PDW Dog Tag tool – practical tactical tool
Put it on and after a couple of minutes you're going to forget it's still there- until you need it!
The old truth is that the ultimate last-ditch survival tool/knife is the one you have within your hand’s reach when needed. Of course, these days most of us don’t carry tools and knives to ‘survive’, but it can make your life easier, more enjoyable and separate a good day from a bad one. So when I got the PDW Dog Tag tool (Gathering 6 limited edition) in my hands for the first time I was amazed how cute but also how useful it was! So… let’s try it together!
First of all it is light. And I mean really feather-light due to a skeletal design and also the material it’s been built from – premium grade Titanium. Mine has been DLC black coated but a ‘plain Jane’ stonewashed version is also available. It’s made of Ti so it’s strong, nonmagnetic, corrosion resistant and last but not least hypoallergenic. The latter two are quite important as you’re supposed to carry it around your neck on a ball chain (included), just like a Dog Tag (hence the name). Put it on and after a couple of minutes you’re going to forget it’s still there- until you need it! It also won’t be out of place on your keychain if that’s your preference. Well, my keychain has been already overloaded with some other stuff and also I don’t always carry my keys with me. but I do carry my neck everywhere so yeah, I opted for neck carry as intended.
So which tools do we actually have here? First of all the central wrench (aka The Big Hole). You can simply use it to operate on hex bolts – and it works with both metric and inch-sized hex bolts/nuts, even of quite serious size as you can see below. But it really shines paired with classic multitool when working on bolt & nut kind of fixture. The PDW tool will keep the nut steady and you can easily use your pocketknife, Leatherman or Multitasker on the head part. It’s a fully complimentary item that I really wished for many times when using a Leatherman in the field. And last but not least I found it quite useful as a shackle key. It easily doubles or even triples your torque when trying to unscrew that stubborn shackle on your 4×4 adventure rig recovery rope. Why? Well, just because you can use your whole palm for the job, not just thumb and index finger. Sometimes you might need decent pliers of course, but usually that little device on your neck and a pair of working gloves is all you need. Been there done that! So yeah, think of it as much more than just a tiny hex wrench.
Now onto the small hex hole in the corner of the tool. Yep, you’re right – it’s for 1/4-inch hex bits of course. So your necklace paired with a small bit-kit becomes instantly half of a tool box (well, almost, but you get the idea). It’s so much easier (and lighter) to select a couple of tiny bits and carry them in a small zipper bag in your backpack versus a full screwdriver set. Remember, you’ve already hung the Dog Tag around your neck, so just use it to the fullest! Oh, don’t forget T6, T8 and T10, which is all you need to service 90% of folders on the market today (hint: you can also use T8 on Chris Reeve Sebenza, no need to use a separate allen key) . The torque applied via the Dog Tag is really serious (bigger than via your small ‘traveler’ screwdriver) and the hex-hole has a very nice fit – tight enough to keep the bit from falling out, but not too tight to use easily. I really like the way it works. Another small hint: you can also use a piece of paracord (not the supplied safety ball chain!) to increase the power of the torque- simply use the central wrench hole to attach a paracord loop and tighten it around your wrist.
Now the screwdriver feature. It’s big, bold and thick, so it won’t fit small slot screw heads. My first thought was that it must have been a design flaw as it was too thick to adjust the big slotted pivot screw on my Emerson folder. But actually it’s been designed perfectly and there is a good logic behind it. (Patrick Ma is a heck of outdoor gear designer!) The reasoning behind it is – you can always work on all the small screws etc. via small hex bits, but you won’t find such a big screwdriver in any of bit sets. And I mean REALLY BIG – big enough to use on your rifle’s scope mount for example or any other RIS accessories on your AR, SIG or FN. What you need for such a job is broad & thick screwdriver blade, which you can really press hard into a big screw head and apply considerable amount of torque! A small thin screwdriver would end up stripped instantly. So – use the big one for big jobs, and use the hex slot & small precision bits for fine work – it’s so simple! Great idea, isn’t it? And last but not least – thin ‘sharp’ screwdriver blade could be considered as ‘edge’ by some authorities, and could make checkpoint crossings at the airport quite problematic. With the Dog Tag tool as it is now you should be fine in my opinion. Recently I took it on-board to Rome via Frankfurt and back – a couple of security scans and I had no problem at all after a quick inspection of my ‘bottle opener’ (but of course I can’t guarantee it, it’s still on your own risk).
And finally my favorite tool – the beer opener! Yeah! Always handy! What would a good multitool be without one?! Believe me, mountain-stream-chilled beer opened with the Prometheus’ Dog Tag in the middle of nowhere tastes so much better than the canned Bud from your home fridge.
So use it a lot, take it to the Great Outdoors, enjoy your beer, enjoy the wilderness-wisely and wildly!