Photo by A.J. George.

Photo by A.J. George.

Gerber approached the development of its new Bullrush Multi-Tool for first responders the right way: with extensive collaboration from the end users. Firefighters, police officers, and EMTs all weighed in on what they need in the field, and what they don't. Good knife and a pair of rock-solid pliers? Check. Toothpick and bottle opener? Nope.

The Bullrush is a very compact and solid gadget. Out of the box, I was immediately impressed by the fit and finish and loved the G10 composite handles. The weight was good and the joints were very precise.

I unfolded the various tools from the Bullrush's handles and gave each a thorough once-over. The partially serrated knife and strap cutter are made of thick steel and razor sharp. Both the Phillips and flathead screwdrivers are full size and extended nicely from the handles. All incorporated a liner-lock feature to prevent them from accidental folding during use, something from which we've all earned a sliced finger or busted knuckle.

Of course the true workhorse of this multi-tool is the needle-nose pliers. The first thing I noticed was the spring-loaded handle, which makes one-handed operation a breeze. At the "business end" of the pliers, Gerber incorporated a few different features. The jaws are pointed. Inside are precise serrations for positive grip on your work and a rounded-out portion for gripping objects like rebar or nuts and bolts. There's also a heavy-duty wire cutter.

I have been beating the heck out of this little "jack of all trades" for several weeks and I have not been able to find a task it has failed. It's turned more bolts and screws than I can count, cut wire much thicker than a tool this size should ever cut, and sliced through everything in sight.

The Bullrush seems to have everything I need, and I have yet to find myself wishing it had anything more. At an MSRP of $69, the Bullrush is money well spent and would be an excellent addition to anyone's daily gear.

Gerber Bullrush Multi-Tool Specs:

Overall Length: 5.8 inches

Closed Length: 3.6 inches

Weight: 8.32 ounces

Steel Type: 7Cr17

Handle Material: G-10

Features: Spring-loaded plier jaws for easy one-handed operation, partially serrated tanto-style blade for versatile cutting, dedicated strap cutter, full-size flathead driver and large Phillips head driver, wire cutters, ballistic nylon sheath matches uniforms and mounts to duty belts, lifetime warranty.

Price: $69

A.J. George is a motor officer and firearms instructor for the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Police Department.