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Review of the Gerber Suspension Multi-Tool

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Rarely do I make “impulse” buying decisions, but the Gerber Suspension was just that.  I was in Wally World buying some ammo, and spotted it in the knife case.  “May I see that one?” pointing to the Gerber Suspension.  I opened it up and asked “what is the price on this?”  I don’t actually remember the exact price, but recall being extremely impressed for an under $30.00 multi-tool.  “I’ll take it!” was my reply.

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.  In more recent years, Gerber has ventured into making all sorts of gear and multi-tools (the company was acquired by Fiskars in the mid 1980’s).

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Included with the Suspension is a nifty black nylon sheath that fastens shut with velcro.  The back of the sheath has belt loops that allow the suspension to be belt carried, either vertically or horizontally.  However, I doubt many Suspension buyers will carry it on their belt.  I have carried the Suspension as part of my “EDC” (Every Day Carry) in a laptop bag I bring with me to the office.  The sheath does a great job of protecting the tool without taking up a lot of room in my bag.

For me, a big part of the appeal of the Suspension is something that really shouldn’t matter…but in reality does.  This is a very attractive, nice-looking tool.  It has  very pleasing slate grey finish applied to the aluminum handles, which are also somewhat skeletonized – the pattern on the handles reminded the designers of the suspension bridges in Portland, Oregon near the factory, hence the name.  The Suspension has a very quality feel, and very pleasing ergonomics.  when opened, the handles taper and provide excellent purchase and grip when using the pliers/cutters, which is aided by rubber inserts on the bottom outer portion of the handles (where hands contact when gripping).

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Adding to the overall quality feel are the spring loaded needle nose pliers.  If you’ve ever had to cut wire with a tool that aren’t spring loaded, you’ve probobly experienced a blood blister on the palm of your hand that happened when the wire was cut and the two handles came together rapidly, pinching your hand in the process.  That won’t happen with the Suspension.  The only possible knock I can make here is that the cutter blades are fixed, not replaceable.  It’s a minor nitpick given the price of the tool and how little I’ll use the cutters.  But if you do a lot of cutting of wire, you might want a tool with replaceable blades.

The rest of the tools are as follows (all are accessible without ever opening the tool from the outside of the handles):

  • Plain Edge Knife
  • Serrated Edge Knife
  • Saw
  • Scissors
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Small Flathead Screwdriver
  • Medium Flathead Screwdriver
  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Lanyard Hole
  • Nylon Sheath

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Starting on the handle side with the straight edge knife, the photo above shows all the available tools deployed.  The tools are refreshingly easy to deploy with nice, well positioned notches that won’t maul your fingernails.  The knife blades actually have little protruding tabs which further assist in deployment.  It’s also a simple matter to deploy just one tool – with many multi-tools I’ve used it’s an almost “all or nothing” proposition to get to any single tool in the cluster.  Once deployed, they lock securely in place with a nice unobtrusive lock release lever that pulls down on either side of the handle.  Here are the tools on the other handle:

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Both of the knife blades (serrated and straight edge) are darn short – about two inches in length.  Gerber was a knife company long before they made multi-tools so why aren’t the knives a bit more impressive here?  They’re suitable for most minor cutting tasks, but not much else.  The stubby looking scissors are quite robust for their size and work surprisingly well.  The rest of the tools are well made and as intended – making minor adjustments or small tasks.  You won’t be doing major construction jobs using the Gerber Suspension.  The tool set of the Suspension seems to be geared toward “white collar” users like myself – the inclusion of scissors (more useful in an office environment) over a file (less useful in an office environment) for example.

The Gerber Suspension is a great tool, and a tremendous value.  It currently caries a retail price of $44.00, but can be found for well under $30.00.  For those in an office environment who may have an infrequent need for the kinds of tools the Suspension offers, it makes a lot of sense.  It may not be the most robust of multi-tools, but it’s a high-quality product priced well below other offerings int he mid-size multi-tool segment.  It should be no surprise that, given the quality of the product, the Gerber brand name, and the competitive price that the Gerber Suspension is the #1 Best Seller in this segment on Amazon:

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE GERBER SUSPENSION ON AMAZON

In addition to this written photo review, I’ve recorded a video supplement review of the Gerber Suspension:

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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