There’s always a time when you find yourself wishing you had a certain type of tool on you, whether it’s a pair of pliers, a screwdriver, or a knife. The Gerber Dime is designed to solve this problem for you. It may not offer the same level of durability that you’ll get from using a standard sized multi-tool, but its compact design is where it really shines.
The Dime features ten tools, a lightweight, durable design, and a reputation for coming in handy for camping, hiking, and everyday use. Of course, the fact that it features ten tools in one will also make it a great choice for the camper or hiker who doesn’t want to bring along too much gear. In this Gerber Dime review, I’ll go over what this mini multi-tool can do and what makes it an essential tool to keep on hand. But is this tool as invaluable as the manufacturer claims? Let’s find out.
Our Verdict: The Gerber Dime is much smaller than the standard sized multi-tool, complete with a keyring attachment that allows you to always keep it on hand. When compared to other models of mini multi-tools on the market, the Dime easily beats out the competition. It’s well-built, durable, features a design that allows you to easily and quickly access the tools without unfolding the handles, and it’s lightweight and pocket friendly. If you want to be prepared when you’re on the road, on the trail, in the yard, or at home, this is a great tool to keep handy and one that comes loaded with several tools you’ll find yourself using often.
Overview of features
The Dime is a great option if you’re looking for a compact multi-tool, for several reasons. First, it comes in many different color options, which can be a big deal for some buyers. This tool also only weighs a few ounces. Incredibly light, you may even forget that you have it on you.
While it may be too small to perform certain tasks, it really isn’t designed to handle bigger jobs. Of course, its smaller size is what makes it so convenient to use, since it can fit right in your pocket.
If you’re concerned about durability, it’s made out of stainless steel. It’s definitely not the most durable multi-tool on the market, but it comes with a variety of tools and functions, so you’ll have many essential tools, always on hand.
- This lightweight, compact tool easily fits in a pocket, making it highly portable. It comes with a total of ten that you’ll find yourself relying on often, including:
- Bottle opener
- Crosshead driver
- Flat driver
- Package opener
- Wire cutter
- Needle nose pliers
Weighing only a few ounces, this tool is so light that you’ll barely notice you have it on you. But the lightweight design is really where it shines. The fact that it’s also small enough to fit in any type of pants pocket is another plus and makes it a great buy for the hiker, camper, or survivalist who always wants to be prepared.
On one end of the tool you’ll notice the Gerber logo, while the tool itself has a flashy look and is available in several color options.
On one end you’ll find the bottle opener, which can also double as an attachment point. On the same end, there’s also a small split ring, so you can clip the tool onto your keychain.
This model is equipped with some versatile tools that are designed for everyday use on the trail, in the yard, or even in the home. The tools are miniature sized, so you can’t expect too much when it comes to durability, handle length, or power. Instead, this compact multi-tool is designed to help you get by and is not designed as a substitute for a full-sized multi-tool.
On this model, most of the tools can easily be accessed without unfolding the handles, unlike some competing multi-tools. This easy access is just what buyers are looking for. Each tool easily pops open and out, so there’s no struggling to pry a tool out, like you commonly would with many competing models or with full sized multi-tools. The smooth pop out design is just one of the reasons this tool is so popular.
A tool specifically designed to open packages and rip through bubble wrap and plastic is a must and something you’ll find yourself reaching for often.
The fine package opener and fine edge knife blade is located on the left, while the file, crosshead driver, and spring-loaded scissors are on the right.
The package opener blade really is perfect for slicing through thick tape and plastic packaging. Using this blade will prevent your regular knife blade from getting gummy and sticky due to tape residue.
When you unfold the handles of the tool it turns the Dime into spring-loaded pliers, complete with wire cutters. The handle’s rounded edges allow you to comfortably grip the tool.
The pliers on the Dime have a standard plier grip directly below the needle nose point. In terms of functionality, you’ll find these pliers somewhat lacking, especially when you compare them to standard sized pliers. Of course, given their smaller size, this is to be expected. Fortunately, they do come equipped with a reasonable bite pattern, but the smaller handle size doesn’t allow the user to apply much torque. They will come in handy if you need to use them on smaller bolts.
The wire cutters can only handle slicing through very thin wires, such as speaker wires. Anything thicker and the cutters will definitely struggle. While the wire cutters have a hard time cutting through thicker material, they do offer a clean, precise cut for most types of thinner wires and they can hold a nice edge for a long period of time.
Many buyers love that they don’t have to unfold the handles in order to quickly access the knife blade. The blade on the standard knife is straight and is barely an inch in length. It doesn’t come with a traditional point, but more of a sheepsfoot profile. The blade isn’t very sharp right out of the box, but it’s easy enough to sharpen to a good razor edge. The smaller size of the blade means it won’t be able to handle cutting through large material, but it will be useful for cutting twine, string, and opening packages.
The scissors can cut through paper well enough, but don’t expect them to handle thicker materials. This is a common problem that many multi-tools have, but to be honest, these scissors can handle more compared to competing models.
If you’ve owned a Swiss Army knife before, then you’ll recognize the thinner metal design of the tweezers. Being compact in size, they have the same issues as the tweezers you’ll find on higher priced multi-tools and that’s a lack of purchase and grip strength. Given their smaller point and size, you may be better off using the pliers for some tasks, instead of the tweezers.
As I mentioned earlier, the body of the Dime is shaped into a large bottle opener, which works surprisingly well.
The Dime comes equipped with a couple of screwdrivers; a cross driver and a flathead. The flathead is medium sized and will work as well as you can expect for a screwdriver of this size.
The cross driver is designed to slip into a slot of a Phillips head screw and slides down until it covers most of the slot’s width. Both of these screwdrivers are attached to very small handles, which can make it difficult to get any type of torque on them.
The file is double-sided, with a fine coarse grip on each side. Any type of really tough material will wear the file out rather quickly.
Since this is a plier-based multi-tool, grip is always going to be one of the most important factors. Fortunately, the spring-loaded pliers and the size of the tool give this model excellent grip when the tool is placed in the plier position. Additionally, the handles work well when using the knife or the screwdrivers. The handles provide just enough purchase to easily use the bottle opener.
The tool is made out of steel, is durable, and works well. Although the metal is thinner than what you’ll find on full-sized multi-tools, the tools themselves will not bend during use. Unfortunately, the thinner metal used isn’t thick enough for any type of heavy-duty application. The critical attachment points and joints will give way and buckle with regular use. The spring arms on the scissors and pliers are often the first parts to go on this tool.
Colors and Finishes
This multi-tool is available in two finish options and several colors. The colors include green, black, red, purple, and pink. For the finishes, you’ll come across both stainless steel and black oxide.
Of course, considering the smaller size, the tools will be more difficult to use than their full-size counterparts. Pliers will work the best when they fill a closed fist. With this tool, the pliers are better operated with the fingertips. You will not be able to exert as much force using this small tool. While larger than average, the blade on the included knife would perform better if it was a little bigger. Of course, larger scissors would be easier to handle and control. Considering this is clearly a mini multi-tool, this type of limitation should be expected. If you have larger than average hands, then you may find it difficult, if not impossible, to use some of these tools, in which case, you may want to pass this model by in favor of a multi-tool that’s larger and allows for better gripability.
Gerber is a company that’s known to produce quality tools, but this mini multi-tool is incredibly small. In order to fit all of the tools into this compact tool, the manufacturer had to use thin metal in crucial places. Because of this, you can’t realistically expect the tools to perform as well as say, a full-sized pair of pliers. Yet, even though the tools are much smaller, they are considerably stronger than what you’ll find on competing mini multi-tools and are able to handle minor to moderate jobs.
The tools themselves will easily snap into place and remain there. On the pliers, the springs are strong and durable. The finish on the plier tips and the grind on the blade are also superb. The handles offer a nice texturing that will improve gripability. While most multi-tools fail miserably when it comes to the quality of the scissors, the scissors on the Dime were much sturdier than expected.
This tool is affordable, so even the camper on a tight budget can pick up one or two Dimes for under $50. Many of the competing mini multi-tools are offered at a higher price, but they lack the type of easy use and smooth function that you’ll get with the Dime.
You’ll need to keep a close eye on each of the tools included in the Dime and sharpen them as needed. Sharpening frequency will depend on how often you use each of the tools. Since the metal is thinner, you’ll want to use a whetstone or file that’s appropriate for thinner metals. When it’s time to sharpen one of these tools, be careful not to overdo it, go slow, and constantly check on the edge every few strokes.
Who is this Tool for?
The Dime is a good multi-tool for anyone who wants to carry important tools on their person, wherever they go, but without the bulk and weight that comes with standard sized tools. This model provides a way to keep certain tools on hand, but it’s definitely not a tool that will be used by the pros. Instead, it’s a good choice for the camper, backpacker, survivalist, or anyone who wants fast or easy access to tools. If you want to always carry some type of tool on hand, then this mini multi-tool may be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s small, light, can easily be hidden and carried, so it makes for one piece of essential gear if you’re looking for a multi-tool that’s low profile or one that won’t add too much weight to your pack.
Despite its smaller size, it comes loaded with some handy tools that you may find yourself using on a daily basis. The bottle opening is one of the most convenient and works the best. But the other tools come up short in terms of quality and performance. The pliers for most users, are hit and miss. They’re small, don’t provide much in terms of grip, so you’re lacking the leverage you need to use pliers the way they are meant to use used, but their smaller design means they will be invaluable when you have small things to grip and loosen. The bubble package opener is another one of the tools that excel and can easily tear through packages with total control. The compact size of the Dime itself is what makes it so popular. It really is the perfect size and can fit in your pocket, bag, or glove compartment. While it may not be big and as tough as a standard sized multi-tool, it’s still big enough to be useful. The tool does come loaded with some subpar tools, however, for the price and size, it’s worth every penny just to have access to these types of tools, wherever you go.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Many of the tools are accessible without having to unfold the handles
- Low price
- Dedicated package opening blade
- Larger than average knife blade
- Easy to use
- Includes tools you can use for everyday tasks
- Knife blade doesn’t lock in place
- Tools are made out of very thin metal
- Some people will have trouble gripping certain tools
Conclusion and Rating
This is not your average multi-tool. Before you buy, it’s important to have realistic expectations concerning just what this tool has to offer and what it can do. It doesn’t stand up to full sized multi-tools, but it’s not meant to. Instead, this is a tool that’s specifically designed with the camper, hiker, or survivalist in mind, a person who wants to pack light and always be prepared.
The Gerber Dime comes loaded with several tools that you can use around the house, in the garage, or at the campsite. The ability to quickly access the tools without the need of unfolding the handles is one of the tool’s biggest selling points, as is the dedicated package opener blade. This pocket-friendly multi-tool is affordable, durable, and perfect for the outdoorsman, survivalist, or camper. That being said, this model scored well for its solid set of tools, earning a rating of five out of five stars.