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 clearerThe 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