I do get a fair stream of customers who come to my shop looking to buy multi-tools and knives. As Gerber is one of the main brands I carry, I often am questions is Gerber a good brand?
Its a good question to ask if you did not have the time to read through reviews of their products, because there is no real single answer. Different brands tend to focus and offer different things, for example Benchmade is know for making high end knives with really new and exotic steels, and Leatherman is known for their general quality and super warranty support. But what is Gerber known for?
My opinion is that Gerber is really good at making money and marketing (like Cold Steel, but different). The brand does not have any specific focus other than this. So you can find lots of low quality products at the lower end of their price range and some really nice stuff, stuff you can compare with other brands known for quality at the upper end of the spectrum.
There are many signs pointing to all Gerber cares is to make money, from whoever and whatever you are looking for. They were the first company to produce a Bear Grylls range of products, after seeing how he was commercially viable in promoting their knife products. Their products come in clam packaging that is much more space inefficient than most other brands, so their products stand out in terms of physical space occupied. They use every single sales method possible, often pushing down their prices as sellers get stuck with their stuff.
So if anything from Gerber is of interest to you, you should read up more about that product specifically instead of mixing it around with the brand, cos Gerber stands for everything. Gerber does make gems, like the Gerber Dime, which has basically anything you could want in a key chain size multi-tool at half the price of an equivalent Leatherman. Or their US made line of tactical knives like Ghost Strike and Prodigy, that offer a reasonable price for equal quality knives offered by rivals.
Love Gerber or hate it, as a company focused on making money, it is unlikely to collapse anytime soon.Just keep an eye out for what specifically interests you and research about it specifically before a Gerber purchase, or simply buy something cheap that you would expect to be of low quality. Thats just how Gerber rolls.