Gerber Shard Review – 7 ways to use

gerber shard

Gerber initially released the Shard as a trade show giveaway with no plans to sell it to the general public. As photographs of the Shard made their way out on the internet, public demand to get a production version produced grew. Finally, Gerber caved and decided to make the Shard for sale.

At 1.0625″ wide and with a large lanyard hole for it’s 2.75″ long body, the Shard is a solid piece of [Gerber mystery] stainless steel that has become an EDC favorite for many. At only 0.6 ounces in weight, it boasts 7 functions and easily fits into your keychain EDC setup.

The large lanyard hole actually allows you to use all of it’s 7 tools without taking it off, which sets itself apart from many other keychain tools.

Unlike a folding multitool that conceals its tools and functions, this one-piece leaves all its tools exposed, which depending on your keychain setup, can poke you in the wrong places. Here at Option Gray, we’re pretty evenly divided about keeping the Shard (or any other OPMT) on a keychain that lives in our pockets or attached to a belt loop via a carabiner or TEC Accessories P-7 Suspension Clip. Either way works.

Let’s take a look at the Shard’s 7 functions and how they hold up. (Gerber counts the lanyard hole as a tool . . . but we’ve ignored that and replaced it with the wire stripping functionality the v-notch gives.)

#1 Pry Bar

Taking the primary place on the tool is the pry bar.

gerber shard opening can of paint
The Shard makes quick work of simple tasks, like opening a can of paint.

We never leave home without a knife of some kind (a folding knife or a small fixed blade) and the Shard really allows us to save our blade. There’s no use scraping or prying or doing anything that could destroy a pocket knife when you have a one-piece multitool that is nearly indestructible. 

Obviously, the pry bar is not a tool for extended use, but that isn’t our expectations for a sub-3 inch tool. For short periods of time, it can help you get what you need done. It opens a can of paint or helps pull open a rusty ammo box or anything else we really need to pull on. The jimping on the tool itself is surprising because it really does give you a bit extra grip when using the pry bar.

#2 Nail Puller

The pry bar’s v-shape also doubles as a nail puller.

gerber shard pulling a nail
Replacing a small piece of siding and needing to pull out only four screws, the Gerber Shard makes it quick work.

In a pinch, this has worked better than again, trying to use our blade to pull a nail out. 

The Shard has a slight angle for the pry-bar and this comes in handy when using it as a nail puller. For most nails, we can wedge the cut v-notch in enough to get a nail out. If a nail is recessed too much for the thicker Shard to get under the nail, it wouldn’t work as well.

#3 Wire Stripper

The cut v-notch can also be used as a wire stripper. 

This is likely the least used function for us and probably the one that is a bit far-fetched. In a pinch, it can work, but it’s not meant to replace a dedicated tool. 

#4 and #5 Small and Large Flathead Screwdrivers

At the end of the v-notch is a large flathead screwdriver that is .171″ wide and a small flathead screwdriver that is 0.05″ wide.

We see a lot of OPMT’s that have just one size of a flathead screwdriver, so having the two sizes have been handy a few times.

Day-to-day, we’ve mostly used these functions as great box openers, again saving our primary blade from cutting boxes open. They are just sharp enough to get through thicker tape.

#6 Phillips Screwdriver

Opposing the pry bar is the secondary tool, a Phillips screwdriver with jimping to support its use on the bottom side. 

gerber shard tightening a screw
The Phillips has worked the best on medium size screws.

It’s not going to replace the Craftsman in your garage, but it does work well with average, household screws that need tightening or loosening here and there.

It also can be used as an awl to poke holes.

#7 Bottle Opener

A big reason to carry a Shard is the bottle opener. It works flawlessly every time.

gerber shard opening a bottle
Enjoying a local Fort Worth, Texas beer, Rahr & Sons Texas Red.

As a bottle opener, the Shard has no problem performing. It hasn’t failed once!

We’re hard-pressed to find a single-piece multitool at the price of the Gerber Shard. At approximately $5 (yes, really) it’s almost a no-brainer to give this tool a try. Whether you end up keeping it on your keychain, attached to a carabiner on your belt loop, in your pocket organizer, or anywhere else that’s handy, we know you’ll get your money’s worth out of it.

Do you carry a Gerber Shard or any other one-piece multitool? Is it on your keychain, lanyard in your pocket or in your organizer/bag?

Cody Martin

With over 18 years of federal law enforcement, training, and physical security experience, Cody focuses his time nowadays on both consulting and training. He regularly advises individuals, groups, multinational corporations, schools, houses of worship, and NGOs on security threats while conducting customized training as needed.

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