Thursday, March 10, 2005

Gerber Multi-Plier 400

Apparently I spent a pretty good chunk of change at REI over the past year, so when my annual dividend came in last week is was about $43. Of course, it burned a hole in my pocket, so I went up to the local REI store but didn't find anything I wanted. I'd hoped to find a good multitool, since my old Gerber Multi-Plier Scout had gone AWOL (it's since shown up). After getting home I went to their website and ordered a Gerber Multi-Plier 400 Value Pack from their outlet store on closeout. It came in today's mail.

The MP 400 is a compact model so it's smaller than my MP Scout. It came with a black ballistic nylon belt pouch and an Infinity Ultra LED task light (hence the "Value Pack"). Aside from the pliers with wire cutters, it's got a few different screwdriver blades, Fiskars scissors, and a knife with a half-serrated edge. All tools lock open, one thing I've always appreciated about Gerber's multitools.

My first impression was that it is a little rougher than my MP Scout, but it may be that my Scout is just worn in, because I've had it since the late '90s. Other than that, I tried out the knife blade by cutting up some Pampers boxes when I took out the trash tonight. It's sharp. I tried out the scissors on a piece of nylon cord and it cut fine.

The Infinity Ultra LED task light is pretty cool. It is powered by a single AA cell; Gerber includes a Duracell. The light is machined from aluminum so it should be quite rugged. It's finished in the white and has a black steel pocket clip. The body of the light is machined into a tail with a hole for a lanyard, which you have to supply yourself. I made one with a piece of green paracord.

The light is bright enough to keep you from tripping over stuff in the dark and to work on things without blinding yourself. It could probably be made a bit brighter if the reflector part of the bezel was polished better. Gerber claims that the light is good for 100 hours on the single AA cell.

My Multi-Plier Scout in currently in my laptop bag as part of my urban possibles kit, along with my Victorinox CyberTool 41 and an LED flashlight, among a few other items. I think I'll replace the Scout with the 400 since it's a bit lighter, and put the Scout in the console of my truck. The Infinity Ultra LED light will probably be stashed with my iBook, which I use when going to client sites.

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