Unless you’re completely new to the shooting, knife and tool industry, you have undoubtedly heard of Gerber. Gerber has been in the game of making knives and tools since 1939 and their products, known for being good quality, are featured worldwide. However, one tool in particular has been carried extensively by hunters, soldiers, tradesmen and tinkering dads everywhere; the multi-tool.
Not all multi-tools are created equal however. Some are more of a mono-purpose tool made of poor quality materials that really just end up breaking after their first few uses. Others don’t have well thought out features and are essentially glorified utility knives.
From what I can tell however, Gerber has always made a good well designed multi-tool, especially for those into shooting firearms – like the military. Gerber introduced their first military-grade multi-tool designed specifically for the AR-15 / M4 / M16 weapon system in 2008 at the Association of the United States Army convention (AUSA). It was called the eFECT Weapons Tool and it was created for the distinct purpose of cleaning and maintaining an AR15 / M16 / M4 variant firearm.
Following in the footsteps of the eFECT, the MP1-AR is what Gerber refers to as their next evolution of weapons tools. The MP1-AR is a full-size butterfly opening styled multi-tool featuring everything needed for cleaning and maintaining the weapon system, along with all of the vital everyday tools for the field.
The MP1-AR comes with many of the items you’d expect in a multi-tool like spring-loaded forged steel needle nose plier jaws, wire cutter and wire stripper, full-size serrated blade, full-size fine edge blade (both made from 420 HC stainless steel), magnetic bit driver and 12-piece bit set commonly used to adjust optics and other weapon accessories, and a MOLLE compatible coyote nylon sheath. Overall it has all the standard tools you’d need to get any lightweight job done.
However, to demonstrate Gerber’s focus on firearms for the MP1-AR, it also features a handy takedown pin punch, a contoured carbon scraper used for cleaning the bolt and inside the bolt carrier, a dental style carbon pick for cleaning the bolt’s ejector area and other hard-to-reach parts of the weapon, a front sight adjustment tool and a trigger assembly pin punch.
It’s basically got everything you’d really need for field cleaning of a AR-15 / M4 / M16 weapon system. I’ve even used the pin punch and carbon scraper during the cleaning of my Glock and AK.
The grips are made of G-10 grip with a metal liner, which I didn’t expect to like at first. But the gripping texture seemed to work well when using and not having a hot metal handle in Arizona during the 120 degree summer is a good thing when working outside.
I haven’t read online or heard of any issues yet, but I’d be a little careful dropping the multi-tool onto concrete or other hard surfaces as they may chip or crack. One nice touch here were the tool locks in the grips. I can’t tell you how many multi-tools I’ve used in the past that don’t have a true locking mechanism and how many busted and cut knuckles I’ve had as a result.
When you fully extended a tool, it is solidly locked into place, which is especially good when using the utility blades. No missing digits here!
The MOLLE compatible nylon sheath was a good effort to pack all of the tolls and bits into a useable pouch, but I do think the overall design could have been improved upon a bit. I experienced items falling out the sides from time to time and it was a little too bulky to carry on a belt.
If you’re going to attach it to your MOLLE equipped chest/plate carrier, just make sure you have it closed tight or you’ll have a yard sale of bits and mini-tools behind you when you run into battle. Having two separate slots, one for the tool and the other for the bits, was a big plus however.
The MP1-AR is proudly designed, engineered and built in Portland, OR. Overall it’s a very useful, quality built multi-tool with the MSRP of $176 (per Gerber’s website) and would be a great fathers day gift or tool for any soldier.
For those that routinely like to break their tools and gear, just know that every product that bears the Gerber name is backed by their lifetime warranty. So feel free to use your MP1-AR multi-tool, as Gerber has your back if you break it.
Spring-loaded, forged steel needle nose plier jaws
Wire cutter / Wire stripper
Full-size serrated blade / Full-size fine edge blade
Takedown pin punch
Dental style carbon pick
Magnetic bit driver and 12-piece bit set, includes Torx bits
MOLLE compatible coyote nylon sheath
Hex bits / Philips bits
Front sight adjustment tool
Trigger assembly pin punch
Item # 30-001024
Closed length: 4.3 in.
Overall length: 7.3 in.
Blade length: 2.75 in.
Weight: 9.7 oz (with sheath)