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Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:38

Gerber Center Drive Multitool

Written by

It has been a while since a multitool has come along that has generated so much excitement and anticipation as Gerber is doing with the new 

Center Drive Multitool.
I don’t believe any tool has created this much of a stir since the releases of the Victorinox Spirit and Leatherman Skeletool. Best of all we should have one on the way shortly for a review!

Gerber Center Drive Multitool

 A recipe for success? The specs:

  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Regular Pliers
  • Magnetic 1/4″ Bit Driver
  • Fine Edge Blade
  • Serrated Blade
  • Cats Paw Pry Bar
  • Awl
  • Rotatable Carbide Wire Cutters
  • Wire Strippers
  • File
  • Ruler (stamped into handle)
  • Phillips Bit
  • Flathead Bit
  • Bottle Opener
  • Dual-Mount Sheath
  • Optional Standard Bit Set


So what makes the Center Drive so interesting?
Well, we have all seen the videos- if you haven’t, you can see the whole campaign at Center-Drive.com. Naturally there has been a lot of discussion on this new tool on our forum and in our Facebook Group, which is of course to be expected when a tool makes a splash.

larger knife

What makes the Center Drive worthy of all this attention?
Well, that is simple. Gerber has designed a totally new tool based on their traditional sliding head design. They have incorporated the things we like to see such as carbide cutters and a one handed opening blade, they have added in the things we wanted to see like a prybar in place of yet another flathead. And, they have improved the existing things, like the proper sized blade, instead of one that fits too easily in the slot to make assembly easier.

longer magnetic

And, it’s made in the USA, which is something else people have been wanting to see.
Some of Gerber’s offshore tools like the Diesel and Flik are excellent, but they still don’t compare to the USA made MP400 and MP600 series, which has been the bread and butter of Gerber’s multitool line, and I am glad to see they are expanding it.

The Center Drive also gets it’s name from the folding screwdriver, something that is traditionally stubby on the sliding head design and made it long enough to be useful, but also centered on the tool so that it is useful for longer screws and lengthier jobs with less fatigue.

one hand opening

In short, Gerber has checked all of the boxes with this one.
It is faithful to their tradition, it is actually forward thinking and not just a pile of gimmicks bolted together, and it is truly something new, not just another rehash of something they have done before. It’s a big cheque to write, and if the Center Drive can back up the claims it will be well worth it’s MSRP of $89.

standard magnetic

That having been said, there are a few things I would like to see.
I like the carbide cutters, but some folks don’t, so a version with integrated cutters would be nice, as would a version with the blunt nosed plier head already found in the MP600 series. I am also not a fan of sprung pliers, so while I would probably get used to it, I would love to see an unsprung version.

Gerber Center Drive Multitool

I also see this as being ripe for a shear mod, in which the shears from a Paul Chen MultiTasker are transplanted into a sliding head Gerber. I don’t know if the Center Drive would be compatible or not, but I would love to see a shear version coming straight from the factory- but then I have been asking for a good shear based tool for a long time and no one has yet to run with it!

Grant Lamontagne

As the founder of Multitool.org Grant has been a collector of Swiss Army Knives and multitools for over 25 years, and a user for over 40 years. 

With a day job working in the field, either out in the woods or on industrial sites, Grant uses tools every day for all manner of different purposes.

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