Anyone who has spent a little time hiking, backpacking, or backwoods camping knows the value of good tools and knives that are versatile, high quality, and lightweight. In fact, these kinds of tools can be a real lifesaver in a pinch, and it’s always nice to have them in your pack, just in case you need one.
Recently the fine folks over at Gerber sent me a couple of their products to review (they must have seen my recent camping knives review post.) After spending a little time with both of them, I can honestly say that I’m quite impressed with both their usefulness and functionality. Both the camping knife and multi-tool that I used were very well designed, although they were at opposite ends of the spectrum from one another.
One was a simple double bladed pocket knife, while the other was a tool that had more blades, clippers, and other options than I knew what to do with. Let’s take a look at each of them individually.
Gerber Mini-Remix 2 Blade
The Mini-Remix 2 pocket knife is a perfect example of simplicity at its finest. It offers just two blades, one standard, and one serrated, in a stylish package that gives this knife its own unique look.
Weighing just 3.4 ounces, the Mini-Remix can be slipped into your pocket, and you won’t even notice that it’s there, but when you take it out, the blades pivot into place, and are ready to go to work.
When closed, the knife is just 3.5 inches in length, but with one of the blades locked into place, it expands to 5.6 inches of sharp, sturdy steel.
Easy to operate, the blades are simple to pull out of the housing and lock into their cutting position, and when they are, they do their job very well.
Both the fine blade and the serrated edge cut through rope, fabric, and small branches with ease, although the overall shortness of the knife can make it awkward to slice at thicker items. But considering this is meant to be an all-purpose, easy to use, and convenient to carry blade, it served its main purpose very well.
When you’re ready to move the blade back into place, there is a simple release mechanism that removes the lock, allowing you to fold it back up again. The location of that release is a bit awkward to use, however, it’s located on the handle itself, directly behind the blade when it is folded back into the closed position.
My thoughts on Remix 2
So far, the knife has held its edge and remains sharp and easy to use. Only time will tell if that will continue to be the case, but for the time that I have used it so far, it has proven to be a nice addition to my pack when heading out on the trail.
Gerber Strata Multi-Tool
Whereas the Mini-Remix 2 had just two blades, the Strata packs 13 different tools, including pliers, carbide pinch cutters, both fine and serrated blades, and small scissors, among many others.
The first thing I noticed after removing it from the included belt case was that it offered plenty of heft, weighing in at a very solid 7.4 ounces. The stainless-steel brushed metal finish also gave it a feeling of quality and strength.
The Strata opens up in “butterfly” fashion, extending from its closed length of just four inches out to six inches with the spring-loaded pliers extended. These pliers are the center point of the entire tool, with the other blades, screwdrivers, and clippers folding out of the handles of the multi-tool.
Those other items are accessible without opening the Strata completely and are easy to lock into position when you need to use one.
The solid construction and added weight give the Strata a bit of a beefy feel, but that actually helps when using it. None of the tools feel like they are going to break off in your hands, nor does it ever feel like you’re putting too much pressure on the device.
On top of that, it feels comfortable and safe in your hands, in no small part thanks to Gerber’s Safe.T Plus locking system, which ensure that when you lock any of the blades, or other tools, in place, they’re going to stay there, and not give you any surprise cuts or nicks to your fingers.
My thoughts on the Strata
All told, I really like the Strata. It really is a very solid and useful addition to your back as well.
That said, with 13 different types of tools on the Strata, you can’t help but wonder if it’s a bit of overkill. There are certain options that I’m not even sure what I would use them for. But, then again, those extra items lend the Strata a level of versatility that you don’t get out of a pocket knife alone.
In the greater scheme of things, it’s probably better to have those items and not need them, then to have a use for them and not have the right tool. One thing is for sure, the Strata puts the “multi” in multi-tools.
If you’re in the market for a great, very functional, well built and designed tool to add to your pack, I recommend giving the Strata a look. It really does have every tool you’ll need (and then some), in a small package.
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