This is the Gerber Center Drive, a brand-new made-in-the-USA multitool that’s launching today, and Gerber sent us a pre-production model a few days ahead of the launch to check it out.
The Center Drive is manufactured from stainless steel, and features 14 individual tools within its frame.
The pliers are spring loaded, and are released upward via a side-mounted sliding button, purposely designed for one-thumb activation, rather than the swing open design on traditional multitools.
The pliers consist of a needle nose point with a standard center, as well as rotatable carbide wire cutters and a wire stripper.
The main blade on the Center Drive is a 3.25″ fine edge blade. According to Gerber, this blade is “30% larger than the competition”; press materials use the main blade on the Leatherman OHT for the size comparison. The blade also locks into place when fully extended via a tension lockbar.
The opposite arm of the Center Drive features the following tools:
Fine & course sided file
These tools lock into place when fully extended and can be retracted by using a thumb-break slide release on the opposite side of the arm, which also incorporates a lanyard hole. The arm opposite this one features both a 3″ ruler as well as an 8cm ruler.
Easily the most impressive feature of the Center Drive is the tool of its namesake, the full-size center axis driver. Unlike traditional multitools, which typically feature a lower profile driver, the Center Drive’s driver juts out of the tool’s frame 3.25″ and curves inward towards the center axis, allowing for improved torque and rotation. The center axis driver features a magnetic attachment head, which supports any number of standard bits. Like the blade, the center axis driver locks into place via a tension lockbar.
The Center Drive also features this bit storage slot which snaps into place within the frame and rotates outward, allowing quick access to a second bit. By default, it comes with a flat head bit already inserted.
The Center Drive comes with a 12-bit kit, in addition to the Phillip’s head and flat head bits that are already included with the tool. It also comes complete with a nylon and elastic sheath which accommodates both the Center Drive and the bit set. The sheath can be mounted by the rear to a belt either vertically or horizontally via its rear straps.
By Gerber’s own admission, unlike the Center Drive itself, both the bit set and pouch are made in China. Regardless, the tool itself is USA-made, and it has a host of great features that should make for an excellent option for EDC or just a functional backup tool.
You can read the official release from Gerber by clicking the link below