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Author Topic: Leatherman vs Gerber Multi-tool: which do you prefer  (Read 7875 times)

Eric Cole

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Leatherman vs Gerber Multi-tool: which do you prefer
« on: May 15, 2010, 10:57:52 pm »

I looking to get a multi-tool to carry every day at work.  I have a Leatherman and a Gerber already and each is dedicated to a specific kit.   The Leatherman is a more compact system and is solid while the Gerber is quicker to open but has more slop.   Which brand do you prefer when working?


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Eric Cole
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Adrian Genovesio

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Re: Leatherman vs Gerber Multi-tool: which do you prefer
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2010, 11:13:00 pm »

I purchased a Gerber multitool last year and I have been using it at every gig ever sense.  I love the locking tools and Gerber has always made some great knife blades and the stability has proven over the gigs.  I have only sharpened it twice sense I have gotten it and it will still slice a sheet of paper without force and ripping.
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Leatherman vs Gerber Multi-tool: which do you prefer
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2010, 11:31:34 pm »

I carry a Leatherman Surge. I have two in fact. I also have a Gerber that I keep in my tool bag as a back up, but I haven't taken it out of the holster except to sharpen the blade since I got my Leatherman.
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: Leatherman vs Gerber Multi-tool: which do you prefer
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2010, 12:29:17 am »

I have only ever used Leatherman multitools, simply because I was given them as gifts.

My first Leatherman was the Supertool 200 (the most heavy-duty one they made) and I used it for years until I started to notice its age.  The plier teeth were getting worn and the cutter wasn't functioning as nicely as it had in the past.

Then, I got my second one - the Wave - as a Christmas gift.  I keep my Supertool 200 as the backup, but now my Wave is on my belt when I go to gigs (and more).  I enjoy not necessarily having to carry a separate knife, since the blade is easily accessed with one hand without the need to open the multitool.

All that said, I have been extremely happy with my Leatherman tools and have no complaints at all.  I also have not used them for tasks they were not designed for (okay...I have used them to hammer the occasional nail).  I have not abused them or used them in a way as to cause physical damage to the tool(s).

Gerber multitools may work just as well, but my experience with Leatherman has set the bar high enough that I see no need to try a different brand.

(I'm surprised no one has chimed in with "a multitool is the wrong tool for every job" yet; I think that they are very useful as long as common sense and ingenuity are used in the process.)
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Daniel Cash

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Re: Leatherman vs Gerber Multi-tool: which do you prefer
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2010, 12:37:27 am »

you should make this into a poll.

I have owned both gerber and letherman knives, I currently prefer and carry a leatherman wave.

Tom Bourke

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Re: Leatherman vs Gerber Multi-tool: which do you prefer
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2010, 12:49:29 am »

Gerber use to me my tool of choice.  However in recent years they have gone to complete SHIT!  the tools of the form factor I like (flick out pliers head) no longer come with a strait blade AND a serrated blade. It is some stupid combo blade that sucks for ether use.  They also have a flat philips head in there lower end multi tools that does not work with ANY philps head.  If any one from gerber reads this, PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS and bring back the good tools.  I know they offer what I want if I am willing to pay closer to $100 than the $40 tool I use to like but I just can not justify it.

This is the closest to what I use to get http://www.gerbergear.com/index.php/product/id/160  Only it had 2 separate blades and cost $40
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Chris Gruber

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Re: Leatherman vs Gerber Multi-tool: which do you prefer
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2010, 02:03:52 am »

My Choice would be Leatherman. I have the Charge Ti and have used it pretty much every day for the last 3 years. They have a 25 year warranty and it has been super reliable. I had a Gerber but the pliers broke, one of the jaws broke completely off. That could have just been a bad casting or my fault because of how I was using it. I am sure they are fine tools but I prefer the Leatherman.

http://www.leatherman.com/products/product.asp?id=6&f=6& amp;c=1
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John Neil

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Re: Leatherman vs Gerber Multi-tool: which do you prefer
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2010, 08:22:48 am »

There are lots of tools out there.  How you plan to use it should inform your purchase.  

After carrying a Leatherman, I realized that I mostly wanted to cut looms apart, cut cable tieline when knotted, open packages, and eat apples.  All knife functions.  Sometimes I wanted a plier to work with a difficult mic stand or retracted EP6 connector pins.  Usually my quick screwdriver needs are to tighten a mic clip or a loose quad box faceplate.  That's all.

I recently lost a nice knife.  I realized I wanted a knife with bonus screwdriver and plier functions for those other times.

The pliers aren't really beefy but that's fine.  My toolbox is on stage with diagonal cutters, pliers, needlenose, screwdrivers, strippers, vice-grips, and tiny screwdrivers for Switchcraft XLRs.  My c-wrench is leashed to my belt.  If I need to load a followspot, I've got real scissors in my toolbox...far faster than pocket scissors.  

Thus, my informed re-purchase was a Gerber Crucial.  $30.  It's not really a multitool.  It's a locking pocketknife, that also opens into a plier.  Also has two screwdrivers, a beaner/bottle opener.  I modified it by removing the pocket clip.  It fits my hand better without and slides into the belt pouch more easily.

I can one handed open, use, and return to the belt pouch.  No silly foldy open action to get to some wimpy knife blade.  The locking blade is on the outside and bigger than any of the "typical" multitools.  Holding the item needing cutting on my left hand, it's nice to be able to extract the knife with my right hand.

For real tasks, I have real tools nearby.  The crucial gets me off stage in a hurry.

Edit: Leatherman makes a somewhat similar - the Skeletool.
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Dave Slater

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Re: Leatherman vs Gerber Multi-tool: which do you prefer
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2010, 08:42:57 am »

Leatherman Charge TTi everytime

I've tried Gerber's but I always seemed to be resharpening them

I do however highly recommend the Gerber Saf-T Sharpener it's unbeatable

http://www.elinemerchandising.com/41360.html (Link for illustration not a recommendation for the store)
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W. Mark Hellinger

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Re: Leatherman vs Gerber Multi-tool: which do you prefer
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2010, 10:42:57 am »

I've been carrying a Leatherman Wave daily for a couple of years.  For approx. 20 years before that I carried Leatherman PST tools... I believe I wore-out about 4 PST tools.  I gave-in and opted for the Wave when the PST tools had become so obsolete that I couldn't source a new one.  I was a die-hard fan of the PST.  The only thing I didn't like about the PST was the bite of the handles (into my palm and fingers) when using it in pliers mode.  Everything else, including the size, weight, and functions of the PST, I really liked... everything I generally needed and nothing I didn't need.  I'm generally happy with the Wave, especially the plier mode handles, but:

1)  I seldom use the serrated knife blade... and that serrated blade is really mean.

2)  I've only used the saw blade a couple of times.  Again, that blade is really mean.  Actually... it's uber-mean.  Best to keep that blade holstered unless you have your A-game fully implemented.

3)  I use the file quite a bit, but I don't like it as well as the file on the PST tool.

4)  The scissors are basically useless.

5)  The flat screwdriver blades are "ok", but not as well sized and shaped as the screwdriver blades on the PST tool.

6)  The Phillips (posidrive) bit seems equitable to the one on the PST tool, and it's fairly good.

7)  The can opener is ok... equitable to the one on the PST.  I generally use it to remove crimped-on bottle tops... but I generally drink canned beverages, so the can opener is generally a waste of space for me (it was on the PST too)... unless I'm in the company of some hoity-folks with good (expensive) taste that offer me a bottled beverage... then the bottle opener is handy... unless of-course I've had too many of their bottled beverages, and I end up puncturing the cap, rater then removing it... resulting in a self-inflicted beverage soaked croch and me sitting there looking like a fool... cause I didn't use the right tool for the job.

8 )  The regular knife blade is fine... equitable to the one on the PST.  I wish the straight blades were capable of taking and holding a better edge (like a good pocket knife)... but what can be expected with stainless?

9)  I miss not having a leather punch, like on the PST.  The leather punch I used to use a lot.

10)  I definitely miss not being able to open and access tools on the Wave with one hand (and in the dark) like I could with my PST.  In-fact, I find many of the tools on the Wave to be difficult to access, although I'm getting more used to it.  I do like the designation bumps on the serrated blade so I can distinguish it from the regular blade without having to open the blade first to determine which one is which.  I also like the locking feature on the blades, something the PST didn't have.

11)  I use the pliers the most, the regular knife blade second most, the Phillips (posidrive) bit and small & large straight (common) screwdriver bits third most, the file 4th. most commonly, and I'd use a leather punch 5th. commonly if the Wave had one.  I use the serrated knife occasionally... I like it for slicing open clear packing tape on boxes, and for cutting open plastic bags with the bags laid on the work bench... the hook of the first serration works well.  Basically those tools within the Wave are what I almost exclusively have a use for… the rest of them are just more weight and bulk as far as I’m concerned.  For the tools on the Wave that I use, the Wave tool is generally as useful as the PST tools were.  I still have my last PST, and I strap it on once in a while for a reality check… and I’m starting to generally like the Wave better.  A few times I’ve been caught without a PST or Wave, and I’ve been lost… totally handicap.  To give you a general idea of how much a use a multitool:  I pull out my Wave (or PST in the past) far more-often than I pull open any of the 59ea. drawers of my Snap-on tool boxes.  Not that a wave could take the place of a couple tons of Snap-on tools, but it's amazing to me that a 1/2 lb. tool gets more use than the combined use of 35 more dB-tools.

My Wave is a couple, maybe 3 or 4 years old.  I recently purchased a new Wave as a gift, and was disappointed to discover (after buying it) that the newer Wave is changed... and arguably not as good... definitely seethes "cheapened"... at somewhere around a $70 price tag as I recall.  Also, it literally took approx. 1 hour for the store management to remove the new Wave from the sales display (so I could take it to the check-out counter and buy it) at the Home Depot where I bought it, because of the store's security measures.

Maybe because I've been packing a Leatherman daily for more than 2 decades, I've been given many other multitools as presents.  Some where cheap, some were middle-of-the-road, but most were very expensive as friends where trying to buy me something better than my usually well worn (broke-in nicely IMO) PST tool.  All the multitool gifts I've received I really tried to warm-up to, but for what I need a multi-tool for, the Wave has proved to be the only alternative to the PST that strikes my fancy.
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