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Gerber Blades GERBER 05500 COMPACT SPROT MULTI-PLIER 400 BOX (013658055001)
(1 Epinions review)
Gerber Locking Multi Plier
Nov 24, 2009
Review by buggman
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Compact, excellent knife blade
Cons:Screwdrivers are too small to be useful, pliers pivot remains stiff
The Bottom Line: If you love Gerber grab one for your collection. If you need a real tool for real work, bring a toolbox instead, you won't be sorry.
Gerber multi pliers tool, needle nose version.
Recommend this product?
I bought this multi tool in about 2004, it was a replacement for my previous Gerber multi tool that had blunt nose pliers and slightly different tool options (see my other reviews).
I used this tool where I was working at the time to make small emergency repairs on machinery, as well as holding very tiny parts, cutting open boxes, adjusting screws, etc.
This particular version features needle nose pliers which are great for getting into tight spaces, but don't provide nearly the gripping force of my blunt nose Gerber tool.
Weighing in at 6 ounces, it's a little heavier even my heaviest knives, including my knives with stainless handles (which tend to be pretty heavy).
I can't complain too much, as this little multi tool packs several nice features into a small package.
When closed, the tool measures in at about 4.5 inches long, 1.5 inches wide and .75 inches thick.
Press the buttons on the sides of the handle (with slight pressure) and the pliers slide upwards (or downwards depending on how you're holding it) into the locked position. Fully open, the tool measures 5.75 inches long.
With the pliers locked open, you'll notice a small area between the forks of the pliers that has been machined out to allow for use on larger bolts or nuts as well as a small area at the base of the pliers that has been formed to use as wire cutters.
There isn't enough opening in the "larger machined area" to grasp items much more than 5/8" in diameter if you need to use any force to pry or turn a bolt or nut. I'd classify the gripping power as fair, but not great for serious work. The wire cutter works well as long as you don't try to cut tiny wires (like a small 24ga single telephone wire) or larger wires (such as 10ga solid or stranded wire). The cutting area on the pliers just isn't long enough to cut large wires (it's only about .25" long) & there is a miniscule amount of space between the cutting blades that cannot be adjusted due to the press fit of the pliers pivot point. Small wires tend to get bent over, not cut fully.
I had no problems cutting 12ga solid wire when making quick repairs to electrical outlets except the fact that when cutting heavy wires will mean you need to exert more clamping force on the handles...if you happen to have your fingers in between the handles when they snap together, you'll get a nice blood blister when your fingers get smacked by the handles.
Inside the handles of the tool, you have a good array of fold out tools including one of the best half serrated knife blades I've seen in a long time. The knife blade is 2.5" long and like all the handle tools, locks into place securely. The knife serrations are thin, meaning there's no shark bite effect when cutting with the serrated area like on most knives. The knife cuts easily through anything I've thrown at it and it's still extremely sharp. The blade is fairly narrow at .5", but it performs well & isn't cumbersome.
Next tool is a large Phillips head screwdriver. While machined quite well from excellent materials, the screwdriver is only about 1" long, meaning unless you're trying to get to a screw that's right on the surface, you're out of luck. I have used the screwdriver in emergency situations when I didn't have time to get to my tool box, but I'd only use these tools in an emergency situation.
Next tool is a small flat screwdriver & bottle opener combo. Like the Phillips screwdriver, it's pretty short at just over 1". I have used this small flat driver, but only when I couldn't get to my other tools.
In the other handle you have a military style can opener, which I have never used. It looks similar to can openers I've seen on Boy Scout knives, only heavier duty.
Next is a micro flat screwdriver. When locked in place it too measures about .75" long which is not much help if you need to get to a screw that's inset. It's well machined and has a blade tip of about 1/8" wide. It works really well at cleaning gunk from under your fingernails.
Next is a large flat screwdriver. Just live the micro driver; it's only about .75" long.
Last tool is a mini scissor. While extremely sharp, the cutting length is only about .5", so it would only be good for cutting fishing line, thread, light string & paper. The scissors bounce back after each cutting stroke thanks to an integral spring. I've only used the scissors a few times, but they work well on small projects. If you need to cut out a pattern from heavy paper, you'd probably have better luck using the knife blade instead.
All of the tools lock securely in place when open & you must pull back a locking block (on the handles) to close the tools. This is a huge improvement over my previous Gerber multi tool which would let every tool collapse when using them. I don't know how many times I'd be using the screwdriver & have it fold up on my fingers with my old Gerber tool.
The handles are Gerber's "tools inside" design, meaning there are no sharp edges on the outside of the handles when using the pliers. All of the tools are accessed from inside the handles & each folds out & locks at the base of the handles.
The handles are made of stainless steel with a bead blasted finish that adds a slight amount of grip.
I got this tool mainly because I liked my old Gerber tool & at the time it was the only quality made multi tool available locally. This tool is leaps & bounds better than all of my cheap $5 - $10 multi tools that I seem to get every year for Christmas, but I wouldn't consider it a perfect tool.
The pliers pivot is still stiff and requires me to wrap a finger around the handles to open it fully. I've tried every type of lubricant from WD-40 to graphite dust and even after all these years of use, it's still tight & there's no adjustments.
The needle nose pliers don't have enough gripping power to handle any serious work. I have $1 needle nose pliers that do a much better job.
The screwdriver bits are pretty much a novelty. They're so short that you can't really use it in real world situations. They're plenty sturdy & the fact that you can open the handles to get extra leverage is nice, but if they won't reach the screw....you're screwed. I see that there isn't much room in the handles when the pliers are retracted, but a slight re-design could remedy this.
I really like the knife blade & wish Gerber would make a folding, locking pocket knife with the same blade design (maybe with a longer, thicker & wider blade).
Also included is a nylon Gerber belt sheath with Velcro closure. The belt sheath keeps the tool in place very well & I've never had the tool fall out on me.
Overall, it's a good tool for light emergency work, but I wouldn't want this to be my only tool for serious work.
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