I remember getting my first Swiss Army knife as a kid. It was a pretty exciting moment. It was well-machined, full of surprise and carried the scent of danger – something to be respected and obeyed. I can’t imagine now giving something like this to a child. It would probably end in tears. This is unfortunate, as it was a rite of passage for many of us before the Health and Safety brigade forced kids to stop playing outside and ended up with them sitting at games consoles. It has resulted in some great video games, however.
Still, I long for that feeling again. But when I pick up a Victorinox today it just doesn’t have the same cachet. Perhaps the machining isn’t as refined as I remembered it. Also, the types of tools they pack into these things seem almost quaint and ill-prepared for what we really need in the modern world. Magnifying glass? Please. Nail file? Hardly.
In a desperate attempt to remain relevant, they even put out the flash light and Flash drive combo. Is this a joke? Well, maybe there are people out there that want one of these but let’s be honest – we want a knife with bells and whistles not bumpf.
Since then, Gerber and Leatherman have put out all sorts of competition to the humble Swiss Army knife but I must admit that, while impressive and oftentimes better made, these look like they belong on a carpenter’s utility belt and don’t slip neatly into a trouser pocket like the Victorianox products.
And then I came across the Gerber Fit. Now, this looks promising. First of all, it has Gerber’s simplicity stamped all over it and the hallmark of a quality build. I haven’t got one in hand, so I cannot say for sure… Nevertheless, the photos are promising. It doesn’t hide its rivets. And it’s orange, which adds a little pizzaz (there are other colour editions by the way, so you can buy something more subdued if you wish).
It also packs what I think are pretty useful 10 utilities: an LED flashlight (replaceable AAA battery is housed in the spine), a multi-fit long-nosed screwdriver head (with 4 attachments – big and small Phillips and flat heads), tweezers, double-edged knife, scissors and awl.
I’ve ordered one so I’ll let you know what I think when it comes in.
For more information, visit the Gerber Tools website.
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There are also some really handy smaller utilities for enhanced portability: