Today I had a great chat with SOG founder Spencer Fraser, and members of his team. Spencer is retiring and we wished him the best on behalf of the fine folks here at MTO.
But what's going on with SOG? We all know that SOG has produced some really interesting designs over the years. Their compound leverage tech for multitools is effective too. But as you can see through the threads on our forum, the quality has not always been up to par. My conversation with SOG leads me to believe that they're listening. They're changing up what they're doing and they'll be moving away from lower end retailers like Wal-Mart, and Amazon, meaning they won't be catering to that price point market.
I was happy to hear that they've been reading threads here on our forum. They heard how annoyed MTO members were with the giant flashy SOG logos on all of their products, and the concerns over material and workmanship.
They're currently in the middle of a re-brand and they say they're going back to their founding roots. They're moving away from “SOG” and going back to “Studies and Observations Group”.
Their newest multitool was designed prior to the changes and re-brand. I will admit that I am not sure it will be one of my favourites, however I am really into their new knife line up. They feel very good in the hand, and the quality to me matches the clever design.
I'll be posting more about the knives when I have a moment later, but I wanted to share something with you ahead of time. I had an opportunity to see where Studies and Observations Group is headed for 2021 and I am pumped. It looks like, for the first time in a long while, we might have a unique plier-based multi tool. I viewed some early designs which I wasn't permitted to take photos of, or describe. But I will say that we have something to look forward to in 2021. And I think SOG will be one to watch. SOG has always been good to us at MTO, and our fingers are crossed that their new multis are what we're hoping for!
Seen at SHOT Show 2020:
The rumours were true! Victorinox has released beautiful Aqua Blue Alox for 2020.
Classic SD, Cadet and Pioneer
What do you think of the colour? Let us know here.
(UPDATE below) Today I chatted with Gerber's Kalon Pilmanis about the Armbar multitool series. I know, I know, we had a thread on this tool back in June. But this was the first time I had an opportunity to have these plier-less multitools in my hands. The release date on these tools is Spring, 2020.
My first-impression is very positive. I love the way these tools fit in my hand. The edges feel smooth and finessed. And I am pumped about the features on both of them. I will always carry SAKs. They're beautiful and functional. But there's something to be said about a tool that you don't mind getting scratched up. Could thisbe that tool?
The Armbar Driver is Gerber's answer to the SAK. It's a great looking, great feeling tool that's ideal for EDC in your pocket. Aimed to stop folks from abusing their knife, the Armbar has a bottle opener, pry-bar and an awl. The bit in the driver can easily be replaced with a cheapy from the hardware store—I like this. It also has a one-hand opening blade with a frame lock, that is indeed easy to open.
Best of all, it has... wait for it... scissors! And it's a pretty good pair of scissors too. It's a small tool, but they have a hammer feature on there too.
It comes in onyx, urban blue, and orange.
I really like this tool, but it's sister tool, the Armbar Cork (is even better
Save the day with the Armbar Cork! No really,when you carry a tool with a cork screw, I promise, there will be a time where you'll be the hero. Unfortunately, through a bit of carelessness, I've broken the corkscrews on two of my favourite SAKs. They're bent out of place from desperately trying to get the cork out of the wine bottle. And this tool might be the answer.
To me, the Armbar Cork, is an ideal tool for camping and general every day carry. In fact, I really want one of these for EDC. Like the Armbar driver, it has the same one-hand opening blade with a frame lock, scissors, bottle opener, and hammer. But it has a fabulous cork screw. Why is it fabulous? It comes with, what appears to be, an effective lever (like a bartender's corkscrew) to ensure you safely remove the cork from the bottle. No desperately holding the bottle with your legs which trying to yank the cork out (maybe I'll stop breaking my favourite SAKs?) This also has a can and package opener.
I believe this tool comes in onyx, gold, and orange.
Both tools are retailing for $39 USD.
UPDATE, Jan 22, 2020: After having another good chat with Hal and Eric at Gerber, we brought in a 91mm Victorinox Spartan to compare sizes. Here are a few photos for comparison purposes.
What do you think? Would you consider carrying one of these?
Don't forget to join the conversation here.
The March 2019 Donation Draw prize has been posted, and it's not one you will want to miss if you are a Swiss Army Knife collector! The Series 2 Nespresso knife is more than just any old Victorinox Pioneer!
If I had to pick a passion in my life (beyond Multitool.org of course!) it would probably be outdoor adventure- and to me, there’s no adventure like a paddling adventure. I spend as much time as possible every year in the seat of one of my kayaks, exploring places that many other people will never see. Naturally, when SOG sent me an email to let people know they were supporting a rowing team going for one (or more!) world records in crossing the Atlantic, I took notice!