Gerber MP1 Multi-Tool
Multi-tools are plain cool. They contain an assortment of useful components that enable you to do a host of odd-jobs around the home, shop, garden, or while trekking the great outdoors, without having to reach for your tool box (or carry a varied assortment of tools with you). This means that you can be a handy man (or woman) wherever you go.
There are quite a few brands of multi-tools on the market, with most containing pliers, knife, various screwdrivers, and the ubiquitous bottle and can opener. Some will have as few as five or six tools, while others can have a couple of dozen. Plus, they come in a range of size and weight configurations.
The Gerber MP1 Multi-Tool is a large size tool, weighing in at just over 8 ounces, and measuring almost 1" thick and 1-5/8" wide by 4-1/4" long (closed). It comes with a decent carry case, which you'll want to use, as the MP1 is a bit too bulky to fit comfortably in pants pocket. I really would have liked to see a belt clip on this tool - it's just an added level of convenience.
You get 12 component tools with the MP1: pliers with integrated wire cutter and wire stripper, plain edge and serrated edge blades, a utility blade with a chisel tip, bottle opener with a pry bar tip, 3/16" and 1/16" driver blades, and a hex driver socket (supplied with a #2 Phillips bit). I find this to be a pretty good assortment of tools.
Nicely machines jaws||
Precisely milled teeth|
The two arms open and close smoothly, though I did notice some flex in the handles when applying pressure with the pliers. The spring-loaded jaws on the pliers are nicely machined. The serrated teeth are precisely milled, and the ends of the pliers mate together perfectly, which makes holding small items that much easier. The 1/2" long wire cutter is a good size, but the wire stripper is really only good for 15-gauge and small wire.
The jaws are made from 6150 carbon-chromium alloy steel, which has very good shock resistance and toughness, and is quite abrasion resistant.
Hex driver, 11/64" flat driver, 5/16" flat driver, knife
The plain edge knife is probably the most frequently used component on any multi-tool. On the MP1 the blade can be reasonably easily opened and closed with one hand - ditto for the 1/4" hex driver, though for the rest of the components you need to use two hands.
Thumb opens the blade||
Thumb and forefinger closes the blade|You open the blade by pressing your thumb against the opening cut into the base of the blade. Once open, the blade locks firmly into position (as do all the components on the MP1). You close the blade by pressing downward on the sliding locks with your thumb and middle finger and then pushing the blade closed with your index finger. I find that the width of the handle makes blade opening and closing a tad awkward.
Sliding locks are slightly proud of the handle
The sliding locks on the MP1 sit slightly proud of the handle surface making them easier to manipulate. The springs that activate the locks are visible, and accessible, when the components are opened. You'd want to be careful about getting crap in there, as it might affect the integrity of the spring. If the MP1 gets dirty, rinse it with water, dry it, and then apply a lightweight machine oil.
The springs that activate the sliding locks need to be kept clean
I like the blade on this multi-tool. It's almost 3" long and has a stout 3/32" thick spine. The blade has an almost straight cutting edge (with a slight belly towards the tip) and a gently curving back. I find that this style of blade gives me a lot of control and the thick spine enables me to apply a lot of thumb pressure on the cutting edge.
Serrated blade, utility knife, bottle opener/pry bar
Both the plain and serrated blades are made of 420 high carbon steel. Like the 6150 steel it contains chromium that provides corrosion resistance properties. You'll find that a lot of companies use this type of steel for blades because it affords a good balance between corrosion resistance, hardness, edge retention, and sharpenability.
The components that are next to the handles (plain and serrated knives, bottle opener/pry bar, and 1/4" hex driver) are easy to open - less so for the utility knife, and the two screwdrivers. These have a small notch on their base that you pull with a finger nail to extract them. The problem is these notches are hard to reach. It would be more frustrating if I used these components on a regular basis.
I find the hex driver much quicker to use, as I can open it one-handed. The magnetic head holds the drive bit firmly in place. I replaced the Phillips bit with a #2 Robertson. Too bad they didn't include space to store a couple of extra bits in the case.
The handles on the MP1 are made of glass fiber-reinforced plastic for strength and durability. Impervious to moisture, highly resistant to heat and chemicals. It has a lightly textured surface that improves your hand grip even when the handle is wet.
While the MP1 does have a few minor issues, overall it's a good performer with a decent assortment of components, and very good fit and finish.
- 4-5/16" closed, 6-7/8" open
- 25/32" thick
- 8.1 oz weight
- 6150 carbon steel jaws
- 420 high carbon steel blades
- G-10 textured composite handle
- Integrated wedge lock
- Components: pliers, wire cutters, wire stripper, plain edge blade, serrated edge blade, utility blade, bottle opener/pry bar, 3/16" and 1/16" driver blades, hex bit socket,
- Includes: Case, #2 Phillips bit
- Lifetime Warranty
Carl Duguay, October 2013