Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gerber Crucial Review Update

I bought the Gerber Crucial for myself about two years ago. At the time, I was searching for a multi-tool that was fairly compact and had the ability to deploy most, if not all, of the tools without fully opening the tool. My intent was to EDC (every-day carry) it. On paper, the Crucial fit my needs; however, I only found myself carrying it on and off.

Here is a link to my original review from about 20 months ago. I actually thought quite highly of the tool at the time. So, why didn't I regularly use it for EDC? It's hard to say. A while after I bought the Crucial, I ended up getting a Kershaw OD-2 pocketknife. The OD-2 is very compact (I've actually temporarily lost it a couple times) and I think that's part of the reason why I ended up carrying it more than the Crucial.

Anyway, my intent with this post isn't to philosophize on why I use particular tools. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the Crucial today and see how well it's held up. I've carried it more regularly in the last few months and I've actually used it for a variety of tasks - while at the time of the original review, I hadn't had a chance to fully put it through the paces.

Gerber Crucial shown with pliers deployed.
My original review has a bit of detail on all of the tools, but in a nutshell, the Crucial has: a partially-serrated knife, phillips and slot head screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutters, and a carabiner / bottle opener.

Gerber Crucial (propped up on yellow bottlecap).
As for the uses I've had for the Crucial lately, I've done the regular, mundane tasks - cutting with the knife, opening bottles, etc. but also some more interesting projects. For example, while visiting out of town, I offered to help my friend change his car's fuel filter. He didn't have many tools easily accessible, but I had the Crucial in my pocket! I used the Phillips driver to loosen a couple hose clamps, and the pliers to remove the two fuel lines (which were really stuck on there). The Crucial worked great for this task, and it was pretty handy to get the entire project done with just a multi-tool.

I do a fair amount of projects / DIY-type things away from home. I'm either helping a friend with a project, or just making use of their garages (having adequate space and creating too much noise with tools are challenges when working in our apartment). I like to pack light for these projects away from home. I always try to pack my tool bag with only the tools I anticipate I'll need for the particular project. Of course, I invariably forget tools now and then; therefore, I try to at least make sure I have the Crucial in my pocket. It's saved me a trip back home to pick something up more than once.


  • Deep-carry pocket clip. This tool is fairly large and heavy, but at least the deep-carry clip helps to keep it low in your pocket.
  • The carabiner bottle opener actually works really well, and the gate usually catches the cap once removed - which is pretty cool.
  • The Phillips screwdriver works well. Also, you can flip the driver out 90 degrees and use it like a T-handle driver for extra torque.


  • There's some play between the two pieces (handles of the pliers) when closed - particularly noticeable when using the knife.
  • The slot head screwdriver is difficult to open. There's no problem with the Phillips, so I'm guessing it's just a poor fit / quality control issue.

Bottom line:
Overall, I still think the Gerber Crucial is a good choice for a multitool. It has most everything I need, nothing I don't, and it's easy to pocket / EDC. I neglected to EDC this for quite some time since I bought it, but it has since found its way back into my rotation. I think the big appeal for me is that I can have the functionality of a multitool, without having something that is so large it needs to be carried in a pouch on my belt.

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