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SOG PowerAccess Deluxe Review

A highly featured tool with innovative inclusions and a few redundancies
SOG PowerAccess Deluxe
Photo: SOG
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Price:  $80 List | $78.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Many functions, innovative adapters, strong pliers squeeze,
Cons:  Vulnerable parts of handle, small knife blade, no scissors
Manufacturer:   SOG
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 4, 2021
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 21
  • Functions - 40% 7
  • Construction Quality - 25% 7
  • Ergonomics - 20% 6
  • Portability - 15% 6

Our Verdict

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.

In past years, we've also bought and tested the non-Deluxe version of this tool. The SOG PowerAssist is burlier than the Deluxe model, with a higher weight and lower number of functions, and doesn't come with accessory hex bits.

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Pros Many functions, innovative adapters, strong pliers squeeze,Compact, light, with multiple carry options, smart, effective toolsComprehensive, well-made, aftermarket accessories and carry optionsInexpensive and well-made, spring-loaded pliers, scissors, pocket clip, one-handed bladeTiny, well made, excellent bottle opener
Cons Vulnerable parts of handle, small knife blade, no scissorsFew featuresProprietary bit driver, no pocket clip includedHybrid straight/serrated blade, squashed Phillips driver, short main bladePackage opener is specialized, screwdrivers are tiny
Bottom Line A highly featured tool with innovative inclusions and a few redundanciesA multi-tool that optimizes ergonomics and portability by reducing the tool set to the most important ones for daily use and carryA full-function tool from a great manufacturer at a reasonable priceA 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'tA keychain tool whose utility belies its tiny stature
Rating Categories SOG PowerAccess Deluxe Leatherman Skeletoo... Leatherman Wave+ Leatherman Wingman Gerber Dime
Functions (40%)
7.0
5.0
8.0
4.0
3.0
Construction Quality (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
6.0
Ergonomics (20%)
6.0
10.0
7.0
8.0
3.0
Portability (15%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
9.0
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 Needle nose, regular Needlenose with 2 wire cutters Needlenose, regular, wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, crimper Spring-loaded regular and needlenose Spring loaded needle nose 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
Scissors No No Yes Yes Yes
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
Saw? Wood, metal No Yes No 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
Sheath included? Yes No Yes Yes No
Other carry options Pocket Carabiner style clip, pocket clip Pocket 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."

Performance Comparison


All the tools and components of the PowerAccess Deluxe, showcasing...
All the tools and components of the PowerAccess Deluxe, showcasing the high number of features included with this tool.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Functions


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.

Between the hinges of the pliers head sits this bit holder/grabber...
Between the hinges of the pliers head sits this bit holder/grabber. It works well and is an elegant solution. It is redundant with the socket driver plus the included 1/4" socket.
Photo: Jediah Porter

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.

Shown here is the PowerAccess' 1/4 inch square drive adapter, plus a...
Shown here is the PowerAccess' 1/4 inch square drive adapter, plus a 1/4" hex socket that is in turn holding a 1/4" hex driven Phillips bit. You've got lots of customizing and accessorizing options with the PowerAccess.
Photo: Jediah Porter

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.

Ergonomics


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.

Portability


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.

The included belt sheath of the SOG PowerAccess Deluxe. The sheath...
The included belt sheath of the SOG PowerAccess Deluxe. The sheath also holds the included selection of accessory bits, but does not hold that selection well.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Construction Quality


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.

For occasional handy tasks around house and apartment, the SOG has a...
For occasional handy tasks around house and apartment, the SOG has a pretty good collection of attributes. In some ways it has more than you need. There are redundant, duplicate screwdrivers, for instance.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Value


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 SOG PowerAccess blade is small and thin. It deploys, with...
The SOG PowerAccess blade is small and thin. It deploys, with practice, with one thumb.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Conclusion


The PowerAccess Deluxe isĀ  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