REVIEW – I am always looking for the next best thing in a compact multitool, and when a company offers some innovation to the form factor – I am obliged to try it. SOG, having recently been acquired by GSM Outdoors in December of 2021, has made such an offer. The SOG Flash MT boasts compound leverage pliers and an assisted opening knife which make it stand out from the crowd – but is it enough?
What is it?
An early offering from SOG in 2022 is the Flash MT. Part of the company’s daily category, this EDC oriented multitool has borrowed some design elements from the discontinued SOG Reactor. The Flash carries the MT (Multi Tool) designator to distinguish it from the rest of the Flash lineup, which consists generally of assisted opening folding knives.
On paper, the SOG Flash MT is very exciting. The SOG proprietary Compound Leverage pliers and an assisted opening blade are presented in a format that is smaller and lighter than the competition. A SOG branded deep carry clip sits the tool comfortably in the pocket, and the bit driver promises compatibility with standard ¼” hex bits.
Offering seven tools and selling for $70 as of this writing, the SOG Flash MT is a direct competitor to the Leatherman Skeletool in the compact multitool segment at this price point.
What’s in the box?
- 1 x SOG Flash MT
- Product information insert
Features and Specifications
- Components: Compound leverage pliers, wire cutter, magnetic bit holder and bits, bottle opener, assisted open clip point blade, flat head screwdriver.
- Tool Count: 7
- Product Type: Multi-tool
- Product Weight: 4.7oz
- Finish: Gray
- Blade Steel Type: Cryo D2
- Blade Length: 2.4″
- Closed Length: 3.4″
- Overall Lenght: 5.6″
- Hex Bits Included: 4mm Philips and flathead
- Country of Origin: China
Impressions and Performance
Out of the box, the SOG Flash MT looks inviting, with clean lines and even color application. The cyan and black accents on the grey steel are refreshing. This color choice brings some personality to the typically monochromatic options offered in multitools. Some excess oil is found in the plier hinge, and it cleans up easily.
The compound leverage pliers and wire cutters are fantastic. The plier tips come together symmetrically and bite easily. The wire cutters made quick, clean cuts on CAT6 and 12/2 Romex wires.
The execution of the remaining tools is where the spark begins to fade for the Flash MT.
While it is an assisted deploy knife, it requires a fair bit of force to actuate. In the closing motion, resistance can be heard and felt from the liner lock rubbing against the blade. After a few days of opening and closing it has loosened up slightly, but the black oxide finish of the knife blade has begun fading from the liner lock friction. The knife blade itself is of average sharpness, and the D2 steel is standard fare.
As a bit driver, the looming shadow cast by the SOG Reactor design follows this tool. To use the bit driver, the bit is inserted in the cavity of the pliers that is created when the tool is closed. A magnet is embedded here to help ensure the bit stays in place. As with the Reactor, using the bit driver requires constantly squeezing the tool – otherwise the bit spins from the counterforce of the screw. It’s possible to make a ratcheting motion of this process by loosening your grip, but this also makes it more likely the bit will fall out. While technically a ¼” will fit here, it also does not fit securely.
From the perspective of ergonomics, this tool is tough to love. When working with the pliers the squared off lines of the bit-holder-handle, and the bit holder cover itself, dig into the palm. On the other side of the tool, the knife lock and hinge area also create pressure points.
What I like
- Unique color option
- Compound Leverage pliers and wire cutters live up to their name
What I’d change
- Knife deployment is difficult and causes blade finish wear
- Bit driver is not well executed
- Ergonomics need work
“Some mistakes will be made along the way. That’s good. Because some decisions are being made along the way.”
The SOG Flash MT is an attempt at something new, and this should be applauded. It is unfortunate that a worthy supporting cast could not be assembled around the pliers, which is where this tool truly shines. If SOG broke away from the Flash lineup and opted for a standard knife deployment, rounded off some edges in the handles, and found a way to lock the driver bit securely – they would easily contend at the top of this market segment. Instead, we have a tool that looks pretty but functionally misses the mark.
Lastly, I would be remiss to not mention some of the issues with customer service and quality control SOG has faced in recent years. I think it’s fair to look past issues in the name of innovation, and I was hopeful that the acquisition of SOG by GSM Outdoors may signal a turning point. I reached out to the SOG email address on their contact page to inquire about the knife issue, and I must, unfortunately, report that after more than a week – there has been no response.
Where to buy: SOG Website and you can find some SOG gear on Amazon
Source: This product was purchased with my own funds.
2 thoughts on “SOG Flash MT review – A multi-tool with assisted opening features”
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Thank you for this review. I appreciate your fair, balanced approach. Including your experience with the company’s customer service is also very helpful.
It’s my pleasure! Thank you, Tim, for the feedback. I’m glad to hear this review was helpful!