SOG is one of most creative multitool designers in the market today, with the ever-growing popularity of their Power Pliers and Power Lock tools they have now come out with something more for us to drool over. SOG has introduced the world's first automatic opening multitool; with the push of a button this tool is ready for action quicker than you can say FIX IT!
The SOG SwitchPlier is a very compact tool
The Switchplier features a collapsible plier head that folds into the aluminum body and held in place by a spring loaded pin, and just like a switch blade with the push of a button....pow!
The tools comes in a small package, as small as a Leatherman tool when it's closed and only has a small handful of tools due to the small frame. You get a half serrated knife blade (chisel style with rounded serrations), a file with hacksaw, can opener, bottle opener, and depending on which one you get you have the option of having SOG's incredible 1/4 socket adapter to use whatever bits you want in there or have a Phillips head screwdriver in it's place (a nylon washer is needed to pick up the space because of the size of the socket adapter. The tool is very comfortable in your hand and when using it to cut boxes or tighten a screw it feels very natural and close enough to a real screwdriver than you can get. All the tools lock with the same rocker bar locking mechanism that they pioneered on their Powerlock works well as long as you keep you thumb away from the lock when tightening a screw or it till unlock it while using it.
The SwitchPlier's relatively small tool selection
The SOG Switchplier I would have to say is not something that everyone would use everyday on the job, SOG says the tools is for light to moderate work and due to the method the pliers are assemble in the frame and how they open and close it does not exert a lot of pressure on a nut and you really can't crank on it like you can with compound leverage. I made the mistake of using the wire cutters on something that was too strong for the tool and it resulted in damaging the cutters so they rubbed together and the tool would stick while opening and closing. This I was really surprised considering the strength on the wire cutters on previous tools. With this rubbing I had to loosen the hex bolt that holds the pliers together to keep them from catching, guess I learned my lesson.
Overall the SOG Switchpliers and a useable and yet also a novelty kind of tool, great for daily use but not for the big job that a Powerlock would be up to the challenge of doing. The automatic action of the pliers is addictive and the first week you will just keep opening and closing it just cause it's so darn cool. Question is....with an $80 price tag is it worth the novelty or light use? You be the judge, but for me it was decent but not a do everything tool like most.