Gerber Sliding Jaws Center-Axis Multitool

Last updated: September 28, 2022

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.

Product Details

In our analysis of 124 expert reviews, the Gerber Sliding Jaws Center-Axis Multitool placed 10th when we looked at the top 22 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

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.

Our Expert Consultant

Vicki Liston 
Home Improvement Expert

Vicki Liston writes, produces, and narrates “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.

Home improvement and all things DIY have been Liston’s passion since she bought her first house in 2007 and she started making video blogs in 2014. She’s performed hundreds of DIY projects, from small ones to major, wall-smashing renovations and can teach you how to make a trendy DIY barn door for cheap. The proceeds earned from “On The Fly…DIY” are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations.

Expert Reviews

What reviewers 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ergonomic bit driver that takes standard bits.
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.
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.
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.

What reviewers didn't like

The serrated blade isn’t quite as sexy. The end of the blade doesn’t really have a classic style.
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.
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.
One handed open pliers limit interior tool space.
Bulky sheath when bit set is present.
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.
View our Multitool buying guide for in-depth advice and recommendations.

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