Gerber Artifact Multi Tool Review

Save yourself a trip to the ER and avoid the Gerber Artifact, it carries an X-Acto blade that does not lock closed and can open in your pocket. See our recommended section for our top-rated multitools.

Gerber Artifact Keychain Tool 22-41770 [Gerber Description]

  • Price: ~$10
  • Safety: -5
  • Overall Rating: 0/5

The smart, capable little 8-function Artifact is so unobtrusive a multi-tool, it can be carried in the pocket of business pants. The built-in lanyard lets it live on a key ring too, but this deft, practical tool will aid in clearing through the tricky hurdles life serves up so routinely no matter where it spends time in between. With a sturdy structure that feels solid in the hand, at 1 ½ ounces, the Artifact won’t limit its owner in the task of overcoming trouble.

PACKED WITH USE The Artifact keeps things simple with its tidy design, but that in no way diminishes its potential. Tools abound to allow for anything from stripping wire to prying nails, cutting box tape, and slicing nylon cord. With a Phillips screwdriver, two flat-head drivers, a pry bar, a wire stripper, a bottle opener, even an EAB #11 replaceable hobby blade, and a lanyard for suspension from a keychain or other tie-down, the Artifact is ready to work.

SOLID FOR THE DURATION This tool, with its 3.5-inch closed length made of high quality stainless steel, manages an impressive list of features, and minimal impact for its carrier. Coated in titanium nitride for low profile long-lasting durability, and packaged to include three replacement blades, the Artifact can accompany its owner into the backcountry, the garage, or the drive into work with equal ease.

Our Hands On Review

We want to like the Gerber Artifact. The idea of an X-Acto hobby knife readily available in your pocket is an excellent concept. The problem arises with Gerber’s implementation and safety issues. The blade does not lock open or closed. Instead three detents hold the blade – one at fully closed, one a half open and the final one at fully open position.

This presents two unacceptable safety hazards:

  1. the blade doesn’t lock open and can close on you when in use
  2. the blade can open in your pocket

Online reviews show several reports of this happening, some with pictures of the resulting injury. We simulated ‘pocket’ conditions by putting the Artifact in a pillow case with keys, coins, and a pocket knife. Wearing cut-proof gloves, we shook the pillow case for 30 seconds and repeated 10 times. In two of the trials we found the blade had moved beyond the ‘closed’ detent and was partially open. We can’t endorse any tool with this level of safety hazard.

  • Blade length: ~0.75 in (#11 hobby blade)
  • Overall length: 4.8 in
  • Closed length: 3.5 in
  • Weight: 1.5 oz
  • Pocket clip: no
  • One-handed: no
  1. EAB #11 hobby blade
  2. Cross driver
  3. Small flat driver
  4. Medium flat driver
  5. Bottle opener
  6. Wire stripper
  7. Pry bar
  8. Lanyard hole

Dan Sawyer

I'm the guy behind Multi Tool Mountain. I grew up in Wisconsin with a love for the outdoors. I currently live in Texas with my family where DIY home improvement projects keep my and my multi tools busy.

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