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Earlier this year Gerber released the Artifact mini-tool.  Coated with titanium nitride, this eight-function tool measures just 3-1/2″ when closed and weighs about as much as two quarters.  What’s unusual about the Artifact is that instead of having a built-in knife, it uses #11 hobby blades.

Let’s list all the functions:

  1. Phillips screwdriver
  2. Bottle opener
  3. Pry bar
  4. Wire stripper
  5. Small flathead screwdriver
  6. Medium flathead screwdriver
  7. Knife (more accurately a hobby blade holder)

Wait a minute! That’s only seven.  Gerber claims eight functions by including the lanyard hole as a function. This is a common practice with multi-tools, but that doesn’t make it OK.  How does a lanyard count as a function?  Can you call a slotted screwdriver a multi-tool if somebody throws a lanyard on it?  No.

Ignoring the nitpicky argument of whether the Artifact has seven or eight functions, this looks like another neat little multi-tool.  The best part:  You can pick up the Gerber Artifact for about $10.  They even include three #11 hobby blades with the tool.

Artifact [Gerber]
Street Pricing
[Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


8 Responses to Dig Up This Artifact

  1. This is about as much of a ripoff of an Atwood tool as I’ve seen, except for the knife bit. And the sub-$50 price. And the availability.


  2. -craigt says:

    Could not agree more with Patrick. That’s about as close a copy too the great stuff Atwood make as I have seen. Not counting the exact copy of his BikeTool that popped up on eBay.

    Isn’t their some saying about copying and flattery or something.

  3. Prybar Fan says:

    Show me an Atwood which used a replaceable knife blade and I’ll agree with the “ripoff” assessment.

    Peter Atwood makes some great tools, but he doesn’t have a monopoly on small prybars with integral caplifters.

    Anyway, I doubt Gerber’s eleven buck offering will make the slightest dent in the $$+ Atwood market.

  4. Mike says:

    The price looks good, but I’d wait till I’ve seen it in a store. The Amazon vendor wants $5 to ship something that’s descibed as having the weight of 2 quarters. The other site wants over $9 for USPS shipping. The Google search wasn’t much better.

    There must not be much profit on the product if everyone online is trying to triple their margin using inflated shipping costs.

  5. Ron says:

    Who buys this crap? What is it good for?

  6. Josh says:

    You;re putting this in the wrong register. I have several artifacts, and while they serve the same purposes as an Atwood tool, it’s really like comparing a production knife to a custom. Yes, the addition of the blade makes the artifact more useful in some applications or for someone who only wants to EDC one tool rather than someone who wants several for different kinds of contexts. Is it exactly like a Prybaby? No, and fit and finish shows that, as well as the different options Peter has built into different Prybaby iterations (GasBaby, G3 Prybaby, XL Baby, BubbleBaby, etc.) for different kinds of applications. If you wouldn’t slam a production company for producing something similar to what a custom maker has done, then you shouldn’t be up in arms about this one. Now as to the issue of licensing the design from Peter–as would normally be done in the knife world by just about every legitimate production company–that’s where you have some traction. Imagine what could have been if Gerber had gone to Peter for help–imagine the market share for Peter as more people went looking for a custom version, allowing him to make money doing what he loves. That’s what bothers me in this situation. Gerber could have done the right thing.

  7. David Bryan says:

    I bought one of these on ebay, carried it for a while, and gave it away. I may get another one. The knife is handy, and the thing will open a bottle. The pry bar isn’t any great shakes. The phillips screwdriver is ok, the slotted ones are a little unhandy. And calling it a wirestripper is a bit optimistic. It should work on small wire like the strippers on electrician’s scissors do, which is just fine. You see a lot of tools advertised as having wirestrippers or crimpers when sparky knows better. That little notch on the swiss army bottle opener is a wire bender, not a stripper. I never could figure why they tell you that inadequate little notch will work when there’s a perfectly good knife blade next to it. I’ve seen that little bump on the new Shark utility knife/wirestripper called a crimper but I don’t know what you would crimp with it. I gave that one away too.
    And even Klein is guilty of it. I’ve got one or two of their “Tripsavers”, their version of the Multimaster multitool. Those notches on the edge of the file that they call a wirestripper will make a nasty looking mess of a wire. I had better luck using my front teeth when I still had ’em.

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