Multitool.org Forum
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
+-

Hello Lurker! Remove this ad and much more by logging in.


Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil 3779

No Life Club Posts: 1,894
Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« on: June 21, 2007, 12:37:26 AM »
Adating Gerber's unique out-the-front sliding pliers to a button-activated spring-loaded mechaism, the Auto Recoil has no peers in the multi-tool world. Being that there are no others to directly compare it against it is so easy to label it as a "gimmick" and move on to other, more mainstream tools. What we are here to determine today is whether this tool has redeming characteristics or if it is merely a "gadget" for the uninitiated to purchase on impulse, play with for a few days and ultimately spend it's life in the junk drawer or the bottom of a landfill.




Being the main source of interest we shall begin with the pliers mechanism. The pliers are a needlenose shape with an uncommonly thick point, in essence the typical multi-tool plier head. Using one spring in each handle the pliers are fired by a brass-button that, when released from safe, releases the energy of the two springs and throws the pliers forward with intense force. The springs do their job very very well, I have yet to see the pliers only partially fire. Each push of the button throws the pliers forward with a satisfying *SNAP*. The pliers are retracted by pressing the firing button and pushing the tip of the pliers back against the spring tension to re-seat the pliers in the handle. The easiest way to do this is to find a rigid object and push the plier points against it until they lock. Now, it is entirely reasonable to use your hand, pant leg, shoe and so forth but any option involving the human body is usually fairly uncomfortable and not something you want to spend all day doing. Using your hand requires a good amount of force to get the pliers inside the handle and an extra dose at the end due to compression of the flesh and the overall depth the pliers much be pushed to seat (it's really no fun after the first couple tries). An interesting feature of the pliers is that they are not only fired by spring tension but are held open by the same force once fired. The spring for this action is held under the main handle pivot and is a welcome addition, this feature is a lacking feature on the large majority of full-size tools. There is also a safety for the firing buttom that slides from safe to fire. The safety is held by slight tension and seems fairly easy to accidentally trigger but I have had no problems with accidental discharge so far.




The main firing springs also serve to create tension on the implement lock(s) on the outside of the handle. This is a good idea but creates some issues. The most noticeable is that on most models, when the pliers are in the closed position, the spring pressure is too great and the tools cannot usually be opened with one hand despite being placed in an accessible position with thumb cutouts. The tools do become significantly easier to remove and can be done one-handed when the pliers are open, but that really negates the point of outside opening tools. The second issue is that the lock release tab is fairly difficult to release when the pliers are retracted, again due to the spring tension. The tabs are textured with five raised ridges but they are still difficult to use with wet/slippery hands and not nearly as easy as they should be with dry hands. This issue also goes away when the pliers are in the open position.



There are two implements on each side of the handle. On the non-firing button side there is a semi-hawkbill shaped blade and a combination tool featuring a flat (but still 4 prong) Philips driver, a cap lifter and a seatbelt cutter. The Philips driver has good depth but may be limited by the overall width of the combo-tool. Although flat, it fills common screws nicely and works well up to medium use applications. Due to the nature of this implement I do not recommend heavy use. The cap lifter is functional. The seatbelt cutter is a waste of space, it is completely non-functional. This is due to being ground to obtuse and being poorly placed under and behind a screwdriver and cap lifter. For one with extremely short fingernails the Philips/Combo tool is difficult to extract due to it being on the "inside" of the knife blade and the depth of the thumb cut-out. My usual routine is to open the knife blade first and then pull out the Philips/Combo tool.

The knife blade is an interesting design not usually seen on multi-tools. A shallow, sweeping hawkbill this blade performs well but I would prefer to see a flat or sabre ground blade in place of the mid-hollow grind. *On current production models the blade has been changed to a more convervative spearpoint blade.



Moving along to the other handle we shall begin with my most favorite of implements; the folding scissors. This tool, like most Gerber tools, features Fiskars scissors. During cutting the scissors performed well on common applications such as paper, string, fishing line and medium cardboard. There was slight discomfort noted when cutting for long periods of time, you don't want to drag this scissors with you to kindergarten but they will work well for small tasks. Continuing on to the problem area the scissors are much to easy to over compress and force the motion handle into the gap left by the stationary handle and the washer that prevents clumping. Most often when this occurs it is a simple matter to insert a fingernail in the nail nick on the motion handle and pull it out but it is possible to get it really jammed, requiring force to remove. The tip of the knife blade in the picture below shows the washer where the handle gets jammed. The other tool on this handle is a Combination medium flathead, small wire stripper, and can opener. Each of these tools works well but not as well as dedicated implements on other tools. This is a good blend of implements organized onto one blade.



The last item in this section and the first thing the end user will notice when handling this tool is the massive thickness. The spring corridor takes up just as much room as the two implements so much of the bulk is due to the main operating system.



As thick as the Core all over but with an added 1/4" where the firing button protrudes this tool is quite the fatty. With such few implements and such a great width and fair amount of weight this tool does not place high on the useability/size chart. I like the twice spring-loaded pliers and find the tool overall interesting and useable but would be remiss to recommend this as a good tool for anyone other than a casual user or one use uses mainly the pliers and likes a small selection of tools on board. This tool is an interesting development and certainly presents the user with something different but one gets the distinct feeling it could be done much better, here's hoping to future variations of this device.

Firing the pliers has yet to become boring though, providing endless entertainment could certainly be added to the list of functions for this tool.
Sr. Member Posts: 422
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2007, 01:38:01 AM »
If you put a cross hatch pattern on the top edge of the finger openers with a Dremmel or similar tool it makes one hand opening of the blades a lot easier. You can also loosen the blades slightly by opening the screw part of the axle, be careful though because if you go too loose the slide lock plate will drop down and not work!
I would say closing the plier was comparable to closing a extending baton and should only be closed against the floor, brick wall or a steel toe cap and definitely not against anything that would damage. The springs are very strong. I have a heavy metal belt buckle that I sometimes use.
The drivers are strong enough to be used and if you care to grind the top and bottom of the Phillips it can be used with the new bit adapter that Gerber make.
If the scissors are locking, is it because the spring is slipping off allowing the blades to jam. If so file a slight ramp to help trap the spring at the contact point.
I do not use mine at work but carry it at all other times. It is tough enough to do all the weekend jobs that may crop up. Small enough to go unnoticed in a jacket pocket, but it is still a gimmick.  :D

Dave


Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2007, 02:53:35 AM »
Good to hear that you've had no problems with accidental discharge so far Spoon. (Be careful though, as this tends to occur more as your tool gets older!)  ;) :D

Seriously though, I tend to lump the Recoil into the same catagory as the SOG SwitchPlier, the Vic AutoTool, and the new Gerber Radius. All are fascinating little gadgets, great conversation pieces, but only marginally useful.

More fun to play with than to actually use.

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
No Life Club Posts: 1,894
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2007, 04:29:34 AM »
If the scissors are locking, is it because the spring is slipping off allowing the blades to jam. If so file a slight ramp to help trap the spring at the contact point.
I do not use mine at work but carry it at all other times. It is tough enough to do all the weekend jobs that may crop up. Small enough to go unnoticed in a jacket pocket, but it is still a gimmick.  :D

Dave




On my model the scissors jam because the handle slips between the anti-clump washer and the other half of the scissors. It's not too big of a deal, just something to be aware of.

This was sort of a practice thread, I'm trying to catalogue all the little things most of us miss when researching a tool before purchase since many of us cannot always handle one in person. The impetus for this was the overall thickness of the Recoil. I searched high and low for reviews and pictures but only found a few reviews and only found a picture of the thickness after I had ordered it (from equipped.org's SHOT coverage from years ago), somewhat suprising to me when I finally recieved it and saw how much bigger it was than expected.

I have some others planned when I have time and I wanted to see how this pans out. It could be a valuable resource for the site.

 First lesson; don't photograph multi-tools on top of a catalogue featuring pictures of other tools.  ::)


Good to hear that you've had no problems with accidental discharge so far Spoon. (Be careful though, as this tends to occur more as your tool gets older!)  ;) :D

« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 04:31:10 AM by Spoonrobot »
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2007, 05:24:00 AM »
......or if it is merely a "gadget" for the uninitiated to purchase on impulse, play with for a few days and ultimately spend it's life in the junk drawer.....

My Recoil falls squarely into this catagory. I haven't toyed around with it at all since the first few days after I bought it. Your review has got me looking at it again though:

Unlike yours, my knife blade can be flicked open one-handed even though the pliers are retracted.
The combo tool in the other handle should be one-hand accessable as well, except that it is wrong handed. Totally untrained, my left thumb seems to be too stupid to flick open knife blades.  :P
Like yours, the "second" blades on mine are impossible to access alone. The front blade has to be opened first in order to get at the blade behind it.
The mainsprings seem much stouter than they need to be. After firing, it is downright clumsy and difficult to re-charge the plier head.
It is fat, fat, way too fat.


 

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Chief of the Absolutely No Life Club! Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 42,959 Why haven't you got a Farmer yet!
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2007, 10:45:52 AM »
Another fine review there mate. :)

gerber do seem to be producing some weird designs these days, and fair play to them for pushing the envelope.

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2008, 02:46:15 PM »
Just dredging this old thread up again for sentimental reasons. Anybody else got one of these?

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,449 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2008, 02:54:20 PM »
Still looking for one myself...

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Hero Member Posts: 874 "Southbound Whatchya Leave Behind Ya?"
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 11:24:50 PM »
Neat review. Who would have thought that the day would come when the words Accidental Discharge and Multitool would be used together.

Dtrain

"It seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time"
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,449 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2008, 12:49:46 AM »
Well I have one now myself, and it is pretty neat- in concept at least.  Just to give you an idea of the force this puppy comes out at, the plier head can launch a beer cap over a foot in the air.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2009, 11:50:12 AM »
I have joined this exclusive club  :P :D. My "new" had a lot of surface rust on it & was quite dirty  :think: >:(. After a good clean , a fight with a rust eraser & a good lube.It has come up looking quite good. The staff room table at work has some Recoil prints on it from were I pushed the pliers on it to retract them  >:D.
The one thing that I am a little concerned is the tool has a slightly faulty lock on the secondary tools. The plain screw driver tool that is next too the scissors, jams when opened a 1/3 of the way , it can be closed but not opened any further. I can get around the problem by holding the lock down when deploying the tool (awkward) , the scissors have no problems  :think: :think:.For some reason the sliding lock disengages from the lock slot on the black plastic lock when opening the tool. If I hold down the black plastic lock on opening the tool, the sliding lock stays in the plastic slot.
Does any one else have this problem ???The problem side's lock is definitely less smooth sliding than good side.The locks have been well cleaned & lubed.


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2009, 01:56:22 PM »
Mat, I never had that problem before. UNTIL NOW! I could not re-create what you were describing while the pliers were "closed". But when I open the pliers, the "sliding lock disengages from the lock slot on the black plastic lock" as you describe. :(

I think it is because Gerber uses the same coil spring to fire out the plier head as is used to engage the blade locks. There just isn't enough tension in the spring when the pliers are "out"

Do you have any problem with your blades when the pliers are "in"?

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2009, 02:07:23 PM »
Thanks very much for checking Bob  :cheers:.
Pliers in or out does not seem to make a difference to my one  :think: :think:.Being plastic I am a little concerned it may break , best not EDC the Recoil  :P :P :P :D.
Bob, Gerber does not still make the recoil do they? I wonder if they were contacted if they could give us a answer about the lock problem?
The tension on those springs is MAD more like a catapult than a plier deployer  :D :D


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2009, 02:13:01 PM »
They haven't shown it on their website for a while now. And it wasn't in their 2008 catalog. Guess I can't say for sure when it was discontinued. :think:

Yah, that rocket launcher spring is pretty powerful! I've got little plier-tip dents all over the edge of my work bench! :D

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2009, 02:22:26 PM »
Fingers sore  :D :D. Today is the first day I have had a chance to clean & play with the mouse trap Gerber.
Bob how hard is it to adjust the tamper proof fasteners on the Recoil ? I wonder if a bit of fine tuning would make any difference ?


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2009, 02:26:34 PM »
Fingers sore  :D :D. Today is the first day I have had a chance to clean & play with the mouse trap Gerber.
Bob how hard is it to adjust the tamper proof fasteners on the Recoil ? I wonder if a bit of fine tuning would make any difference ?

Could be the solution Mat (but I've never tried it myself) :-\

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Sr. Member Posts: 422
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2009, 05:49:54 PM »
Fingers sore  :D :D. Today is the first day I have had a chance to clean & play with the mouse trap Gerber.
Bob how hard is it to adjust the tamper proof fasteners on the Recoil ? I wonder if a bit of fine tuning would make any difference ?

Grip the head with a pair of lock jaws (I use a Crunch to maintain my Gerbers) give it a firm twist just to see if it moves. If it does not, change to the other side and try moving that. One side (the axle part) is locked in the frame by small protrusions in the frame hole that fit into slots in the axle part. The part to loosen is a grub screw that is made to match the axle head with the grooves. Only turn the grub screw a slight amount to loosen or tighten it. If too slack that is when the lock plate drops out if the head is out! Just tighten it a little if that happens. If too tight it will bind the handle tools. If you use Locktight you should have it correct by the time it sets. You must test it as you adjust the screw and by small I mean small less than an 1/8 of a turn. I fitted a pocket clip under the grub screw on mine and it gets used more than any of my other tools now. Handy tool.

Dave
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2009, 06:29:59 PM »
Fingers sore  :D :D. Today is the first day I have had a chance to clean & play with the mouse trap Gerber.
Bob how hard is it to adjust the tamper proof fasteners on the Recoil ? I wonder if a bit of fine tuning would make any difference ?

Grip the head with a pair of lock jaws (I use a Crunch to maintain my Gerbers) give it a firm twist just to see if it moves. If it does not, change to the other side and try moving that. One side (the axle part) is locked in the frame by small protrusions in the frame hole that fit into slots in the axle part. The part to loosen is a grub screw that is made to match the axle head with the grooves. Only turn the grub screw a slight amount to loosen or tighten it. If too slack that is when the lock plate drops out if the head is out! Just tighten it a little if that happens. If too tight it will bind the handle tools. If you use Locktight you should have it correct by the time it sets. You must test it as you adjust the screw and by small I mean small less than an 1/8 of a turn. I fitted a pocket clip under the grub screw on mine and it gets used more than any of my other tools now. Handy tool.

Dave

Thanks very much Dave  :cheers: :salute: I will give it a go tomorrow .


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2009, 01:03:00 AM »
It looks like Damota has the solution for you there Mat - mine doesn't seem to have this problem.

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2009, 06:10:25 AM »
I gave it a go & tightened the fastener with my Crunch incrementally , checking as I went & unfortunately no difference  :( . I got to the point of tightness were it was extremely difficult to open the tools out. Looking at the locks action , there is no problem opening the scissors BUT the screw driver tool next to it seems to lift/tilt the metal tab lock up & out of the slot in the black plastic lock switch. I wonder if  it has something to do with the screw driver tool's end profile  :think:

I am not TOO disappointed as I got the Recoil purely as a tool of interest  :D & not a user as such (sorry Ben :P). It is just the OCD in me causing trouble. ::) :D


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2009, 12:54:05 PM »
That would drive me nuts Mat. It doesn't matter if I'm going to use a tool, it has to function as though I am.  >:D

Stop dilly dallying and take it apart. You know it makes sense :D

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Notables No.1: The skinny on a fat tool; the Gerber Auto Recoil
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2009, 01:31:31 PM »
That would drive me nuts Mat. It doesn't matter if I'm going to use a tool, it has to function as though I am.  >:D

Stop dilly dallying and take it apart. You know it makes sense :D

I do not know if I like the Recoil THAT much  :D :D. Visions of small pieces of Gerber being launched into orbit by those springy springs  :o :ahhh.
I think I would tackle  my Bear Jaws iffy locks before delving into Jack in the box ,spring launching, tiny pieces, Gerber oddities.
Soft I know  ::) :D :D



"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D

 

Donations

Operational Funds

Help us keep the Unworkable working!
Donate with PayPal!
October Goal: $300.00
Due Date: Oct 31
Total Receipts: $109.46
PayPal Fees: $6.30
Net Balance: $103.16
Below Goal: $196.84
Site Currency: USD
34% 
October Donations

Community Links


Powered by EzPortal
SMF 2.0.17 | SMF © 2020, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.053 seconds with 32 queries.
© 2018 Defender Web & Tool