Although not typically associated with outdoors gear, a good pair of loppers can really come in handy from time to time for the Woods Monkey. They’ll help clear a campsite, cut shooting lanes, open a spot to fish by a lake, and get offending underbrush out of the way. Though a drawback of most loppers is the size, Gerber Blades has produced an ingenious solution. Gerber’s Reveal is a compact and efficient lopper designed for the outdoors crowd.
Loppers, bypass pruners, shears, or whatever you’re used to calling them, are typically found among gardening tools. Loppers typically operate with a cutting blade, and an ‘anvil’ that the blades bypass where the cutting occurs. This is much like a pair of scissors, with only one side sharpened. For the work the loppers are intended for, this set up is very functional. Gerber employs this basic design on the working end of the Reveal. With a 1 ¼ inch cutting capacity, the Reveal is on par with the size of material most loppers cut. The advantage of a lopper over its scissor style counterpart is the strength with which they work through material. This allows the user to cut material with less effort than would be required for a shear-style cutter.
Gerber has combined a dual pivot system on the Reveal that allows it to fold in half for storage and transport. With the two pivot points, Gerber has made a full size tool that folds down so the outdoorsman will be able to comfortably carry and store it for when it’s needed. This is where the Reveal sets itself apart. Knowing that most hunting packs and truck boxes are packed full of miscellaneous gear, having a full sized tool that stores compactly is a major winning point. The storage pouch also serves to protect other gear from the Reveal’s point, making it save for transport in a backpack without worry of it poking through the bottom. The belt loop on the back fits standard belt sizes, and easily accepts pack straps and similar attachments for carry on the outside of a hunting or woods bumming pack. I found that I preferred to carry the Reveal on the outside of a backpack, using a compression strap through the belt loop to hold it in place.
The first real work out the Reveal was put through was directly after Christmas. I drug our 8 ½ foot tree out back and after a few obligatory pictures, set to work on every limb of the tree. The branches near the base of the tree were over the 1 ¼ inch capacity Gerber states the Reveal would handle. To be honest, some were pushing 2 inch diameter. The Reveal did require a fair amount of effort for these thick branches, but they cut through them with no negative results. As I worked my way up the tree from the base, and obviously the branches got thinner, the Reveal breezed through them. The two pivots and comfortable handles made the job pretty simply. I can see the Reveal being used to quickly and easily limb branches that are intended for the campfire, or collect downed pine boughs for ground insulation in a Kephart style camp. I was also able to cut wood fuel for a coffee can style hobo stove very easily. Not having to break to snap every limb and branch to fit down in the stove made the task of getting the cooking going faster and safer.
A hunter that needs to clear shooting lanes would be well served by the Reveal. One major advantage for the hunter is that the Reveal is quiet. Saws, hatches, machetes and similar implements all make noise. I’ve hiked into many hunting stands and after getting settled realized that I couldn’t see as well as I’d like. I’ve used saws and hatches to clear shooting lanes, but never liked making that much noise when I’m hunting on that same spot. The Reveal strapped to a hunting pack would give the hunter a way to clear brush and shooting lanes quietly, nearly silently, without the game-spooking noise of a hatchet whacking a tree.
Safety is another major reason that the Reveal would be put to use. Barring intentionally putting some unsuspecting body part in the cutting head, the Reveal is a very safe tool. If you have kids, or go with a Boy Scout Troop or similar organization, the Reveal would be a great addition to the camp kit. An adult can down or section up trees for the fire, while a few young tikes get to work limbing the tree with the Reveal. While all kids have to be taken into consideration one by one, a responsible young camper could use the Reveal in safety when they may not be quite ready for edged tools. In my opinion, one of the best ways to keep kids interested in the outdoors is to get them involved and having fun. The Reveal is something that young campers can use ‘til their hearts content while the adults properly hold down the camp chairs around the fire!
After cutting up firewood, hobo stove fuel, and general brush clearing; I’m pretty impressed with the Reveal. It’s one of those products that works like it says it’s going to, without having to fiddle or tinker with anything. The Reveal is a straightforward tool designed for woods use and frequent carry. Whether it’s on a hunting pack, around the campfire, or clearing trails and brush, the Reveal gets the work done! The Reveal carries a list price of $48.12, but some quick online shopping can net you one for about half that.