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Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy) 10331

No Life Club Posts: 3,796 Hack Virtuoso
Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy)
« on: December 26, 2011, 10:21:53 AM »
This Christmas I was gifted a black Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial combo from Beerplumber. He prefaced the tool being Gerber and I, being more of a Leatherman guy, was cautious but was not going to look a literal gift-tool in the plier teeth.



With all tools new and shiny,  I would be optimistic about the form, looks, function and carrying potential. In this review I am going to attempt to address them all.

Form



The Crucial is small to medium sized tool, weighing in at a light 5 ounces. When close, it only measures 3.5", 1.5" wide and just over .5" thick. It it easy to hold in the hand and follows a very familiar multitool butterfly opening convention. Gerber known for it's one handed opening masterpieces, the Crucial is definitely something different for them (beyond the few other select Gerber tools).



Ergonomically, the Crucial is pleasing to hold in both the closed and open positions. The black anodized aluminum scales provide a nice smooth, slightly textured and uniformly comfortable grip. 





Looks

I am a sucker for all black tools and this version of the Crucial certainly fulfils my desire for ninja-osity. The combination between what seems to be black Titanium Nitride coating, anodizing, and black oxide parts, the Strap Cutter Crucial is….strapping!

All the hardware is also blacked out including the often missed pivot screws. The only gleaming stainless bits are the chisel ground flat bit screwdriver and the sharpened portion of the strap cutter. 

Function

Now the meaty portion. I will break this down into 1. Blades 2. Pliers 3. Drivers.

Clearly aimed at a more minimal approach to multitools, the Strap Cutter Crucial is a step above the regular Crucial or even the FAST variant.

1. Blades



The stubby, mystery steel main blade is a combo edge with about a 50/50 split on serrated and plain edge cutting surfaces, measuring at 2.25" long. It is a snub nose looking deal with good cutting potential. The lack of point is a little bit of a downside but it'll be a fine day to day cutting utensil.

The liner lock is a little flimsy and only engages on the very edge of blade, I imagine over time this will fall into place better. The big fat thumb stud is a welcome change to the skin rippers on some folders and the sometimes scary hole on Leathermans (fingers have slipped sometimes using those)

As with all mutlitool blades, it is no replacement to a dedicated folder or fixey, but the short body combined with the short blade make for a very pedestrian friendly looking knife.



The strap cutter, which defines this version of the Crucial, is a fine addition to the Gerber line. Very sharp, wide and one handed opening, this is my favourite part of the Strap Cutter Crucial. The liner lock is the same as the main blade but seems to engage better. It sliced through 1000D PU coated Cordura like butter.



2. Pliers



The pliers on the Crucial are meant for light work only. Having a very thin profile and limited flat gripping space, the pliers could be used for delicate fine gripping. There is a little handle play making the pressure applied to the pliers a little wobbly, but if used correctly, the pliers would perform as they should.

The Crucial's direct competition is the Leatherman Skeletool, so it is only fair that we make a direct comparison to it and not other larger tools.



The pliers on the Skeletool open a little bit wider than the Crucial, and unlike the Leatherman, the Crucial has anvil style wire cutters. They cut 18 gauge copper wire fine, but nothing like coat hanger.

3. Drivers



This is where the Crucial is lacking. Most Gerbers have nearly useless drivers because they are so short. The Crucial is no different. The flat bit driver is especially small and short. It is located on the plier pivot side, making deeper screws are nearly impossible to reach. A bit adaptor can attached to this, expanding and remedying this problem.



The phillips driver is the infamous Gerber 2D format and no different than the Leatherman bit in profile. Fortunate for the user, the phillips position can be extended by opening the tool half way and using the full length for torque. Its quite soft on it's edges and probably wouldn't do so well unless the screw head is perfectly matched.





Both the phillips and flat bit drivers have independent liner locks (which is a nice thing to to have if you are bearing down on the phillips). Locking up securely and releasing with ease.

Carry Potential



The clip on the Crucial is a gem, a very simple folded over design, resulting in a low riding, strong and reliable clip. Since the Crucial is a thin tool, it rides well in the pocket. The smooth scales and rounded hardware make the tool glide in and out of a pocket like a slip n' slide in summer.

Matchup






As crafting, light duty and part of a system of tools, the Crucial fits a nice niche. As part of my sewing and craft kit, the Crucial's strap cutter is nice for undoing large stitches, the pliers are skinny and pointy enough to roll wire and adjust hardware, and the stubby drivers are adequate for adjusting screws and bolts on my sewing machine.

It also has super cool blacked out appeal, syncing up the rest of my ninja sewing tools.

Finale


The Strap Cutter Crucial is a great tool with a few short comings. Usually inexpensive and far more useful than weird carabiner on the regular Crucial models. The all black finish is easy to conceal. The Strap Cutter Crucial is worth more than what you pay for it.

Pros
1. All black finish is nice, easy to conceal with the deep pocket clip
2. Reach with the phillips head is decent for such a small tool (when it is 1/2 open)
3. Strap cutter is the most useful addition to the Crucial series, and it's sharp!

Cons
1. Knife blade is a mystery steel, and the coating seems to be painted on
2. plier head is a bit too thin and not enough flat gripping space
3. flat head driver is comically small.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 08:26:41 PM by Grant Lamontagne »

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Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,974
Re: Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy)
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2011, 10:50:44 AM »
Great review Eric!
I have the standard Crucial,which I wish I could like more than I do.The addition of the strap cutter is a big improvement over the folding carabineer on the standard model.In many ways I feel that as a tool its more an equivialnt to the Wingman/Sidekick than the Skelli,on the basis on quality rather than functionality.I've always felt that having to open the skeli to use the driver is its biggist drawback.

Just a pity we cant get SC CRuacial here in BritCit!

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Re: Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy)
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2011, 09:03:49 PM »
Great review Eric!
I have the standard Crucial,which I wish I could like more than I do.The addition of the strap cutter is a big improvement over the folding carabineer on the standard model.In many ways I feel that as a tool its more an equivialnt to the Wingman/Sidekick than the Skelli,on the basis on quality rather than functionality.I've always felt that having to open the skeli to use the driver is its biggist drawback.

Just a pity we cant get SC CRuacial here in BritCit!

Thanks Kirk! I wouldn't of even considered the SC Crucial, mostly because haven't found a use for the tools I already HAVE let alone buy specific ones to fulfil narrow needs. I was also trying to find a review of the SC Crucial and I couldn't find one.

Maybe this'll make it to the main page.

As for quality, I would almost put this above the Wingman, but barely. For functionality, it's almost identical in form factor and utlitiy as the skele, but comparing them for quality is unfair. The Skele is more than triple it's price, especially the CX version.

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Hero Member Posts: 759 tooled up
Re: Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy)
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2011, 10:24:49 PM »
im like you mate im a leatherman person, i dont actualy own a gerber tool. this one does look interesting tho.  if i had to pick id have to say for the cash id get a wingman first.

and i luv my skeletool CX and would pick it up befor the gerber, any day. that sed i do like the look of it and i do like the all black look and the strap cutter looks cool.

-----5hif7y-----
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,163
Re: Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy)
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 01:13:50 AM »
Good review and even better pictures mate.  Cheers. :cheers:

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy)
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 01:36:22 AM »
Yep, very well done review sir. Definitely main site worthy IMO :salute:

I too received a Crucial SC for Christmas, and compared to the carabiner version and the corkscrew version, it's hands down the most useful Crucial so far. In addition to slicing up cardboard boxes after the present-opening frenzy yesterday morning, I also found that the strap cutter blade does a fine job stripping insulation from 12-3 household electrical wire. (and it ought to be easy to sharpen up with a dremel or a round stone after it gets dull too, although I haven't needed to do that yet) :)

As far as the black color goes, I do like the looks, but the finish on the blades looks to have been painted on, instead of a true black oxide. Must be some sort of duracoat epoxy, maybe powder coated on..? ??? Hopefully it will hold up reasonably well over time.

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: 3,796 Hack Virtuoso
Re: Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy)
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2011, 01:53:05 AM »
Yep, very well done review sir. Definitely main site worthy IMO :salute:

I too received a Crucial SC for Christmas, and compared to the carabiner version and the corkscrew version, it's hands down the most useful Crucial so far. In addition to slicing up cardboard boxes after the present-opening frenzy yesterday morning, I also found that the strap cutter blade does a fine job stripping insulation from 12-3 household electrical wire. (and it ought to be easy to sharpen up with a dremel or a round stone after it gets dull too, although I haven't needed to do that yet) :)

As far as the black color goes, I do like the looks, but the finish on the blades looks to have been painted on, instead of a true black oxide. Must be some sort of duracoat epoxy, maybe powder coated on..? ??? Hopefully it will hold up reasonably well over time.

Thank you, thank you. Months of writing copy has done me well.

Yes, I was trying to figuring what the coating on the blade was as well. As part of my crafting/sewing set, I may mod this to do something else.

Of course....

Why stop now?

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Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,550
No Life Club Posts: 3,796 Hack Virtuoso
Re: Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy)
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2011, 07:10:20 PM »
For Def:

Pros
1. All black finish is nice, easy to conceal with the deep pocket clip
2. Reach with the phillips head is decent for such a small tool (when it is 1/2 open)
3. Strap cutter is the most useful addition to the Crucial series, and it's sharp!

Cons
1. Knife blade is a mystery steel, and the coating seems to be painted on
2. plier head is a bit too thin and not enough flat gripping space
3. flat head driver is comically small.

Why stop now?

Visit the whole Skinth family here: http://www.skinthsolutions.com

Keep up with The Skinths on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SkinthSolutions

Shapeways - Metro's Q-branch:
http://www.shapeways.com/shops/metro-qbranch

PayPal: metrogradegoods [at} gmail. com
Full Member Posts: 106
Re: Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy)
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2012, 08:18:32 PM »
Totally a LM fan, but I like the BO version of this crucial. Had a look on ebay but didn't see any of these come along. Was it a limited edition? Wondering how sharp the blade will stay after some abuse/use.

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Someone who doesn't want finds an excuse
No Life Club Posts: 3,796 Hack Virtuoso
Re: Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy)
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2012, 08:29:56 PM »
It came as a combo clam shell with a Gerbe Evo 1/2 SE.

Why stop now?

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Keep up with The Skinths on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SkinthSolutions

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Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Strap Cutter Crucial Review (Pic Heavy)
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2013, 01:40:24 AM »
Not sure if everyone was aware of this or not, but Gerber did a small run of Crucial-with-strap-cutters in a plain finish. (not black) The blades are all bare stainless steel, and the handle scales are gray aluminum. They packaged them in a combo set with one of their (plain finish) Evo flipper knives. Makes a nice set for those who prefer the "non-tactical" look. :)





« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 01:42:51 AM by J-sews »

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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