When the tool is closed you can access all of the implements, thus only needing to unfold the tool when using the pliers is necessary. The one hand opening blade features a ramp styled thumb stud which helps make opening the blade very easy. Opening and closing of the blade is almost second nature and if it was not for the sheer bulk of the tool (compared to a knife) you would not notice much of a difference. When using the knife the handle is very comfortable, placement for your thumb and index finger is very thought out. The blade style is reminiscent of a sheep’s foot blade and does not feature a pronounced point at the end. The blade is designed for utility style work and looks like something you would see on a rescue/EMT type of tool. The knife blade is also partly serrated; the serrations are not carved out very deep and offer enough to cut through tough materials without binding on them. Made out of 440A steel it holds a decent edge and needs the occasional touch ups, most folks don’t need anything beyond steel like this.
On the underside of the tool you have a bottle opener/carabiner that works well on bottle caps as well as hanging from your belt or backpack waiting to be used. I personally would rather have a pair of scissors in replace of the carabiner but beggars cannot be choosers.
The other side of the tool features a regular slotted driver and a flat Phillips driver which seems to be the typical Gerber design lately. Both drivers can be opened from the outside and lock into position with a liner locking system normally found on pocket knives. Both drivers’ works well on a variety of screws you will encounter; functionality can be added by combining the Crucial with a Gerber Bit Kit.
Opening the tool in a butterfly fashion to access the pliers is something Gerber does not use on much of their tool designs. Gerber is famous for their one hand opening plier design and it’s nice to see times when they use the traditional method. The plier head is thinner than we typically see on Gerber tools as it’s not intended for heavy duty use. In order to keep the tool light and compact the head was thinned down so it has a smaller profile when the handles are closed. The slimmed head does not reduce the function of the pliers and works very well for their size. I have to be aware when I am using them not to abuse them too much. I am use to carrying a larger tool and the Crucial’s plier head is more designed for light and medium duty. The wire cutters are actually pretty good; they are precise enough that you can cut paper with them like you can with Leatherman tools. I think the cutters work well for their size and have been good at cutting things as thick as bailing wire. The only complaint I have about the pliers is that the very end of the needle nose have no teeth to them. I am not sure if this was done on purpose or if it was something that was overlooked when designing the tool.
The last thing to mention about the Crucial is the addition of the pocket clip. Lately we are seeing an increasing trend in pocket clips being used on multitools. As the tool community demands tools that are compact with a smaller variety of tool, pocket clips are being made standard and it allows the tools to truly be there when we need them. The clip on the Crucial is attached at one end via torx head screws and curves with the flow of the handles. The clip is thin enough so it does not dominate the outside of your pocket and yet has a considerable amount of tension to keep the tool where it belongs.
In a nutshell the Gerber Crucial is a great tool to add to any collection that can defiantly see use as a tool you can use everyday. Gerber did their homework in this tool design and I am glad this tool is finally hitting the market. If you’re looking for a compact tool with a minimal selection of tools, you might want to check out the Crucial.