Gerber Center-Drive Multi-Tool

Last updated date: August 27, 2019

DWYM Score
9.0


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We looked at the top Multitools and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Multitool you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 134 expert reviews, the Gerber Gear Gerber Center-Drive Multi-Tool placed 7th when we looked at the top 11 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note November 26, 2019:
Checkout The Best Multitool for a detailed review of all the top multitools.

Expert Summarized Score
9.3
10 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.4
451 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The offset design isn’t the only intelligent move the Gerber made with the screwdriver design though. First, they gave the bit holder a magnet to ensure that you can keep a bit in the driver without fear of losing it. Most importantly, they made it a standard 1/4-inch size. This is a huge deal because I can replace bits when they are worn or broken and I can customize my bit set to the type of work I’m going to be doing.
- Pro Tool Reviews
January 23, 2017 | Full review
The Gerber Center Drive Multi Tool is small enough to fit in your pocket, your tool box or even tackle or glove box when not in use. But we think it will be in use more often than it is not as it works so well for so many things.
- Does It Really Work
The Center-Drive rids itself of unnecessary features and improves the primary tools that users find the most use for. Its pliers slide up out of the knife and are spring loaded so that they can be operated with one hand.
- Gear Patrol
We also liked the wire stripper on the jaw. It works extremely well on wires up to 12 gauge. Great for tradesmen such as HVAC, Electricians and anyone who works with wires on a regular basis.
- EDC Ninja
I’ve used the pry bar on the inside of the other handle a few times and it’s a sturdy number. The bottle opener works well also. The nail puller looks to be designed well and should be robust enough to do its job.
- Pocket Multi-tool
The one handed opening pliers and knife blade are two other features we really like. If you’re already holding something up with one hand it’s nice to be able to quickly deploy the main tools on your multi tool.
- Outdoorsman Toolkit
Ergonomic bit driver that takes standard bits.
- Multitool.org
December 5, 2016 | Full review
The primary innovation here is the centered-axis screwdriver from which the tool aptly named. The bit is centered on the rotational axis, instead of the bit being offset in an attempt to make the device more compact like most multi-tools do. This sounds like a minor change, but the effect is has on usability is not to be understated and certainly doesn’t go underappreciated. when using it, the screwdrivers center point doesn’t actually shift from side to side, instead staying true on it’s axis, resulting on better control and less fatigue.
- Tree Line Backpacker
May 11, 2017 | Full review
It’s made out of 420 high carbon steel which backs up its heavy duty workload claim. The handles of the tool are ergonomically designed with a cut out on one side to serve as a lanyard hole.
- Adjustable Clamp
This tool comes equipped with a REAL screwdriver. The driver can be easily opened with one hand and has a reach of over 3″. The center of the bit lands along the center line of the entire multi tool body, creating an inline usage just like a dedicated screwdriver.
- Pocket Toolbox
March 24, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
The serrated blade isn’t quite as sexy. The end of the blade doesn’t really have a classic style.
- Pro Tool Reviews
January 23, 2017 | Full review
The holster could be a bit sturdier as well. That’s not to say it’s going to fall apart anytime soon, but if you’re a tradesman, you know how wear and tear can break things down. If you’re planning on using this tool on a daily basis and keeping it for an extended period of time, you should probably buy a sturdier constructed holster, of which are plentiful and relatively inexpensive.
- EDC Ninja
The holder for the spare bit is the only function on the inside of one handle. I found the bit difficult to get out. It’s firmly held in the holder which means it won’t fall out but it makes it hard to grab with your fingers. Would be almost impossible if you had thick working gloves on.
- Pocket Multi-tool
One handed open pliers limit interior tool space.
- Outdoorsman Toolkit
Bulky sheath when bit set is present.
- Multitool.org
December 5, 2016 | Full review
That lead me to my only major complaint with the tool, being how difficult a few of the more obscure components can be to access. For example, accessing the pry bar, file, etc, you’ll have to engage the pliers first,, sliding the lock forward with your thumb, and then being able to manually pry each tool back individually to use them. If you plan to use one of the tools extensively and in a more comfortable position, you’ll need to leave that tool open and close the pliers back up around it to avoid having to use them with the tool splayed out, with the pliers’ teeth on one end and open grips on the other as in the image below.
- Tree Line Backpacker
May 11, 2017 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Real professionals, real tools, real jobs. Gerber’s Center-Drive Multi-Tool is a game-changing addition designed for real life, heavy-duty work. The thoughtful one-thumb opening design allows for quick deployment of the three full size tools you depend on most: the pliers, the blades, and the screwdriver. The Center-Drive is revolutionary, introducing an extra-long 3.2 inch magnetic bit driver that opens to align with the center axis of the tool – giving you all the torque and rotation of a traditional screwdriver. The full size blades conveniently replace your everyday pocket knife, and the full size spring-loaded pliers feature an X-Channel Rail System to eliminate rattle and open smoothly. Streamlined to offer the right tools for optimal functionality, the Center-Drive will replace your tool belt in no time.

Overall Product Rankings

1. LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 17
2. LEATHERMAN Super Tool 300 Multitool
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 14
3. ProMaster Pocket Multifunctional Multitool, 15-in-1
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 1
4. LEATHERMAN Rebar Multitool
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 15
5. SOG PowerLock EOD Heavy Duty Multitool, 18-in-1
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 0
6. LEATHERMAN Sidekick
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 12
7. Gerber Center-Drive Multi-Tool
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 10
8. Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 17
9. LEATHERMAN Skeletool
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 8
10. Gerber MP600 Multi-Plier
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 14
11. Gerber Dime Multi-Tool
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 16

An Overview On Multitools

If you’re not much of a handyman, you could be forgiven for thinking of the once-ubiquitous Swiss Army Knife when you hear the word “multitool.” And while that trusty red pocketknife is still around, the design of the multitool has come a long way since they were standard issue for your Boy Scout troop.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

These days, the term multitool can encompass anything from a weighty gadget that requires a holster and incorporates 30 tools or more to a stealthy metal card that doubles as a wrench and bottle opener. But though the design may differ, you’re essentially talking about something roughly the size of a pocketknife that instead flips out an assortment of screwdrivers and other useful tools (and possibly a knife or three as well).

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

The pocketknife configuration may have worked fine for the Swiss Army, and it’s still the standard for some multitools. But more recently, if you go shopping for multitools, you’ll find most are modeled in the design of the balisong or butterfly knife.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

This setup has a lot of advantages. For one thing, you can open it with a simple flick of the wrist. With certain adjustments, the twin handles can be used as grips for pliers, scissors or any number of tools where a little extra torque is needed. To get the various gadgets loose from their folded-in position, some multitools may have a release catch or just require you to pry them loose with a tab that protrudes from the central cavity. Once they’re in use, most will have a mechanism that locks them in place for ease of use (and your safety).

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

What tools can you expect to find on a standard multitool? The list can vary widely, but it should include a screwdriver (with a Phillips and flat-head driver, at least), pliers, scissors and possibly a knife or two. Most will also have a bottle opener or something you can use as one. It’s a good bet that this tool is the one that will see the most actual use among weekend warriors.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

“If you’re involved in a specialty activity, there are multitools on the market that cater to those needs,” says our home improvement expert Vicki Liston. Her award-winning show “On The Fly…DIY” has plenty of home tutorials for testing out your multitool. “Don’t assume that the manufacturer knows exactly what you need, though. Read through the list of included tools before assuming it’s the whole enchilada.”

The total number of tools incorporated can be as few as two or three to 40 or more. Just remember the main asset of a multitool is portability. If you can’t use a tool, it’s just dead weight. Heed that Boy Scout motto and “be prepared” … just remember, it’s possible to be overprepared.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

DYWM Fun Fact

When it comes to functionality, too much wasn’t nearly enough for the F.W. Holler company of Solingen, Germany. In the 1880s, they created the mother of all multitools, a lethal piece of equipment that incorporates 100 blades. If you were patient (and careful) enough to unsheathe all the weapons in this Old West relic, you’d find daggers, shears, scissors, saws, button hooks, mechanical pens, a straight razor and even a functional .22 caliber pin-shot revolver. Strangely enough by modern standards, there was no bottle opener — but then, bottle caps weren’t quite on the market at the time.

The Multitool Buying Guide

  • The selling point on a lot of multitools is quantity. It might indeed be impressive to see 30 tools or more packed into a somewhat compact package, but keep your lifestyle in mind. Do you really need a hex driver in 12 different sizes while you’re on the go? Unless you’re a professional handyman, probably not — and even then, you’ve probably got a full-sized tool that will do the job far more effectively. If you’re planning to carry your multitool around the house, a few screwdrivers and wrenches might be all you need. On hikes, look for a gadget with a focus on knives, scissors and saws. If it’s going to be kept in the glove compartment, a strap cutter and window breaker might be life-saving tools to have. Match the multitool to your situation.
  • While we’re on the subject of tool selection, a word about knives: They’re fairly common on most multitools and can be handy on everything from whittling primitive tools to opening stubborn packages. They’re so small on many tools that you may not even consider them as weapons — but the TSA will. “In some places, blades over 2.5″ are not allowed, and you may get your tool taken away altogether,” says our home improvement expert Vicki Liston. When traveling by air, take that multitool off the belt and stow it in checked baggage, or leave it at home entirely.
  • Size matters. The whole point of a multitool is that you can carry it easily. An arsenal of gadgetry is no good if you can’t fit it into your pocket. It’s up to you to find that sweet spot between portability and functionality. Be advised that while credit card-sized multitools can be cute, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to use it for anything strenuous. No matter what the size, look for stainless steel construction or something just as sturdy.
  • Most decent multitools can fit in a pocket, but just barely. And depending on the design, you might not be able to easily retrieve it there anyway, especially if it shares space with a wallet or keys. Look for tools with at least a belt clip or sheath if you’re dealing with anything larger than five inches or so.