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Gerber Splice Mini-tool Review

By: Mark Adkins
on September 25, 2011 2:00 pm

I love multi-tools! They are even my ‘go to’ idea for gifts for most people,. Even the non-’everyday carry’ types often appreciate a pocketable device that has several handy tools built into it.

A work buddy pulled out a Gerber Splice to do a repair the other day and I instantly fell in love with this small, tough workhorse and soon got my own. How did it stack up against my old favorites, the Swiss Army Victorinox Manager and the Leatherman Juice S2?

The Splice is 2.4 inches by 1 inch closed and opens to a 4″ pair of scissors. It weighs 2.5 ounces and has 9 tools- scissors, straight clip point blade, serrated sheep’s foot blade, Phillips tip with nail file, an interesting cap lifter bit with a large slotted screwdriver tip, and a very fine slotted screwdriver tip. (Hmm, there seems to be a missing tool unless they count the lanyard loop.)

Showing all tools- note that the large screwdriver bit/caplifter on the lower left is connected to the smaller tool above it.

The Splice is a boxy, hefty tool. Mine was ‘well-oiled’ in the packaging and it feels like you are holding a real tool. The downside is that it feels like it could rip out your pocket in a heartbeat. The tools are perhaps a bit tight, but you can adjust that with a small Torx tool.

By comparison, my Manager Pocket Tool is 2.14 inches long and opens to 4″ with the knife blade. It weighs about 1/2 as much as the Splice and also features 9 tools- main clip point blade, scissors, Phillips tip, wire stripper, cap lifter, slotted tip, nail file, tweezers, and a retractable pen. (Actually, mine is a Midnight Manger version, which offers a small red LED flashlight in place of the tweezers, but I would rather have the tweezers!)

The Juice S2 is larger- a small multi-tool rather than a ‘pocket tool’ or ‘mini-tool’, but it is not really that much larger than the Splice at 3.25 inches closed, 5 inches with the pliers open, 4.4 ounces, and an even dozen tools.

All of these offer a lanyard loop, solid construction, good warranties, and a large fan base.

Victorinox Manager, Gerber Splice, and Leatherman Juice S2

Victorinox, Gerber, and Leatherman open

Why would you choose a small multi-tool or ‘pocket tool’? Quick convenience. In the last couple days I have used a mini-tool to open packages in the kitchen, clip some unruly hairs, open several boxes, tighten a cabinet door knob, remove a partially torn fingernail, trim loose threads, and more. The thing is that I could have gone to a drawer or cabinet and gotten the ‘right’ tools for each of these but instead I just whipped the tool out of my pocket and the job was done.

I think I prefer my sleeker, lighter Manager Pocket Tool for general carry, but the Slice is definitely a hard working option for people who need a little more ‘umph’ than the comparatively light-weight Swiss Army units can offer.

 

Product Information

Price:$15.99
Manufacturer:Gerber Gear
Retailer:Gerber Tools
Requirements:
  • None
Pros:
  • Small size
  • Tough and durable
  • Good selection of well-sized tools
Cons:
  • Feels 'industrial'

Comments

  1. 1
    Greg says:

    You should really check out the Leatherman Skeletool. Its awsome!

  2. 2

    Nice find! Really good form factor on the Splice and that price is great. I can totally see grabbing a few as last minutes personal and business gifts. For my own use, though, I need pliers too often to trade them out for scissors so I lean towards the Juice. Would love to see something in-between the Juice and the Swiss+Techs tool in size and cost but with both scissors and pliers.

  3. 3
    Mark Adkins says:

    @ Greg- I would LOVE to trial a Skeletool, but it is not quite the same category, being longer and heavier than the Juice and lacking scissors. It is more of a multi-tool light than a pocket or mini-tool (even though Leatherman considers it a ‘pocket tool’).

    @ Geoffrey- I agree, but I am afraid that pliers much smaller than the Juice simply would not satisfy needs.

  4. 4
    thsu says:

    @Geoffrey, the Leatherman Squirt is only 2.25″ and has both scissors and pliers.

  5. 5

    @thsu Holly carp, you’re right! I had only looked at the Leatherman Squirt ES4 and never realized they had a variant, the PS4 that had both pliers and scissors. Thanks for pointing me in that direction! I sense a trip to REI to do some hands on this weekend. :-)

  6. 6
    Bgood says:

    I tried the Leatherman Micra which features sissors, is keychain size, and lighter than the P series. However, I went back to the even smaller and lighter Swiss Rambler which is similar to your Manager.

  7. 7
    thenikjones says:

    I looked at the Leatherman Squirt PS4, but don’t like the lack of any blade “lock”. The Micra prevents the blade closing on you during use, which is important when using it at work.

  8. 8
    Ian Lim says:

    Mmmm I have a skeletool, a juice, a squirt ps4 and a micra. Sad huh :)

  9. 9
    Ian Lim says:

    Sorry should elaborate but first post was before my first coffee :)

    Skeletool is my “handyman” tool ( not that I’m that handy ). Big enough and hefty enough with the interchangeable screwdriver heads, heavy pliers, good locking blade to do quick maintenance around the house .

    The Juice gets chucked into my gear bag for those emergency situations.

    The PS4 is my EDC. I note that someone mentioned the blade doesn’t lock. The thing that sold me on the PS4 is the fact that you don’t have to open the multi-tool to access any of the functions except the pliers. This was something I found frustrating with my Micra. While the knife doesn’t lock, it doesn’t actually get used for “heavy” functions where the locking blade’s a requirement.

    The Micra was my first Leatherman. I actually lost it on my 5 acres for a couple of years and found it sticking up in the mud about 2 years laters. Was sent back under warranty and they replaced a couple of the blades but it was never the same :(

  10. 10
    kryptik says:

    Your first coffee…?

    At 5:20pm???

  11. 11
    Marc says:

    Isn’t the missing tool the wire stripper in the back of the cap lifter?

  12. 12
    Ian Lim says:

    @kryptik

    Not everyone lives in the US of A :)

  13. 13
    kryptik says:

    @Ian Lim

    Ahhh, I see. So coffee in the ‘morning’ is only customary here. So what do you drink when you first wake up?

  14. 14
    Ian Lim says:

    Kryptik, think you’ve missed the point. That post was around 7am AEST for me ( for a hint see my Gravatar ) …….

  15. 15
    Mark Adkins says:

    I love the discussions multitools kick off. The most blaring lesson I see here is that the smart multitool user (and aren’t they all?) finds the best tool for his or her needs.

    The Juice is my ‘go to’ back pocket tool… in fact, the back pocket of all of my work pants has a seam sewn down the middle of the right back pocket to create a sheath for the tool- and a lanyard on it hangs out for quick access and removal. Most of the other tools I have tried have been too big, wrong tool mix, or too wimpy.

    My front pocket/keychain ‘go to’ tool seems to slowly rotate between some form of Swiss Army knife, the Swiss+Tech Utilikey, and, now, the Gerber Splice at least sometimes.

    But- it is a blast seeing other people brag up their preferences!

  16. 16
    kryptik says:

    @Ian Lim

    I didn’t miss the point…I was just goofing around with you. ;)

  17. 17
    Corv says:

    Leatherman tools are somewhat expensive compared to the Gerber Multitool. Swiss Pocket Knives are a classic. My dad always carries one, he gave me a few. Right now I’m waiting for my Gerber Multi tool that’s going to arrive this Saturday. I liked this because it has pliers that can cut through objects. I don’t like using my knife that much because it’ll become dull anyway.

  18. 18
    Mark Adkins says:

    @ Corv- do you mean the Gerber Suspension Multitool? At roughly $30MSRP it is pretty comparable to the Juice, Freestyle, and other Leatherman tools. Even the Skeletool is selling below $40 many places.

    I don’t quite understand what you mean by using the pliers to cut through objects… the pliers on my Gerber tools don’t do that, unless you mean the wirecutting part of the jaw which many of my multi-tools can do.

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