It’s pointless to suggest that multi-tools are occasionally overhyped — of course they are. They’re gimmicks on gimmicks running around, and everybody has one. But no matter how over-the-top the marketing shtick, it does work. Take Gerber’s Bear Grylls Survival Pack. It’s a multitool paired up with a flashlight and a fire-starter wrapped up in a nice case. But for a gimmick, it’s still pretty solid.
Each tool in the set actually performs the function it was designed to do without compromise. The flashlight is (gasp) an LED light without crap tacked onto it. The fire-starter doesn’t split duty with a jousting lance or some other such ridiculous thing. It starts fires — just buckle it to the case and move on.
When you finally get to the multi-tool and the feature list — needle nose pliers, standard pliers, file, wire cutters, partially serrated blade, wood saw, small flathead, driver, bottle opener, scissors, crosshead driver, pierce, and medium flathead — it’s all tools you might actually do something with. This makes the whole package seem like less hype and more function.
With an entry price at around $50, it’s a pretty decent value if you’re into the whole rubber-coated, designer badge thing. We’d normally poke more fun at that, but with Gerber’s resulting kit, well, that would seem more like making the joke for the joke’s sake, and it really deserves better than that.