Gerber was without a doubt the most popular multi-tool brand while I was in the military. Chances were if I saw a Gerber, it was probably one of their Multi-Plier 600 models. I’m sure one reason was that the shelves of every AAFES store on the installation were littered with Gerber products, but they also got the job done. Capitalizing on the popularity of their full-sized MP600 models, Gerber has also been offering the smaller and lighter MP400 Compact Sport for some time now.
- Overall Length: 5.55″
- Closed Length: 4.37″
- Weight: 6.6 oz.
- Handle Material Stainless Steel
- Sheath Material: Ballistic nylon
- Pliers Type: Needlenose
- Handle Color: Black Oxide
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Built in USA w/ global materials
- Sheath made in China
Courtesy of Gerber Gear
My thoughts and review
Though Gerber had the right idea in making a compact multi-tool, it does fall short of expectations. It isn’t to say the Compact Sport is without any merit, just that improvements should be made. The Compact Sport does live up to its name though. Its minimalist design makes it an excellent choice for an EDC multi-tool. I often found myself carrying this multi-tool around in my pocket all day and kept forgetting that it was there. The Compact Sport is convenient to carry without having to sacrifice too much weight, space, and comfort.
My experience so far
The Compact Sport is simple, and simplicity in a multi-tool is appealing. It offers most of the basic tools the average user will ever need to use throughout their daily routine and offers them in an ideal-sized package. Gerber’s one-handed opening system is also easy to use and deploys with a simple flick of the wrist. There isn’t much more that needs to be said about how useful and practical of a multi-tool this is; it works and it works very well. I’m not fond of the nylon sheath though. There is nothing special about it, and despite it being meant to house a compact-sized multi-tool, the sheath itself is a bit bulky. There is a myriad of aftermarket sheaths and pouches available to better suit your needs, I recommend that you pick up one of those instead.
The size of the Compact Sport has led to some concerns about its toughness. For example, the needlenose pliers on the multi-tool are smaller than their MP600 counterparts. They’re actually great in some applications, but I would be wary when having to use it for heavy-duty use. It’s a rare occurrence to see a multi-tool break, but I have noticed in most cases that it’s the pliers that often break first. Now to be fair, I’m sure that these pliers will hold up well under some abuse; they have held up great for me so far. I just don’t recommend the Compact Sport for a multi-tool you would carry in a bug-out bag or for those of you who depend on your multi-tools to do your job or mission. This multi-tool is intended for the minimalists looking to cut weight or bulk as well as those looking for an EDC-friendly design. Another area where the small design falls short is the wire cutters. They work but may prove to be difficult when trying cut larger wires. The compact design may be appealing, but remember that it is also a compromise.
Issues with the knife
My only real issue with the Compact Sport is the knife design. For starters, the knife edge faces inward. The knife is short due to the small frame of the Compact Sport, so the opposite handle can get in the way of using the knife. I much prefer a design like the Leatherman multi-tools where the knife deploys from outside of the handle. Its edge faces outward and away from the opposite handle so that nothing gets in the way of using it.
The knife is a partially serrated 420HC steel blade. What I would have liked instead is for Gerber to have committed to having either a full plain edge or a fully serrated edge. The blade edge is short enough as is and I often found myself wishing that Gerber had made better use of what little space they had. For users like myself, and probably most of our readers and Gerber customers, we always carry a standalone knife anyways so a different tool altogether in lieu of the knife would have been a viable option as well.
-Compact and lightweight package makes it great for carrying anywhere
-Good selection of tools for a compact multi-tool
-Poor knife design
-Not designed for heavy-duty use
While the Gerber MP400 Compact Sport could have been better designed, it is still a multi-tool I like to use and recommend to others. Its minimalist design makes it convenient to carry along with you wherever you might go and has most of the tools that an average person would need. Military and law enforcement personnel who indubitably need their multi-tools to handle tougher tasks may find the full-sized MP600 models more practical, but the MP400 Compact Sport is a fine multi-tool for everyone else. The Compact Sport currently runs for an MSRP of $59, an affordable price for a practical multi-tool.
We enjoy hearing back from our readers. If you have any experience with the Gerber MP400 Compact Sport, let us know what you think