Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Gerber 30-000315 Crucial F.A.S.T. Tool
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on July 10, 2011
The blade is OK quality but the stupid locking/quick open mechanism is more trouble than its worth. Its too difficult to open by the thumb stud. The serrated portion of the blade is short and too close to the body to be of real use.
The phillips is one of the few on a multitool that's appropriately sized for real work. The bottle opener is similarly sturdy and big enough. Ditto the large flat head on the opposite side. Only thing missing is a small flat head. There is also no file but I've never used a file on any multitool in my life.
The pliers are difficult to open but are well built and solid. Wire cutters arent sharp and dont close deep enough to actually snip things.

One of the best features of this tool is that only the pliers are on the inside, in other words you only have to open it up for one tool: the pliers.
All other tools can be easily accessed from the outside which is a good thing because the pliers open so poorly.
Its awkward to handle with the belt clip but that can be easily removed if you have a tiny torx driver. As clunky as this tool is I would not keep it on me. I'd always be worried it will break in an emergency and its not versatile enough for daily carry. Too few functions for being so large and heavy. It wont sit in your pocket comfortably and its not good enough to warrant a belt holster.

Gave it two stars because its not complete garbage.
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on April 7, 2011
Jump down to the "******"'s to get straight to the meat, and don't care how I came to my choice.

I've been looking for a while for a knife to carry everyday. I picked up a few knives, the benchmade griptillian, and the cold steel recon 1. Both of the other knifes are good, but it just wasn't what I was really looking for as an everyday carry. I always thought of multi-tools as two large hunks of metal with tools hanging off, most of which I would never use. Somewhere I saw a knife with a set of driver's in the handle. I started to look into more knives with tools, and came across the skeletool cx by leatherman. I liked it because it was a good knife, which the opened easily from the outside of the tool. It would be another good multi-tool to look at if you don't like this one. I didn't like the odd shape of it, and didn't want the built in carabiner.

Then I saw the freestyle cx (leatherman), and I liked it a bit more, but I still wanted a screwdriver set, so one seemed too much, and one too little. I had been checking out the gerber crucial but it was a hard choice because the of the bad reviews on the drivers, and the knife seemed a little small (2.25"), and the steel is better on the leatherman cx series. I went on the gerber website to check out the specifications for the crucial. That's when I found the F.A.S.T.

**********

The first thing I liked was the hand (one side) is made out of g-10. Well ground g-10 has a fantastic comfortable grip. And the side with the pocket clip has smooth g-10, so it won't tear up your pocket like cold steel. Next each tool also has a liner lock, so it won't slip back in when your trying to use it. And the spring assisted blade could be very helpful if you need to open it one handed. Lastly I like how far the drivers extend from the handle.

The pliers are thin, and won't do any very hard jobs. But that isn't why I bought the gerber FAST, if I need a pair of pliers I will bring a pair. The knife is a little small but I knew that when purchasing. This model has the same blade as the original (2.25"), except this one is assisted opening. The blunt tip seems a little odd, I would prefer a drop-point, but it isn't all too big of a deal to me. It's pretty sharp, and it shreads through boxs, and fabric pretty easily (cardboard, banker bags, suitcases, backpacks).

The knife was a little gritty opening and closing at first. It was a little hard to open to the pliers, too much. The metal doesn't seem like it was brushed on the pliers that the handle attaches too. I put the grease on those pivits, and it slides a lot nicer, pretty much perfect. The blade didn't want to swing open easily either, but that was fixed also. You might want to get some tuff-cloth/tuff-glide for yourself, it helps against rust too. It's pretty cheap stuff, but you might get a better unit that doesn't need it.

The tools lock tight, and the handle is tight too. Seems well built. The philips looks better than the originals, but I didn't have the original. The philips fits nicely into a typical style computer screw, such as the pci car screw, Cd/Dvd Drive screws.

I like carrying it around a lot. Overall I'm happy with the purchase, I'll update after I put it through some abuse.

**********

When I ordered 4/2/11 there was no picture of the product, and amazon didn't sell it. So I was hesitant to buy at first, I think I am pretty happy I did though.
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on July 10, 2011
I own both the Skeletool CX and the Crucial FAST. The CX was my EDC in my blue jeans watch pocket for roughly 18 months for broadband and satellite installations. The pliers were the most disappointing feature, and it was mainly due to the inferior grip the handles provided. I damaged the wire cutters by trying to cut wire that was too rigid. Since the screwdriver bits are modular, and one is stored in the handle, it was only a matter of time until one of them fell out. A quick call to Leatherman and they sent a few spares free of charge. Overall I was pleased with the CX because it would save me from having to worry about carrying multiple tools. However I wanted something a little more compact, had better pliers, and longer screwdriver extensions would be a big plus. I bought the (green) Crucial about 6 months ago, and in my line of work it is much more user friendly and ergonomic. When I heard about the FAST I sold the Crucial to a co-worker for $20 who's using it as his EDC. I ended up buying the FAST off eBay since Amazon did not have it in stock at the time.

I've been using the FAST as my EDC for 3 months now. It is a little shorter than the CX so it's easier to fit in my watch pocket. One reviewer claims that the spring-assisted blade is slow to open. My blade opens in <1 sec once you flick the thumb stud, and while there is some play in the blade it has never once been a problem area. The wire cutters cut thru cat5e, rg6, and 10 ga cu ground wire like a champ. The phillips & flat blade bits have very little play and have held up to my usage habits. Overall I am very pleased with the FAST and have no reservations in recommending it to others. I'll dish out 4 stars since the knife blade could be made of better steel so that it holds a better edge.
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I have a real contempt for tools that try to do too much, because they usually fail on all counts. You know: multi-tools with so many attachments that they can't be held, "fit any size bolt" wrenches, just about every bicycle multi-tool, etc. I was somewhat relieved when my original 18 year old Gerber pliers disappeared due to the fact that they were so bulky, I preferred wearing them on my belt in a holster, which meant I often didn't carry them!

Enter all 5¾ ounces of the Crucial FAST, which is small enough that I don't mind carrying the tool in my pant pocket. It's about as big as my palm is wide, and easily wrapped in my fist, meaning I can carry it every day (at work) and not notice it.

And it does all those run-of-the-mill tasks I need it to: Open electrical and communications panels. Twist and cut tie wire. Open boxes. Slice my nectarine for lunch. The screwdrivers are long enough they actually work in most situations (decent #2 Philips head and a 3/8" flat head that's good for panels but not so good with most electronic devices & pot swtiches). And frankly, if I need anything more than that, I'm either heading back for the tool bag, or calling a building engineer.

The spring assisted "FAST" blade is a treat, after a brief period of getting used to its operation and also breaking the tool in a bit. One-handed operation is nearly switchblade fast. The safety slider only gets in the way when I'm closing the blade, when it's still sometimes a bit sticky. The protruding thumb peg gets in the way when I'm slicing up a piece of fruit (for real), which isn't a deal breaker but is worth mentioning -- but for all other cutting tasks, it doesn't get in the way (note I haven't been slicing through any tree branches, and don't intend to, but it would be a problem in that situation). I was concerned the blunt blade wouldn't be great as piercing tape and boxes, but there's enough of a point on there that's sufficient for those tasks.

The plier is good. It's not as heavy duty as the blunt nose pliers on my old Gerber, but they'll still grab a nut or bolt head, and they're great for pulling wire through small openings. The cutter area is small and it takes a very, very firm squeeze to cut *anything* because the cutting surfaces have a small gap between them, probably on the order of 1/64th inch. The gap is forced closed when the pliers are squeezed HARD. The plier action is lightly gritty, possibly due to insufficient cleaning or finishing during assembly. It doesn't affect the operation much, since they're easy to open and close (no spring assisted opening, by the way), but the grit grinding is easily audible, especially when they're brand new.

There are days that I wish I had the opportunity to use the bottle opener on the job. Alas...

For the limited number of tools on the Crucial, plus the narrow plier head, I wish the tool itself was was just a bit thinner / flatter. But I must say that with its current dimensions, it's practically unnoticeable to carry and is certainly comfortable to hold and operate. The pocket clip is removable if not needed, allowing it to be just a little more compact.

In a nutshell: a well-designed, compact, utilitarian "everyday carry" tool to have at the ready, that doesn't pretend to do it all.
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on February 7, 2012
I bought this for work. I have it on me everyday. It does have a pocket clip...although none of Amazon's pictures show it, it's on the other side of the tool. The regular Crucial tool has a pocket clip also. I had to actually email Gerber to find this out since Amazon had no info about pocket clip tools whatsoever.

So far it has worked great in light use. It was a little tight at first but has steadily loosened up a bit. The F.A.S.T. design is not quite what I thought it would be. It is nothing more than a quicker 1 handed opening system. I thought it would open for me but I still need to use my thumb on the blade's side peg to start the opening system. The slide on the side is just to tell you if the opening assist is on or off (somewhat pointless).

It works for what I needed it for but I'll do more research next time.
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on February 13, 2012
I wanted a minimal tool set for my EDC multi-tool. The Crucial F.A.S.T. is solid everywhere, however it's very light. I hardly notice it in my front pocket. The knife blade was very sharp right out of the box and has held a good edge. The F.A.S.T. release works well. Both screwdrivers are longer than what is standard for a multi-tool and I appreciate the full 3D head on the Phillips blade. The pliers are a little stiff to open at first, but they've loosened up fine.

I'd recommend this one to anybody. It's my favorite tool and I use it daily.
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I purchased both this Gerber Crucial FAST tool ($40) and the Leatherman Skeletool CX ($65), to have as daily pocket tools. I've had some great Gerber pocket knives over the years, but this multi-tool seems to have been more cheaply made. It has lots of handy tools on it: regular and Phillips head screwdriver tips, regular and needle-nose pliers, wire cutters, a bottle opener, and a half smooth/half serrated knife blade. But it also has plastic rivets holding the plastic handles on, which are sure to pop off at some point. And the pliers are slightly wobbly and aren't substantial enough to do anything heavy duty.

The best feature of the Gerber, in my opinion, is the half-serrated blade. There are times you need both types of blade, and it's handy to have both on this tool. The Skeletool CX has only a smooth blade. Both the Gerber and the Leatherman close up to about 4 inches long, and both weigh about 5 ounces.

Leatherman multi-tools are made in the USA of components from the USA, Western Europe or Mexico. The Gerber Crucial multi-tool is made in China. If I had known Gerber had moved its product manufacturing to China, I wouldn't have purchased it.

For someone who needs a multi-tool for daily repairs and work, the Gerber isn't a bad choice for the cost. But, I much prefer the Leatherman Skeletool CX for quality construction and the fact that it is still American made.
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on February 28, 2012
Updated March 4, 2012

Received replacement tool from Amazon - First tool was defective (see original review below).

Guess what? - Second tool also defective! - Small plastic push tab on side of G-10 handle which locks/unlocks F.A.S.T. mechanism fell off. No screw, rivet, or pin. Appears too just snap in place.

This is a $40 - Made In China - Piece of Crap!!!

No more Gerber products for me!

**************************

Original Review -

Just received my order from Amazon.com.

I have used the original Gerber Crucial on and off for seven months. I was critical of some design and quality issues (see my review) and looked forward to seeing if Gerber's second version was any better.

In regards to design - the deleted carabineer clip, increase size and length of both flat driver and cross head screwdriver, are all excellent and much needed improvements. The F.A.S.T. blade opening assist still needs work and the manufacturing quality and materials of a Made In China tool still fall way below of what I recall of Gerber knives and tools of years ago.

******

- The F.A.S.T assist does not automatically open the blade for you, but provides spring tension assist when you use your thumb on the plastic triangular stud mounted on the side of the blade to "flick" the blade open to a locked position. Sometimes it opens quickly and locks, other times it stops part way. (The small tension spring exposed inside the handles is just asking for trapped grit)

- To unlock the blade the plastic tab (part of the F.A.S.T. mechanism) on the side of the G-10 handle must be forcefully slid back using your thumb. The tab is sometimes difficult to move causing painful thumb strain.

- The G-10 handles are wider when compared to the original Gerber Crucial to accommodate the F.A.S.T. mechanism parts mounted underneath. This places the G-10 handle edge right up against the blade thumb stud. Your thumb is pressing the top of the stud surface rather than gripping the side resulting in less leverage to open the blade. May seem trivial, but if your thumb is wet or greasy it slips right off the top of the stud failing to open the blade. The G-10 handle should have a larger indention in between the blade thumb stud.

- On the tool I received, the locking liner bar for the cross head screwdriver bends to far inward and will not unlock when pressed back to close the driver.

Brand new and already being returned to Amazon.com for a replacement :-(

While Gerber has shown much needed design improvement, the F.A.S.T mechanism and Made In China quality control still needs work.

*****

I continue to be disappointed with Gerber's decision to have a growing segment of their product line being manufactured in China with continuing quality control issues.

I have a Made in the U.S.A. Gerber 600 series tool bought many years ago that is rock solid to this day in materials, design, and function.

This is the second Crucial series tool I have purchased and both have had quality defects.

When I was young, if someone owned a Gerber knife, you knew they had one of the best knives ever made - Period! The Gerber name meant something! Excellent Design - Superior Materials - High Quality - Exceptional Value!

Wake up Gerber! You are losing customers one inferior quality knife and tool at a time!
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on November 8, 2013
Alright first of all... it takes time to get used to the knife mechanism. However, once you get it, this is the fastest (legal) easiest blade to use. The spring assist is sturdy and has lasted hundreds of opening without a hitch. Regarding the other mutlitool features. I wouldn't use this as a replacement for regular tools. Which is the same for any multitool, but its handy to have when you don't have real tools on hand. Pliers are functional (little thin) but they work and are useful in a pinch (hahaha). I do wish it had small screwdrivers in addition to the regular larger flat and philips, but you cant have everything in a small package. In reality, I use the knife the most and having a readily accessible knife is great. I am buying a bunch of these knives for my employees. They are cost effective and realiable... can't go wrong with that!
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on February 12, 2014
I have had this tool for about a year now and carried it everyday since. The best thing I love is the size. It slightly bigger and heavier than a normal pocket knife, but to have pliers and a screwdriver for those minor unexpected tasks have been wonderful. I mostly use the knife for small tasks, but lately the release switch has been sticking making it unsafe to use. I have sent an email to Gerber and now currently waiting for an update about the situation. It has been 2 days now. I will update this post when I get one. I would definitely buy again if I had to though. FWIW I am a college student that works with computer networks on the side. I often go camping and hiking. s
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