Gerber has kind of a soft spot in me even though I don’t own a lot, I own more Victorinox than anything else. But what got me started was a Gerber Multi-Lite; then later on I graduated to a Compact Sport 400. I was content with the 400, the one hand opening was cool and the tool suited my needs. Then one day I go into the hardware store and I was introduced to the new breed of Gerber tools, the Gerber Legend. The Legend and it’s brother the Urban Legend set a benchmark in Gerber’s life where they wanted to try something different and play with ergonomics as well. I saved up and paid more than I care to admit on that tool and I thought it was the hottest thing out there (this is before I found out about the LM Wave).
Have you guys seen the Suspension multi tool that Gerber is selling? I’ve noticed them for sale at a few of the big discount stores around town, like Wal-Mart and Target. The open-frame construction of the handles is the first thing that caught my eye. The lattice-work look really makes the tool stand out from the others hanging on the rack next to it.
If you are a multitool collector, or one who appreciates the engineering that goes into these products, and a person who delights in the new and seemingly endless ways that these clever engineers can make a set of blades and drivers fold up into a pair of pliers, then you will like the new Gerber Radius Multi-Plier. If you are anyone else, then I suspect you will consider the Radius to be somewhat of a joke.
Updating Gerber's unique out-the-front sliding pliers to a button-activated spring-loaded mechanism, the Auto Recoil has no peers in the multi-tool world. Being that there are no others to directly compare it against it is so easy to label it as a "gimmick" and move on to other, more mainstream tools. What we are here to determine today is whether this tool has redeeming characteristics or if it is merely a "gadget" for the uninitiated to purchase on impulse, play with for a few days and ultimately spend it's life in the junk drawer or the bottom of a landfill.
The engineers from Gerber were listening, and finally addressed a couple of long-standing opinions about their multitools. You all know what I’m talking about; the way Gerber Multi-Pliers have always been “loose” and “rattly.” And the tendency Gerber tools have of pinching the palm of your hand, because the inside of the handles get so close together when you clamp down with the pliers on a thin object.
I’m pleased to report that both of these issues have been improved with the Diesel.
Gerber Legendary Blades has been making multitools for what seems like forever, they seem to be about as old as Leatherman themselves. Before Gerber was owned by Fiskars they had released their first tool and it has definitely changed over the years. The first version had no locking system (much like the LM PST) and was simple in nature. Time progressed and locks were added as well as some small changes in tool design, but the 600 stays true to its roots as a testament to what kind of tool that Gerber tools were made of. The 600 can be seen as a classic or a retro tool; it reminds us of the multitools of our past. Sure Gerber has new tools like the Freehand, Recoil and the Diesel etc. And the 600 gets a lot of trash because it’s being compared to the current designs on the market. I mean; come on…how many of you remember when the PST had 3 different screwdriver blades…..all the same, did we complain then?
I got this because of the outside opening blade, I thought it could replace my EDC knife only to find it was nigh on impossible to open the blade one handed, the blade looks as though it was stamped out from a sheet and the finger holes are beveled in so my finger could not get a grip secure enough for me to open the blades. I got out the trusty Dremmel and put some cross hatching on the blade above the finger holes and it is now possible to open the tools one handed, when you get the outer blades half open it releases the lock of the inside tool and it too can then be opened easily.
I bought this to replace my first Gerber that was the one of the first models Gerber made that nipped your hand if you were not careful how you used it. I gave that one to one of my sons who still uses it in case he has adjustments to make on his bike while out riding.
I have owned this Tool for over 2 months now and apart from one item I can find no fault with it and it has become my EDC along with the 600 that is soon to be modified to make it more useful for my needs. First the criticism the tin opener is a joke, it is far too short for it’s job, in fact it can hardly look over the top of a can to use it for puncturing a can just to get a start at opening it. The Philips screw driver is made out of the same gauge steel as the one on the Recoil and the Diesel, Gerber have made a bit adapter to fit, so all three can use any ¼” bit including the Leatherman bits and those long double ended bits if you need get in to a deeply embedded screw. I am guessing it will hold the bit magnetically like the standard one now does so the long ones should hold fast, I will be getting the bit holder ASP so will let you all know.