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Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge! 4101

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« on: March 18, 2009, 01:44:59 AM »
Recently, I decided to have a closer look at some of the multi tools out there that don't get mentioned too often. Part of the reasoning for this, is that I like to find things out for myself every now and then! The wealth of information on these forums usually means that I know just about everything worth knowing about any tool, long before I have it in my hands, and often my reaction to seeing a "new" tool for the first time is "oh yeah - that's exactly what I expected", which can be quite anti-climactic.

So a couple of weeks ago, when I spotted a good deal on a Gerber Radius whilst browsing on ebay, I didn't know a great deal about it beyond the fact that the tools open the "wrong" way - so I bought it.

When it arrived, the box mentioned something about lightweight, ergonomic design but in no way prepared me for what I found inside, which was this:



It's plastic  :o Well all the bits I can see and touch are (apart from the pliers and tools obviously), but the handles and frame seem to be plastic. I'm sure there must be some metal in there somewhere, but I can't find it if there is. The other striking characteristic of the Radius is the size. I mean this is huge, especially the base of the handles, which are about 1.25" thick. Here's a couple of shots showing the Radius with a Leatherman Surge to give you some idea.



When viewed as above, the Radius is only slightly larger than the Surge (and therefore the Core, Supertool, Swisstool, Freehand etc), being around 5" long in the closed position.

However in terms of thickness, this things absolutely dwarfs the Surge (aaah look at the little Surge ):



Now despite this extra size, the Radius weighs in at a paltry 9.16oz, compared to the Surge's 12oz. This weight saving is primarily due to the "plastic" construction, but also due to the tool selection, which is quite limited compared to the Surge and many of it's rivals. Gerber have again gone for combination tools to get the feature count up, but unlike some other Gerber models, I think these aren't bad at all.

All of the folding tools are externally accessed (i.e. you don't need to open the handles to get at them), and of course, they all open at 90 degrees to the accepted format laid down by all of the other manufacturers, hence "Radius". All of the tools are finished with the same bead blast effect found on other modern Gerber tools and they all lock. Locks are released by sliding plastic catches on the back of the handle, not dissimilar to the MP 600 etc.



The knife blade (with weight reducing cut-outs) is a stubby (2.25") clip point, which can be opened with one hand, although I find this quite difficult to do, possibly because the tool is new and "tight". The blade itself would be perfectly adequate for me, bar one thing. Due to the thickness of the handles, together with the fact that the blade opens at 90 degrees to the norm, you have a handle which is the width of the tool thick (if you see what I mean). I.e. you have to get your hand around a handle that is 1.5" thick, with the blade at the left hand side of the arrangement rather then in the centre as you would expect! For someone with small hands like myself, this in turn means that you can't get a solid enough grip to apply any decent pressure to the back of the blade for cutting. This is a real shame, because the non-slip finish on the handles is really very comfortable, but they are simply too big.

The other tools are pictured below and really share the same characteristics as the knife, i.e. they lock and they are hard to use if you have small hands!





The pliers are basically bigger versions of those found on the Suspension series and the Legend (albeit without the carbide cutters) and seem sturdy enough. There is a little flex in the handles which makes me a bit wary of clamping down hard on anything, although this could simply be a characteristic of the lightweight construction - only hard use would confirm or otherwise I guess.



Again, I find the handles a little too large to be comfortable, and again I think this is a real shame, because the non-slip rubber finish (the grey areas in the picture) are nice to the touch. I find myself wondering that if they had made this tool a little smaller say, Wave sized, then I could really get to like it.

But, they didn't and therefore this is a tool that I will get out and play with every now and then, and perhaps use for occasional light use if I'm in the mood. But mostly, it's just another piece in my collection, and a rather unusual one at that.


No Life Club Posts: 1,957 Marsh-wiggle
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 02:02:19 AM »
That's certainly and odd duck there. :ahhh I'm not used to seeing the SURGE!! dwarfed. It might take me a day or two to recover. :P Speaking of which...Is that Phillips still "flat" on such a big tool?
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 12,168 North American Meetup: May13-15 2011
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 02:02:39 AM »
Nice review.

The two things that sealed its fate for me:

1. Bigger than a Surge  :ahhh

2. Somewhat poor tool selection (No file, no bit driver)

Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,156
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 02:39:44 AM »
Like you I don't have huge hands and that looks to be to much of a handful.  ::)  Great right-up of a interesting tool.

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...
No Life Club Posts: 3,371 Naked without my multitool!
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 02:48:35 AM »
Certainly an odd tool, but to me it looks more like a novelty multitool more for show than for heavy use, plastic handles would, I think, only take a little for before it breaks.
Gerber really produce great designs but the problem is construction and materials used are poor.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 03:43:56 AM by duckman1975 »

Multitools are the best thing that happened to mankind since the invention of the wheel!
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2009, 02:49:56 AM »
Good summary on a rather ridiculous tool Dave! :salute:  Boy oh boy is that Radius ever a goofy contraption. ::) How did it ever come about I wonder? Perhaps the plan was to design a tool with no metal in its frame, and substitute modern high-strength plastic. But then it wasn't strong enough until the whole thing was made freakishly large? I dunno. :-\ It surprises me that the concept ever made it off the drawing board and into production.

 

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: 4,594 no nacimos con miedo...
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 03:37:30 AM »
great review Dave :tu:

A
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,550
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 04:32:46 AM »
Open all the tools and try a magnet on the handle, see if there are any metal frame.
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: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 07:26:17 AM »
Great review mate :tu:

I didn't want one before, and I definetly don't now :D

Give in, buy several Farmer's!!!!!!
No Life Club Posts: 2,278 Ruler of the E01 society!
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2009, 07:46:07 AM »
Thanks Dave keep it up, you're saving me money all the time  ::) :)

Gabba gabba hey!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,550
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2009, 07:49:42 AM »
This is funny, I just found out radius is half price at local retailer this week! So is charge ALX actually, too bad it's not AL.
Global Tuffy Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 28,078 Just Awesome! And a Slayer of Polar Bear!
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2009, 12:38:16 PM »
That looks like it could be so bad that it is actually good!  :D  I want one.

I'm back!!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2009, 01:12:06 PM »
That looks like it could be so bad that it is actually good!  :D  I want one.

Ben you have caught my bug  :o :o.
I personally am trying to steer clear of the oddball Gerbers , there seems to be too many  :o :D :D :D


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Multitool Enthusiast Admin Team No Life Club Posts: 2,776 Staff Writer
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2009, 01:36:29 PM »
Excellent review DaveK, when I get the chance I will add it to the main website. If that is ok with the rest of the group?  :D
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2009, 05:48:33 PM »
Quote from: NeitherExtreme
Is that Phillips still "flat" on such a big tool?

It sure is, which is a bit disappointing. You'd have thought that with all that tool to play with, they could have found some space for a proper one!

Gerber really produce great designs but the problem is construction and materials used are poor.

Hmm - I wouldn't agree with that. This (like most Gerber tools) is built quite well, and until the materials fail me, I can't say that they are poor. I am a bit skeptical of the materials, but have no rational reason to distrust them so far. I think the MP600 for example is a great MT and built like a tank.

My problem with the Radius IS the design - it's unwieldly, but quality seems perfectly adequate.

Quote from: Micky D
I didn't want one before, and I definetly don't now

Well it isn't Swiss is it?

That looks like it could be so bad that it is actually good!  :D  I want one.

Ben you have caught my bug  :o :o.
I personally am trying to steer clear of the oddball Gerbers , there seems to be too many  :o :D :D :D

It's not that bad - honestly. If only it was a little lot smaller ....

Excellent review DaveK, when I get the chance I will add it to the main website. If that is ok with the rest of the group?  :D

I always wanted to be famous :D

Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 61,234
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2009, 04:02:50 AM »
Great writeup Dave :cheers: Odd  :think: well that about sums it up :D At least the driver aren't stubby :P Like you said if it was Wave sized maybe would have been better :tu: Great pics and comparison to the Surge as well :cheers:
Hero Member Posts: 531
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2009, 01:30:30 AM »
Is it thicker than the Autotool?

[
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2009, 02:15:35 AM »
Well I don't have an autotool, but from what I've seen / read on here - I think it probably is.

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2009, 02:40:39 AM »
Well I don't have an autotool, but from what I've seen / read on here - I think it probably is.


Best send to me & I will check Dave  ;) :D
You just need to organise a  bulk sized shipping container  :P


"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: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2009, 02:42:48 AM »
Funny thing about it is that although it's huge, it weighs next to nothing - all that plastic you see.

It is a funny beast, unlike any other multi I've got. Just weird, but in a likeable way.

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2009, 02:47:58 AM »
Funny thing about it is that although it's huge, it weighs next to nothing - all that plastic you see.

It is a funny beast, unlike any other multi I've got. Just weird, but in a likeable way.

Please stop Dave the Oddball detector is getting all twitchy  :ahhh :ahhh :ahhh :D


"Downunder Mod (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?)"
Yeh Baby :P >:D >:D
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2009, 02:48:23 AM »
Did you get a sheath with yours Dave? The Radius looks really funny in its sheath....like a fat girl wearing a bikini! :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: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2009, 02:50:39 AM »
Did you get a sheath with yours Dave? The Radius looks really funny in its sheath....like a fat girl wearing a bikini! :D


Bloody hell Bob first the eye photo & now that mental image , at this rate the Mac's lovely screen is gonna be decorated with breakfast  :ahhh :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: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2009, 02:51:00 AM »
Did you get a sheath with yours Dave? The Radius looks really funny in its sheath....like a fat girl wearing a bikini! :D

I think I did yes - it was NIB, but I think I chucked it in my sheath box and don't know which one it is now  :-[

I'll go check.

Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,156
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2009, 02:54:08 AM »
It'll be the big one surely.  ;)

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...
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2009, 02:56:19 AM »
Yeah - found it and it's pretty big, although maybe not quite big enough like Bob says.

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2009, 02:56:43 AM »
Look for the Skeletonised , imitation carbon fiber , artificial leather  sheath Dave. :tu:


"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: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2009, 02:58:24 AM »
Look for the Skeletonised , imitation carbon fiber , artificial leather  sheath Dave. :tu:

Skeletonised?

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,694 The MTO handshake.
Re: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2009, 03:00:07 AM »
Look for the Skeletonised , imitation carbon fiber , artificial leather  sheath Dave. :tu:

Skeletonised?

Is that not how Gerber describes the Suspension's handles. Could be wrong  :think:


"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: Gerber Radius - it's bigger than a Surge!
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2009, 03:00:59 AM »
Look for the Skeletonised , imitation carbon fiber , artificial leather  sheath Dave. :tu:

Skeletonised?

Is that not how Gerber describes the Suspension's handles. Could be wrong  :think:

Could be! But what's that got to do with the Radius sheath? :D


 

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