Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Realist: Mini-Review - 2018 Ozark Trail 12-in-1 Multitools

[Another guest post from The Realist]

Two models of the inexpensive Ozark Trail multitool, with the model 7012 to the left, and the model 7500 to the right.

        With Christmas approaching, Walmart recently put out their stocking-stuffer sporting goods products. Prominently displayed again this year as one of their offerings was an inexpensive ($4.87) Ozark Trails multitool. Also, hidden in the back of the sporting goods department was a similar Ozark Trails multitool for the same price. I should note that the price of these low-end multitools went up one dollar since last year.

       In 2015, I did a review of a similar multitool being offered by Walmart as a stocking-stuffer
(http://practicaleschatology.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-realist-mini-review-ozark-trail-12.html).

Older Ozark Trail Model 7012 Multitool

        The multitool hidden in the back of the sporting goods department, the model 7012, is substantially the same as the one I reviewed in 2015, with only the design of the slots cut in the handles being different. This model of multitool was also offered as a stocking-stuffer for 2016 and 2017. The package design was recently updated to match its more prominently displayed sibling.

        The model 7012 multitool comes with a sheath/pouch fitted for the multitool. The individual tools are: 1) needle nose pliers, 2) regular pliers, 3) wire cutter, 4) straight edge knife, 5) serrated knife (misidentified as a saw on the packaging), 6) bottle opener, 7) can opener, 8) awl, 9) file, 10) medium straight screwdriver, 11) small straight screwdriver, and 12) Phillips screw driver. The two types of pliers and wire cutter are part of the same jaw assembly. The bottle opener and can opener are separate structures on the same blade.

       This multitool still has all the same flaws I identified in my earlier review. None of the blades/tools lock open. The straight edge knife blade has a tolerable edge - it could use some touching up. The serrated edge knife blade is just dull. The awl is dull and has a too-blunt point. The medium straight screwdriver is serviceable, but the corners are slightly rounded. The small straight screwdriver blade is too thick for most small screws, and also has rounded corners (it could be touched up with a file to become a serviceable tool). The file is double sided, with one side being acceptable, and the other side being pretty dull because the grooves are not cut deep enough. And, the sheath/pouch is fairly well made - much better than I would expect for an inexpensive multitool.

Updated Ozark Trail Model 7500 Multitool

        The more prominently displayed multitool, the model 7500, has some minor changes from its predecessor. It is also offered in three handle colors silver (unpainted metal), black, and pink. The peened pivot posts for the tools have been replaced with Torx screws. And, I am mildly amused to see the reappearance of the fish scaler tool.

         This multitool also comes with a sheath/pouch, and claims to have the same twelve tools as its sibling: 1) needle nose pliers, 2) regular pliers, 3) wire cutter, 4) straight edge knife, 5) serrated knife (misidentified as a saw on the packaging), 6) bottle opener, 7) can opener, 8) awl, 9) file, 10) medium straight screwdriver, 11) small straight screwdriver, and 12) Phillips screw driver. However, the blade labeled as "file" on the packaging has a file on one side, a two-inch ruler on the other side, a beveled V-slot on the end probably intended to be used as short pry bar, and the fish scaler along one edge - that is three additional tools not identified on the packaging. With the addition of the tools that were not listed, this multitool could be characterized as a 15-in-1 multitool.

         This multitool has most of the flaws enumerated above for the 7012 multitool. The file is made with fairly soft steel, so it works with soft metal and wood, but not harder metals.

Summary

        Walmart is selling two different models of the Ozark Trail 12-in-1 multitool, the model 7012 which is like those sold in past years, and an updated model 7500 multitool. The price has increased one dollar to $4.87. Both models are functionally very similar, with the two-sided file of the 7012 being replaced with a file/ruler/fish-scaler/pry-bar blade.  As a result, the newer 7500 multitool could be described as a 15-in-1 multitool.

        If I had to make a choice between the two models, I would go for the newer model 7500 because it has Torx pivot screws that can be adjusted if necessary.

         For less than five dollars, these are not bad multitools. But, be very aware that to meet a low price point, these multitools use inferior materials that will not handle the abuse a more expensive multitool can handle. These multitools are good inexpensive stocking-stuffers, or a good starter multitool if you are building up emergency kits for unprepared friends or family members.

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