The phrase "jack of all trades but master of none" might be best suited to describing multi-tools. They're useful in a pinch, when no other tools are available, but the tools are far from ideal. But that's something Gerber wants to change with its new Center-Drive featuring implements that have been specifically redesigned for usability.
Spring-loaded pliers, a knife blade that's about 30 per cent longer than what you'll find on the competition's tool, and the ability to open the Center-Drive with just one hand are welcome improvements -- but not entirely new.
What makes the Center-Drive truly unique is how Gerber redesigned the multi-tool's built-in screwdriver. Not only does it accept standard-sized bits and adapters, when the screwdriver is unfolded, its head ends up positioned in the exact center of the tool. So when you're tightening a screw, it feels like you're using an actual screwdriver, not just making do with a multi-tool.
So will the Center-Drive, available starting on November 1 for $US89, replace a workshop full of tools? Not at all. But you'll probably be glad you bought one for your car's glovebox the next time you find yourself stranded. And when you head out into the woods for a weekend camping trip, it's a much better alternative than carrying 91kg of toolbox.