Gerber Multi-Tool Reviews: The Gerber Suspension

Gerber is almost synonymous with multi-tools. But are Gerber multi-tools the real deal? Or, are they geared towards casual users who only have occasional workman tasks?

We’re going to uncover the answer to that very question by reviewing one of Gerber’s most popular multi-tools: the Gerber Suspension

Let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

Click on any of the links below to jump to the desired section!

  1. First, Who Is Gerber Gear?
  2. Where Are Gerber Multi-Tools and Other Gear Made?
    1. Many Gerber Products Are Made in the USA, but Some Are Made Overseas
  3. Gerber Gear FAQs
    1. Are Gerber and Leatherman the Same?
    2. Are Gerber Multi-Tool Parts Replaceable?
  4. Gerber Multi-Tool Review: The Gerber Suspension — Specifications & Overview
    1. First Off, the Gerber Suspension Comes With 12 Integrated Tools
    1. It Uses a Butterfly Design
    2. It’s Made of Stainless Steel
    3. The Geber Suspension Is Equipped with a “Saf.T.Plus” Locking System
    4. The Gerber Suspension Costs About…
  5. Gerber Multi-Tool Review: Is the Suspension Any Good?
    1. Construction Quality & Durability
    2. Functionality
    3. Portability
    4. Ergonomics
    5. Price-to-Value Ratio
    6. Customer Ratings
  6. Gerber Multi-Tool Review Extras
    1. Bonus: The Sheath That Comes With It Is…
    2. Bonus: Ours Came With a Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife…
    3. Gerber Gear Offers a Great Warranty!
  7. Is the Gerber Suspension Multi-Tool Good for Everyday Carry?
  8. Is the Gerber Suspension Multi-Tool Good for Camping or Backpacking?
  9. Our Verdict
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First, Who Is Gerber Gear?

Gerber Gear makes knives, multi-tools, and heavy equipment. The company was founded in 1939, just before World War II, and has earned a reputation as a mid-to-high-end brand that makes good products at mostly affordable prices.

Closed Gerber Gear Suspension multi-tool
We’ve had our Gerber Suspension for a little over three years now.

Where Are Gerber Multi-Tools and Other Gear Made?

Almost everyone asks where Gerber multi-tools and knives are made. We’re (usually) more concerned with quality than origin—but we totally get the idea of supporting the home team

Many Gerber Products Are Made in the USA, but Some Are Made Overseas

High-end Gerber multi-tools and other products are usually made at Gerber’s facility in Portland, Oregon. This is where Gerber’s military contracts are usually fulfilled, too. However, medium- to low-tier Gerber products tend to be made overseas. These products are still designed in the United States, though.

Gerber Gear FAQs

Here’s a couple quick answers to Gerber multi-tool FAQs. If you think we missed anything, be sure to let us know!

Are Gerber and Leatherman the Same?

Nope! Both companies are best known for their multi-tools and they’re both based in the USA, but that’s about it. 

Are Gerber Multi-Tool Parts Replaceable?

Yes! If you break one of the tools on your Gerber multi-tool, the company will either ship you a replacement part or fix it for you. This may or may not be covered by the tool’s warranty (it depends on the situation).

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Gerber Multi-Tool Review: The Gerber Suspension — Specifications & Overview

There are a ton of Gerber multi-tools on the market, but today we’re reviewing one of their more popular (and budget-friendly) options: the Gerber Suspension multi-tool

We’ll talk about the Gerber Suspension’s features first, then we’ll cover what we like or dislike about it. 

Or, feel free to click here to skip right to our review!

Gerber Gear multi-tool with pliers extended
Here’s the Suspension with the pliers opened.

First Off, the Gerber Suspension Comes With 12 Integrated Tools

Here’s a full run-down of all the tools included:

  • Spring-loaded needle nose pliers
  • Something Gerber calls “regular” pliers
  • Wire cutter
  • Scissors
  • Straight-edge blade
  • Serrated blade
  • Saw
  • Large flathead
  • Small flathead
  • Cross tip driver
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener

The Gerber Multi-tool also sports a lockable lanyard hole.

Here’s the Full Suite of Tools…

It Uses a Butterfly Design

The Gerber Suspension features a compact butterfly multi-tool design, which basically means you have to pull the legs apart to access each tool. Both legs have a skeletal design that cuts down on weight and allows the tool to drain better if it happens to get wet.

It’s Made of Stainless Steel

Aside from a couple rubber inserts that protect the lock mechanism, the entire Gerber Suspension is made out of a generic stainless steel. Gerber doesn’t specify the exact type, so there’s a pretty good chance it’s a low, or more likely, medium-quality option.

We’ll talk about this more in the review portion!

The Geber Suspension Is Equipped with a “Saf.T.Plus” Locking System

One of the Suspension’s best features is its Saf.T.Plus locking system, which prevents individual tools from accidentally opening. Torsion bars also keep the legs from opening without the user’s consent. 

The Gerber Suspension Costs About $40 (But Is Widely Available for Less)

The Gerber Suspension has been around for almost 20 years. Newer versions tend to cost around $40 (like from Gerber’s website) but you can find near-identical, older models for $5–$10 less at Amazon, Walmart, and elsewhere.

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Gerber Multi-Tool Review: Is the Suspension Any Good?

That’s the question, right?

We received our Gerber multi-tool about three years ago, and it’s been on just about every trip since. More than once, it’s proved uber useful in a pinch—but there have also been instances where its assistance hasn’t been ideal. 

Below we’ve compiled a few key traits to measure the Gerber Suspension to help you decide if it’s the right multi-tool for you!

Construction Quality & Durability: 4/5

Gerber Suspension multi-tool with knife extended
The plain-edge blade is about two inches long.

The Gerber Suspension feels solid—but it’s definitely not perfect. Here are some quick notes: 

  • Con: The straight-edge blade is somewhat brittle and loses its sharpness quickly. Ours is already forming a jagged edge.
  • Con: After extensive use, some of the tools feel slightly loose (but not enough to impact performance). 
  • Con: The pliers aren’t perfectly aligned anymore, but this hasn’t impacted performance.
  • Con: Additionally, the pliers spring has lost at least 50 percent of its oomph after three years.
  • Pro: Despite way too many drops, the tool shows no significant signs of wear and tear.
  • Pro: There’s not a spot of rust or corrosion anywhere on the tool.

Overall, this is a classic case of you get what you pay for. Considering high-end options like the reputable Leatherman Free P4 multi-tool cost over $100 more, the Gerber Suspension feels like a bargain. 

Functionality: 3.75/5

Most multi-tools tend to live by the ‘great at nothing, good at everything’ mantra. 

The Gerber Suspension is no different, and some of the tools feel like they sacrifice too much to retain their usefulness. For example, the cross-tip driver is meant for smaller screws, but its wide profile blocks it from reaching screws that aren’t flush or raised. 

The scissors are also a little awkward for ordinary scissor tasks, but we have found that they’re fantastic for cutting and stripping small wires. Otherwise, all the other integrated tools on this Gerber multi-tool work as advertised. 

As for the knife; it’s acceptable, but better as a backup to a “real” knife (our CIVIVI Elementum review highlights a relatively affordable option).

Lastly, the Saf.T.Plus locking system works well—and we’ve never had a tool open or close without our control.

Portability: 4.75/5

The Gerber Suspension folds up nicely. It’s compact and lightweight—about 10oz (about .3kg). We normally keep it in our pack or car, but it doesn’t feel awkward in a pocket either. 

There are lighter and more versatile multi-tools out there, but the Suspension scores high in this category nonetheless.

Gerber Suspension multi-tool with pliers extended and open.
With the pliers extended, the Gerber Suspension is about six inches long.

Ergonomics: 3.5/5

The Suspension multi-tool doesn’t feel weird in a pocket but each leg is slightly curved—which is somewhat helpful when using the pliers—but feels a little awkward otherwise. On the other hand, we wouldn’t say the ergonomics of the tool get in the way, either. 

One more note: while we haven’t experienced this, some Gerber multi-tool reviews from the community say it’s a little difficult to pull certain tools out if your nails are too short.

Price-to-Value Ratio: 5/5

The Gerber Suspension is great for the price. Like we said before, there are better multi-tools available but you’re probably going to have to fork over a lot more cash for them.

If you want slightly more functionality in a similar price range, the Leatherman Bond multitool is a good step up.

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Gerber Suspension multi-tool in its accompanying nylon sheath
Here’s the Gerber multi-tool’s sheath. Note that the Velcro on the top flap is fraying. (The lanyard bit is extended too.)

Gerber Multi-Tool Review Extras

Here’s a few more things to keep in mind about this Gerber multi-tool!

Bonus: The Sheath That Comes With It Is Unreliable

We do not recommend using the cheap nylon sheath that comes with the Gerber Suspension if you’re attaching it to your belt. The straps are oddly thin and oddly placed—and we’re not confident they would survive any kind of adversity.

That said, if you’re only using the sheath to protect your Gerber multi-tool when it’s stowed, you should be okay. We keep ours in the sheath more to protect it from dirt and grime. But after three years, the Velcro is starting to fail, and the nylon is fraying in multiple spots (an upgrade is probably in our future).

So, the sheath is better than nothing, but we suggest getting a different sheath if you want to carry the tool on your belt. And speaking of belts, check out our Trayvax belt reviews if you want a great option that can handle multiple sheaths and pouches.

Bonus: Ours Came With a Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife (That’s Actually Pretty Great!)

It’s almost silly, but we use the Gerber Paraframe Mini Knife that came with our Suspension more than the multi-tool it came with!

If you’re intrigued, you can find the Gerber Paraframe mini knife for about $10! There’s also a combo-edge Paraframe Mini that sells for about $20. 

Both versions are made out of an ambiguous “high carbon stainless steel” that seems to keep its edge well and offers great corrosion resistance. Of course, if you want a full-size folding knife that can handle all sorts of heavy-duty tasks, check out our Kershaw Blur review!

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Gerber Gear Offers a Great Warranty!

Let’s first state that we’ve never tested Gerber Gear’s warranty ourselves, but we’ve yet to see any complaints either. From what we’ve gathered from the community, Gerber has good customer service and tends to honor its warranty without much issue.

Here’s Gerber’s full warranty policy if you want to check it out.

Gerber multi-tool with the plain-edge knife opened
Every Gerber product has a number stamped on it, but this only tells you when the product was made, not what it is.

Is the Gerber Suspension Multi-Tool Good for Everyday Carry?

It depends. We’re not confident the Gerber Suspension is up to heavy-duty, daily use. If you need something you can always resort to, we recommend a high-end Leatherman instead (like the Free P4). 

That said, if you only need something for occasional tasks, it’s hard to beat the value of this Gerber multi-tool.

On the other hand, the Victorinox Spartan might be a better choice if your needs are simpler (see our full Victorinox Spartan review for more; our Classic SD review might be worth checking out too!).

Oh, and check out our beginner’s guide if you don’t know what everyday carry is!

Is the Gerber Suspension Multi-Tool Good for Camping or Backpacking?

On our most recent Carrizo Plain camping trip, we used our Gerber multi-tool to set up some equipment and repair a lamp. When we weren’t using it, it stayed in our chief editor’s pack. It’s not cumbersome, so it never felt in the way.

In other words: yes, this Gerber multi-tool is good for camping! Again, there are better multi-tools out there, but the Gerber Suspension got the job done when we needed it to, and it doesn’t add too much weight-wise.

Bonus: if you want more camping tips, see our article on terrible camping hacks!

Our Verdict: The Gerber Gear Suspension Multi-Tool Is Absolutely Solid for the Price

There’s not much else to say! 

The Gerber Suspension’s best feature is its price point. For about $30–$40, it gets most jobs done well, but it’s not a showstopper. 

If you only need something to handle odd jobs in the field or around the house, it’s a great choice. But if you need something that can handle heavy-duty tasks every single day, you’ll probably have to invest in a higher-tier product—or you’ll have to take advantage of Gerber’s great warranty!

And with that, we hope this guide serves you well! Be sure to let us know in the comments or on social media if you think we missed something (or disagree with our verdict!).

Cheers!

The operators of Renegade Camping may receive a commission for purchases made through links on our site. But that doesn’t mean we’re shilling random crap! We thoroughly research and/or own all the products we review on our website. We want to build unshakeable trust with our readers, and that means offering honest, transparent reviews and guides. Cheers!

– The Renegade Camping & EDC team
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