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I've a bit of a thing for tools, (nothing funny mind you, so I don't need to talk to a councillor about it, not yet anyway), so I had to smile when a friend offered me what looked like a small(-ish) pair of pliers. But when I took hold of the pliers and unfolded them I soon realised that these pliers were more than just pliers, they were in fact a rather compact and very handy little multi tool.
With this particular little multi tool being called the Gerber Suspension Multi Tool, with the suspension part possibly down to the way that the actual handle of the tool slightly resembles a suspension bridge, sort of.
But first, for those that like a bit of history about a certain brand name, Gerber is a well established company started way back in 1939 by Joseph R Gerber who first began making cutlery for gifts. Then, just 20 years later, the name Gerber was one of the best known, and most trusted brand name found on knives around the world, and has continued growing ever since. Spreading there wings, and ideas, from just making knives and trying their hands at other items, such as multi-tools, hand tools, torches, spades and more, all with that same brand of quality and strength that has made Gerber tools a worth while investment for both amateurs and professionals.
** WHAT ABOUT THIS SUSPENSION TOOL THEN..?
Well, as I said, I'm guessing that the name suspension is something to do with the way the handle is designed, with the slight criss-cross of metal giving it a nice look to it with a sort of 'open view' showing the selection of tools on offer.
Inside the open view handle there are several tools, which consist of...
On one side..
* Sharp blade
* Cross head screwdriver
* Flat headed screwdriver
* Fine saw edge
On the other side...
* Serrated blade edge
* Can/Bottle opener
* Flat headed screwdriver,
** MY OPINION...
The handles themselves are something called a 12 gauge stainless steel with the pliers themselves being made of ¼ inch steel, making them pretty tough indeed.
It has a 'butterfly' opening action which means that you can actually use the tools even with the tool handles closed, and as each handle has a locking catch the tools shouldn't 'flick' back on themselves and will avoid any dangers to your fingers.
When open, is around 165mm long and when closed is around 100mm long and weighs in at a very measly 300 grams.
The pliers open up to just under 40mm wide, and don a wire cutter which can slice through most 'normal' electrical wires with ease, (but do unplug the wire first or there could be trouble and you may end up with a new 'spikey' hair style).
Opening the device is pretty easy, especially if you have a good strong set of nails, but even though I don't own a good strong set of finger nails I still find getting the tools out a breeze.
To use a tool, be it with the handles open or closed, you simply slide the locking mechanism forwards, release the tool required, the slide the locking mechanism back to lock the chosen tool in place.
To put the chosen tool back into the handle you just release the locking mechanism, put the chosen tool back into the handle and relock the locking mechanism... simple.
For safety reasons, which really make this tool one of the Health and Safety brigade most favourite, there is a locking catch on both sides of the handle, towards the bottom end when the knife is fully opened, these catches lock and unlock the many blades, keeping them safely in position.
And, which really does give this little handy tool that extra bit of positiveness (is that a word??) is the fact that it comes with a life time warranty which means that if it breaks it will be replaced.
Plus, for that little added bonus, it came with a nylon case which clips onto a belt and is around 125mm in length, so that the tool fits snugly into it without any hassles, and with the Velcro strip it is easy to open and close.
In all a rather fine little tool which sits happily in my pocket and, when needs be, has really helped me out a few times in my day to day life. So if you're looking for a nice little present which will certainly be used then this is defiantly worth looking at.
As for the price, well, this sells for around £25 and for that you get many tools in a pocket sized tool kit, sort of.
I received this Gerber Multi-tool as a Christmas present, as soon as Jennifer and I got home I found it's first use. Before even putting the case on my belt I was pressing on the buttons on each side to open the pliers up and there is a black safety clip on each side you have to push up to release the little tools inside the handle. I needed the Phillips head screwdriver to tighten up the screws on my dead bolt plate. I had this job done within a minute.
First thing in the morning I put the pliers in it's case and hooked it on my belt. I used it about twenty times that day, from twisting and cutting 10 gauge wire on tree stakes to cutting the ropes on a bale of straw for my dogs house in their pen. With the safety locks and clasps you do not need to worry about any other tool opening up and hurting you. When fully extended this pliers is 5 and 11/16 in length. The open mouth grasp is 1 1/2 inches wide.
On the left side of the pliers handle comes a scissors, can/bottle opener, flat head screwdriver 1/4 inch wide and a 1/16 flat head screw driver head. On the right side come a inch long blade knife with a jagged edge in the center of it to cut rope with. Then you have the Phillips screwdriver head and a nail puller next to it. The handles are made of 12 gauge stainless steel with the pliers head made of 1/4 inch stainless steel.
The case is made out of Ballistic Nylon and is five inches long with the flap folded in front and held nicely together with Velcro strips on both sides. The back loop for your belt will support up to a two wide belt. There has not been a day since Christmas that I have not used this pliers set. It goes on my belt every morning without hesitation.
I would recommend this Gerber Multi-tool set for the avid gardener, landscaper, lawn maintenance men, people who tinker around with stuff, and for the guy who wants to take up more space on his hip next to his cell phone.
The Gerber Company have been making Pliers sets for over a decade now and come with their standard life time warranty against breakage or any defects. If you want go to GerberBlades.com for more about their many items to choose from. Gerber is a Fiskars Brand Company.
This looks more like a transformer than a multitool and is just as impressive! It has just about every function you could wish for including knives, a saw, pliers, bottle opener, can opener, screw drivers (philips and crosshead) and a couple of things that I haven't even been able to figure out yet! It just cries out that you are a real king of DIY and have lived in the woods for years...
All these features do come at a cost though, although financially it is in my opinion excellent value the unit is quite bulky and indeed heavy. It is not something that you throw into your pocket and forget about. It does however come with a useful case that slips onto your belt.
One excellent feature of the Gerber Suspension Multi Tool is that all the tools are fully lockable so there will be no more cuts as the knife snaps shut on your finger or you lose grip with the can opener and stab yourself in the side instead!
Overall this is a well built and good looking gadget with all sorts of useful accessories.
Gerber has always been a poor man's Leatherman but the Suspension Multi-tool named after the suspension bridges which inspired the design of the distinctive grip frame has gone a long way to change that. The drop forged Chrome Vanadium steel outer looks like polished titanium, with it's nice semi matte grey finish it has a desirable high tech appearance further enhanced by the black cordura pouch it comes supplied with.
The frame holds nine tools:
scissors (cleverly designed so you don't slice your finger when folding away), small flat head screwdriver, serrated knife, saw, ingenious flat Philips head screwdriver, large flat head screwdriver, a very sharp knife and pliers.
The tools can be folded out without having to open the whole tool unlike most Leatherman's and the two knives, scissors and saw lock in place when open The mechanism can be a little fiddly to unlock if it hasn't been used for a while otherwise the opening and closing of all tools is very smooth,
I use it for camping and outdoors stuff for which it excels due to it's small size. although it is relatively heavy being made from steel. The only drawback is that I've had it for a year and still cannot work out how to use tin opener.
Excellent construction and finish give a feel of being much more expensive than what I paid for it (£32 last summer), so it is no surprise this tool has been so successful that it has now influenced other manufacturers designs.
Metric measuring scale on jaws for easy jaw presetting and sizing of nuts, bolts, pipes etc.