Lizzie Pope
Digital Editor

See other accessory reviews written by Lizzie Pope

Practical Caravan reviews the Gerber Crucial, a light multi-tool with an affordable price tag, to find out if this could be your essential DIY gadget

Overview

Multi-tools can be very useful to pack on your caravan holidays. When space is at a premium, but you still want to be able to perform a multitude of everyday tasks, a pocket sized gadget that is so versatile will save you carting your tool box around – which we are sure you'll appreciate when trying to pack your caravan.

There are many multi-tools on the market, but which are the best? Here we test the Gerber Crucial – and we also tested another multi-tool from the same manufacturer, the Steady (which retails at £64.99). Carrying a price tag of £44.99, the Gerber Crucial is a little more affordable than the Steady. It is also light, sturdy and comes with a lifetime warranty – so far, so good.

Practical Caravan reviewed the Gerber Crucial as part of a group multi-tool test and it was the smallest of the lot. Its closed length is just 9.1cm and it weighs 142g. Yet this product still has an impressive array of features. It has both needlenose pliers and also regular pliers, a Phillips screwdriver, 'V-Cut' wire cutters, a serrated knife with a 2.25in or 5.7cm blade, a bottle opener, a large, flat screwdriver and two handy little clips – one is a pocket clip, the other is a carabiner clip. All the tools are on the outside, they lock in place and, according to our tester, they work very well indeed. The Gerber Crucial's handle is stainless steel, but it is finished in anodised aluminium; very smart.

All the products in this multi-tool test were given the same range of challenges to prove their worth. They had to saw metal, plastic and pallets, extract bent and twisted nails from pallets, trim wire, screw screws into wood, open cans and open bottles, sharpen pencils and also trim tape, fingernails and wrapping paper. That's a lot to ask from a device you can simply slip into your trouser pocket, but the Gerber Crucial proved that it was well up to the task.

However, our product tester, with his big hands, found this multi-tool – the smallest of all on test – rather uncomfortable to use. So if you don't have small hands, this is something you should perhaps consider before parting with any money. Interestingly, the Gerber Steady was commended for being the most comfortable to use in this group test.

So if you're looking for other possible multi-tools to help you out on your caravan holidays, Practical Caravan is here to give you a few ideas. In our group test we also tried two multi-tools from Leatherman, the Wave (£99.95) and our group test winner the Wingman (£39.95). As mentioned earlier, another Gerber product, the Steady with its clever smartphone or digital camera holder, was also put through its paces. At under £10, the Am-Tech 12-in-1 Axe Head Multi-Function Tool was the cheapest multi-tool tested, while the Victorinox SwissTool Spirit III was the most expensive – it will set you back a cool £116. At £27.50, the Cobb Multi Tool, which scored three out of five, was another much more affordable option.

Verdict

The Practical Caravan Gerber Crucial review revealed this to be a lightweight, capable multi-tool. However our tester has large hands and found it rather uncomfortable to use.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It is keenly priced
  • It is light
  • The tools are lockable
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • If you have big hands it might be uncomfortable to use
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