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Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge) 696

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« on: February 16, 2018, 05:58:02 PM »
This tool review is part of a challenge I was given, to find the best multitool for $10, with tax and shipping included. To see the main thread of the challenge, follow the link below.
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,75705.0.html

This is a used Gerber MP400 Compact Sport with sheath.


This tool was purchased used, at a pawn shop for $10 even.

The tool weighs 172g (6oz), is made mostly of stainless steel, with plastic locking tabs. Like the entire multi-plier line, it has a plier head that slides in and out of the tool, and can be 'quick deployed' by holding the tool and flicking the wrist. All other tools are inside accessed, and lock in place. While the plier head will move somewhat in its tracks, making it rattly, the other tools lock up very securely.

Like the Micra, and PST previously reviewed for this challenge, this tool can be taken apart to clean. While it in theory requires a special tool, the truth is you can use pliers or vise grips if you don't mind marring the bolts. I took an MP600 apart in the thread linked below, and there might be some info in there of some use if you have to do it as well.
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,49504.msg828480.html#msg828480

The tool, as received, needed some work, and has a minor bit of damage. First, the small flathead driver was broken.


Second, there was some gunk in the plier head assembly. I don't know if it was paint or tar or what...


But I had to clean that up.


And take the cutting wheel and file to the broken driver to fix it.


Now that it's clean and relatively functional, I can move on to testing its function.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2018, 06:56:07 PM »
The pliers

I would say that this is the only tool in this challenge with 'rapid deploying' pliers, but that's not exactly true. There is no need to 'deploy' the pliers on the Plier Wrench tool, and while the PST is not loose at the moment, I had a well worn PSTII that I could flip open like a balisong. It would just be a matter of adjusting the tension on the pivots.Still, it is a notable feature. And... fun.

Handle splay is the best of the tools tested so far, being very minimal. This would be a very good pair of pliers for smaller hands, and is very comfortable for medium hands. I'm not sure if it would become more difficult to use for large hands, although I don't imagine it would be.

The jaws are well formed. It's hard to tell how much pivot play there is without very close inspection, due to the plier head moving in the track, but on this pair, it is very slight. The tips come to a very precise point.

The downside to the pliers being retractable is that the pliers are nowhere near flush with the side of the tool.


This could make getting to some flush bolts difficult, like with the metal shelves in my basement I've been using for testing.


It still managed the task, but after just reviewing the PST, the difference was obvious.

However, one thing this MP400 did WAY better was ergonomics. With harder use, these things were quite comfortable, as with the big 1/2" nuts on my basement stairs.


I could apply my entire grip force without pain, and with the lower handle splay, I could get a better grip.

The tips are precise enough to pick up a needle from a table's surface nose-on.


By the way, I only thought of doing this test with the previous contestant, the PST, but I think it's a good measure of precision of the tip, and might go back and try it with previous entries.

Finally, I tested the wire cutters on metal coathanger.

 They worked quite well. I then bent the end of the coathanger to (basically) match the bent portion I cut off. There was some flex in trying this near the plier tips, so I moved the wire closer to the pivot, and had no issue. I then tried making a tight coil in 12-gauge copper wire, using the fine tip, and got a very good loop.

Pliers: PASS (for heavy duty)
Wire cutters: PASS
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,178 Born to multitask.
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2018, 07:16:19 PM »
Oh my, this challenge is going to be impossible to call.  :like:

I have a 400, it's so nice. There is the least amount of handle splay you can have on a MT, without it pinching you at least.
And it is so comfortable. In the same excellent tier as my Bear & Son Bear Jaws.

And the flicking snap is just as satisfying as closing a SAK.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2018, 07:29:14 PM »
The blade

It was not in great shape when I received it. While it didn't have any (unintentional) nicks in the blade, it was dull, and I mean butterknife dull. The weird thing is that it was so bad, either someone ground it dull, or it had never actually been sharpened. There is nothing I could imagine doing to a blade that could have made it this dull from use. Okay, no... cutting open bags of gravel. That might do it.



So, I spent half an hour or so sharpening it. I might have mentioned... in passing, maybe, once or twice... how I feel about partially serrated blades. In case you missed that... I don't like them. Even a little. I actually kind of hate them. And by 'kind of', I mean 'utterly'. Having this joyous opportunity to having to sharpen one from dead-dull reminded me of that.

So, I got the non-serrated portion sharp enough to cut regular paper, receipt paper, and phone book paper.


And, not knowing a better benchmark for serrated blade sharpness, what I decided on was that it should cut 550 paracord with one pull, and without leaving shredded edges.


At this point, I did my standard cardboard test.


And if you want to shred cardboard, I recommend using a serrated blade. Just...  :facepalm:

Did I mention that I HATE partially serrated blades?

Then it went back to paper and paracord to test edge retention, and did fine.

I can't test firestick curls. I can't whittle with it, but if you're roughly hacking stuff up, cutting cordage, or opening boxes, it's fine.

Blade as received: FAIL
Blade after sharpening: most begrudging PASS ever given.

EDIT to add: Because this is a locking blade, it is EXTREMELY secure feeling. While the serrated portion of the blade might make it a crudish hacking instrument, you can go about that hacking with confidence.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 07:31:03 PM by Lynn LeFey »
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2018, 07:30:02 PM »
Oh my, this challenge is going to be impossible to call.  :like:

I have a 400, it's so nice. There is the least amount of handle splay you can have on a MT, without it pinching you at least.
And it is so comfortable. In the same excellent tier as my Bear & Son Bear Jaws.

And the flicking snap is just as satisfying as closing a SAK.

Yes... to all this.

The MP400 is a pretty amazing tool. At $10, it's REALLY amazing.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2018, 08:08:56 PM »
Drivers.

This thing has a phillips, and 3 flathead drivers.

I was not playing. I took the phillips straight against the 3" wood screws holding the bench on my back porch together.


While the driver had a sense of wanting to cam out, I could apply all the pressure I wanted, since it was a locking driver. It had no problem with this, and no flex, and no complaints. Amazingly solid.

Next up was the large flathead versus hinge screws.


It slotted well and worked fine. And again, it could handle a ton of force applied to it.

But how was it as a pry tool on the old 'crusty paint can' test?


This test seemed ridiculously easy for it. I'd go so far as to say 'effortless'. This is by far the flathead made of the thickest stock tested in this challenge. It seems nigh-indestructible. I WOULD test it in the torture bend test, but...


The position of the flathead in the handles doesn't allow me to wedge it between the two 2x10s I use to test that.

So I tried sticking it in between a couple of the 2x4 pieces that make up the same bench I do the phillips testing on.


The problem HERE was that I couldn't get the driver to flex. It just crushed the end grain of the vertical piece of wood.  :rofl:

Holy CRAP that is one study driver!

The other two drivers, the one that had been damaged, and the one attached to the cap lifter, got a go at random screws around the house, slotted in cleanly, and worked fine.


Phillips: PASS with distinction
Large Flathead: PASS
Smaller flatheads: PASS
Flathead as pry tool: PASS with distinction

These have, by far, been the most robust drivers tested. They are amazing.
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,886 mmmmm SAKrelicious
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2018, 08:18:39 PM »
Go MP400!  :ahhh

Great review Lynn - I love this tool above awl others!

Interested to see how you feel about it compared to the Vic and PST.  :multi:

'Use the force Harry' - Gandalf

'Derail a thread and we'll come at you like a block of cheese'. Captain Mags and Sergeant Fuzzbucket of the Anti Derai.... mmmmmmm cheese
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,549 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2018, 08:41:00 PM »
These are great write-ups, Lynn! Thank you!

The 400 is a great little MT for sure. The drivers are some of the best out there. :tu:

I am thinking about making one of my 400s a blunt nose to pocket carry at some point so the needle nose tips don't tear my pocket.  :)

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2018, 08:43:57 PM »
The scissors

For those who've never read any of my stuff, I kind of made a rating system for multitool scissors. Here's the thread.
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,36798.0.html

Here's a summary of the scale:"The materials tested were paper, corrugated cardboard, T-shirt, The seam portion of old khakis (4 layers thick), suede leather, PETE plastic bottle (as a stand-in for blister packaging), Cardboard box (non-corrugated), heavy gauge screw-on plastic lid (from a container of ‘country time lemonade’, about 1mm thick), and 550 paracord. I scored these in one of 4 categories: Fail (-1), Barely Adequate (+0), Pass (+1), Pass with distinction (+2)"

How did these do?

Pass: Corrugated Cardboard, T-Shirt, regular cardboard, Heavy Plastic
Pass with distinction: Paper, Khaki, Suede, PETE, 550

Total score: 14

These scissors are... AMAZING. Their only limitation is the short bladelength and position in a relatively bulky tool makes it hard to use them on thick materials like cardboards and heavy plastics. Their ability to cut that material wasn't the issue. For fine and flexible materials, these did amazing, push cutting paper, and PETE, and cutting 550 and the seam of khakis in a single clean snip. The relatively long handle in comparison to blade length also gives pretty good leverage on the cut. The thin handle didn't really feel like it was crushing my thumb while cutting. And maybe important to some readers, these tested equally well left and right handed.

Gerber is a subdivision of Fiskars. The scissors on this are even marked Fiskars and they know how to make good scissors. Beyond that, these scissors are in excellent condition. It doesn't matter if you make great scissors and some idiot decides to muck them up before I get a hold of them. But these scissors look mostly unused.




Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2018, 08:48:11 PM »
Thanks guys!  :salute:

I don't know if i saved the best for last, but I knew it would be a serious contender.

I've had it for more than a month, sitting on a shelf, waiting to be tested. And I've been REALLY curious how it would stack up against the PST.
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,178 Born to multitask.
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2018, 09:00:33 PM »
I feel this is going to win. When in pliers mode, it is the best I think. Flicky action, ergonomics, no handle splay, tough head.
Add in great drivers that lock, and great scissors, and you have a winner.  :like:

I'd never pass a PST for $10, though.
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,178 Born to multitask.
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2018, 09:03:54 PM »
A note on the Phillips: It is the exact square shank to fit a Ganzo adapter.
Really opens up your options.  :like:



Lynn, have you ever held a Ganzo? I'd love to read your thoughts on one.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2018, 09:05:21 PM »
Lynn, have you ever held a Ganzo? I'd love to read your thoughts on one.

I have not, and I've actually been looking for one on the cheap for review. No luck yet.
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,886 mmmmm SAKrelicious
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2018, 09:07:05 PM »
I feel this is going to win. When in pliers mode, it is the best I think. Flicky action, ergonomics, no handle splay, tough head.
Add in great drivers that lock, and great scissors, and you have a winner.  :like:

I'd never pass a PST for $10, though.
+1

Aside from the flicky fun to be had and the sheer robustness of the whole thing, the easy modability is the icing on the cake for me. That it's also comfortable to use, compact and has a great toolset (brilliant scissors) and can be made even more useful with bit kit makes it the best all round pliers MT IMO.  :cheers:

Looking forward to the result on this Lynn  :popcorn:

'Use the force Harry' - Gandalf

'Derail a thread and we'll come at you like a block of cheese'. Captain Mags and Sergeant Fuzzbucket of the Anti Derai.... mmmmmmm cheese
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,178 Born to multitask.
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2018, 09:17:47 PM »
How about a CD400?  :o
A tiny Center-Drive, with a cute PE blade, and a nice long bit slot.
In black oxide!  :drool:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2018, 09:23:40 PM »
Final functions, and some comparisons

Does the Can Opener open cans?


Indeed it DOES. In truth, it was nowhere near as good as either the PST or a Victorinox, but it worked, and on a pass/fail scale, style points don't really count.

Does the cap lifter successfully open your favorite bubbly beverage?


It does it quite convincingly. I was concerned with the tool's opposite handle being in the way, but there was no problem. It's almost like someone actually TESTED it before releasing it to the public. :D

A last function. I GUESS it's a function... is that the tool came with its original belt sheath. It was worn, but still in good shape. It's made of nylon with velcro closure. Seam stitching has held up well, including the stitching holding the belt loop on the back. If you want a look at it, check out the first photo in the thread.

I wanted to show a couple shots of this thing next to the full size MP600. They share a LOT of components in common. Understand, my MP600 had both blades broken when i got it, so it has a replacement partially serrated blade, instead of the stock plain edge blade AND full serrated blade. But here's a comparison. Use your imagination on the blades. :D



And a look at the components that are NOT shared.


You lose the file from the MP600, but gain scissors. Also, I forgot to show it, but the MP600 has a lanyard loop that can be extended.

And a look at them side-by-side with pliers closed.


You REALLY don't lose much function for a fairly significant decrease in tool size, and decrease of more than an ounce and a half in weight. The MP600 is not what I'd ever consider pocketable, where the MP400 is, and would be moreso if it were converted to blunt nose, as gerleatherberman mentioned above.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,536 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2018, 11:15:18 PM »
I want an MP400 now... :rofl:

 :like: :like:

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Hero Member Posts: 660 Embrace the SAK

T14 dk

***** *
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2018, 11:58:21 PM »
I want an MP400 now... :rofl:

+1 with the blade swapped out for a file and the needle point ground back for comfortable pocket carry  :cheers:
-T

All I know is that I don't know anything - but I can't prove it!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2018, 12:02:32 AM »
+1 with the blade swapped out for a file and the needle point ground back for comfortable pocket carry  :cheers:
-T

The blade for file swap is a really good idea. I THINK that would even make it travel friendly. But as I'm no fan of the partially serrated blade, it doesn't feel like a big loss to ditch it.
No Life Club Posts: 3,070 American Clandestine Materials Executive (ACME)
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2018, 05:38:34 AM »
So we know who is in 4th after the PST and two Vics figure out the top three...

"Even if it is only the handful of people I meet on the street, or in my home, I can still protect them with this one sword" Kenshin Himura

Necessity is the mother of invention. If you're not ready, it's "a mother". If you are, it's "mom".

"I love democracy" Sheev Palpatine, upon his election to Chancellor.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2018, 09:01:41 AM »
So we know who is in 4th after the PST and two Vics figure out the top three...

I think the big question in determining rank is 'do you need pliers'.

This isn't like the $5 Challenge. There isn't such a clear winner.

I would say... wow... you can get some REALLY good tools for $10.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,596 Firm believer of Sturgeon's Law
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2018, 05:21:49 PM »
excellent find and ygood review Lynn!!  :tu:  I'd rather have this than the PST but that's just me...

 ::)

them stubby drivers are short in reach but excellent with stubborn screws.   :like:



I confirm that the ganzo adapter works fine on it   :tu:

My toys:

MTs: Surge (2x), Skeletool CX, Rebar, Blast, Fuse, Micra, Squirt (3x), Wave, Crunch, Mini, Spirit (2x), Pro Scout, MP700 (2x), Diesel, Powerlock, PowerPlier (2x), PocketPowerPlier, Blacktip , ST6 (2x), 5WR, A100

SAKs: Bantam, Executive, Ambassador, Minichamp, Classic Alox, Champion, Farmer, Explorer, Swisschamp, Golf Tool, Wenger Champ, EVO 52, Pocket Tool Chest
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,886 mmmmm SAKrelicious
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2018, 08:11:20 PM »
Here's a couple of pics for possible mods

'Use the force Harry' - Gandalf

'Derail a thread and we'll come at you like a block of cheese'. Captain Mags and Sergeant Fuzzbucket of the Anti Derai.... mmmmmmm cheese
Global Moderator Point Of No Return Posts: 36,499
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2018, 08:42:50 PM »
I have a used but in good condition plain edge blade here if you want it Lynn, just holler.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,895
Re: Used Gerber MP400 (Lynn's $10 MT Challenge)
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2018, 11:02:09 PM »
I've got a file from a Gerber Suspension...

Buy now or regret later

 

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