Gerber Bullrush Multitool Review 2014/01/13
After my return from New Zealand, I was quickly herded back into the
Ember Survival fold by having a Gerber Bullrush thrown over to me,
with the simple command of “review this”. Welcome home it would seem!
So let's start with a quick overview.
Gerber set out, through collaboration with law enforcement and first
responders in the States, to produce a tool that suited the needs of a
professional in either of those fields. Through the design of the
Bullrush they hoped to produce a tool that was simple, yet provided a
reliable solution. In line with this design brief the tool has
relatively few features: full sized needle nose plier jaws and wire
cutters, modified sheepsfoot combination blade, phillips and flat head
screw drivers as well as a strap cutter.
So did Gerber meet their goals? Yes...and no. Been using the tool for a
couple of weeks now and I can certainly say that I understand where
Gerber were coming from when they designed the Bullrush. The sturdy
tools, except the pliers, are all accessible with the Gerber Bullrush
closed and this makes locating the correct piece easy to do in the
field, especially in a rush. The pliers themselves are surprisingly
large for the compact form factor of the Bullrush, an element which
makes daily carry much more feasible than some of the larger
Despite this it seems there are some flaws in the execution of the
Gerber Bullrush design, primarily in the deployment of the tools. The
knife and strap cutter are, as you would hope, the easiest to bring to
action with a large thumb-stud aiding the deployment and yet from the
box they are exceptionally stiff, but this does soften with use. At this
price point Gerber should have considered the use of bronze washers to
reduce friction and increase the life of the tool hinges. The two driver
heads are more difficult still and it seems just a little more care in
the design could have made life markedly easier. The sprung action of
the pliers does make them easier to use, however I found the action to
produce a gritty sound with each use. Each tool is also individually
secured open via a liner lock, however these are very stiff and take
some time to be worked to a usable state.
Construction is largely of stainless 7Cr17, a Chinese blade steel, that
while softer than higher end steels still offers good rust resistance
and takes an edge well. Aside from regular sharpening the Bullrush
requires little care as the black oxide coating offers further
protection from rusting. The strap cutter is sharp from the box and if
used only in rare situations would likely never need sharpening.
Touching up with wet and dry paper formed around a pencil if you find
yourself using it frequently. The G10 scales and nylon spacers give the
tool a warmer feel and are ideal for everyday use, the texture provides
plenty of traction too. The ergonomics of the handle are also decent
when using the tool open or closed.
I would say that for its size the Gerber Bullrush is a capable and
sturdy tool. The strap cutter is a multitool feature peculiar to Gerber
tools and yet for the first responder design spec it works well, I can
see this as something a police officer could easily attach to his vest
or secure inside a pocket. As a simple daily carry it is adequate,
although like most competitors the locking blade does mean you will need
a specific reason to be carrying in public places.