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 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.
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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Ruler.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Tool Lock.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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.
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.