Gerber MP1 Multi-Tool Review
We’ve all been there – stuck out somewhere needing the right tool… and not having it. Pack the Gerber MP1 wherever you go, and you’ll never have that problem again. Not only does it have a full compliment of tools which are actually useful (let’s face it, multi-tools can tend towards being a bit gimmicky), but with features such as carbon steel reinforced blades and jaws, you also get professional grade components. All stored in a rugged but simple nylon carrying pouch. The Gerber Mp1 may be small, but it sure packs a punch.
Features of the Gerber MP1
Not to sound completely cliche, but I’ve always been a fan of the mantra “the right tool for the right job.” I definitely have had more than my fair share of skinned knuckles, ripped off fingernails, bloody fingers (you get the picture) from trying to MacGyver my way around fixing something. The nice thing about carrying around a solid multi-tool like the Gerber MP1 is that it cuts the MacGyvering down to a minimum. Sure, it has some limitations, but since the good folks at Gerber sent it over for testing, I find myself reaching for the Gerber MP1 for all sorts of tasks both around the house and not. Since my day job requires me to cut, pull, and access all sorts of things on wrecked vehicles, I have a multi-tool such as this on me at all times. Far and away, the Gerber MP1 has set itself apart as my go to choice day in and day out. Let’s take a look at the features, and then get down to usage.
I vastly prefer to have a few really useful tools than a billion gimmicky ones (I’m not gonna name names, but think something that rhymes with kiss barmy), and the Gerber MP1 fits the bill. It has just the right amount of tools, and really distinguishes itself by having a phillips head screwdriver as well. Most multi-tools have flatheads only, which gets frustrating when the only thing you need is a solid phillips. The best thing about the phillips is that the bit is removable; any standard bit you have will fit it. I took to carrying a small bit set in the car, since you’ll never know when you need it. The bit holder is magnetic, so you don’t have to ever worry about it coming out when folded or in use. This is my favorite part about testing/using Gerber products – they actually use tools, and during their R&D eliminate all those annoyances that make a good tool bad. As mentioned above, the pliers and the blades are carbon reinforced to give them durability to stand up to heavy use day in and day out. The pliers are spring loaded, and there is both a serrated and straight blade in either side of the handle. Some would call this overkill, but then again some don’t know the difference between what each blade can do. Ever try and cut through a seat belt with a straight blade? You’ll know why you need both after you give it a shot. While the straight blade came with a good edge out of the box, I sharpened it up a bit upon receipt and haven’t needed to touch it since – it holds up much the same as the Gerber GDC Tech Skin knife, reviewed by yours truly. Each tool locks back, and the pliers are spring loaded. Rounding out the tools are an assortment of flat heads, a pry bar/bottle opener, and even a utility blade (which is a really, really nice addition, more on that below).
I gave the Gerber MP1 a solid 8 weeks of every day carry, plus any honey-do project around the house I could think of. As mentioned above, I found the ability to switch bits on the tool to be completely awesome. You gain the ability to make it a full fledged screw driver with just a small assortment of standard sized bits. Plus, the slender extension from the handle makes it easy to use in tight spaces; numerous multi-tools have only a small extension, basically rendering it useless. Like all the tools on the Gerber MP1, the lock back mechanism is simple, easy to engage, and easy to disengage. My biggest complaint about most multi-tools is the slop that arises from repeated use of the lock back mechanism. After only a couple of uses, it won’t lock securely; this causes all manner of injury both serious and annoying in nature. I found only a small amount of play in each tool, which worried me a first, but after repeated use did not worsen at all. This allowed me to securely cut/torque when needed without worry of damage or injury. All tools are also easily accesible without opening the Gerber MP1, which allows for quick access. I believe that my only real complaint is the lack of one handed usage, such as seen here on the Buck Spitfire knife. I have yet to review a multi-tool with this capability, but Gerber gets as close as I’ve seen with the easy exterior access on the Gerber MP1.
Overall, the Gerber MP1 is the multi-tool that keeps coming when all others would quit. The attractive, well thought out design combined with professional grade components made the Gerber MP1 into my favorite multi-tool for all occasions. Add it to your arsenal, and I’m positive you’ll be reaching for it repeatedly. One last piece of advice – you can never have too many bottle openers. Last, but not least, the Gerber MP1 includes a bottle opener – easily accessible from the outside handle, of course. Head on over to Gerber to check out the Gerber MP1 for yourself.