Pros: Included Tools, Handle Material, Locking, Finish, None
Cons: Overall Quality, Blade Material
Gerber Dime Micro Tool Evaluation - Great but not Excellent
The Gerber Dime Micro Tool is a must have if you are the family fix it person on a budget or just in need of a small light-weight multi-tool to put on your keychain. For those individuals who work in the industry (plumbing, construction, facilities maintenance, etc.) and require a full-size multi-tool as an essential addition to his/her daily arsenal, the Gerber Dime is not the answer. At a slim 2.75” length when closed, weighing in at only 2.2 oz, and packed with ten essential tools, the Gerber Dime is a sleek, stylish, compact, pocket multi-tool capable of accomplishing light duty tasks at a reasonable price. As the designated family handyman myself I can vouch that having all of the necessary light duty tools and more on my keychain makes tightening that loose screw, slicing open that intensely taped package, fixing that bent necklace fitting, or just popping open that bottle at the end of the day a simple and quick task. Fitted on the exterior of the Gerber Dime are a bottle opener and a small ring for easy placement on your keychain. Because the bottle opener is sturdily attached to the outside it is ready to use even when the Gerber Dime is closed, making opening bottles with one hand a cinch. I honestly love this feature; the Gerber Dime has the best bottle opener of any pocket tool I have ever used. Staying on the exterior, every tool in the Gerber Dime’s arsenal (with the exception of the pliers) can be accessed without opening it up. One issue or lack thereof, depending on how one views it, is that most of the tools are secured in place by very strong springs, meaning that two hands are required to use everything but the bottle opener. The positive here is that even after lots of usage the tools securely maintain their position. One of the tools not secured in place by a spring is the tweezers. This tool is neatly hidden in the body of the Gerber Dime by sliding flush into a pocket next to the bottle opener. The tweezers are fairly weak and easily bent, yet they get the job done when you need them to. Moving on to sharp things, the Gerber Dime is outfitted with a main blade, scissors, and retail package opening blade. The main blade is quite typical for a multi-tool of this size; at 1.25” it has a nice curvature and tip. The blade has a nice relation to its pivot point, meaning when one applies pressure, s/he pushes the blade open even farther rather than risking it folding onto his/her fingers. A lack of adequate backing means that prolonged usage of high force against the blade will cause it to bend backward, inhibiting its ability to properly cut things. Scissors are a nice addition but they tend to push things out of the small short blades rather than cut them. The spring is strong and sturdy which will make it last, just don’t use it for long cutting sessions or your thumb will be sore. The retail package opener is a unique blade that was designed to safely cut open plastic packaging, yet I find it is even more useful in slicing through string or tape due to its hook shape. Concerning quality, the retail package opener is protruding one millimeter out of the Gerber Dime when it is closed. I can push the retail package opener back down, making it flush with the other tools edges, but because of the spring mechanism assembly it just pops back to its original position. Additionally, the retail package opener’s blade was not very sharp, showing lack of care during manufacture and assembly of the Gerber Dime. On the opposite side of the blades, the Gerber Dime comes equipped with the two typical bits: medium-flathead and crosshead. The flathead bit is wide and nicely slanted for not just use on screws but also minor prying tasks as well as small scraping tasks. Because the flathead opens opposite the bottle opener, there is plenty of room to maneuver the Gerber Dime into most screw locations. The crosshead bit on the other hand opens toward the bottle opener, making it much more difficult to use. The crosshead also doubles as a rudimentary file; the file is alright for light, occasional usage and better than none at all. Because of the positioning of the file, bottle opener, and keychain attachment ring, the file is very difficult to use properly (if at all) with the Gerber Dime attached to a keychain. Finally, the one tool every good multi-tool comes prepared with, stainless steel pliers. Because of the Gerber Dime’s small size and light weight, the pliers are best used for light duty (and the occasional medium intensity) tasks. The pliers head seems to have small jaws if you are used to full sized multi-tools, but despite their initial size the pliers are a bit more pointed and slim allowing for more precise maneuvers in tighter areas; essentially, the pliers are more like strong durable tweezers. If you apply to much torque to the pliers, they have a trend of twisting off things and then pinching your hand. Honestly, they tend to pinch me quite often due to the small handle size and my larger hand size. This is definitely apparent when using the wire cutting feature of the pliers. If the wire cutter is important to you, this is not the multi-tool to purchase. More often than not the wire gets jammed between the two blades rather than being cleanly cut. I credit this occurrence to the lack of a notch or something to hold the wire in the cutting zone. Ultimately, the Gerber Dime Micro Tool is a dependable multi-tool that can easily handle typical light duty responsibilities while fitting nicely in the hand or pocket with its smooth, rounded edges. For approximately twenty dollars, one cannot go wrong unless they are looking for a full size multi-tool capable of heavy duty tasks day after day.