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Gerber Diesel 11548

Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Gerber Diesel
« on: January 14, 2007, 05:44:56 AM »
Gerber Diesel

The engineers from Gerber were listening, and finally addressed a couple of long-standing opinions about their multitools. You all know what I’m talking about; the way Gerber Multi-Pliers have always been “loose” and “rattly.” And the tendency Gerber tools have of pinching the palm of your hand, because the inside of the handles get so close together when you clamp down with the pliers on a thin object.

I’m pleased to report that both of these issues have been improved with the Diesel.



No matter whether the plier head is in or out, the Diesel does not rattle one bit. Open it, close it, blades folded or not, shake it all around; there is no feeling of looseness or play. The entire mechanism seems very precise, much more so than previous Gerber offerings. The key seems to be a redesigned slider device, although I cannot tell exactly why it functions so much quieter than the old design.



So I do consider the plier head slide to be an improvement over the previous Multi-Pliers, but it’s not quite perfect. For some darn reason, those Gerber engineers made the lock release buttons way too small. It’s difficult enough to release the plier head inside the house with warm, bare hands. It was quite clumsy to operate with cold hands outdoors today, and absolutely impossible to operate with gloves on. Why didn’t they make the release buttons stick up higher?



The other significant upgrade to the slide system involves an attempt to reduce the “pinch factor.” Due to the very design of Gerber sliding jaws, the handles are very close together when the plier jaws are closed. Blades and tools then have a tendency to bight down hard on unsuspecting users. A nasty blood blister is sometimes the result.
On the Diesel, the handles have no gap between them when the pliers are retracted. Blades are almost touching each other, as can be seen in the photo above. But when the jaws are extended, the handles move apart somewhat, leaving more than a quarter inch of gap for the fleshy part of your hand to squeeze into.
Using the tool around the house today, I never felt as though my palms were in any danger.



Other changes on the Diesel include the blade lock releases, which receive a better texture and become a bit larger, and the plier jaws. An entirely new profile is given to the pliers, with the appearance of a stronger cross section. (Oddly enough though, the new needlenose jaws are actually narrower than the older 600 series, tapering nearly .080” or 2mm thinner out near the tips.)
In addition, the new wire cutter section is 50% bigger than the 600 jaws. No hard wire notch is included.



Blade-wise, the Diesel comes equipped with a file, a newly-designed can opener, and an array of screwdrivers. (Note: the old Gerber bit driver attachment will not function with the Diesel’s phillips screwdriver. You have to use the new style attachment.)  An aggressively toothed saw blade takes care of cutting larger items, while a larger-than-previously-seen scissors tool takes care of smaller cutting chores.
I tested out these bigger scissors on a variety of paper and cardstock, and feel they are a definite step up from the scissors on the Pro Scout. A longer cutting section, better leverage, and a stiffer return spring are all welcome enhancements. 



The combination knife blade is a bit unusual. It functioned well enough I suppose, although the serrated portion is a simple section of ground ripples, and was somewhat crudely sharpened. Out at the very end of the tanto tip there is a slight “hook” to the knife edge. I’m not sure what the intent of this hook is, but it seems to be intentional. Curious, but it didn’t cause me any inconvenience.



In summary, the engineers from Gerber did a pretty good job on the Diesel. I can’t say that I care for the looks of those big, gaudy pivot screw heads, but looks notwithstanding, the entire tool seems a lot more solidly built than its predecessors.


Good:
No looseness or rattle.
Handles spread apart as jaws are extended.
Plier jaws are both stronger and narrower.
Scissors are very well made and capable.

Not so good:
Sliding plier head release buttons are MUCH too small.
Blade selection is a bit stiff, but may loosen up with usage.

Dimensions:
Length closed   5”
Width Closed      1-5/8”
Thickness      3/4”
Length open      6-1/2”
Weight      8.6 oz 

« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 05:51:53 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
Newbie Posts: 49
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2007, 11:12:45 AM »
Top review as always.
As you have the Diesel and the Suspension can you tell if the new Gerber toolkit would fit the Suspension?
Are the cross head drivers the same size/profile?

Stay Safe

Rob

PS.
Only one problem now I think I want a Gerber Diesel at this rate I'll never get a Sideclip

S
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,462 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2007, 01:22:13 PM »
Do you think maybe the blade is trying to be similar to the Harpy, Matriarch or Merlin from Spyderco?



Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Sr. Member Posts: 422
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2007, 01:52:10 PM »
Thanks Bob, well worth the wait, the release buttons seem to be a bit of a worry but after your review I feel a lot happier ordering one unseen, thanks again.
Cheviot
Yes the new tool kit fits the Suspension and is better than the old one.

Dave
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,825 Aggressive in defence
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2007, 08:20:56 PM »
Great review Bob and some really good photos  :)

Dunc
Sr. Member Posts: 323
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2007, 04:10:54 AM »
Awesome review Bob.  The Diesel may just bump my opinion of Gerber up a step or two...and no more will attackers be laughing and thinking your tool fell apart if you whip one out :
http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,315.0.html
No Life Club Posts: 2,886
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2007, 09:14:03 AM »
Because of your great review Bob I had to go out and get a Diesel for myself and I'm surprised how much I like it. One thing I'm not to sure about is the phillips driver. Also the blade on mine doesn't seem to have the same curve at the tip like yours. Strange ???

"
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2007, 02:31:28 AM »
I hear what you're saying about the phillips screwdriver prime. It looks to be the same construction as on the Gerber Freehand. Personally, I like the older (square) Gerber phillips screwdriver better.

I'm thinking they made the new one thinner, because the old one was fatter and took up two spaces in the handle.
66.82 kB | 550x489

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: 2,886
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2007, 02:43:35 AM »
I have only one older Gerber tool and I like the square phillips driver better also. I was looking at the main blade on the Diesel today and it's curved a little but not as much as the one on yours

"
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2007, 02:45:45 AM »
Weird. I wonder if mine was an "oops"? I can't honestly tell.   ???

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Administrator Administrator Sr. Member Posts: 319
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2007, 03:10:16 AM »
I gotta get me one of dem dear purdy tools   :o
Sr. Member Posts: 422
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2007, 09:56:52 PM »
A more Jaded View

I have received my Diesel and have had to work on it just to get it to work like my other Gerbers.
Like Bobs mine did not rattle- reason the plastic plates that hold the heads locking mechanism down was so tight it had to be pushed hard to open (or close). I then found another problem after I loosened them, when you push down on the pins to slide the head back you automatically press the plastic against the handle making it act like a brake. I am going to have a look round the hardware stores at the weekend and put some small washers on the screws between the plate and the head. I am also going to find a couple of fibre washers to put under each of the screws that go into the axles as one was loose when I got it while the other was so tight the handle tools would not come out. I will have to get some thread lock as well just to make sure.
The knife blade on this tool looked as though it had been in one machine to get the serrated edge put on and then moved to another machine to get the fine edge put on. Unlike the dip at the point of Bobs Diesel this has each edge at a slightly different angle, something like an inverted V.
Something else I find strange with this tool it came with the pouch for the pliers with the tool kit pocket on the front. Very useful so I am not complaining as I am more explaining than complaining in the previous paragraphs. At least there is no problems in altering these tools.
My overall impression - very nice wish they had kept the metal circlip but like the new axle fitting. Probably going to change the knife blade sometime and I wish the head was heavier.

Dave
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2007, 11:39:14 PM »
That is odd Dave. The problem you describe with the sliding plier-lock is not an issue with either of the Diesels I have handled. My only complaint is that the little buttons are too small. The tension on the sliders seem to be just right. (Not too loose/no rattle, not too tight/moves freely.)

Regarding the tension on the blade pivots, the Diesel I used for the review was brand new out of the box, and blade selection was a bit stiff. A second Diesel I picked up slightly used has just the right amount of friction on the blades. Not too loose, not too tight.

As you say though, it is fortunate that this design allows you to easily adjust the tension as needed.

 

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: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2007, 04:45:36 PM »
I am almost certain this was a return from the wholesaler due to go back to Gerber but sent by mistake. When I set to work on it I found on the reverse of the plastic plates 2 small protrusions and on one of the plates on my Diesel the forward protrusion was all chewed up. I cleaned the slide grooves with a finishing file then reassembled packing the front screw to the same height as if the protrusion was there (I filed it away first) the put some molly grease on the slide and screw it all back together. It is as you say buitifully smooth and positive now. I thread locked the axle screws so the handle tools slip down if I pull the Saf-T-Lock back when the handle's are open, like I normally have my Gerbers and it is a dream and the screw stays tight now.
Did you notice the plier head is a modified butterfly opening type head? I think that is why it is so light.
The other reason I think it was a misplaced return was the pouch, I have not seen a Diesel supplied with the tool kit but this one has the new pouch although the tools are missing. Altogether a little bit of work has got me a good tool, another comfortable double pouch (with the 2 Gerber sent me I have all my tools in these pouch's now, including my LM Crunch with its bit set) in other words I am quite a happy bunny.  :)

Dave
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2007, 05:35:54 PM »
Good to hear that it all worked out well for you Dave! I must admit to being a bit concerned when I first read about the problems you were having. My Diesel is slicker than any previous Gerber I've handled.  :)

.....Did you notice the plier head is a modified butterfly opening type head? I think that is why it is so light....

By golly, I had not noticed that! You are right, there are some small brackets that allow the "butterfly head" to be used in the sliding-jaw mechanism. They have done such a fine job of integrating it into the tool that it is hardly apparent.

Which makes me think.........I need to go take a closer look at my Freehand.....

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: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2007, 06:24:34 PM »
I had already done that.  ;) The Freehand seems to be a Mk2 improved version were they have forged steps into the rear of the head behind the hole so when it swivels the small ratchets lock the handles open. The trouble I have with that idea is when you close the mechanism up the weight tends to reopen it as you put it in the pouch. IMO it needs a small piece of spring steel to just clip the head into the closed position, there is a hole drilled into the handle part behind the lug that latches on the latch on the head so maybe they gave up on that idea in testing. But to me it does spoil the Freehand and was part of the reason I have replaced it. I am hoping they have fixed it on the Flik. ???

Dave
No Life Club Posts: 1,798 Spawn of Cthulhu
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2007, 08:21:59 AM »
Good:
No looseness or rattle.
Handles spread apart as jaws are extended.
Plier jaws are both stronger and narrower.
Scissors are very well made and capable.

Not so good:
Sliding plier head release buttons are MUCH too small.
Blade selection is a bit stiff, but may loosen up with usage.

Dimensions:
Length closed   5”
Width Closed      1-5/8”
Thickness      3/4”
Length open      6-1/2”
Weight      8.6 oz 



Over the weekend I had a chance to try out a friend's Gerber Diesel.  After using the Diesel to accomplish a few tasks, I have to say, "WOW, this sucker is impressive!"

The Diesel is a large, heavy multitool with a reasonable selection of tools and one great set of pliers.  Ergonomics and ease of access to its tools is only average.

But, the pliers are what make the Diesel impressive.  Quick access to pliers and plier ergonomics are outstanding.  You can crank down HARD on the pliers without worry about breaking the tool or damaging your hand.

The Diesel, it seems to me, is a whole lot of multitool for a reasonable price.  Of late, Gerber seems to be producing some solid, practical multitools at very decent prices.

(People with smaller hands may not find the ergonomics to be as favorable as I do.  I have fairly large hands and the Diesel feels good to me while in use.)

.

N
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2007, 01:43:26 PM »
The Diesel is my favorite Gerber at the moment.

You mention having large hands...did the sliding plier release buttons give you any trouble?

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: 1,798 Spawn of Cthulhu
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2007, 11:48:07 PM »
The Diesel is my favorite Gerber at the moment.

You mention having large hands...did the sliding plier release buttons give you any trouble?


Not really.  Imagine I'd soon get quite adept at using the plier release if I had my own Diesel.

While playing with it, I didn't think about what it'd be like to operate with gloves on or with numb fingers.  That'd probably be somewhat of a limitation with most multitools.

.

N
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2007, 01:31:27 PM »
While playing with it, I didn't think about what it'd be like to operate with gloves on or with numb fingers.  That'd probably be somewhat of a limitation with most multitools.

.

Agreed.  :-\


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: 1,798 Spawn of Cthulhu
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2007, 10:10:17 PM »
While playing with it, I didn't think about what it'd be like to operate with gloves on or with numb fingers.  That'd probably be somewhat of a limitation with most multitools.

.

Agreed.  :-\




My post didn't communicate very well what I actually meant.

I had no problem operating the Diesel plier release function.  However, I can imagine having difficulty operating it when wearing gloves or if my hands were numb.

Also, I can imagine having issues with finger soreness if I were to operate it several dozens of times throughout a day's work, as some users probably do.

So yes, I agree that increasing the button size might be an ergonomics improvement for Gerber to consider for the next version of Diesel.

However, this plier release buttons issue wouldn't discourage me from buying the present version of Diesel.

For a retail price of around 50 bucks, Diesel is a solid value.

If what you need is a big, heavy, beefy multitool that'll stand up to hard work, then Diesel is likely the least expensive multi that'll fill that need.

.
 
 

N
Sr. Member Posts: 422
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2007, 12:15:20 AM »

So yes, I agree that increasing the button size might be an ergonomics improvement for Gerber to consider for the next version of Diesel.


An alternative is to return to a steel slider the thickness of the older circlip. This may return the rattle but would improve the apparent button size, give extra durability to a moving part and stop any deformity to the slide assembly as happened with the one I bought (the screws were over tightened when the tool was assembled and crushed the underside of one of the plastic pieces).

Dave
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,271
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2007, 10:32:26 AM »
now that you've had it for awhile J-sews, impressions? did the tools loosen up any? ty

Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2007, 03:39:21 AM »
now that you've had it for awhile J-sews, impressions? did the tools loosen up any? ty

Well no, and yes.  :-\

The tools on the camo Diesel I reviewed here have never loosened up much. But I think its because of the thick camoflage paint Gerber used on the tool. You see, I've since bought a second Diesel, plain stainless steel finish, and it works fine. Not only that but the little plier-slide-release buttons stick out more, which was another complaint I made in the review.

In conclusion, the Diesel is my favorite Gerber tool, but only in stainless (or black oxide) finish, not painted camo

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: 7,271
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2007, 08:04:20 AM »
thank you J-sews, it was a good review! It's the only Gerber I want and it helped ;)

Hero Member Posts: 939 I am the ghost that haunts the GERBER MTo Forum
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2013, 03:25:28 AM »
sorry for resurrecting the dead (post)...  but just wanted to put in some props for Bob for this wonderful review which led me to the purchase of my first ever gerber diesel. Mine rattled but when you bear down on the pliers, it completely eliminates any rattle. My Black Oxide Diesel just came in 2 days ago and I have not had much time to test it. But if it was not for this review I would've ended up putting a higher priority on purchasing a different multitool. So Thanks for the very astute observations, had it not been for such, I would've deprived myself the chance of owning an excellent multitool

Cheers,
Gabriel

"you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need"


"I have a confession to make: I am addicted to steel, I have a smoking problem, I have a short attention span and I am easily amused"

"Balisongs Forever!!!"
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2013, 04:08:02 PM »
Cheers sir, glad I could help. :) The Diesel doesn't get much air time around here anymore, but it really is a very stout and capable tool. :salute:

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Hero Member Posts: 939 I am the ghost that haunts the GERBER MTo Forum
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2013, 12:02:49 AM »
Cheers sir, glad I could help. :) The Diesel doesn't get much air time around here anymore, but it really is a very stout and capable tool. :salute:
:cheers:

Cheers,
Gabriel

"you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need"


"I have a confession to make: I am addicted to steel, I have a smoking problem, I have a short attention span and I am easily amused"

"Balisongs Forever!!!"
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,981
Re: Gerber Diesel
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2013, 12:09:16 AM »
Have to admit,I was tempted by one.Ended up with a Flik,and two MP600s instead :think:

There is no beginning,or ending,and for this we are thankful,cos now is hard enough to understand!

 

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