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August 28, 2011 Comments (0) Blades & Tools, Reviews

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool Review

Over the last month I have had to opportunity to test Gerber’s newest entry in the multi-tool market.  The Gerber Fit multi-tool is a departure from the traditional butter fly opening multi-tools produced by most manufacturers including Gerber.

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool

 The Fit’s design features a flashlight built into the frame along with a partially serrated knife blade, tweezers,  small flat head and cross point screwdriver, bottle opener and a large interchangeable flat head and cross point screwdriver. This selection of tools makes the Gerber Fit very versatile. The overall look of the Fit reminds me more of a traditional Swiss Army pocket knife, and its lozenge shape looks nothing like any other multi-tool that I have handled.  

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool

The Gerber Fit measures 4 inches long and weighs in at 5.1 ounces. The mutli-tool measures 8.5 inches with the screwdrivers fully opened from both ends. All of the tools are made of stainless steel and the flashlight is manufactured from plastic to keep the weight down. The plastic construction of the flashlight feels durable and solid. The copper colored scales feel like aluminum and are secured to the frame by a 14 small screws that require a Star driver to tighten. I used a Star driver to ensure that all the screws were tight and during the course of testing none of them came loose or required tightening. The knife blade, scissors, large screwdriver and bottle opener have a locking mechanism to keep them open. Gerber uses a spring mechanism to unlock and fold them back into the frame. To unlock these tools simply pull back the grooved buttons on either side of the Fit.

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool

The first test conducted with the Gerber fit was cracking opening a couple of cold frosty beverages with the bottle opener while taking photographs for the article. The bottle opener is built into the base of the large interchangeable screwdriver which gives good leverage when opening bottles.   On some multi-tools the bottle opener is less than functional. In my opinion Gerber has done a nice job with its bottle opener designs and has included them on a variety of there knives and tools.

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool

Next, I used the partially serrated blade for some carving and whittling tasks. The three inch stainless steel blade does alright with light tasks and is aided greatly by the shape of the handle. I have a Gerber pocket knife with similar size blade and I found that the Fit’s handle makes it easier and more comfortable to use. I used the knife blade to make some small skewers for marshmallows and carve notches in larger sticks that in a pinch could be used to make tents stakes. The Fit’s blade was not overly sharp when I received it and is less so after testing. The serrated part of the knife blade does a good job cutting cloth and nylon rope.

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool

Late one night I took the Gerber Fit to my detached garage that doesn’t have any lights in it to test the flashlight.  The 25 Lumens L.E.D. light is easily my favorite feature of the Fit and makes it a very appealing tool. Turning on the flashlight is achieved by depressing a rubberized square button near the flashlight’s lens.   While rooting through the shelves in my garage the Fit provides ample light in a compact package. The single AAA battery is easy to replace by unscrewing the end cap and I am grateful that it uses this type of battery as they are readily available and not hard to find like some watch batteries included in other flashlights.

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool

One of the most useful tools included in the Fit is the scissors. I used the scissors for a number of tasks over the last month and they function really well compared to scissors I have used on other multi-tools. I have a lot of weeds growing in between the cracks of my sidewalk and curb outside of my house and so I used the Fit in a gardening capacity to trim the plant growth. In addition, I was able to cut cloth, tarp material and small nylon rope with the scissors. The scissor’s spring mechanism is durable and well made and overall it was not uncomfortable to use over time.  

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool

The Fit includes two pair of screwdrivers that round out its tool compliment. The first pair is the large interchangeable flat head and cross point driver. The bit secures nicely in the base.  I went around my house tightening electrical base plates and door handles using the large head. The smaller pair of screwdrivers is accessed by opening the larger screwdriver and pressing a small lever that pushes the small screwdrivers upward. I found the small flat head screwdriver to be best suited for glasses and used them to tighten the screws on my sunglasses. As an alternative I tried using the small flat head screwdriver as a leather punch. With little effort I was able to puncture leather scrap that is the thickness of a heavy belt.

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool

It may seem minor but a good pair of tweezers can be an extremely useful tool. Usually tweezers included in pocket knives and multi-tools are flimsy and do not grab particularly well. The tweezers included in the Gerber Fit are a bit more solid with cross hatched grooves cut into its surfaces to improve grip.

Overall, after using the Gerber Fit over the last month I really like its style and functionality. It combines a respectable number of tools in a compact and useable frame.  The coppery orange color looks very modern and would be easy to see if dropped with the exception of the fall environs where there is a lot of foliage changing color. The size and weight of the Fit is much smaller than most of the multi-tools that I have in my collection which makes it less of a burden when stowed in pockets or pouches. I think the Gerber Fit would make a nice addition to a car emergency kit as well as consideration for hiking and survival kits.

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool

My biggest complaint about the Gerber Fit is the lack of a lanyard or pocket clip. Accessibility is a huge factor for multi-tools and having to fish around in a pocket or pouch may be a turn off for some buyers. Considering that the flashlight is one of its main features in my opinion it definitely needs a lanyard.  In addition, a pocket clip of some sort would make the Fit easier to access. The Fit is not that much wider than some of the pocket knives I have carried and I do not believe that a pocket clip attached the handle would take away from its functionality nor overburden a pants pocket.  Another possibility that Gerber should consider is a belt sheath.  Multi-tools are generally packaged with a belt sheath and including one would give the Fit greater appeal to a more traditional multi-tool buyer. Any of these additions would not seriously alter the functionality or feel of the Fit nor should they seriously affect its price.

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool

Gerber’s suggested MSRP for the Fit is $40.99. I do not find the price unreasonable and it can be found in big box retailers as well as Internet vendors.  On the Internet you can find the Gerber Fit for a bit less than the suggested MSRP.  All in all, I really like the Gerber Fit.  It is comfortable to use and offers a variety of useful tools for a decent price. The strongest features of the Gerber Fit, is the L.E.D. flashlight combined with the partially serrated knife blade and comfortable handle. In addition, the large interchangeable flat head and cross driver are nice features that have better functionality over more traditional multi-tools that I have used.  I would not hesitate to carry the Fit on a backpacking trip and would like to get another one to add to my emergency car kit. The Fit comes in two colors; the coppery orange seen in the pictures for this article and in an appealing blue.  So if you in the market for new multi-tool and you really want it to include a flashlight please give strong consideration to the Gerber Fit.

Gerber Fit Multi-Tool

www.gerbergear.com

 

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