Choosing the right multi tool for your EDC (everyday carry) is no easy task, especially if you are looking for your first multi tool. Gerber has made it easy with their entry level mid size option. What is so attractive about the Gerber Suspension? The price... I don't know how Gerber has done it, but the Suspension offers a lot of bang per buck, a lot more than you would think possible at this price point. Yes there are better folding multi tools on the market, There are much much better multi tools, but.. do any of them cost $25USD or less? guys, if there is anything this good for that sort of money, id love to hear about it! (please comment below). The beauty of the Gerber suspension is, the chance to get used to carrying a multi tool, figuring out what you want out of a multi tool, and not having to worry about damaging or losing it. or maybe all you need is the gerber suspension. either way, you really can't go wrong with this multi tool no matter what your requirements.
Now let's take a closer look at the Suspension and find out exactly what it has on offer, by way of build quality, materials, features, style and durability. Let's get into it.
Tools and Features
The Suspension has 12 tools in total and comes with a ballistics nylon sheath. The sheath is a little bulky and does not close as securely as i'd like, however it does allow for belt attachment in upright or sideways positions, and is fairly substantial for a multitool in this price bracket.
The tools include Needle nose spring-loaded pliers, a Wire cutter, a Fine edge modified sheeps foot knife, a Serrated edge knife, a Saw, Scissors, a Crosspoint screwdriver, Small and medium flat screwdrivers, a Can opener, a Bottle opener as well as a Lanyard hole. All tools housed in the plier handles use Gerbers SAF.T.PLUS™ system for locking the tools in an open possition when in use, a verry welcome feature indeed.
Usability, Quality and Materials
The suspension has a solid feel in the hand while still being relatively light weight, thanks to the open style anodized aluminium scales. The pliers open well and feel solid, with very little play, all in all the pliers are quite a good design with good grip and wire cutters that work well. all of the tools seem to be made with a relatively high carbon steel, and feel solid when in use. The knife, while quite small, at 2 inches long, is the perfect shape to optimise its design, and holds a very sharp edge well. Other tools to note are the scissors, which work exceptionally well, and the flattened crosspoint screwdriver which works well on a wide variety of screw sizes. The locking system takes some getting used to, but i wouldn't be without it for safety. Fit and finish is great, and everything moves in and out smoothly.
Carryability and Style
As mentioned the Gerber suspension is lightweight at only 260g, and measuring 3.93 inches L (100mm) x 1.9 inches W (48mm) x 0.86 inches D (22mm), it is a little on the bulky side, especially if you are using the included sheath, which is as mentioned a bulky design. That being said, the Suspension is not too bulky to carry, and fits well in your pocket.
The design of the Suspension was inspired by the bridges of Gerber’s hometown in Portland, Oregon, hence the name "Suspension" and accounting for the structural designs on the scales of the tool.
Aesthetically the Suspension is a great looking piece, and looks as if it cost you a lot more than $25USD
Impressions and Final comments
I've used the Gerber suspension extensively over the last six + months, at work and at home. I work in a factory, as well as on a delivery truck. This tool has got me out of plenty of situations, and saved me a lot of time since i've been carrying it. As can be expected from a lower end tool, there have been a few minor issues during that time, but nothing to make me regret the purchase. The first issue i've encountered was the spring in the pliers, after just a few (5 or 6) weeks the return spring broke, and with that it made the pliers just a little stiff to use, it's worth noting that i had used the pliers one or two times in a manner they weren't really designed to be used, so i can't really moan about it, and they still work just fine as they are. The other problem i've encountered is more of a design flaw, the saw on the Suspension is all but a lost cause, if you need a tool with a saw that works, then this one is not for you. It is quite thick with two rows of teeth, and rather short, when you try to cut anything with it it'll take a lot of elbow grease and time, and it makes a mess of the cutting, no clean cuts with this saw. truthfully with the exception of the poorly designed carry case which i don't even use, these are my only complaints about the Suspension. I think it's a great tool, and a perfect entry into the world of EDC multi tools.
Pick one up for yourself, and let me know how you found it in the comments below!