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A multi-tool is a type of device that combines two or more tools into one. It is usually a small, hand-held device that is also portable and lightweight. Multi-tools are not new to the market, but they have been gaining traction in recent years because of their many uses. They are also more affordable and accessible than ever before. We want to make sure you will pick the best multi-tool that can help you with your specific tasks. In this article, we are going to compare two top multi-tools: Leatherman Signal and Gerber Center-Drive.
Leatherman Signal vs Gerber Center-Drive – Overview
Whether you’re a hiker, camper, or just an everyday adventurer, the Leatherman Signal is your go-to tool for any situation. Although Signal was designed to be an outdoor multi-tool, it can also be used in day-to-day tasks. Some indispensable outdoor tools which you can’t go on your adventure without are: Ferrocerium Rod which you can use to start a fire, a Diamond-Coated sharpener to sharpen your knife or saw, and a Safety Whistle to make yourself heard if you are lost. With the Leatherman Signal multi-tool, you can rest assured that you have a great companion with you on your new adventure.
Read the complete review: Leatherman Signal
You’re a professional. You need a tool that’s up to the task. The Gerber Center-Drive multi-tool is just what you need. Designed for real-life, heavy-duty work, it features some amazing functions, including the feature which the blade can be deployed with one thumb. An innovative feature of the Center-Drive is its center-axis driver which can easily replace a real screwdriver while yielding maximum rotation and torque. A real professional that seeks a heavy-duty multi-tool should opt for the Gerber Center-Drive as the alternative to regular toolboxes.
Read the complete review: Gerber Center-Drive
Signal vs Center-Drive – The Comparison
Earlier in this article we’ve seen some basic information regarding both multi-tools, now, it’s time to see how different these two are for real.
Leatherman Signal features 19 tools while Gerber Center-Drive has just 16. The following are tools that both have in common:
- Bottle Opener / Prybar (Gerber)
- Lanyard Ring / Carabiner (Leatherman)
- Pliers – Signal has needlenose and regular pliers while Center-Drive has regular and spring-loaded needle-nose pliers with the x-channel rail system.
- Ruler – The Ruler is only available on the Gerber Center-Drive.
- Awl – Gerber Center-Drive features a regular awl while Signal has an awl with a thread loop.
- Bit Driver – Leatherman Signal has a regular bit driver and a 1/4” Hex Bit Drive while Center-Drive comes with a magnetic 3.25” center-axis bit driver, a regular bit driver, and also an extra bit holder with a flathead bit included.
- Can Opener – Signal has a can opener while Center-Drive doesn’t have one.
- Wrenches – Leatherman Signal features a 1/4″ Box Wrench and a 3/16″ Box Wrench while Center-Drive doesn’t have any kind of wrench.
- Blade – Gerber Center-Drive has a 3.25” 420HC straight-edge blade and a serrated blade while Leatherman Signal has a 420HC Combo knife.
- Saw – Signal has a saw while Center-Drive doesn’t.
- File – Center-Drive has a fine & coarse-sided file while Signal doesn’t have any kind of file.
- Wire cutters – Gerber Center-Drive features a rotatable carbide wire cutter while Leatherman Signal comes with premium replaceable wire and hard-wire cutters.
- Other Tools – Gerber Center-Drive also comes with a nail puller while Leatherman Signal also features a wire stripper, hammer, safety whistle, ferrocerium rod, and a diamond-coated sharpener.
- Opening System – Gerber Center-Drive has a one-thumb opening system while Leatherman Signal has a one-hand operable system.
- Closing System – Gerber Center-Drive has a tool lock to keep all tools in place while Leatherman Signal has a locking system that keeps all tools in place except for the pliers head.
Size & Weight
- Closed Length: 4.5 inch
- Weight: 7.5 ounces
- Closed Length: 4.7 inch
- Weight: 9.5 ounces
Both multi-tools are similar in size when closed but what stands out is that Center-Drive is heavier than the Signal.
Leatherman Signal is powered by Leatherman’s 25-year lifetime warranty while Gerber Center-Drive is covered by Gerber’s lifetime warranty. Since both have some kind of warranty you can have peace of mind if your multi-tool comes with any kind of defect or damage you can ask for repair or replacement if you meet their criteria.
Finally, as we concluded this article we come to our conclusion: the main difference between Leatherman Signal and Gerber Center-Drive is that Center-Drive is bigger and heavier than the Signal. The Signal features tools mainly aimed for outdoor tasks such as cutting wood or starting a fire while the Center-Drive is aimed more at everyday tasks such as tightening different types of screws or cutting wires. All in all, we recommend Gerber Center-Drive as a better choice than Leatherman Signal, while we like Signal too, if you are looking for a heavy-duty multi-tool then Center-Drive is a better choice.
Hi, I’m Johnny, the chief editor at Svetools.com. Since I was a kid, DIY has been my thing – playing around with all sorts of tools, from power tools to classic wrenches. I started the Svetools blog to share my love for DIY and all things a house Handyman should know. Whether it’s product reviews or essential how-to’s articles, I cover it all. Need assistance or have a question? Hit me up using the details on our contact us page.