Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Gear Review: The Gerber eFECT AR cleaning Pocket Tool

The Gerber eFECT is a 6+ tool pocket machine designed to service the AR15/M16/M4 rifle. Unlike other multitools, the Gerber eFECT is missing the usual suspects of 1) knife blade, 2) pliers, 3) saw, 4) file...bottle opener, Phillips screwdriver, scissors, bit kit, pocket clip, wire cutter, etc.

In a nutshell, the Gerber eFECT is a one-stop AR cleaning tool, but without the added weight, price and mechanical complications of a fully baked multi-tool. Not that there is anything wrong with that as my love for the Leatherman MUT can attest to, but if you already have a multi-tool and just want to add a cleaning tool to your kit without the baggage of a dozen other common features, then the Gerber eFECT is a great option to consider.

The Gerber eFECT boasts the following implements on its six foldout locking “blades,” three per side. 1) heavy duty steel scraper, 2) pin punch, 3) nylon brush, 4) dental-tool type pick, 5) flathead screwdriver, and 6) dual-sided four-pronged front sight tool. Some additional tool features include removing the brush and/or dental pick and attaching any Otis-compatible screw-on cleaning tools directly into the threaded port. Unlike the Leatherman MUT, however, only the female threaded input is offered on the Gerber eFECT.

Unfortunately, the A1/A2 front sight cylinder is held in place by a strong magnet, but the magnet on the eFECT I have is in the removable cylinder, not the shaft which would have provided a short but effective magnetic rod for extracting loose ferris parts from their hiding places. Other reviews have sung the praise of a magnetic rod, but I just don’t see it.

The front sight tool is a double-sided cylinder with four thicker studs on one end and four smaller posts on the other. Some have found the smaller posts to be a little on the soft and bendable side, and I must concur. Having bent one post while adjusting a A2 front sight, I experienced the same unacceptable flexibility in what should be an otherwise solid tool.

Another difference from the Leatherman MUT is that instead of a softer, non-marring bronze scraper, the Gerber eFECT scraper is solid steel. The dental tool scraper is a fine addition (pun intended). For precise cleaning especially around the contours of the bolt carrier. And also unlike the Leatherman MUT, the blades are not replaceable, nor is there an optional service kit for sale.

One excellent feature of the Gerber eFECT is that all of the blades lock into place when extended. I don’t know the full strength of the locking mechanism having not yet experienced a locking failure of any the tools, but there is no satisfying click, snap, or crack when the tools locks into place. Just a gentle slide of the locking handle

The Gerber eFECT weighs in at four ounces while the Leatherman MUT fights gravity with 10.8 ounces of gravitational resistance. The Gerber eFECT is about the same thickness as the MUT, but only two-thirds as long when folded up. And unlike the MUT, the gripping surfaces or handles of the Gerber eFECT are plastic panels that provide plenty of strength since there is not knife, hammer, or pliers.

In many ways a smaller dedicated cleaning tool is more useful since a full-featured multitool with cleaning abilities means you have to carry and manipulate a much larger and heavier tool for finer cleaning work. Plus, most of the time, and arguably for many, all of the time, the cleaning aspects are very rarely if ever called into action, but must be carried 100% of the time. I do miss a small pair of pliers on the Gerber eFECT, however, and would always be supplementing the Gerber eFECT with a basic Leatherman at the minimum.

For the price, the Gerber eFECT makes an excellent addition to any serious shooters range bag or bug out bag. The Pros of such a tool include Gerber quality, small size, light weight, everything-you-need-nothing-you-don’t, and a toolset that supplements a traditional multitool rather than repeating it.

The Cons of the Gerber eFECT are that it is a stand-alone cleaning tool meaning you will need a partner tool to complete the set. The Gerber eFECT is slightly too wide and long to fit inside a Magpul AR pistol grip. Finally the price of the Gerber eFECT is more than most fully-featured AR cleaning kits such as the Otis and Bushmaster, and costs way more than the Gunmaster kit.

In the end, if you are outfitting a range bag, or bug out bag for AR support, the Gerber eFECT is an excellent option for those who would prefer a multitool form factor over a small pile of individual tools. Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, you can open your beer bottle with both the screwdriver and the scraper.

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