Grab it here – Gerber Diesel
Few things reduce a group of grown and sensible avid outdoorsmen into an energetic exchange of “opinions” quite like the subject of the Multi-Tool. Not enough attachments, too many attachments, you pay too much, you pay too little. Just a few of the things aggressively thrown at you the second you mention any potential purchase.
Couple this with the multitude of brands, sizes, models and price ranges available to you it can get pretty overwhelming.
Let’s not forget the strange scenario that buying a Multi-Tool of a particular brand seems to automatically induct you into a cult where even defending the good points of another brand is quite sacrilege. But brand loyalty (short of sacrificing small children) isn’t the point of this article so I shall move on…
Now some people do like to go all out and buy about £170 worth of Multi-Tool that has many bits and bobs and is “used by real EOD techs in real warzones” and will survive even the most extreme conditions. This may be OK for those who are actually EOD or clearing mines/IEDs in the toughest conditions on the planet. If you have the money to spare then why not? But for the rest of us we don’t need such a high end tool at such a high end price. We want something that does its job pretty well at a pretty decent price and has a pretty decent lifespan.
My answer for this is the Gerber Diesel.
For your money you get a good variety of attachments, solid construction, a secure locking system and a rather scratch resistant black oxide coating.
I was pretty impressed when I first got this tool and I’m still happy with it years later. If I paid the now lower price for it I’d be even happier.
It does come with a padded nylon pouch with a belt loop but if I’m honest that was thrown into a kit box somewhere in favour of a Pistol mag pouch that accommodates the tool quite nicely. Or alternatively, it fits pretty well in the mag pouch on the Osprey admin panel.
The black oxide coating is of decent quality so there is little fear of rust. Despite a fair amount of outdoor use the coating has yet to shown any signs of wear, besides the odd scratch.
The bottom two star bolts are still tight. Although, I’m unsure as to how you would go about replacing them when the need arises. The top rivet for the pliers has also yet to develop any real play.
The frame itself is a sturdy 2mm of steel. The pliers are about 2mm thick at the thinnest point and 5/6mm thick at the widest point. The locking system on the pliers is something I had initial worries about due to the wear on the button springs. But, they are still quite firm.
The tool attachments are various thicknesses. The smaller ones range from 2mm-3mm in thickness and the larger of the tools ranging from 3mm-4mm in thickness. I’m yet to see any chips or dents in any of the tools despite being used on a variety of hard and soft materials.
The tool locks on the bottom of the frame are plastic which is a slight concern, especially in the winter months. I’d much prefer these to be a coated metal. If you were savvy enough or knew someone to do this kind of customisation then it’s something I’d loom into. Still, they have held up so far.
Unlike some of the pricier Multi-Tools the attachments on this tool have a variety of uses. On one side there’s a file that’s great for fingernails up to small bits of metal. A thin flat blade screwdriver, a slim Philips screwdriver, a wide flat blade screwdriver and a partially Serrated blade that is surprisingly sharp. On the other side there is a saw blade with a double row of teeth that is good for small bits of wood and PVC. There’s a tin opener for…well…opening tins, a bottle opener, a weird thing with a round hole that I have admittedly yet to figure out it’s use and a pretty solid pair of scissors with a good return spring.
The main use of the tool, however, is a pretty solid pair of retractable pliers. My only real bag up is the locking system is a bit of a pain with some of the attachments. Pulling the lock back and folding the tool back in place can be a nuisance if your hands are wet or slippery.
It has a pretty slick black finish that gives off little shine. It’s of the Gerber brand but isn’t plastered with Bear Gryll’s name. The main point of Allyness for this tool however, is when you lend it to someone and they almost always say “nice Gerber”. Don’t let them out your sight though as good Multi-Tools and knives have a habit of going walkabout when lent out.
All in all it’s a solid tool that does pretty much everything you want it to do at a decent price whilst still retaining good quality. If you need something a bit more advanced then by all means look at more high end tools. But, if you’re looking for a good everyday tool, or an upgrade from your corner shop tool without breaking the bank, then this Multi-Tool is at least worth a look.
Cost – ££££: I paid about £100 back about 4 years ago from the Gerber UK store. You can still get them from the Gerber store for about £85 but I’m sure if you look around you could get a new one from £75. (Gerber Diesel)
• Value for money 1-5: 5, you really do get what you pay for
• Ease of use 1-5: 4, very easy and versatile too especially with the additions.
• Construction 1-5: 4, as mentioned I would prefer if the plastic locks were coated metal.
• Allyness 1-5: 4, it’s a Gerber, only loses a point because they make stuff for Bear Grylls.
This Kit Pest Review was written by Rob “Harley” Quin. Hopefully you enjoyed it and if you have any thoughts or comments related to this article then leave a comment!