For those of you who admire the versatility of the Leatherman but are looking for something of a slightly different build and feel, Gerber’s new line of Multi-Tools are among the best alternative options in the outdoor retailing universe.
The Gerber Freehand Tool (1), weighing in at 13.6 ounces, is one of the heavier Multi-Tools available at Great Outdoor Provision Co. The Gerber website classifies the Freehand as a “heavy duty” Multi-Tool, a description I found to be quite apt. The assorted tools all have a “Saf-T Plus” locking system. Features of the Freehand include: screwdrivers (Phillips head and flathead) two blades (one fine edge, one serrated edge) and an “Industrial flathead screwdriver with a ruler.” Additionally, you get the standard pair of pliers and “V-cut wire cutters.” Rugged and durable, the Freehand performs well in almost any situation – and has the tools to boot. $99.95
The Gerber website maintains that “the Gerber Multi-Plier 600 Series (2, Pro Scout Model) is simply the best multi-function tool available today” – and, considering the quality of the build and the number of features, this statement is not an overstatement. Equipped with a pair of scissors capable of cutting through “all braided fishing line as well as light wire,” the Pro Scout Model is well equipped for any fishing excursion. A “carbide coated sharpener for fish hooks” rounds out this fisherman’s dream Multi-Tool. $67.95
My first impression of the Gerber Flik (3) was its size: compact while maintaining the physical integrity expected of a Gerber Multi-Tool. The Flik is small enough to fit in the palm of my hand with space left over – the entire contraption is a mere 5.8 inches when open, and all of 4.4 inches when folded! But don’t let the size fool you – this Multi-Tool consists of ten features in addition to the standard pair of pliers. Of particular interest is the unique combination of pliers, “outboard tools” including two flathead screwdrivers, and a wicked saw. $57.95
The Gerber Suspension Tool (4), more than any other Multi-Tool I reviewed, represents a break from the “status-quo”: the spring-loaded jaws, available exclusively in the Suspension model, permit an astounding degree of flexibility and controllability. Features of the Gerber Suspension include several blades (one fine-edged, the other serrated), a saw, a Phillips head screwdriver, a pair of flathead screwdrivers, a bottle opener, and a can opener. $37.95
Having already examined several of the Gerber Multi-Tools, the Suspension model was examined with a stronger degree of familiarity. But if there is one common thread that connects the four Multi-Tool models reviewed here, it is their versatility and their unique ability to surprise. Each tool possesses a wide array of trinkets, ensuring a model for nearly every taste. Stop by your local shop to check them out.
T. Fielder Valone