By Firefighter John

Out of the range of multi tools Gerber has produced over the years, one of the most minimalistic and basic is the Gerber Crucial. The Gerber Crucial is available in several different colours including Green, Grey and Black and usually has a carabineer as an addon. However, there is an option of purchasing the Crucial which has a strap cutter instead of the carabineer. Today I’ll be reviewing the Black version of the Gerber Crucial with the strap cutter option.

The Gerber Crucial is made out of 7crMov17 stainless steel. Coming out of the packaging, it took opening the pliers about 15 times before it was smooth to open, more on this later. The common theme running throughout the Gerber multitool range is that all the tools are accessible without having to open up the pliers and the Crucial is no exception. There are basically 5 tools on the Crucial including the Phillips and flat head screwdriver, the strap cutter, knife and pliers. Let’s begin with the pliers.

As aforementioned, it took around 15 times at opening the pliers to make them easier to access. The pliers are not spring loaded and they have a bite of 36mm when fully opened. My initial thoughts of the needle point pliers were that they were very light and would not cope with any tough tasks. I was pleasantly surprised when was able to use the pliers with maximum pressure to clasp old rusted bolt heads whilst using a shifter to unscrew them. The needle point on the pliers enables them to be used in finer tasks and the wire cutters are strong and fine enough to snip lower poundage fishing line and medium gauge wire. The ergonomic design of the handle also makes for comfortable usage. The only negative is that the handles of the pliers rub together each time it is opened, this has caused the black covering to wear off.

The knife and strap cutter both came out of the packaging razor sharp and easily shaved hair. The knife blade is 2.4″ long and half serrated. The serrations are not that aggressive but they give extra cutting power when you need it. The spine of the clip point blade is around 3mm which is quite thick for such a compact knife. The strap cutter is predominately a left handed tool due to its location on the multitool. The strap cutter and all the other tools on the Crucial are locked in place with a liner lock. This enables you to use all the tools with confidence without worrying about whether the tool will collapse and injure your fingers/hand.
Overall I would have to say that the Gerber Crucial is a compact multitool with only the tools that I would need on a daily basis. The only downside to this multitool is the black coating easily wears off and that the opening of the pliers has some issues as aforementioned. Therefore we give the Gerber Crucial a full 4 out of 5 stars.We believe the Gerber Crucial is suitable for anyone wanting a great multitool for urban survival and emergency preparedness. This would also make a great minimalist multitool for EMS personnel and firefighters due to the more than adequate blade and seat-belt/strap cutter.