While walking through Wal-Mart, I managed to sneak away from my wife for a few minutes and head to the sports and outdoors section, as I try to do any time I’m stuck in that store for any length of time.
I specifically wanted to look through the knife display as I wanted to get my hands on a new multi tool to keep in my car.
At Wal-Mart and I believe in generally any big box store, there are really only two options to choose from.
Either a you get a Gerber or you get a Leatherman.
I wanted to stay under $40.00 for a new tool (as per my wife)
I opted to purchase the Suspension simply because the design was larger and it had a more ergonomic feel with curved handles vs. the straight handle of the Leatherman. The major differences between the two are the suspension has smaller blades and does not have a metal file or a ruler etched into its side. I have to say that overall I am impressed by the suspension tool, with a few exceptions.
-Large butterfly handle opens easily with one hand
-spring action plier/ wire stripper combo has a good strength and the heads line up perfectly
-The knife portion is extremely sharp (this was also a con for me as I accidently flayed my finger open within minutes of opening it)
– Has a nice array of tools on board
– Nylon sheath is compact and holds the multi tool tightly
– The Sheath also allows for both vertical and horizontal mounting on your belt.
-The gun metal finish with matte pewter colored tools looks great together
– The Secure locking mechanism keeps the open tools locked securely in to place.
– The flow through design keeps your hands from getting sweaty and losing grip on the tool.
-The large handle may not work for people with smaller hands (the tool is about ½” thick)
-The opening tools have thumb notches for both the serrated edge and straight edge knife blades but none on the other tools
-The inner tools are recessed and hard to get to
-The inner tools are extremely stiff to open
– The scissors are just terrible may be good for if you need to cut some paper to survive… but that is about it. This has actually been the case for just about all of the multi tools that I have seen. That being said if you think you are going to need scissors in a crisis, carry a good set with you.
– Nylon sheath rides high when set in the vertical position and digs into my hip
-The Phillips head screwdriver is only really good for smaller screws as it is not a full sized Phillips head
-The locking mechanism is stiff and can be difficult to engage with one hand. (I assume this will loosen up as the tool ages and the springs loosen)
– the small blades are extremely sharp but they are not very long and make the saw blade tough to catch as you have to keep lifting it out of the groove.
A few other notes about the Gerber Suspension, It is quite a bit heavier than the comparable Leatherman Sidekick model. The Gerber weighs a hefty 9 ounces and the Leatherman comes in 2 ounces lighter, at 7 ounces.
The Bottom Line:
Any multi tool I have used seems to be only geared at minimal or “in a pinch” use and all of them are prone to much quicker hand fatigue than if you were to use a standard tool.
I had no use for a metal file or a 4” ruler, granted the larger blades on the Leatherman are a plus but if I need a blade I have my pocket knife that I carry every day. I also liked that the Gerber had a locking mechanism on the blade as I have severely lacerated my hand from a folding knife slipping on me… Not a mistake I want to make again.
I do however feel a little hosed as I purchased this for $40.00at the big box store and when I came home I managed to find it on amazon for around $26.00.
So if you plan on buying anything be sure and do your research.
Which multi tool you keep handy?
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