Some of you may have heard of Coast torches. They are the highest selling torch in the U.S and they have a deserved reputation for excellence in both performance and durability. What I didn’t know until recently was that Coast also makes other products such as Multi-tools and knives. I’ve been searching for a high quality Multi-tool for some time now so I approached Coast and they kindly sent me their LED Pro Pocket Multi-tool to field test and review.
When the Coast Multi-tool arrived, the first thing I noticed was the size and weight. It’s definitely a full sized Multi-tool and just by looking at the amount of metal it contains, I was expecting it to be heavier than it actually is. It weighs in at 284grams which is not bad when you take into account the size and functions of the tool. For everyday use I much prefer to carry a full sized Multi-tool because they offer the extra strength and useability that you cannot obtain from the “micro” versions.
Being a full sized Multi-tool means that a decent sized blade can be used and the Pro-pocket pliers has a blade that is 7.5cm long. It’s a partially serrated blade which adds to its versatility. Serrations add extra surface area to the knife and are said to help initiate cuts on materials like rope. If serrations are designed incorrectly they will offer no benefit over a straight edge. The serrations on the Coast blade are indeed well designed and on the rope cutting tests that I carried out, they performed remarkably well.
The blade has a thumb grove cut into it which enables it to be deployed with one hand. The blade is locked into place by use of a linear lock which is a popular feature on today’s folding knives. By using your thumb to depress the lock, you can also retract the blade with the one hand. Linear locks aren’t the strongest design around but they are adequately strong enough for everyday tasks. I gave the back of the blade several whacks against a workbench in the deployed position in an attempt to get it to slip or fail. There was no fault in the locking mechanisms and everything held together nicely.
The knife came shaving sharp straight out of the packaging. The Coast Pro Pliers are the first Multi-tool that I’ve seen to come this sharp from the factory. When doing some research into the manufacturing of the tools, I discovered that Coast individually test their blades for strength and sharpness. It’s nice to see a company that understands the importance of having a blade arrive to the customer in a ready to use condition.
In my experience the blade of a Multi-tool is what gets used the most and the one on the Coast Multi-tool is perfect for my needs. It’s quick and easy to deploy and is holding its edge very well. I could probably spend the length of this article going over the merits of the blade but there’s a lot more functions to discuss so I’ll have to move on.
The tool contains small and medium flat head screwdrivers and the medium sized one has come in handy when making scope sight adjustments. There is also a Phillips head screwdriver which has been designed a lot better than the ones I’ve seen on Gerber and Leatherman Multi-tools. The Coast Phillips head is wide enough to make it effective and is tapered nicely to suit small to medium sized screw heads. There is also a bottle and can opener tool which admittedly I never got around to testing. The can opener does have a sharpened edge which is more than I’ve seen on other brands of Multi-tools.
The scissors on the Coast Multi-tool have been particularly useful and I’ve been impressed at how well they’ve performed. They are very sharp and have been used when a neat and straight cut is desired. They are spring operated and return positively to the open position. The spring hasn’t slipped during the testing which often happens on lesser quality items.
All of the tools (except the knife) do not lock into position but they do have a very positive snap which creates just enough resistance to reduce the chance of the tool closing on itself whilst in use. I didn’t have any problems in this regard so I can say that the design is effective. The tools can be accessed without having to open the Multi-tool which is how they should be in my opinion.
The pliers on the tool are spring loaded and are very comfortable to use. The handle fits snug into your hand and even when applying excessive pressure there’s no discomfort on the underside of your hand. The pliers are spring loaded and are very precise in their alignment. They also contain wire cutters which I successfully used to cut some sections of chicken wire. Being a main feature of most Multi-tools, it’s important that pliers are designed correctly and Coast have done an exceptional job at making sure theirs are among the best.
As the name would suggest, the LED Pro Pocket Multi-tool contains two single LED lights which are operated from a single button switch. The LED’s are placed either end of the tool which means that you have access to light no matter which tool you are using. The LED’s are brighter than I thought they’d be and they have no problems illuminating the object being worked on. The LED’s are run by 2 x CR1220 batteries which are located in an easy access panel on the side of the Multi-tool. The on and off button for the LED’s is located in the scales of the handle and is surrounded by a raised plastic ring which helps prevent accidental activation of the LED’s. Just another little touch that shows the thought that Coast have put into their products.
The scales on the Multi-tool handles have rubber grip inserts which help to ensure a positive grip even in wet conditions. At first I was concerned that the inserts might peel off over time but on closer inspection I noticed that they are securely attached underneath the scales and they overlap the cut out sections which ensures they aren’t going anywhere.
The Coast Multi-tool comes with a nylon rigid sheath which appears to be well made. The stitching is neat and precise and is doubled on the belt loop which is nice to see. The retention flap is held by quality Velcro and it takes some effort to open. There is a quick attach belt loop which is secured by both a snap button and Velcro for extra assurance. You could also fit the sheath horizontal but it will only fit a narrow belt in this configuration.
Trying to find any negative points with this Multi-tool has been a challenge. Consumers needs vary and it’s hard for manufacturers to create something that will keep everyone happy. For my needs the Coast Multi-tool is ideal and I doubt I’d find another product that could better its performance. The only issue I had whilst reviewing the tool was that I had to tighten one of the pivot screws slightly as I felt it come loose after using the plier’s for some time. It’s a good idea to check the screws on all Multi-tools after some use as they will occasionally need re-tensioning. Once re-tensioned they will rarely need any further attention.
As with all of Coasts products, the Pro Pocket Pliers come with a lifetime guarantee. The guarantee stipulates that the product will be free of defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the product and is valid only to the original purchaser. It’s assuring to know that a company is willing to stand by their products to the point of giving a lifetime guarantee.
The RRP of the LED Pro Pocket Pliers is $89.95 which is an excellent price when you consider the performance and durability of the Multi-tool. There are other models to choose from in Coasts Multi-tool range so if you’re in the market for one, then check out their website.