MPT, stainless The Military Provisional Tool #5 was an unexpected surprise from Gerber in the early 1990's. No one expected the company that pioneered the sliding jaw concept to bring out a butterfly opener. Legend has it that Gerber developed the tool in order to compete with Leatherman for a U.S. Government order. The MPT won the bid, and Gerber went on to produce the tool for the civilian market. It was generally considered to be the "economy" model in Gerber's line.

MPT, black oxide
Black Oxide version
3 blades -vs- 5 blades
Blade variations
new -vs- old awl
Awl variations
round -vs- hex bolts
Plier screw variations
short stamped -vs- long milled reliefs
Backspring Relief variations
Handle Variations
Handle variations
MPT box
MPT box
MPT box
MPT#5 box


As the MPT was Gerber's only butterfly opening tool for many years, its jaws do not resemble those of any other tool from that company.

Jaw features include fine serrations, a gripping area, and a wire cutter area. (No hard wire notch is included.)

Early models had a brushed stainless finish. Later models were matte polished.


Each handle is comprised of a channel of stainless steel sheet. In response to complaints at the time about Leatherman tools, the edges of the MPT's handles have a rolled edge for more comfortable plier use.

Finish is matte stainless all over.

Cutouts in the handle channel allow access to nail nicks in the blades.

GERBER is stamped in large font on one handle. STAINLESS and USA are stamped in small font. Inch and metric scales are stamped along the spines of both handles.

Blades and Tools

  • Plain edge knife blade, drop point profile, double side grind bevel. Measures 2-1/2" long. (63mm)
  • Large triangle awl blade
  • Combination can opener/small flathead screwdriver
  • Folding lanyard ring
  • Large flathead screwdriver

  • Simonds three-sided file blade
  • Phillips screwdriver with square shank
  • Combination cap lifter/medium flathead screwdriver

Blade Characteristics

Blades and drivers were shared with other Gerber sliding-jaw multitools. Therefore they are all shorter than they would otherwise need to be.

None of the blades lock open.

Like almost all multitools of this era, the blades tend to clump when opening.

Locking Mechanism



Many MPT's came with a genuine leather sheath with embossed basket weave pattern and snap closure. Loop allowed for vertical carry only.

Woven nylon sheath with velcro closure was also available. Vertical carry only.


  • Length open = 7" (178mm)
  • Length closed = 4-1/2" (114mm)
  • Width closed = 1" (26mm)
  • Thickness = 5/8" (15mm)
  • Weight = 5.9 oz (166g)


In addition to the standard stainless finish, the MPT was also produced with a black oxide finish.


For whatever reason there seems to be a large number of slight variations in MPT production:
  • Plier jaws
    • Early models had a brushed stainless finish on the jaws only. Later models had a polished matte finish.

  • Blade selection
    • Some tools have blade selection as specified above. Other tools lose the lanyard ring and the large screwdriver, substituting a spacer washer or two in their place. (see photo at right)

  • File blade
    • Simonds USA files seem to be used consistently, but sometimes they are three-sided and sometimes only two-sided.

  • Awl blade
    • Large triangle awl had slotted nail nick. Later awls had notched nail nick, and sharpened bevel edge was reversed. (see photo at right)

  • Pivot screws
    • Some tools have hex bolts in all locations. Other tools have hex bolts for blade pivots, round headed bolts for plier pivots. (see photo at right)

  • Handles - there seem to be three variations:
    • Nail nick cutouts only on one side, "shoulders" near plier pivots, no "speed bumps" near plier pivots, long stamped-out reliefs for blade backsprings.
    • Nail cutouts on both sides, no shoulders, yes speed bumps, long milled-out reliefs for blade backsprings.
    • Nail cutouts on both sides, no shoulders, yes speed bumps, short stamped out reliefs for blade backsprings.


Introduced in the early 1990's. Made in the USA.

More Info

Created by Bob. Last Modification: Friday 15 of April, 2016 04:59:50 CEST by sLaughterMed.