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Raker Knives & Steel - Proven Performance Blades of 52100

Author Topic: The Gerber Solstice  (Read 3393 times)

Offline 50ft-trad

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The Gerber Solstice
« on: September 09, 2011, 12:24:40 AM »


I wanted to do a quick review on this item, as even though it is now discontinued I couldn’t understand why more people didn’t like it. There were tales about it jumping out of people’s hands but I couldn’t help thinking that was purely operator error – yes the tool is designed to spring open – so learn to use it accordingly. There’s no reason anyone should get hurt with a slipjoint knife if it’s used properly, so why this.

I took the plunge and got one at a fair price, and once I’d received it and started to use it everything became a lot clearer

The Promise:
Spring loaded scissors, a substantial 3D Phillips and flat driver, and both can and bottle openers in a convenient keychain compatible tool. For today’s world where knives are prohibited in certain areas, this could prove to be a very useful tool for many people who wish to have basic tool capabilities despite legislative restrictions they may face. It all sounds so good, so why isn’t it around anymore?





The Reality
First of all I didn’t realise that the bottle and can openers sat so high off the tool. Whilst in itself this is not a major problem for handling, it does make the tool quite bulky for a keychain tool. The major problem though is that there are no definitive stops for the rotation of the arms either in the closed or open positions. On an unsprung scissor, this would be far less of an issue but on this tool it does become quite challenging.



The scissor spring is quite strong, which should be a positive especially when cutting heavier materials, but let’s look at what really happens. Deploying the tool is the first time the spring will cause issues. Swinging one handle out will leave the scissors closed but as soon as the other is opened the spring tension will try to open the tool quite dramatically. It’s not an easy task to keep the scissors closed until both arms are in position. Closing the tool is the same problem. You put force on the arms to close the scissors, but as soon as you rotate the arms past 90 degrees the force holding the scissors closed is gone.  It is possible to keep the scissors closed with the drivers and swing an opener tool out to secure the heads till the drivers are swung into place (and of course procedure reversed on opening), but the purpose of a pocket tool is supposed to be convenience – not a booby trapped Rubiks puzzle.

In use we have more of the same. There is nothing to stop the arms from swinging out and the scissors lurching into action when using the drivers or openers. A little carelessness or lack of attention is all that is needed for this tool to get the better of you. This tool has so much promise, but in reality is quite a liability

In short, you start off with what looks like a nice tool, but lose control of it and it looks like a dead fly ... and you're the one left bleeding





Offline Grant Lamontagne

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Re: The Gerber Solstice
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 01:27:28 AM »
I like the Solstice.... for what its worth....

Def

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Offline jekostas

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Re: The Gerber Solstice
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 01:39:48 AM »
I like the Solstice.... for what its worth....

Def

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Thank god I'm not the only one.  I don't think it's that bad of a tool.  I've used the can opener successfully on more than one occasion.

Offline 50ft-trad

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Re: The Gerber Solstice
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011, 01:42:55 AM »
To be perfectly honest I actually like it too despite it's foibles. For a start I think it's the smallest tool I've seen with a workable can opener (other than a FRED, P38 & P51), and it's the best phillips I've seen on a small tool too

I just don't trust it to stay shut in my pocket  :o, or stay open when cutting / closed when using drivers. As for simply opening and closing the scissors - at this stage I'm not sure if I trust me  :think: If I can't trust it to stay closed, that means I also can't trust it to stop on a keyring  :think:

So far my skin has not sprung a leak, but I've had a few near misses in quite a short space of time. If it only had some form of detent or something on the open and closed positions it would be excellent!!

Or maybe it's me that's the liability  :-[  :D :D :D

Offline Beerplumber

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The Gerber Solstice
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2011, 07:13:03 AM »
I carried one of these for the longest time before I knew any better, it was a gift and I ended up putting it through way more abuse than it was designed for. Often wondered what the space was for at the base of the scissors. When closed it formed a sort of hole. Is hole intended for the key ring? Good idea then when you want the scissors or any of the tools for that matter you just open the scissors and presto it's not on your keys anymore... But I never really got it to work that way very well.

Offline J-sews

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Re: The Gerber Solstice
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2011, 03:21:40 AM »
Seems like a couple changes would make a big improvement. :-\ Like a little latch that kept the scissors closed until after both handles were deployed. And some sort of "stop" or spring detent to keep the handles in position once they were unfolded.
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools

Offline 50ft-trad

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Re: The Gerber Solstice
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2011, 11:08:47 AM »
Seems like a couple changes would make a big improvement. :-\ Like a little latch that kept the scissors closed until after both handles were deployed. And some sort of "stop" or spring detent to keep the handles in position once they were unfolded.

You hit the nail on the head there Bob. A few slight tweaks and this would have been an excellent knifeless tool. In fact with a mini driver on the end of the bottle opener too, this would have been better than the Micra in my opinion.

I think Gerber should refine this (make it safer to use) and re-release it  :pok:

Offline J-sews

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Re: The Gerber Solstice
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2011, 12:41:56 PM »
On a side note, it seems like there was a plier version of this tool as well. :think: Although Gerber never picked up on it. :think:

I'll see if I can find a pic
In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools

 

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