Posts Tagged ‘survival tools’

040310_0154_TheSOGPower1.jpgTo begin with today’s post, I will repeat the last paragraph of my last post: The bottom line here is that if your roots are not healthy and strong, neither will your tree of life be. Make sure the roots of your preparedness planning are strong, and diverse enough to withstand any potentially devastating event.

As we look at the illustration of the tree of life and survivalism, we find that there are several ingredients that  allow a tree to become big and strong, living life to its fullest expectancy. One of those criteria requires that the tree have a strong and healthy root system, so too must our preparedness and survival planning also have a strong root system.

One of the trends I have witnessed over the last few years in this arena is the marketing of gimmickry and neat gadgets to the prepper community. They may be cool items and we are all too frequently drawn to them because of what we think they may provide us in terms of disaster readiness, but they do not replace good old fashioned common sense preparedness.

For instance, one company is promoting a combo-tool type of product that will supposedly allow you to survive any disaster, against all odds. At least that is what the advertising leads you to believe. However, reality says that while it is a neat gadget, it does not do anything better than the tools you probably already have at hand, and in fact will most likely be less than able to compete with what you already have when the crap hits the fan.

Why is that? Well, one of the things i have learned about multi-tool gadgets is that while they may look cool, and perform a lot of tasks, it cannot perform any one task better than a tool that was specifically designed to do that task. In other words, while the gadget might be able to get you out of a quick bind, will it do the job better, and will it do the job longer that a tool that was designed for the job? The answer is simply; of course not.

Don’t get me wrong here, i am not against using multi-tools, and in fact own a few myself. Nevertheless, I do not rely upon them as my main survival tools. I use them as quick fixers in a situation where i just do not feel like getting out the big guns. When I want the job done right, I use the right tool. They might get you out of a jamb, but they will not carry you through a long-term survival situation.

Imagine if you will a widespread devastation and the world goes dark. No power, no fuel, no job, no cash, and even if there was, no place to buy anything. You can cook food and sterilize water by boiling it over a fire. Imagine cutting enough wood to live by with one of those little muti-tool  saw blades. See what I mean about planning? Do not get caught up in the gimmickry of today’s marketing and expect these quick fix items to be you main solution in any preparedness and survival situation.

Collect an ample assortment of real tools to do the job with for when the unexpected actually happens. Use your workshop as one of your roots to grow your tree of survival.

I’m always looking out for tools and procedures that can save time, weight and space, but I am also a cheap bugger so I also look for value. I believe I have found just such value in the SOG multi-tool known as the Powerlock model S62, with a neat little V cutter. It’s a bit heavy to lug around but I did get used to the weight, and the fact that I was able to cut back on some of the tools I would carry made up for the difference. The V cutter is its claim to fame, but I don’t really see the reasoning for that claim. What the V cutter is can be described as simply a strap cutter. It is similar in design to what EMTs and other emergency response people would call a seat belt cutter. All you have to do is pull the tool towards you after placing it over the webbing material.

Of course, you can always use it for cutting line and rope as well. You could even use it to rip down a piece of nylon or other fabric to repair a big hole in your tent or other equipment in the field. It seemed to hold an edge fairly well, and replacement of the V-cut tool is relatively easy. And that is one thing I do like about this SOG tool. If needed, you can order replacement or extra tools from the company at a fairly reasonable price. Replacement of tools is made by loosening the sex bolt and nuts, pulling them out and inserting the new tool, followed by replacing the sex bolt and nuts.

I would’ve liked to have seen a #2 Phillips driver rather than the #1 that comes with the tool, but it isn’t that big of a deal in the long run. The ¼” drive socket holder is spring loaded to lock the socket in place, which is a great idea. I owned another brand of tool that lacked this feature and I was always dropping the sockets off of the tool. As far as the blasting cap crimper goes, I don’t believe I will be having any use for that, but I did try crimping some fishing sinkers and it turned out to work better than the store bought specialty crimpers for that use.

Unfolded you can measure up to a nine inch fish with it, so with all of the tools in place it earns itself a place on my fishing outings. And if you stretch out the ultra sharp saw and the combo straight and serrated knife blade you’ve got 14.5″. A good survivalist will take the time to measure other combinations of blades to length, and I’ll let you play with that aspect on your own.

I’ve owned several different multi tools in the past and out of all of them I would say this one is probably the better of them. Like any other tool that does more than one thing, it won’t excel at any one particular chore, as a dedicated tool would do, but it does a great job doing a lot of different chores. All in all, I’d say the only drawback to this multi-tool is the fact that you cannot easily sharpen the V-cutter blades. Also, I was not very impressed by the lanyard ring. Like I said, it has earned a spot on my outings and I plan to carry it until it gets lost. And then I may just buy another. I recommend its purchase for your bug out bags and other preparedness needs.

The list price for this tool is $110.00, but I bought mine for $49.99 at a big box hardware store, so shop around for the best price. Here’s the sales sheet from SOG for the complete lowdown on this great little tool:

PowerLock with V-Cutter

The PowerLock features removable, pivoting handle covers that improve the comfort profile for your hand. More pressure can now be exerted on those tough jobs! Thanks to the SOG-exclusive Compound Leverage gears, the PowerLock can be opened and closed with a one-handed flip of the wrist, keeping one hand free… and best of all, this mechanism creates twice the plier force of all other conventional designs.

All tool components are easy to access and lock in the open position. The Phillips even locks in two open positions. With one of the simplest and safest locking devices ever engineered, just press the back of the lock and close the component into the handle.

Key Selling Features:

  • Compound Leverage™
  • One-handed flip opening and closing.
  • Removable comfort hand grips
  • Piano locks
  • Nylon pouch
  • Satin polished finish
  • 100% stainless steel
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Lifetime warranty

Component List:

Pliers/grippers, wire cutter, blasting cap crimper, foldable 1/4″ socket drive, V-cutter, partially serrated knife, Phillips screwdriver, small/medium/large screwdrivers, three-sided file, bottle/can opener, double tooth saw, lanyard ring, awl, and ruler

Specifications:

  • Open length: 7″
  • Closed length: 4.6″
  • Weight: 9.6 oz.
  • Model number: S62
  • UPC: 7-29857-99058-5
  • MSRP $110.00

And don’t forget to order a copy of my new book, A hand Disaster Prepareness Guide. It’s chock full of notes and checklists to help make your preparedness planning easier. Click on the title to go to a secure ordering page.

A Handy Disaster Preparedness Guide

A Handy Disaster Preparedness Guide

Print: $14.95

Download: $10.00

A compilation of tips and how to’s on developing an emergency preparedness plan, and how to get ready for natural and man-made disasters. Also includes a comprehensive listing of state and federal agencies to contact for more help and assistance in dealing with emergency planning and dealing with the aftermath of a disaster.