Knife Review: The Gerber Suspension Multitool

Every hero and every citizen should own tools and have them readily available in an emergency. The Gerber Suspension Multitool packs a wide variety of commonly required tools into a tough little stainless steel package. According to the Gerber website, their Suspension multi-tool features needlenose pliers, a wire cutter, a fine edge knife, a serrated edge knife, a saw, scissors, a crosspoint screwdriver, small and medium flat blade screwdrivers, a can opener, a bottle opener, and a lanyard hole. This multitool comes in a black ballistic nylon case that fits handily on your belt. The total package weighs about 9 ounces and is about the size of cell phone. The Gerber Suspension Multitool retails for about $30 or a little more if you buy optional attachments. It’s a small price to pay for the ability to step in and save the day.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried to make a point of using my Gerber Multitool. The centerpiece of the Gerber Multitool has to be the needlenose pliers and wire cutter. The stainless steel handles of the multitool fold back (much like a butterfly knife) to reveal a 2 1/4-inch pair of needlenose pliers. They are cleverly spring-loaded to open automatically. For precision work, the front 3/4-inch of the pliers has the sharp point, flat plier surfaces, and fine serrations expected of any quality set of needlenose pliers. For gripping odd-sized nuts and bolts, the next half inch back on the pliers opens into the slight oval of traditional pliers. Beyond the regular pliers, 3/8-inch of wire cutter is provided for clipping wires or stripping wires. In the hand, I found that the Gerber Suspension Multitool felt good. The handles are more substantial than traditional needlenose pliers and are easier to grip. The spring-loaded opening mechanism also makes the pliers easy to reposition.

I was able to lightly test this Gerber Multitool on recent trips to the shooting range. On one range trip, the small flat blade screw drivers was just perfect for adjusting the tiny screw that drifts the rear sight right or left on my Ruger Single Six revolver. Later, the larger flat blade screwdriver on the Gerber Suspension Multitool proved useful in mounting a Bushnell scope on one of my .22-caliber rifles. At the range, I was able to zero the scope using the screwdriver blades to adjust the elevation and windage settings. Since space in the shooting lanes at my local range is pretty narrow, it was nice to have one handy tool that I could wear on my belt.

When I came home, I was able to use the small pair of scissors to cut gun cleaning patches down to an appropriate size for the smallbore rifle. The scissor blade provides only a half inch of cutting surface so it would be tough to cut a consistent straight line. However, it can be done. The multitool handle can be cupped in four fingers of one hand and the thumb can be used to repeatedly press down on one handle of the scissors. Alternatively, the handle can be flipped over and cupped in three fingers with the index finger being used to pull on the scissor handle as if it were a trigger. No matter how it is used, the small and slight appearing scissors can actually cut very well.

Sailors and boaters will also find the Gerber Suspension Multitool very useful. The stainless steel construction of this multitool should help it resist corrosion and the skeletonized frame should prevent moisture from being trapped within the tool. The lanyard hole is nearly a quarter inch in diameter and should accommodate substantial lines to tether this multitool to your person. When the lanyard hole attachment is extended, the tool still fits securely in its sheath. In a boating emergency, a user can deploy either the serrated blade or the fine point blade with one-hand. Both blades are of a drop-point design to protect the user by minimizing the damage from an unintended jab.

The weakest point on the Gerber Suspension Multitool is probably the “crosspoint screwdriver.” It looks like a poor excuse for a Phillips-head screwdriver and appears to lack the girth needed to securely grip a Phillips-head screw. I was able to unscrew Phillips-head screws from the back of a desktop PC using this tool, but my grip was not very secure and the tool did slip out of the grooves a few times. This shortcoming could be overcome by the purchase of an extra accessory set for $10 to $15 that provides numerous tool heads that include a Phillips-head screwdriver head. It would be nice if the pouch for the Gerber Suspension Multitool had an extra pocket to accommodate these extra tools. I think my multitool may have come with these tool heads in a small rubber strip. However, if it did, these accessories were lost or buried someplace where they wouldn’t get lost within a few short weeks of getting this multitool.

Overall, the Gerber Suspension Multitool is a great value for $30. This Gerber Multitool is rugged, substantial, compact, versatile and affordable. It is an attractive little tool that would make a good Christmas or Father’s Day gift. It will make a great addition to any hero’s utility belt.

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