This attractive little multitool caused a large frenzy when Gerber released it. The Gerber Dime is a multitool designed to be a daily companion, so small that it can be used as a key ring or carried in the small pocket of your jeans.
It’s meant to be a direct competitor to the Leatherman’s Squirt line, with almost identical characteristics even in steel type, so the comparison is inevitable and this entry will mention some points about it.
The Dime is a little larger than the Squirt, weights 64gr (10gr more than a Leatherman PS4). It is a decent tool, worth noting that it’s very cheap but without ending up being a low quality Chinese product. It is, as a matter of fact, manufactured in China but designed and engineered by Gerber Gear in the USA.
It’s main strength, compared to other brands, is in the price point, since it can be found for $15 and maybe less. With this ridiculous price tag, it brings amazing features to the table such as 420J2 steel, anodized aluminum handles, adjustable shafts instead of rivets (lets you tighten the tool yourself), tweezers and a very good bottle opener.
Like any other multitool, the Dime has its own issues and the main one is quality control. In my opinion, it would have been preferable to pay a few more bucks to get smoother joints and slightly better finishes, but then again, with that price tag we can’t really ask for more.
As expected, some parts and the finishes are not the best. The tools in the handle come very tight from factory, some open with friction and jumps, sign of bad finishes in the pieces and poor manufacturing and polishing. With the exception of the pliers, we don’t hear that desirable “click” when closing any of the implements.
The Gerber Dime I tested showed difficulty cutting a piece of 1mm thick wire (paper clip). Maybe I’ve only had bad luck, because I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere else. Even if the warranty had covered it, given the low price of the piece, I decided to fix it myself by adjusting the pliers’ shaft; but of course, from my point of view, it’s still unacceptable.
The file, only useful for nails, is also badly finished. One of the sides is poorly stamped, or rather it seems that the piece was polished after cutting the file and making it useless and little more than decoration. The other side does work, but not very well.
Among the good things, above all, is the design. It looks original and seems very well thought out. Something very useful is that all the tools are accessible from outside, without the need to open the pliers. The cutting elements are sharp, not as a Victorinox, but sharp enough. The main blade seems to have a good heat treatment, being easy to sharpen and with an acceptable edge retention. For their size, the spring-loaded pliers are very comfortable to use and the bottle opener works as an extension of the handle, helping to have a better grip.
The package-opener, as simple as it looks, it’s quite effective on hard plastic or thick cardboard, possibly making this one of the best functions of the Dime. The scissors have a rough finish but they cut very well and look tough. The screwdrivers are strong, with a good universal flat-phillips (saving the file from being useless). The tweezers don’t have the quality of other brands (Victorinox) but get the job done.
The external bottle opener is very good and makes this tool look different; it works better than those of the Swiss army knife type. I can see some people complaining about the position of the opener but this depends on how often you use it and where you carry the tool. It’s also easy to carabine the tool from the opener, making that an additional way to carry the Dime.
- Spring-loaded pliers with
- Wire cutter
- Package opener
- Flat screwdriver
- Nail file with
- Flat “Phillips” screwdriver
- Bottle opener
Gerber Dime Colors, Variations and Packaging
There are several color combinations available and there is even a model without the knife. The TSA-approved version called “Dime Travel”, lacks the blade and package-opener. It has a decent file and a zipper-hook instead (I’m not sure of how useful the hook can be) but it still keeps the same pliers and scissors as the regular Gerber Dime. From what I’ve read, it seems like airport security allows small scissors in domestic flights but just to be on the safe side, I’d suggest keeping your multitool in your checked baggage.
Can I recommend the Gerber Dime? Based on my experience, sadly I have to say no. This little multitool is an innovative product and without any doubt deserves a second chance. I will probably publish a second review after using it for more time.
For now, I can only say it’s a real pity that with such a great product design and materials, Gerber went for poor manufacturing quality.
My recommendation is to buy the Gerber Dime if you can examine it beforehand. After a good inspection, get it if you want, otherwise I’d say buying blindly is a risk.
- Good design
- Bottle opener always accessible
- Package opener
- Low quality control
- File is too small
- Scissors and knife don’t come very sharp from factory