OR - GERBER BEAR GRYLLS ULTIMATE MULTI-TOOL
BY BRIAN CURRAN
April 26, 2017
bcurrans45 at yahoo dot com
Quincy, Illinois United States
5' 11" (1.80 m)
271 lb (123.00 kg)
I started backpacking around six years ago mainly taking day hikes with my now wife and our dogs. We typically hike in the cooler months. I am typically an "over packer" because I like to be prepared for anything so my pack is usually pretty heavy although I have never weighed it. My wife and I have been planning to do our first overnight backpack trip but that was put on the back burner due to getting pregnant with our first child. We now have a 13 month old we would love to start backpacking with.
Manufacturer: Gerber Gear
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: www.gerbergear.com
Listed Weight: 8.8 oz (249 g)
Measured Weight: 9.52 oz (270 g)
Closed Length: 4.0 in (102 mm)
Open Length: 6.4 in (163 mm)
The Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-tool comes in a clear blister pack with a nylon sheath and folded piece of paper with survival tips on it. The nylon sheath seems a little flimsy but is better than some others I've had. It has a hook-and-loop flap closure and a belt loop on back. When hiking, I don't carry this on my belt because I don't trust the nylon strap and don't want to be out $65 when it inevitably falls off on a hike. The multi-tool itself is better quality. It is fairly heavy duty and has strips of tacky rubber to help with gripping it.
I originally bought the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-tool for hiking and backpacking since it is part of the Gerber Bear Grylls survival products. I was hoping it would be more geared towards backcountry and outdoors but it really is no different than many other unspecialized multi-tools I've seen. Having said that, it really is pretty well built.
It comes with needle nose pliers and nine fold out tools. The fold out tools include a knife, a serrated blade, a saw, two flat head screw drivers, one Phillips screw driver, a can/bottle opener, a lanyard eyelet, and scissors. All the tools fold out and lock in the open position with a sliding lock on the outside of the grip. The knife and the serrated blade have thumb assists to allow for one-handed opening with those two blades. When open for use of the pliers the multi-tool is spring-loaded which is not always a feature of multi-tools. It makes it really easy to use.
I always take this multi-tool with me when I go hiking or backpacking just in case. One thing I'm not crazy about is how wide the tool opens. My hands aren't small but I find it a little difficult to grip when needing to use the pliers on larger objects. I have adopted a method of gripping it with my thumb against my palm and using my fingertips to close the pliers then I readjust my grip to hold it tight. If I'm using it on a large nut or bolt I may need to use two hands to get a good enough grip. That really is about the only issue I have with this multi-tool. There is a small amount of rust starting on one side of the pliers but I think that is from being in my pocket when working outside in the heat and humidity. There aren't any other areas on the tool showing any wear or damage.
Although this multi-tool is part of the Bear Grylls survival series tools and knives most of my experience with it is from work. At times, I may have to turn a bolt on a steel panel and turn plumbing valves or tighten loose screws and our maintenance department isn't open during my night shift so I have used this multi-tool for these kinds of things a lot. It has never had any issues with tools twisting or putting pressure on the grip. The tool I had been using was just a cheap one and I constantly had issues with tools trying to fold back down under pressure while being used. I have never had this problem with the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-tool. Since the tools lock in the open position it's not really a concern.
This multi-tool is on the heavier side. If you are counting ounces for a long hike I would recommend looking into other options since it's possible to get the same tools on a different quality multi-tool for much less weight. However, if a few ounces isn't that big of a deal then the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-tool is a great option. I have a few different Gerber knives and tools and love the quality and durability. From my experience, these qualities carry over to the Bear Grylls series of tools and knives.
This multi-tool isn't specialized for survival and could be used in just about any situation. I wouldn't recommend it for people with small hands but it is overall a great multi-tool. From my experience Gerber makes quality knives and multi-tools and it seems the Bear Grylls series and the Ultimate Multi-tool is no different.
THINGS I LIKE
1. One-handed opening of two most used blades
2. Tools lock open
3. Well built and easy to maintain
4. Spring assisted pliers
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
1. Opens too wide for my hands
2. Sheath could be better
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
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