Multi tool advice

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by larryr, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. larryr

    larryr Synchromatic

    529
    Mar 6, 2012
    Camarillo, Ca.
    Looking for some feedback on multi tools. Going to be a Christmas gift for my son in the army. I'm looking at the Gerber Center Drive and the Leatherman Wave Plus. Online reviews say the number one is the Victorinox Spirit XC model. Any feedback real-time experience is greatly appreciated. My son graduates OCS in February.
     
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  2. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    71
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Having used them for decades, I prefer a Victorinox Swiss Officer's knife over a Wenger, which is meant for the enlisted men. It's Chevy vs. Ford, but I feel a Victorinox is superior. Someone once mentioned to me, "Swiss Army Knife. Worst tool for any occasion." Maybe so, but it's far better than no tool. Victorinox has served me well since Boy Scouts decades ago.

    As for multi-tools, I like a Gerber just because They're more comfortable to use. Your hands grip a curved surface where on a Leatherman, you're grabbing two metal edges.

    Give your son a snappy salute and an OOH-RAH! from me.
     
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  3. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    I like the Gerber, the one handed button opening wins.
     
  4. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    71
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Switch pliers!
     
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  5. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    I agree on the Swiss Army Knife. But if multi tool you must, get a leatherman with S30v steel or CM154. Avoid 420hc unless you want a blade that dulls after a couple of cuts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
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  6. OzzPocket

    OzzPocket Gretschie

    223
    Aug 11, 2020
    NYS
    I bought a Victorinox multitool back in 2009....(I went through my Amazon order history)......it's not the Spirit.....it's this one (see link below)...or something very close to it, and I absolutely love it... As with anything else, it's subjective.....but, for me, I've got only good things to say about it. I've tried others (leatherman, etc) since....and I just don't care for them as much.

    As a rule, I think Victorinox makes a good product....I also have a small collection of their "swiss army knives", and even a set of their inexpensive steak knives (still made in Switzerland....at least when I got them)

    I haven't tried the Spirit, but I would imagine, if nothing else, it's a high quality item.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004YVB0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
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  7. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Winnipeg
    I want one with just a few tools similar to the Leatherman Skeletool, but smaller.

    I was on a website a while ago that sold items as used by the Canadian Armed Forces and other armies...I can't seem to find it.
     
  8. montereyjack66

    montereyjack66 Country Gent

    Feb 29, 2012
    LA-ish
    FWIW, a lot of Gerbers used in Iraq.
     
  9. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Country Gent

    May 14, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    I put the bolded section together with your avatar and read this as "But if multi tool you must get, Leatherman S30v it should be."

    As for the question in OP, I like the way the Gerber feels in my hands better but prefer the build of the Leatherman. The plier grip feels more solid.
     
  10. larryr

    larryr Synchromatic

    529
    Mar 6, 2012
    Camarillo, Ca.
    Right now looking at budget and warranty. I appreciate everybody's responses. Who knew multi tools were like guitar pedals.
    Gerber carries a lifetime warranty. Leatherman is limited, but 25 years.
    The heads up on steel types was brilliant thank you. Here is some rabbit holing:



    Down to the Gerber Center Drive and the Leatherman Charge Plus.
    Charge plus 154cm, Center drive 420hc.
    One review said 420hc might be preferable in a field situation where sharpening equipment is limited. The 420hc would be easier to put an edge on. Another review said that the Gerber Center Drive screwdriver system was preferable coupled with the lifetime warranty. Going to sleep on this one for now. Thank you to all who offered information. Almost feels like a coin toss decision.
     
  11. Kitvin713

    Kitvin713 Gretschie

    282
    Jan 10, 2017
    Fresno, CA, U.S.A.
    Personally I’ll always go leatherman, never had an issue with any of the ones I’ve owned. I haven’t owned any Gerbers, but just based on the specs I’d go leatherman. The Screwdriver system on the Gerber is cool, 420hc would also sharpen a little easier. But the 154cm is what I carry with my EDC as a forester. It stays sharp for a long time, and isn’t really that difficult to sharpen. I think the tool set on the leatherman is more useful. That’s my 2c.
     
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  12. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    I’d been issued numerous Gerber and Leatherman for deployments. I prefer Leatherman. I’m not sure if the Gerber’s were simply low end models but I broke a few.
     
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  13. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I like my swiss army knives. I loved my SOG, never had a Leatherman. The SOG wire cutting jaws got a knick in them. I sent them into SOG for service and they repaired them like new and didn't charge me, this was ten years after I had bought them. It all comes down to personal taste and needs. For a military guy, I would buy them a tactical folder. I prefer a nice tanto. I have never had a Gerber but to me they were the low end of the bunch you named.
     
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  14. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Age:
    54
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    My trusty Leatherman saved my day a hundred times. Especcially with my bike breaking down on the road. It`s a classic and I like everything about it. It must be older than 35 years now and it still does it`s job although it has seen heavy abuse.
     
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  15. panhead6zero

    panhead6zero Synchromatic

    Age:
    63
    929
    Jan 17, 2015
    The Motor City
    The new Leatherman tools have rounded edges, so gripping no longer leaves lines embedded on your hands. Much improved. A lot of people prefer the Gerber for one handed opening. In a military situation, the Gerber may be better, especially if one hand is wounded or you need to take hold with the other hand. When I was C130 Aircrew, we were issued Becnchmade auto openers. So you could hold on and open with one hand. If the Loadmasters in the back had to cut something clear they wanted to hold on as well as being harnessed.
     
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  16. Kitvin713

    Kitvin713 Gretschie

    282
    Jan 10, 2017
    Fresno, CA, U.S.A.
    There is something to be said for a dedicated knife over a multi tool, but that’s just my opinion. In the situation you mentioned I’d want an auto too.
     
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  17. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Benchmade has a nice auto tanto I keep eyeing but the price, doggone they are not inexpensive that's for sure.
     
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  18. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    In my experience, 420hc isn't much easier to sharpen than 154 - so I wouldn't worry about that too much. I endured years of Buck and other knives in 420hc until decent steels came along. Even 154 is a little outdated, but much improved. Would be great if Leatherman would use 3V.

    If I may indulge - this is probably far more than you wanted to see:

    https://www.bladehq.com/cat--Best-Knife-Steel-Guide--3368
     
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  19. larryr

    larryr Synchromatic

    529
    Mar 6, 2012
    Camarillo, Ca.
    Thanks Stevo. Getting a real education in knives. I think the Leatherman charge plus will be the way to go for this go around. Thank you all for the info.
     
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  20. larryr

    larryr Synchromatic

    529
    Mar 6, 2012
    Camarillo, Ca.
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