This new Gerber Prybrid X tool is a 2-in-1 EDC multi-tool – it’s both a mini pocket knife and a prying bar.
Gerber says that the Prybrid X blends the best of a replaceable hobby blade knife and a compact multi-tool and its sell sheet says it’s a lightweight pocket tool that you can trust to help you everyday and in a crisis.
Gerber also says that the Prybrid X is the only tool you’ll need for quick tasks at the job site.
Would you use this at a job site?
The Prybrid X is available in black and olive drab green, as shown above, and also in silver and blue.
Each Prybrid X is wrapped with a length of paracord, presumably for decorative and quick-access purposes, but you might be able to unwrap and use the cord in a pinch if needed.
At the pry bar end there is also a built-in bottle opener. The full list of tools and functions include:
- Standard #11 blade
- Pry bar
- Wire stripper
- Nail puller
- Flathead driver (small/medium)
- Bottle opener
- 550 cord wrap
I don’t think a tool this size will be able to successfully pry larger nails, due to the lack of leverage, but small pry bars can be handy for a multitude of other tasks.
Gerber equipped the Prybrid knife with a precision hobby knife-style #11 blade.
Making use of the small and replaceable nature of X-Acto-style blades has an increasingly popular trend in recent years, with many other models aimed at EDC users and the enthusiast community.
One of the biggest selling points for the Prybrid X, in comparison to the other X-Acto-style hobby knife-compatible tools I’ve seen, is its price. You can buy Gerber’s newest mini multi-tool for $22-24 via Amazon and other dealers.
- 4″ overall length
- Weighs 1.7 oz
- 0.875″ width
- Aluminum handle body
- Retractable knife blade
There will also be a Prybrid Utility, which uses standard utility knife blades in lieu of the X-Acto-style hobby knife blade.
To speak candidly, I can see the utility of a small replaceable blade EDC knife, but having used X-Acto-style precision knives for many years, I could never see myself using them in place of a standard utility knife or pocket knife.
The Prybrid X’s blade, which should be comparable to any of the size-11 blades I’ve used with hobby knives in the past, is going to be super sharp but also very delicate.
I don’t see tools like this offering much in the form of cutting strength or precision control. Because of that, this and other tools like it seem more to be “just in case you need it” types of EDC pocket knives, rather than “workhorse” types of knives and tools.
I suppose the same can be said about nicer folding pocket knives, but something about this and other hobby knife tools I’ve seen simply scream to me “use something else.”
Then again, I could be biased.
Hobby knife-compatible mini knives have been available for years, but typically at much higher prices than you’d expect, made from exotic enthusiast-aimed materials such as anodized titanium. There are some cheaper ones available, with terrible reviews.
The prices of enthusiast tools have come down, such as with the Massdrop Ferrum Forge RUK ($45-55 via Amazon), but I still find it hard to see these as tools I would use regularly.
The Gerber Artifact, no longer available, also had a hobby knife-style blade, and the tool has had decent user reviews over the years. The Prybrid X looks to be a descendant, going not by design or appearances but by the shared features.
Surely I could be more open-minded about tools like this, but I still have a hard time envisioning how I would use such a knife. It’s not that the blade is small, but that these types of blades are for light and precise tasks.
Can you see a tool like this being used to break down a cardboard box? What kinds of jobsite tasks would it be suitable for?
Gerber sure made the Prybrid X look appealing, in my opinion (I particularly like the look of the silver and blue version), but how useful might it be?
If there’s the choice between having a hobby knife-based multi-tool in my pocket and nothing, I’d choose the compact hobby knife tool of course. But I’d choose plenty of other compact knives and multi-tools over this one and others like it.
Trying to push through my apprehension, I finally came across a good question. What if I only used a knife like this for the types of tasks I would use a keychain multi-tool for, such as the Victorinox Swiss Army Classic or some of Leatherman’s keychain tools such as the Micra? That could work…
However, refocusing my perception conflicts with Gerber’s marketing claims of how “the Prybrid X is the only tool you’ll need for quick tasks at the job site.” I am also hesitant to consider it a keychain knife or multi-tool replacement, partly because the blade is going to be too sharp and delicate compared to even Victorinox’s mini knives, but also because it’s much larger. The Gerber Prybrid X has a 4″ length, which is the same size as a closed Leatherman full-sized multi-tool. The Kershaw Dividend folding knife, reviewed here, has a closed length of 4.25″.
Maybe this is something I really need to try before I comment, but that’s the point – I am very apprehensive, even irrationally so. Do you think it has something to do with all the blood I’ve lost to hobby knives over the years, usually when I apply any more than the slightest force?
If you have a mini hobby blade-based knife or multi-tool, what have you used it for? What’s your take on the Gerber Prybrid X knife/multi-tool?
Is this a convenient everyday-capable multi-tool, or more of a “just in case I need something and nothing else is available” type of tool?