The Gerber Center Drive Multi Tool Review

Gerber Gear started out as Gerber Legendary Blades, which actually started out as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets given as holiday gifts. The founder of Gerber is Joseph R. Gerber. When speaking about Gerber Legendary Blades, he has said that it was, “the birth of an enterprise that grew into a big business”. This is a very true statement, but also quite the understatement. Like previously mentioned, it was 1939 and he designed and made a small batch of handmade cutlery sets. Less than 30 years later, in 1960, Gerber had become one of the most trusted, appreciated, and collected names in knives.

It was over 70 years ago that Gerber was founded and to this day, the company is still growing. They are grounded on the same principles that the company began on: they are dedicated to making knives and tools that combine high quality materials and innovative designs that will stand up to a lifetime of use. At this point in time, Gerber doesn’t just make knives. They design and make axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, survival kits, digging implements, and multi tools. In fact, they recently released a brand new multi tool called the Center Drive. And that is what we will be discussing today.

 

The Steel:

The steel used on this multi tool is 420HC steel. This is a mid-range steel and is actually considered the king of the 420 steel series. 420HC steel is most similar to 420 steel, except that it has a much higher content of carbon, which is where the HC comes from in the name (High Carbon). The higher the carbon content in the steel, the harder the steel will be, so with this steel you do end up with a very hard steel. This is an inexpensive steel option, so it is surprising when you find out that this steel is one of the most corrosion resistant steels on the market. The most common place that you will find this steel is on budget blades. This steel usually undergoes a heat treatment and the better the heat treatment, the better the steel will be. With a good heat treatment, the manufacturer can bring out better edge retention and better corrosion resistant properties. This steel struggles to keep its edge for long periods of time and for heavy duty use. But, since this steel is used on a multi tool where you aren’t looking for a razor sharp blade, this steel will definitely get the job done.

Gerber Center Drive MultiTool
Gerber Center Drive MultiTool

The Look:

The 420HC steel is used all over this multi tool, meaning that the handles and the tools have been made out of this steel. However, to add depth and a unique look, the different features have been finished in two different ways. The handles of this multi tool have been finished with a matte gray look. All of the tools that fold out of this multi tool have been finished with a black finish. The contrast helps to add depth and provides this multi tool with a very modern look.

On the gray handle, there are a variety of etchings and cut outs. The company name is etched into one side of the handle, along with small triangular etchings. One the other side of the handle, there are triangular cut outs. On the side of the handle with just the etchings, one of the triangles is actually cut out to form a lanyard hold. This is a huge benefit, because being able to tie a lanyard onto your tool is a real game changer. Some of the most obvious benefits to having a lanyard on your knife include that you can add a touch of personal style to the tool depending on which lanyard you choose. Another benefit is that if you are using this tool in a dark or cramped space with limited sight, and you happen to drop it, a bright lanyard will help you find the tool quicker. One of the biggest benefits to having a lanyard hole in your multi tool handle is that you can secure your tool against loss. This is a multi-tool that you are going to want with you at all times. It has almost every single tool that can help you get out of a sticky situation, whether it is the expected or unexpected. Since you are going to want it with you at all times, the lanyard hole helps quite a bit. This way, you can easily tie the tool to your belt or to your bag or backpack strap.

 

The Tools:

The Gerber Center Drive has been outfitted with thirteen different tools. This means that your multi tool with offer you uncompromising performance through almost any situation. The Center Drive has been designed for real challenges and works perfectly. When talking about their new product, Gerber has said, “Second best is nothing to strive for. To trump the multi-tools that preceded it, the Center Drive had to be real, tough, innovative—and it is. In the inevitable tool to tool showdown, there is not contest.” I would say that Gerber has hit the nail right on the head. This brand new multi tool is truly a game changer.

  1. The Pliers.

On the Center Drive multi tool, the pliers are located at the top of the tool in the middle of the two handles. These are spring loaded needle nose pliers, that sport an X-Channel rail system. Needle nose pliers are also known as long nose pliers. This type of pliers is used for cutting and holding. Many jewelry designers, electricians, and network engineers use this type of pliers to reposition and snip wire.

  1. The Bolt and Nut Grippers.

This is located on the inner side of the pliers. This will give you a secure grasp on any of your nuts or bolts.

  1. The Rotatable Carbide Wire Cutters.

The wire cutter and stripper can easily be used to strip the electrical insulation from the electric wires. The wire cutter will quickly and easily slice through the wire.

  1. Magnetic Axis Bit Driver.

The bit driver is a magnetic center that measures in at 3.2 inches. The simple version of this multi tool comes with a Phillips head bit. This type of head has a small cross in the center and the ability to self-center.

  1. The Extra Bit Holder.

You have the option to purchase the version of this multi tool that comes with extra bits. These bits include multiple sized Phillips heads as well as a flathead drill bit. All of the drill bits are magnetic. These bits are stored in a small container where each bit has its own little slot.

  1. The Ruler.
  2. The Bottle Opener.

The Bottle opener is located on the left side, near the file. This will easily allow you to open any bottles, making this multi tool a great tool for emergencies or just everyday life.

  1. The Pry Bar and Nail Puller.

This tool is a metal bar that has both ends flattened and a curve on one end. This tool has a small fissure in the end that is the perfect tool to use when you are trying to remove a nail.

  1. The Awl.

The awl is a long point spike. This tool can be used for making holes in wood or used for making markings on the wood.

  1. The Tool Lock.
  2. The File.

The file folds out of the butt of the left handle. This file has a fine side and a coarse side. This file can easily be used to remove fine amounts of material from a workpiece.

  1. The Blade.

The serrated blade folds out of the left side of the handle, and is arranged right next to the file. Because it is a serrated edge, you will easily be able to saw through some of the rougher or thicker materials that you encounter throughout your day.

  1. The Other Blade.

This blade folds out of the right side of the handle and has a fine grind. It is a plain edge blade that makes up for all of the slicing tasks that you will need to perform that the serrated edged blade will not be able to accomplish.

 

The Different Versions:

There are four different “versions” you can get when it comes to the Center Drive. While the tools in all of the versions are the same, it is the accessories that change. You can get the simplest version of the multi tool, which is just the multi tool and a fabric sheath. The second version of this tool that you can purchase is the multi tool along with an included bit set. The third version of this multi tool that is offered is the multi tool along with a MOLLE compatible sheath. The last option that is available for purchase is one where the multi tool comes with the included bit set and the MOLLE Compatible Sheath.

 

The Sheaths:

There are two different sheath options. On the simplest versions of this multi tool, it does come with a sheath. This sheath is a simple, black fabric sheath. The fabric sheath is an inexpensive option for your tool sheath. With a tool sheath, you really get what you pay for. So while this fabric sheath is adequate, it will wear out quicker than other sheath materials. The fabric sheath is prone to getting stretched out, so it will still work, but your tool will not be quite as snug as it once was. A fabric sheath will get the job done, but does not offer you any extra anything.

The second sheath option is an upgraded sheath. This sheath is a MOLLE compatible sheath that comes in a light tan color. This is also a fabric sheath, but carries a handful of benefits along with it. MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. This equipment is used by a large number of NATO armed forces, including the United States Army. The system’s modularity is derived from the use of PALS webbing as rows of heavy duty nylon stitched onto the vest to allow for the attachment of various MOLLE compatible pouches and accessories. This means that this sheath will work on any other MOLLE compatible products. The nylon that they use is tough, durable, and hard to scratch.

 

The Specs:

The closed length of this multi tool is 4.7 inches long, with the open length of it being 6.6 inches long. This is a little bit heavier of a tool weighing in at 9.5 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Ever since Gerber came to be, they have been creating exceptionally quality knives. They have built a reputation over the past seventy years of being reliable, innovative, and long lasting. One of Gerber’s main goals and drives is to create tools that will last a lifetime. And I would say that they have definitely accomplished that.

The Center Drive is the newest of their multi tool series and comes with four different versions. Each of the versions comes with separate accessories. Each tool, even the simplest version comes with a fabric sheath. However, you can upgrade and get a version with a MOLLE Compatible sheath. And you can get an add on with a case that carries extra bit heads. To make up the exceptional multi tool, they started with a steel that is extremely stain resistant and very hard. When speaking about their new tool, Gerber has said, “Our new multi tool offers uncompromising performance through revolutionary design. The innovative center axis driver opens to align like a real screw driver, yielding maximum torque and rotation. No productivity is sacrificed with the addition of a 30% longer outboard blade and one-thumb opening sliding jaws. Full size, real tools—the multi tool just got a reality check.”

With thirteen different tools on this multi tool, you know that you will be equipped whether in the expected or the unexpected situations. Grab your Center Drive multi tool right here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gerber Propel Automatic Knife Review

Gerber Legendary Blades was started by Joseph R Gerber. This company started out as a small batch of handmade knife sets in 1939. Within the next twenty years, Gerber became one of the most reliable knife companies in the business. Gerber’s mission is to design knives that pull in quality materials and groundbreaking designs. Their knives are built to last a lifetime. Gerber not only produces knives, but also axes, handsaws, flashlights, survival kits, multi tools, and much more. Every product that Gerber turns out is going to be quality, innovative, and last a very long time. Today we are going to go over one of their products in particular: The Gerber Propel Fully Automatic knife.

 

The Gerber Propel Fully Automatic knife was introduced in August of 2013. Gerber offers two different designs of the same knife for the buyers: The Propel Auto and the Propel Downrange Auto. These two versions were designed to mimic the 06 auto knife, which was an instant hit in the knife community. The 06 has a Federal National Stock Number, which allows federal agencies to procure these knives without going through a bidding process. Gerber kept all of the positive aspects of the 06, but they slimmed it down to make it a little more pocket-friendly. You can still expect to have the same durability, reliability, and field-proven performance. It is all just packed into a smaller package.

 

The overall length of this knife is 8.52 inches while opened. When the knife is closed, it measures in at an even 5 inches. The knife weighs 4.28 ounces. This is a great length and weight for your everyday carry knife. The length is not overly long, but you will still be able to perform your needed tasks with it. The knife won’t weigh you down, but it will still feel sturdy and durable while you are using it.

 

 

Blade:

 

Gerber Propel Automatic
Gerber Propel Automatic

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long made out of 420HC. This is a mid-range steel that is nothing extraordinary but can stand up to what you throw at it. The HC in the steel’s name stands for High Carbon, so this steel is a harder steel than other stainless steels. This steel is easy to sharpen. It is also a durable steel, even after periods of long use. Because this steel is easy to sharpen even in the field or on the go, many outdoor enthusiasts like this steel.

If you get the Propel Downrange version, the steel use will be S30V steel. This is a high end, premium steel that has high corrosion resistance. It is also a very tough steel. Because it is a premium steel, you can expect it to go the extra mile. Some people pry and dig with blades made out of this steel and don’t experience any compromised blade integrity. S30V steel will hold an edge very well, but it is harder to sharpen than the 420HC steel. This is a good all-around steel.

Whichever version you choose; the steel is coated in a black oxide coating. This coating is added for a few reasons. First, the coating helps add corrosion resistance properties. It also adds a black color which boosts the aesthetic of the blade. This knife has the blackening to match the handle. This coating also helps to prevent slipping while you are cutting in critical conditions. The black oxide also minimizes reflective purposes. This means that if you are in a tactical situation, you don’t have to be concerned about the sun’s reflection giving away your position.

The blade silhouette is a tanto style point. A tanto style point was traditionally in Japanese short words. The tip on a tanto blade is going to be stronger than many other tips, because it is a broader shape. However, the tanto silhouette creates two main bevels, which makes it trickier to sharpen than a different style. Also, a tanto blade will not have a belly, so slicing tasks will be trickier. This style does have a unique look to it, so if you like the look, buy it. Also, if you know that you need a stronger tip, go for it. If you are a beginner in the knife world and looking for a versatile everyday carry knife, I don’t know if this is what I would recommend.

There are actually three cutting areas on the blade. There is the front bevel, which is 1 inch that has been sharpened bi-facially. The main edge on the blade is divided between the plain and serrated portions. The plain portion of this blade is 1.25 inches and the serrated portion is 1.5 inches. Because of the three different sections, sharpening this knife is a pain.

Users of this knife have also noticed an up and down wobble when the blade is opened. But, they have also noticed that the Propel has almost no lateral wobble whatsoever.

 

 

Handle:

 

The handle scales are made out of G10. On the Propel, the G10 handle scales are black. On the Propel Downrange, the G10 scales are tan. This material is a laminate composite that is made out of fiberglass. This handle will feel and work similarly to carbon fiber, but it is a much cheaper option. The handle material surprised me because Gerber usually uses glass filled nylon for their handle. G10 was definitely an upgrade compared to the commonly used handle material. To add texture and grip to the handle, Gerber has added checkering across the handle scales. They also added deeper grooves in areas along with the checkering. With both of those texturing techniques, you can feel secure while using and holding this knife.

The handle is pretty large and fills most people’s hand. On the spot where it touches your palm, there is a very slight swell. There is also a large groove where your index finger can fit. Because of this deeper groove, there is also a bump that also adds to fitting in your hand perfectly.

Gerber has attached the G10 scales to a metal frame using torx screws. There are four of these screws on each side of the handle.

 

 

Pocket Clip and Carrying:

 

Something unique about this knife is that the pocket clip can be placed on the knife in three different ways. You can mount it for the right pocket either tip up or down. Or you can mount it for the left pocket, but only tip up. Some users have reported bending the pocket clip while bumping it on things, but it is easily bent back into shape.

This knife carries pretty high in the pocket. If you are trying to conceal your knife, this probably isn’t going to be the knife for you.

Unfortunately, because of the checkering and deeper grooves on the handle, this knife has been known to destroy pockets. This isn’t usually a problem in most peoples’ minds, but if you are going to be dressed up, you might not want to carry this knife.

On the Downrange version, the pocket clip is tan, just like the handle. This tan matches many camouflage patterns, so you don’t have to worry about your knife standing out while trying to keep it concealed.

 

 

Action and Deployment:

 

Gerber Propel Automatic
Gerber Propel Automatic

The Propel uses a plunge lock and safety switch. To unlock the knife, you pull the safety switch towards you. Then to open the knife, you push in the round silver button. Along with opening the knife, it also locks it up so you can feel secure while using it for the heavier duty tasks. This button triggers a torsion spring inside that has constant tension on the blade. Because of this constant tension, you do not have to worry about blade bounce.

To close this knife, you push down the firing button and then manually close the blade.

If this knife is in your pocket, your best bet is to engage the safety. The safety mechanism shows red when it is disengaged. The opening button can be sensitive and you definitely don’t want to accidently open this knife while it is in your pocket. But, because it is a more sensitive button, the knife is easily deployed with just one hand.

 

 

Extras:

 

Both versions of this knife sport a pommel spike. This spike has been designed to break through most glass, including your car windows. This spike can also work as a lanyard anchor point.

 

 

Pros of the Gerber Propel/Downrange Automatic Knife:

 

  • You have two options of steel depending on what you like.
  • The 420HC is hard, easy to sharpen, and the edge lasts for quite a while.
  • The S30V steel is a premium steel that can stand up to much harder tasks than the 420HC steel.
  • The blade features a black oxide coating which helps resist corrosion, light reflection, and makes the blade less slippery.
  • The tanto silhouette has a stronger tip than lots of other tip style options.
  • The blade is a combo blade and the serrations are great for cutting through thicker materials, like rope or branches.
  • The handle is made out of G10 scales, which is a durable material.
  • The G10 comes in two different color options.
  • The G10 scales have aggressive texturing, providing you with excellent grip even in the trickiest of situations.
  • The handle is large and will fill your hand, helping with grip.
  • The pocket clip can be carried in three different ways.
  • The Downrange pocket clip is a tan that matches most camo patterns, so your pocket clip will not be obvious while carrying.
  • The knife is very easy to deploy using only one hand.
  • The knife sports a pommel spike, which works as a great glass breaker.
  • The length and weight of this knife is perfect for your everyday carry knife.

 

 

Cons of the Gerber Propel/Downrange Automatic Knife:

 

  • 420HC steel is a mediocre steel and doesn’t stand out, especially compared to other steel options.
  • S30V steel is a hard steel to sharpen, so you won’t be able to sharpen it in the field if the need arises.
  • The Tanto style blade is not a versatile blade. If you are a beginner in the knife community, I would not recommend this style.
  • There are actually three different cutting surfaces, which makes this an extremely hard knife to sharpen. Really, you are going to have to be a professional to sharpen it well.
  • There is an up/down wobble to the blade while opened.
  • The pocket clip doesn’t carry very deeply, so it is going to be obvious. This is not a great knife if you are trying to conceal it.
  • The handle has extreme grip, so it will beat up your pocket.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Something to keep in mind before you purchase this knife is that because it is fully automatic, or a switchblade, it is not going to be legal in all states. Make sure you know your local switchblade laws before buying this.

Gerber only sells their automatic knives through websites with the proper credentials, so as long as you are purchasing from a trusted website, your knife will be backed by Gerber’s lifetime warranty. This knife was designed and built in the United States of America, so you can expect only the best quality. Along with being patriotic and designing and building this knife in the states, Gerber offers a Pro Program. This program is for first responders and military personnel. It gives these members exclusive offers and discounted prices. If you feel like you fit into either of these categories, it is definitely worth looking into.

This is an overall fantastic knife for your tactical or utility purposes. When you are searching for the perfect everyday carry knife, you want it to feel familiar. The Gerber Propel or Gerber Propel Downrange will feel familiar. They are both easy to work with and very durable. This knife will not disappoint you in the field. You are provided with two different versions so you can pick the one that will fit your lifestyle the best.

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Exclusive BladeOps Gerber Covert Auto Knife, Standard Edge

Just In are the brand new, exclusive to BladeOps, Gerber Covert Automatic knives with a plain edge S30V blade.  You can grab it with a stonewash or black finish.  Check out our YouTube announcement right here.

 

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Gerber GDC Zipper Pull Knife Review

Gerber GDC Zipper Pull Blade
Gerber GDC Zipper Pull Blade

The Gerber GDC Zip Blade gives you all the tool you need in a convenient, go anywhere package.  Sometimes, you just need a small blade to make a quick, utility cut.  Maybe you need to cut a string, or cut a piece of cardboard, or maybe you are just out on the job and you need to strip a wire real quick.  What do you do?  If you have the Gerber GDC zipper pull knife, you just detach the squat, utilitarian blade and make your cut.  Then you simply replace the zipper pull on your jacket or carry bag and you are good to go.

Just how good is this little knife?  Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.  The .67″ blade gives you enough cutting edge to cut nearly everything you run into in an office or even out and about.  The blade opens with a nail nick.  There is a small ball bearing in the framelock that allows the blade to open much more smoothly than you might expect.   It locks up with a frame lock.  The lock engages extremely well and keeps the blade from having any front to back movement.  There is no side to side movement at all.

The blade closes into an open frame body of 3Cr13 stainless steel with the classic Gerber grey finish that gives it a slightly tactical feel.  The blade pivot is an oversized black bolt with a rim of bright lime green.  Extending from the top of the handle body is a small strap that connects to the zipper pull.  The entire thing can be detached from the actual zipper attachment. The construction is good quality and the blade is hefty enough to get some serious cuts taken care of when the need arises.

This ingenious little blade lets you always be prepared.  And it looks stylish as well.  Get your Gerber GDC zipper pull blade here on our website.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Item # 31-001742
  • Overall Length: 2.26″
  • Blade Length: .68″
  • Closed Length: 1.70″
  • Steel Type: 7Cr17
  • Handle Material: 3Cr13
  • Weight: 1 Ounce
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