The multi-tool is the main piece of equipment in any EveryDayCarry (EDC) collection. Our “goto” multi-tool has been either the Leatherman’s Skeletool or CRKT’s ZillaTool. The Skeletool has been serving us well for eight years and the ZillaTool for a couple. We were so satisfied with those multi-tools that we stopped keeping tabs on that tool category.
Recently, a couple of readers asked us about SOG’s Reactor. We took a quick look, liked what we saw, and thought perhaps it was time to take a closer look and see what has changed in multi-tools. Perhaps something had finally stepped up to challenge our current EDC choices!
The SOG Reactor has the following tools:
- Hardcased black coated stainless steel assisted blade
- Compound leverage geared Needle Nose Pliers
- Bolt/Nut Gripper
- Hex Bit Driver (Magnetic 1/4″)
- Flat Driver Bit (Large)
- Phillips Bit
- Bottle Opener
- Lanyard Ring
- Wire Crimper
- Wire Cutter (Hard)
The first thing we noticed when we took the SOG Reactor out of the package was how light this multi-tool was compared to our two favorites. At a little more than 4 ounces, the Reactor is an EDC item that is definitely easy to “C.”
The Reactor is easy to fold and very compact when folded (Open: 5.3-inches, Closed: 3.8-inches). While not uniformly flat like the Skeletool, the Reactor’s rounded edges on the angles which come into contact with skin/clothing offers comfort and minimizes snagging.
The transformation from a folded tool to a pair of pliers is simple and smooth. Unlike other multi-tool pliers, the Reactor’s pliers are “compound leverage geared” to increase the grasping force of the jaws, reducing the likelihood of slippage during use.
Another often used tool in a multi-tool is the blade. The SOG Reactor blade is made from 420 stainless steel. This type of steel contains a minimum of 12% chromium, providing good corrosion resistance to the atmosphere, foods, fresh water, mild alkalies and acids, steam, sterilizing solutions, crude oil, gasoline, and other similar corrosive conditions. This steel is capable of being hardened up to 50 RHC (Rockwell Hardness Chart).
Opening the blade is made quick and smooth by the spring-assist. Once opened, the blade is locked in place by a safety leaf, a typical feature found in many folders. Unwanted or accidental opening of the blade can be prevented by engaging the sliding lock-tab. The nice thing with the SOG design is that, with a little practice, the unlocking, opening, and closing of the blade can be easily accomplished with one hand.
At the butt end of the Reactor are a couple of the tools: lanyard ring, bottle opener, bit/and holder. A surprise to us was that the bit holder was not the driver itself. However, we suspect that for light-duties, the holder would work just fine driving the bit.
For heavier-duty bit driving, the SOG Reactor has created a unique mechanism for the task. Instead of the typical socket, the Reactor uses a clamping mechanism to hold the bit in place. The approach is innovative, and we are a intrigued to see how it compares to the usual slotted opening drivers.
Like some multi-tools (ZillaTool-yes, Skeletool-no), the Reactor driver will take standard 1/4″ bits. This means that we should be able to attach the wide collection of bits we already have in house, including extensions and sockets! How cool is that???
Embedded into the sides of the driver are magnets that keep the bit in place before the jaws clamp down; no other multi-tool uses this approach. The clamping action exerts a fair amount of force and should keep the bit from moving. We are eager to see how well the design holds up in actual use.
The potential is there for this SOG Reactor to be a great EDC addition. We hope to have the FirstUse posted by Spring, and our InTheWild thoughts on it after we have had a chance to take it around the block some.
Amazon links to items mentioned: