I have to admit, I was pleased to be asked to look at this item from the PENN stable. A few of the lads I work with have similar things such as the ‘Leatherman’ range, but, being careful with my cash, I can’t justify spending up to £100 on a multi –tool.
On first impressions, it does look a bit complex, with various levers, latches and covers, but to be fair, it’s simple to operate just as soon as you realise just how many things are on it!
A pair of long nose pliers and a pair of snub pliers are housed back to back across the main pivot; by swinging the tool arms through 180 degrees it is possible to use either within seconds as the inactive set folds away into the frame. It also has a wire cutter, gimlet spike, bottle opener, knife blade, serrated blade, fish de-scaler, nut spanner, and four piece screw driver set stored within the handle. If I’m honest, some of the things I will never use; the mini file appears to be a gimmick, the saw edged blade won’t take a tree down and the mini measure only goes as far as 1 ¾ inches, but I suppose some people may find them useful.
On a more positive note, the knife blade is extremely sharp and has many uses for the angler; the pliers are very strong, and the screwdriver ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’.
The stainless steel construction means that it will not rust when it gets wet, nor will it seize up when it gets grubby. It feels exceptionally well made and comes complete with a rugged nylon pouch to store it in. It even has a loop on the back so it will go on your belt!.
Overall, I’m impressed. It seems to do everything I ask of it, nothing has come loose, become damaged or broken and it still looks brand new despite it having taken some hammering on the bank side. There are probably still things hidden away which at the moment remain undiscovered, but it has proved to be a tremendous asset in my tackle box. I would definitely recommend it.
The PENN XCEL multi-tool has a recommended retail price of £14.95, but at the time of writing was available from TackleBargains at the knockdown price of just £8 and, at that price, it is a great addition for any angler! Click here to view their entire multi-tool range.
Clint Walker, Oct 2009