Skip to main content

SOG Sync Multitools: Handy Hardware at the Ready

SOG Sync Multitools 2
Remember back in the day when pulling out your multitool entailed the multi-step process of reaching to the side or back of your belt, opening a pouch sealed with velcro or a snap, and then finally pulling the actual tool out so you could do some screwing/cutting/measuring/wire crimping/etc.? It was an onerous proposition, and many a man simply left his multitool in its pouch, instead extracting a screw or loosening a bolt with his teeth to save time.

Thanks to the SOG Sync multitools (the Sync I and II), the aforementioned process is a thing of the past. That’s because with either SOG Sync, the multitool itself is your belt buckle.

Related Videos

Alright, yes, I was being flippant: pulling a multitool out of a pouch is not very hard, nor is it time consuming. Simply tucking the tool into a pocket or into a toolbox is also a viable option for storage. But the fact that does make them that much easier to access: You release a SOG multitool from its base — which continues its noble service as your pants-retaining buckle or stays clipped onto a pack strap. Then, simply unfold it into its pliers/knife/scissors/etc. configuration, use it, and then you clip the tool back onto its base and get on with your day. Easy, convenient, and even a fine conversation starter (with some people. Maybe a deterrent with a select few, to be fair).

But… are SOG Sync multitools good at serving their core purpose, i.e. being a multitool? Well, let’s take a closer look at each of these compact devices.

The SOG Sync I

The SOG Sync I retails for $67 if you buy it directly from the manufacturer, and when you do so, you are eligible for the brand’s lifetime warranty against defects. So you know they believe in their gear, which is a good sign. The Sync I weighs 2.6 ounces by itself, and 4.8 ounces when paired with its base; even that “heavier” weight is still nice and light, making this a fine option for the hiker or climber who wants some tools at hand. Note that the slot through which you thread a belt is rather narrow, though — certainly too narrow for a thicker belt commonly used for webbing or with a hiking pack — so you’ll likely be obliged to use this tool clipped onto a strap, not as a belt. (For everyday belts, it will fit fine.)

SOG Multitool

The Sync I features eleven tools. These are (from top to bottom) pliers, a gripper (for bolts and such), a wire cutter, wire crimpers, a bottle opener, a file, a blade, an awl (which is essential just a shorter narrower blade here), a flathead screwdriver, a “jewelry driver” (which is really just an even smaller screwdriver), and ruler markings lining the handles.

Here are the things I like about the Sync I: it’s quite light, as noted. And it folds up small enough (less than 2.5-inches long) to slip into any pocket. The blade is razor sharp and the pliers provide plenty of leverage for such a small tool. It feels good in the hand and its bead-blasted zinc alloy design makes the Sync I highly resistant to corrosion.

SOG Sync Multitools I CLIP

As for the drawbacks? I have a lot more use for a compact saw than I do for a file. I’d also gladly trade the jewelry driver for scissors. In fact, I’d trade the driver, awl, and the file for scissors or for a saw, and it would not surprise me if a designer could fit both those tools in with the removal of the other three. This is a small tool, and nothing can be everything to everyone; I’m sure this configuration was carefully reasoned and is ideal for many people, but for me — who spends more time outdoors than tinkering with very small screws — those are my two cents.

The SOG Sync II

The SOG Sync II sells for $80, and while that’s almost double the price of many ostensibly similar options from brands like Leatherman or Gerber, you can count on a damn good quality tool here– and again, one that is backed by a lifetime warranty. The Sync II weighs 8.9 ounces with its base, and just five ounces as a tool alone. Remember, you don’t have to use it as a belt buckle or clipped to a pack; you can always just bring the multitool itself. Opened, the Sync II measures 5.8-inches long. It’s large enough for as solid a grip as you get with any standard pair of needle nose pliers. The handle size also allows for a nearly three-inch locking blade (again sharp as hell) that can be used for everything from cooking to woodworking.

SOG Multitool SYNC II

Here’s the rundown on the tools packed into the Sync II: pliers, gripper, wire cutter, wire crimpers, bottle opener, blade, scissors, file, flathead screwdriver, phillips screwdriver, and the ubiquitous ruler. So again, eleven tools. I very much like the inclusion of the phillips driver, and the scissors are large enough for many a-task.


My main complaint? The base is just too heavy. It weighs a hair less than four ounces, meaning it accounts for almost half of the weight of the package. Five ounces might not sound like much, but any experienced mountaineer will tell you that carrying too much weight is a death-by-a-thousand-cuts scenario; it’s caused by a few too many ounces here and there, not because you chose to hike with a fifteen pound weight in your pack for training purposes only to be forced to leave the weight in the woods after you got hopelessly off-trail due to a bushwhacking shortcut through a series of ravines, Ryan. (Yeah, true story.)

And again, I’d prefer a saw to a file. But maybe that’s just me.

Here are the best beaches in San Diego for you to explore and enjoy
Planning a trip to San Diego? Check out these beaches
A waterfall forms as the waves hit La Jolla Cove in San Diego, California.

San Diego has plenty to captivate, excite, and inspire on dry land. But since you’re heading to one of America’s finest stretches of coastline, why not head to the beach?

Which beaches should you visit during your San Diego trip? Though there’s really no wrong answer, we have put together this list of the best beaches in San Diego to make the most of your time here. From the Mexican border to Camp Pendleton, here are some awesome San Diego beaches to explore and enjoy.
Why is San Diego such a spectacular beach city?
Photo by Andrew Davey Andrew Davey/The Manual

Read more
Burton just gave you the perfect reason to go snowboarding this weekend
We don't ever need an excuse to go snowboarding, but this one from Burton is a good one
a day for jake snowboarding burton snowboards 2023 group

Fun fact: the original moniker for snowboarding is “snurfing.” It’s a mash-up of “surfing” and “snow,” which was how the forefathers of snowboarding viewed the sport. (And honestly, snurfing is a bit more fun to say, we should have kept that name.) Jake Burton Carpenter, the founder of Burton snowboards, is considered by most the inventor of modern snowboarding, along with Tom Sims. Every year, Burton celebrates Jake with “A day for Jake,” a loosely organized worldwide day of riding. This year, A day for Jake will be this Saturday, March 11.

In 1977, in a barn in Vermont, Jake founded Burton snowboards. The original board had no bindings; it was basically a toboggan you stood up on. A rope tied to the nose of the board was all you had, and hey – best of luck in staying on top of a board without bindings. Here's why Burton snowboards was started, in Jake’s words:
I was working 12-14 hours a day and not loving it. I also (in the back of my mind) knew that surfing on snow could become a sport. So I bailed on my New York job, moved to Londonderry, Vermont and started ‘Burton Boards’ out of a barn in a house where I was the live-in caretaker and tending the two horses. By night, I bartended at the Birkenhaus Inn. By day, I built makeshift snowboard prototypes and tested them in the back hills of southern Vermont.

Read more
Improve your snowboarding edge transition with this easy-to-follow rule
Linking turns is a fundamental of learning to snowboard. This advice will help
how to set your snowboard stance snowboarder cranks turn on mountain slope

The key fundamental of snowboarding and the aim for all beginners is the hallowed ground of linked turns. Most likely, you'll start by side slipping, with a little falling leaf to move across the hill — using your edge to zig-zag down the hill without turning. Then you'll want to start working toward S turns, and this means transitioning from heel to toe edge or vice versa.

Every snowboarder you see has been in this position — yes, even that guy carving a snowboard and sending huge spins off jumps. Linking your turns together isn't easy, but without it, you'll find yourself stuck in a thigh-burning position all day. Perhaps the biggest challenge associated with linked turns is edge transition. This is the moment when you shift your weight from one edge (the uphill edge) to the other (the downhill edge) in order to initiate your snowboard turn. Doing this at the right moment, without tripping over that edge, requires practice, but we've got a gem that can help you out next time you're hitting the slopes.

Read more