Gerber Bullrush ReviewJune 14, 2013
- Sheepsfoot combo-edge blade w/thumb stud opener
- Spring-loaded needle nose pliers
- G10 Scales
- Blade required sharpening out of the box (could be a fluke)
- Blade required sharpening after standard testing
Even though the Bullrush is being marketed towards law enforcement, at this price it would make a nice addition for anyone looking for a common multi-tool built to work hard, but without too many bells and whistles. It’s durable and streamlined and will benefit you in your daily needs. If you’re someone who already owns a multi-tool, this would make a fantastic back up, as it has all of the common tools you look for when you were in a pinch.
The Bullrush is a streamlined multi-tool that was designed for a driven purpose as a tactical multi-tool designed for Law Enforcement and First Responders. It has ultra-durable G-10 handle scales and ergonomic, spring-loaded needle nose pliers. Because of its intended audience, this multi-tool is lean on its component offering, but weekend warriors and other DIY’ers will find it nice to have in a pinch.
By providing only what’s necessary to get through day-to-day tasks, Gerber was able to beef up each internal component to make them stronger and longer lasting. The G-10 handle scales are a welcome addition, providing excellent gripping power in all conditions, wet or dry. All of this is packed into a frame which on average is a ½” smaller than its peers.
Construction and Materials
Besides the G-10 handles scales, there is a rigid internal frame the components nest in. An unusual, but welcome addition is the use of nylon spacer blocks that not only maintain the structure of the tool, but also give it a more finished look. The whole thing can be taken down and cleaned/repaired if need be. The one drawback is the black oxide coating that will show signs of wear before its time.
Liner-locks can be a little cumbersome if you have gloves on, but with the naked hand they work great. The only way the component would fold back in on you is if you didn’t lock it in properly, or you removed the liner lock post.
7CR17 Steel is the Chinese version of 440A steel. 440A is a stainless steel that is resistant to most liquids and corrosives and has decent edge retention. It has gotten a bad rap in the field because it’s so inexpensive, but that’s because it is widely used—not because it lacks good make-up.
Everything on the Bullrush can be maintained, except for the pliers and the black oxide coating. The pliers use a simple, integrated spring mechanism that doesn’t seem too easy to beat, but if you do happen to defeat it, it can be removed and replaced easily.
As for the black oxide coating, it will wear off with use. That’s the nature of the beast. But it will not change the function of the tool. The rest of the tool is stainless, although unlike the 7CR17 blade, Gerber does not identify “how stainless” the rest of the tool really is. If the coating starts to wear, just make sure to clean and dry the Bullrush before putting it away.
I have used some questionable multi-tools from Gerber in the past, but this isn’t one of them. G-10 is a very durable material and a great choice for a handle on this tool. It will provide a good grip in any condition. The robustness of the internal components is also a very nice addition this compact tool.
Pliers and Wire Cutter
The pliers are ergonomically shaped to contour to your hand, which helps when working with oversized or over-tightened obstacles. When fully opened, though, the handle spread may prove to be a little big for smaller hands.
The wire cutters are a little bit softer than what I’ve seen on some other recently reviewed tools, but they will do just fine on common house wire.
Gerber set out to design a streamlined multi-tool that contained only the necessities, and they did a fine job. Being that this tool was designed for Law Enforcement and First Responders, it’s kind of a surprise there aren’t scissors on here. Maybe it’s assumed they would be carrying full-sized shears? Not a deal breaker.
Design/Ease of Use
For such a small tool, the Bullrush is a powerhouse. The spring-loaded needle nose pliers really do come in handy, to the point where you wish all of your multi-tools had them, and their gripping power is pretty remarkable. Also, the ergonomic design of the handles coupled with the G-10, allow for this tool to function at 100 percent in situations where standard, smooth-sides multi-tools might fail.
Out of the box, the blade was dull, so I sharpened it using a standard Lansky ceramic sharpening kit. After a few round of cardboard and rope cutting, the knife needed to be sharpened again. This is the nature of the steel. A simple boost up to 440C could remedy this situation and not blow out the price of the tool. On the other hand, the strap cutter is razor sharp and should remain that way for some time.
Spring-loaded needle nose pliers
Sheepsfoot combo-edge blade
Large Phillips Head Screwdriver
Large Flat Head Screwdriver
Ballistic nylon sheath