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Review Of The Gerber Multi-Plier 600

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I have a lot of respect for Gerber as a company.  In fact, my first “tactical knife” was the original Gerber Gator that I purchased way back in about 1991 or 1992.  That knife was voted “Most Innovative Knife of the Year” at the 1991 Blade Show.  It’s a knife I still have and use regularly – it’s held up quite well in fact.  Besides knives, Gerber makes all manner of purpose driven tools for “hunters, soldiers and tradesmen.”  Among their diverse product line is an extensive collection of multi-tools –  like the Gerber Multi-Plier 600.

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I received my  Gerber Multi-Plier 600 with my Otis Improved Weapon Cleaning Kit (IWIK) – a cleaning kit designed to be used on military deployment and primarily for cleaning AR-15 type rifles.  Interestingly enough, the 600 doesn’t seem to have any tools which are specific to the AR-15 or gun cleaning in general.  I’d say it fits in a category of what might be called “mid-sized” multi-tools, and has a good all-purpose tool set which includes the following 14 tools:

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Tungsten Carbide insert cutters
  • Wire crimper
  • Fine edge knife
  • Serrated knife
  • Cross point screwdriver
  • Small, medium, and large flat blade screwdriver
  • Lanyard ring
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • File
  • Ruler

At a weight of 9 ounces, it’s going to be heavier and perhaps larger than what most people will want to carry on their person, but compact enough to be brought along in a backpack or other bag.

Gerber produces the Multi-Plier 600 in a dizzying number of variations/configurations – this one has a black oxide coating which I don’t particularly like.  Some people like the aesthetic of a black coated look – I’m not one of them.  Personal tastes aside, I’m not sure there’s any real functional benefit here – I suppose it might improve corrosion resistance, but I have no way of knowing that.  The black finish does seem to scratch and show wear easily – so overall scratch/wear resistance doesn’t seem to be improved.  In fact, when the Multi-Plier 600 is first used, be prepared for a lot of excess black paint to be on your hands, which is a messy pain.  Beyond the black finish, the rest of the tool is solid stainless steel construction and appears to be quite well made.

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One of Gerber’s strong selling points on the Multi-Plier 600 is the “patented one-hand opening.”   However, this only applies to the pliers – see my video demonstration below.  The rest of the tools which flip out from the interior of the handles really do require two hands.  So I’ve never really seen a huge advantage to the one-hand opening style of multi-tool vs. the more traditional butterfly stile.  If you’re up on a ladder or otherwise have a hand occupied, and need pliers, the one-hand opening of the Multi-Plier 600 is great.  Otherwise, it’s not an advantage in my opinion.

As to the tools themselves, the pliers on my Multi-Plier 600 are great the replaceable tungsten carbide cutting inserts toward the bottom of the pliers are fantastic.  If you do any wire cutting, then the pliers on this tool will be a huge selling features.  The rest of the tools on the Multi-Plier 600 are what might be deemed “standard fare” on such a tool.  When extended, the tools do lock into place, and are released by pulling down on plastic latches found on both handles:

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Perhaps the only other area of disappointment for me with the tool set of the Multi-Plier 600 is the underwhelming knife blades.  A straight edge knife blade is on one handle, and a serrated blade is on the other.  Gerber is first and foremost a knife company, so I somewhat expected a more impressive knife blade to be had in the tool:

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The knife blades will however be fine for most small cutting tasks – opening boxes, etc.

Here’s what the rest of the tool set looks like on the straight edge handle side:

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The small, medium, and large flat screw driver heads are nice to have together.  The file is two-sided with course texture on one side and a fine texture on the other.

Moving to the tool set on the other handle, we have the following:

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I’m particularly impressed with the full dimension (as opposed to flattened found on many multi tools) philips head screwdriver.  You only get one size, and you don’t get a lot of reach with it, but it is well done:

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It may sound like I don’t particularly like the Gerber Multi-Plier 600, but there’s really a lot to like here.  It’s an American made product with a lifetime unlimited warranty – just send Gerber the tool and it is fixed or replaced.  For my needs and purposes, the Multi-Plier 600 might not be the first choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad tool, much like a saw isn’t a bad tool if what you’re looking for is a hammer.  I would recommend passing on the black oxide version and getting the uncoated version of the Multi-Plier instead – it’s $5.00 cheaper:

CLICK HERE FOR THE GERBER MULTI-PLIER 600 ON AMAZON

In addition to the written photo review, I have also prepared a video review of the Gerber Multi-Plier 600:

About John B. Holbrook, II

John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com.

*All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

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