (primary blade deployed, in inches)||7.1 in||7 in||6.8 in||6.9 in||7.1 in|
|Length of primary blade effective edge (inches)||2.5 in||2.8 in||2.6 in||2.8in||2.6 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