are dozens, maybe hundreds, of multi-tools on the market. No wonder,
as they are extremely versatile - whether at work or at play. Rather
than having to carry around several of the most frequently used hand
tools (pliers, screwdrivers, knife, and the like), a multi-tool
combines a range of tools in a single compact unit.
Gerber is probably more widely know for their wide range of high quality knives. They do, however, make other tools - axes, saws, flashlights, and multi-tools (or, multi-plier, as Gerber refers to them.)
Multi-tools come in a wide range of sizes, and the Diesel Multi-Plier Stainless (22-41470) fits into the full-size category.
There is no belt clip on the Diesel - it's stored in a ballistic nylon sheath. The sheath has a hook and loop closure and two belt loops on the back (so that you can mount the sheath high or low on a belt). The seams are double stitched for extra strength. Ballistic nylon is very durable, and this sheath should last an eternity. The Diesel fits very snugly in the sheath - there isn't any wiggle room. In general I like hook and loop closures, finding them much quicker to open and close than metal snaps, particularly if you're wearing gloves. The belt loops will easily accommodate belts up to 1-1/2" wide.
|Super durable ballistic nylon case with hook and loop closure and two belt loops||At just over half a pound in weight and almost 5" long, this is no wimpy tool|
The Diesel is made of stainless steel, so rust shouldn't be an issue. The
body has a matte finish, which I think is rather suave, and it makes the icons
easier to read. I often can't recollect where a particular tool is located on my
multi-tool. On the Diesel a series of small icons let you know what is where.
However, there are only icons for the four main tools - you still need to peck
around to find any of the smaller tools.
This is one of the larger multi-tools that I've had occasion to use. At just over half a pound in weight, it has a solid presence in the hand. It measures a full 3/4" thick, just over 1-1/2" wide and almost 5" long, when closed. With the pliers extended it's nearly 6-1/2" long.
The Diesel uses a unique sliding mechanism to extend the pliers and open the handles. Holding the tool in your hand, you can simply flick your wrist to open the tool - gravity deploys the pliers head. Alternately, you can push the two sliders that are on the side of the body to deploy the pliers. Once the pliers are extended they lock into place, and you can then open the Diesel to access the various components. To retract the pliers you need to depress the small metal tabs on the sliders. This is a pretty slick technique that works very smoothly.
|Embossed icons make it easier to find the main tools||The sliders open and close the tool (there is one on each side of the tool)|
There are 11 tools on the Diesel, roughly the same kinds of tools found on most of the leading brands. The plier head incorporates three functions - serrated needle-nose pliers, wire crimper, and wire cutter. This is one of the tools I use most frequently on a multi-tool. It has a slim profile, from 3/32" at the tip to 1/4" at it's base, making it easier to use the pliers in very constricted places. The teeth are nicely milled, and the ends of the pliers mate together perfectly, which is particularly helpful when grasping small objects.
|Plier head incorporates three functions - needle-nose and regular pliers with wire cutter and wire crimper||Pressing on the spring loaded lock release tab to unlock the blade|
The four main tools - knife, file, saw, scissors, are quick and easy
to open with the nail slots milled into the sides of the tools. When
patented Saf.T.Plus™ locking system kicks in to assure
that the tool locks firmly in place. To open the tool you press
downward with your thumb on a black spring loaded lock release tab.
The tabs are almost flush with the surface of the took, and even
though there are ridges on the tabs, I find them a tad slippery,
particularly when my hands are wet.
The knife is 2-1/2" long. The top half has a plain edge with a drop point,
while the lower half is serrated. Both sections of the blade are super sharp. I
don't mind this configuration on a multi-tool - you can use the plain edge for
precise cutting and scoring, and use the serrated portion for cutting or ripping
thicker, coarser materials.
The 2-1/2" saw is 1/16" thick and has an aggressive tooth pattern that cuts very quickly. It'll make quick work of small branches up to about 1-1/2" or so.
The file, which is also 2-1/2" long, can be used on wood or soft metals. One side is diagonally grooved, the other side is double grooved and slightly courser.
The scissors has a spring loaded arm that provides very smooth cutting action. They're excellent for opening up clam shell plastic packages, and cutting small gauge wire, without having to exert a lot of force on the spring loaded arm.
|Spring loaded scissors||Little nibs make it easy to retract the components|
The other, smaller tools have a small nib on their base that you pull with a finger nail to extract them. Once open they lock into position. I found it difficult to use this method to open tools; instead I pulled the end of the tool upwards and out. Perhaps with use the tools will be less stiff, and be easier to pull out. If I could find some WD40 I might give that a try.
|Lanyard ring, bottle/can opener and medium screwdriver||Phillips and both small and large flathead screwdrivers|
There is a nice assortment of mini tools on the Diesel. The screwdrivers are likely to get the most use. I really would love to see a #8 Robertson head on one of these drivers, as it's the most popular screw head (certainly in Canada). I can't see the lanyard ring being used - the Diesel is a bit too hefty to carry loosely on a belt.
The Diesel looks, feels and functions like a high quality multi-tool. It has all the basic tools that you're likely to want, and it comes with Gerber's limited lifetime warranty.
|Available From:||Outdoor and sporting good stores nation wide|
|Best For:||Anyone looking for an excellent quality full-size multi-tool|