Gerber vs Leatherman

LibertasVeritas

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#1
So my old Gerber has finally been relegated to the box of broken shit I'll probably never fix/throw away. I'm in the market for a new multiplier, and I want some opinions on the Gerber Diesel (probably made by communists) and the Leatherman Wave. I've only even owned a Gerber, but the last one I bought had a nice little "Made in the USA" etched into it, and from what I understand, those are non-existent these days. Looking at the Leatherman Wave, but sadly I have no experience with this brand. Anybody have some input? My final purchase will be every day use on a flight line.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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#2
I've owned or were issued....5 different types I believe. The only one I bought was a Leatherman Wave. My dad gave me an original Leatherman for Christmas in 1993. Then I have a Gerber, SOG, and a Kershaw I think.

I have ONE complaint about my Wave, one which won't apply to 90% of this board anyway: the sheath sucks. Get an aftermarker pouch for it. If you're already doing that anyway, then you're good.

Some people like the one-handed opening of the Gerber, but I've taken a Dremel and polished the "scrapy bits" on both Leatherman tools I own so that I can flip them like a butterfly knife or whatever.

If I have to buy another tool it will be a Leatherman. The orignal from '93? I broke the very tip off the knife trying to pry open a battery box in '94. It is still going strong. The SOG's design is cumbersome, particularly the tools. The Kershaw's vice grip feature is cool...and that's it; it is also the largest of the 5. The Gerber is fine, nothing really wrong with it. I think my wife carries it in her car and it is well over a decade old, but I'll only buy a Leatherman. They've been bombproof for two decades and I have no complaints...minus the ratty-ass sheath/ pouch.
 

LibertasVeritas

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#3
I've owned or were issued....5 different types I believe. The only one I bought was a Leatherman Wave. My dad gave me an original Leatherman for Christmas in 1993. Then I have a Gerber, SOG, and a Kershaw I think.

I have ONE complaint about my Wave, one which won't apply to 90% of this board anyway: the sheath sucks. Get an aftermarker pouch for it. If you're already doing that anyway, then you're good.

Some people like the one-handed opening of the Gerber, but I've taken a Dremel and polished the "scrapy bits" on both Leatherman tools I own so that I can flip them like a butterfly knife or whatever.

If I have to buy another tool it will be a Leatherman. The orignal from '93? I broke the very tip off the knife trying to pry open a battery box in '94. It is still going strong. The SOG's design is cumbersome, particularly the tools. The Kershaw's vice grip feature is cool...and that's it; it is also the largest of the 5. The Gerber is fine, nothing really wrong with it. I think my wife carries it in her car and it is well over a decade old, but I'll only buy a Leatherman. They've been bombproof for two decades and I have no complaints...minus the ratty-ass sheath/ pouch.
Much appreciated. I've read a lot of good stuff about them, but before I go dropping 120+ on the tool and sheath, I want some good intel.
 

AWP

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#4
De nada. FWIW, I own several Gerber knives, so it isn't a quality issue with them or anything. The Leatherman fits well, works when I need it, and I never cared for Gerber's "deployment method" for the pliers. I guess if you use more than anything that could be a consideration. I use the blade and tools more than the pliers/ wire cutters, so Gerber's main selling point doesn't apply to me.

I think I paid 70 for my Wave a few years ago. I'm not sure what they run now.
 

LibertasVeritas

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#6
I know all about the quality of the old Gerbers. I bought my last one in 99, and it lasted until this year. I've just been told that Gerber recently moved manufacturing overseas, so naturally I'm skeptical.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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#7
I don't really care where its made so long as the tool works. I've broken a few Gerber's but I am not easy on stuff. My last multi tool was a SOG and if I hadn't lost it I have no doubt it would still be working fine. To each their own though, I stand by gerber and SOG.
 

Ranger Psych

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#9
Fuck gerbers with a rusty fucking boat anchor attached to a NHRA alcohol car with a 1/4 mile piece of chain.

They break. All the time. Even with standard, regular use. I have a diesel. It resides in my truck's center console, and is busted as shit.

Every other gerber I have had or have been around SAVE ONE (Gerber Hinderer firefighting/rescue knife, not made out of the usual gerber steel), has had shit break. Warranty may be great, but it doesn't do you a fat lot of good when it's busted and you're working at 0030 trying to unfuck something that needs unfucking NOW.

Victorinox Swisstool.

Ergonomic design, 2 blade access outside like a normal knife, pilers that will plier the fuck out of anything you could ever want to plier, and nothing will break on it.
 

Muppet

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#10
I am a Leatherman man. I own many. I was issued a Gerber at Bragg in 95. Broke first year in. Bought and still have a original Leatherman PST and it is in my collection / brag bag now. I have L-man wave, surge, crunch, OHT (my EDC now) and others. I have a few Gerber's and attempted to re-gain trust but I think they are junk also. I use the leather surge case for my OHT /works well.

I second @Ranger Psych on the Swiss Tool also. I EDC a Leatherman OHT and Swiss Cyber Tool my wife got me for x-mas a few years ago (makes me feel close to her :(). So, I say Leatherman. I know people that carry SOG's and they like them / I have no contact yet. I know 1 paramedic that carries a Swiss Tool and he likes it. If you like Leatherman, go Wave. Not too big. Surge is gianormas! Super Tool 300, Rebar are good ones also...Oh! I forgot. Leatherman wingman. Has pocket clip like a folding knife. I don't like those E.M.S. bat belts with 4000 things on so I can carry a wingman in one pocket and Benchmade griptilian in other pocket.

F.M.
 

pardus

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#11
My issued Gerber broke (wire cutter tooth) after less than 5 mths of no use. My Leatherman Sideclip is still my daily carry tool after 15 years...
 

Viper1

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#15
I've had a Gerber EOD tool for a couple years...the one with the blasting cap crimpers and awl punch. Great tool, until it broke at the plier head. I mailed it in with a letter and e-mail to Gerber and they replaced it, gave me a new sheath as well. Good as new but I only use it for demo training tasks/weapons maintenance now.

I now carry a leatherman and a Victorinox soldier knife. Love them both.
 

racing_kitty

Sister Mary Hellfire
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#17
I've had both the Gerber and SOG EOD tools. The SOG won me over by a thin margin only because of the means of deploying the pliers was not as aggravating as with the Gerber.
 

Raksasa Kotor

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#18
Another guy in the busted Gerber club - so I switched to Leatherman and never looked back.

In the past 18 years I have had three Leatherman tools. The first, one of the original Supertools, was lost in the field. The second one saw daily use for eight years and now has a dedicated spot on my workbench - it was only retired from daily carry because I wanted a Wave with interchangeable bits. The Wave has seen daily use for the past seven years and is still going strong.

So yeah - Leatherman.
 

xGenoSiide

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#20
I use the Leatherman Skeletool personally as an everyday tool as it works for me but have also had the Wave and a couple Gerbers. I will echo the majority and say fuck Gerber. Never had a problem with Leatherman.
 
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