The 4X4 Tool Mate was Al Mar's first foray into the fledgling multitool market of the late 1980's. Legend has it that the design was somewhat patterned after the famous OSS Escape Knife
of World War II fame. Produced in Japan by Seki, quality of construction is evident throughout.
Jaws on the 4x4 are fairly short, with medium serrations running out to the tip. A wire cutter section is included, but no hard wire notch.
The 4x4 is a solid handle design with a fixed plier head. (Head does not fold up into a more compact shape.) A brown leather wrap is glued into place on the plier handle, cushioning the grip. When not in use, the handle is held in the closed position by a sturdy bail.
Frame construction is a stack of polished stainless steel plates, riveted together. In this regard, the 4x4 could be considered a 3-layer knife tool.
The 4x4 Tool Mate has three bladed tools on the front side and a phillips head screwdriver on the backspring. First up is an elegent hollow ground drop-point knife blade, engraved and paint-filled with the Al Mar Chop logo. Next is a fully serrated sheepsfoot blade, also hollow ground. Third is a rather short flathead screwdriver blade, smooth on one side, with a double-cut file pattern on the other.
Use of the Phillips screwdriver on the backspring is somewhat limited due to interference from the plier handle when in the closed position.
None of the blades or tools lock.
Sheath is a sturdy black nylon affair with velcro closure. Loops on the backside allow for vertical or horizontal carry. Also sometimes included was a large brown leather sheath, produced from heavy material with a snap closure.
- Folded length = 5-3/4" (146mm)
- Unfolded length = 5-3/4" (146mm)
- Thickness = 3/4" (19mm)
- Weight = 7.8 oz (219g)
Early 4x4's used a rivet for the pliers to pivot on. (shown at right) Later models used a large flat head screw. (shown at top)
Depending upon the production run, the red Al Mar Chop logo could be located on the serrated blade and the pliers, or on the main blade, or not at all.
Model #8001, introduced in the late 1980's. (Shown in 1989 AMK catalog.) Still available in some retail outlets in the late 1990's. More precise manufacturing dates unknown.
Construction of the 4x4 Tool Mate is very similar to the Al Mar QuickClip
and Valade 4x4