It was a statistical given and was only a matter of time as TPF has given an overview of both AR-15 specific tools in the past. Multitasker’s Ultralight and Gerber’s eFECT are good tools in themselves and are both quality products. However, in this installation of TPF we will be comparing the similar features of both tools and focusing on the differences between them. We will be reviewing various categories and features and giving our opinions. GASP! That is correct, TPF will be rating both on various features and details. So without further ado, let TPF’s first showdown begin!
PHYSICAL SIZE: The Ultralight, while narrower than the eFECT, is longer by nearly 25mm (1″) and is heavier by nearly half again.
TOOL ARMS: Ultralight 4, eFECT 6. However, two of the eFECT’s arms are for attachments.
- Front sight adjustment tool. The eFECT has a switchable bit for either 4 or 5 prong AR-15 front sights, where the Ultralight only comes with a 4 prong (A2) version.
- Carbon scraper. The Ultralight has a design which is dedicated to cleaning of the bolt from the AR platform, where the eFECT has a large, very effective scraper for any long linear areas.
- Flat screwdriver. Both tools have a large flat tip screwdriver, the eFECT’s being mounted to have a decent reach for tight fits. The Ultralight’s version is meant more for surface usage (tightening of slotted nuts and screws for attachments). Both can double as an additional carbon scraper.
- Attachment arms. The eFECT has two (2) with female threads versus the single male threaded version of the Ultralight.
- eFECT ONLY: A dedicated push pin arm.
- Ultralight ONLY: First. Part of the screwdriver arm incorporates a butt stock castle nut wrench for field tightening of the aforementioned nut. Second, as briefly mentioned, the one arm is a dedicated 1/4″ hex bit driver.
LOCK MECHANISM: For each trio of arms on the Gerber, there is a spring loaded sliding lock. Simple and reusable for both sides. The Ultralight uses a combination of lock styles for each individual arm.
CONSTRUCTION: The eFECT is comprised of stainless steel sheet metal for the liners and the stamped punch and screwdriver arms. The remaining 4 arms are cast and held together between two polymer panels. The Ultralight is made from stainless steel and all major components are machined and/or wire EDM’d. The entire package is wrapped in G-10 fiberglass panels and includes a wire EDM’d pocket clip.
- eFECT: A Molle compatible sheath. The reversible front sight bit and the dental pick and bristle brush for the attachment arms.
- Ultralight: A Molle compatible sheath. The A2 sight bit, plus 10 more common bits for the 1/4″ hex driver. Only comes with the dental pick attachment, but is far more robust than that of the eFECT’s.
COST: Multitasker has an MSRP of $74.99 USD versus $79.99 USD for the Gerber eFECT.
So now we do the comparison showdown.
- Physical Size – eFECT wins. While the size and heft of the UL makes a more solid and secure feeling tool, the mass alone makes the eFECT the winner for a carried item.
- Tool Arms – Ultralight wins. The quantity of tool arms does not quite overcome the sheer robustness and versatility of the UL. The included pick on the eFECT is pitiful compared to the robust one that comes with the UL. Besides, how many OTIS connections can you use at once anyways? One. The bit driver alone puts the UL over the top in this category.
- Lock Mechanism – Tie. The UL has very solid locking devices for each of the four arms, but there are 3 different types. The eFECT has a lock for each set of three arms and they are identical. Simplicity versus strength results in a tie.
- Construction – UL from manufacturing edge. Both tools are well conceived and manufactured for light maintenance work on the AR platform, the detail to the processes used for construction goes to the UL. Both would most likely hold up to long term everyday usage, and I’m positive that people will break the UL more often due to misusing the castle nut wrench, however, the eFECT has the appearance and feel of being made as cheap as possible through the use of stampings and castings.
- Accessories – UL hands down. The inclusion of 10 additional driver bits (with many more customs ones being created) gives the thumbs up to the UL.
- Sheath – eFECT, barely… The Gerber eFect sheath is more compact and velcro closing which is good for storage and mounting comfort. The UL sheath is bulky due to the size of the tool and the accessory bits and is a snap enclosed pouch with a more rigid construction. Comfort edges out apparent robustness.
- Cost – UL. Cheaper by $5 USD is pretty self explanatory.
CONCLUSION: Now if you are looking for a smaller more comfortable tool that will still do nearly everything needed for routine maintenance on your AR-15, one would be hard pressed to go wrong with the Gerber eFECT. However! The higher quality manufacturing and the apparent versatility over the eFECT coupled with a lower MRSP make the Ultralight TPF’s chosen winner.
WINNER of the first Tactical, Practical & Fantastical Showdown – Multitasker’s Ultralight