Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: Gerber Strap Cutter

I was fortunate enough to spot a real treat recently. In the circles I run in there are many opportunities in which having a rope cutter would be a good idea. Crafters, yes, that's it, crafters. Many talented sets of hands, who occasionally need a hand cutting some cord or the like. Sure, yes. Anyways, having a means of safely cutting materials away from a person, product or package can be a very useful addition to my repertoire, especially in an emergency situation.

Medical sheers are one method, but as you may have noticed, I like rugged and solid, and if there is an opportunity to remove a moving part, I'm all for it.  Even in Foliage Green ....

That's where this tool comes in. This is the Gerber Strap Cutter, which is billed as a rescue tool and reported to cut through seat-belts and webbing like a hot knife through butter.  I've had the good fortune to never yet -need- to do this, but I do open a lot of packages, and cut a lot of cord. I bought my sister the larger Benchmade 8 Hook for her birthday a couple of years ago, so have seen several different designs.

What drew me to this was the plastic coating on the handle-side, which marries to the scabbard very neatly, the window breaker at the butt-end of the tool and the deep crenelations along the spine which give a very good positive grip even when wet, mucky or perhaps dangling upside-down. The scabbard comes with a PALS/MOLLE compatible clip, which can be removed to fit the included MALICE clip by Tactical Tailor for alternate attachment options to webbing. The cutting edge is very keen, and looks to have great geometry. The rounded hook is wide enough to accept a variety of items to cut, but is narrower than my little finger, which is a good safety feature if you are worried about working close to skin, but will limit the maximum width of cord that can be cut. The finger loops give plenty of room for two fingers, and will fit gloved hands well, if that is needed.

Not wanting to go on about a tool so readily testable without offering some proof, so here goes: Packing cable-tie, 550 paracord, "industrial" cable-tie, 1" webbing, IT grade cable tie, nylon packing strap, boot leather. The industrial cable tie gave me the most trouble, mostly because I was cutting it free-standing, rather than looped onto anything.

This is a gorgeous tool. I look forwards to using it to cut my way through all kinds of things, and hopefully not need to cut my way to freedom with it.

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