Gerber Fastball

Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
14
Does anyone have any experience with or comments on the Gerber fastball. I am looking for a good EDC knife and have come across the Kershaw leek, kizer begleiter, the crkt flat out and the fastball. The fastball is about twice the price of the other three and wasn't sure if it is any better.
 

gazz98

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
4,554
I handled one at a knife show. I'm personally not a fan of metal handles. I find them kinda slick. I like G10 or micarta. The opening action was pretty smooth on the one I handled.

I don't know if country of origin is important to you, but I'd rank your choices as ...

1. Kizer. Great knives for the money. Bonus points for me since it has G10 handles. Nothing wrong with VG10 at this price point. My Spyderco's are just fine with that steel.
2. Leek S30V with G10. Again, I like G10 and the S30V is a nice upgrade on steel. A few bucks cheaper then the Gerber and a much better knife imo.
3. regular Leek. 14C28N is still good steel. The Leek is a classic for a reason. Good bang for the buck.
4. Gerber
5. CRKT

Good luck on journey!
 

Comeuppance

Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Messages
4,765
It comes at a premium cost for being made in the US, but I would say, based on reviews, that it is likely a better knife use experience vs the leek and flat out. The Kizer you mentioned is going to be, at worst, a tie for quality of assembly, but arguably a step down in edge retention (VG10 vs S30V).

The Fastball is part of an overhaul of Gerber’s knife lineup as they try to shed the stigma of being a low-quality knife brand, and they went in a good direction by releasing a practical manual S30V bearing flipper (although arguably mis-stepped by going for all-aluminum handles). If country of manufacture is important to you, Gerber is one of very few companies releasing US-made bearing flippers with good blade steel under $200.

I wrote that press-release-sounding blurb mostly as an explanation as to why that knife costs as much as it does. It’s probably not inherently better as a cutting tool than the Kizer, but you might have sociopolitical reasons for choosing the Gerber regardless.
 

Velitrius

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2000
Messages
4,621
For the price of the Fastball, I'd opt for the Leek in carbon fiber and CPM-154.

It's thinner, lighter, nicer looking IMO, less expensive, made in the USA by a great company...

I'm happily toting one around these days courtesy of a fellow forum member. It's a performer for sure.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
340
I handled a Fastball and I've watched a bunch of reviews. Quality control seems to be hit or miss. The one I looked at was okay. Handling it, I felt like Gerber wanted this knife to compete with the Kershaw Dividend. The Dividend in M390 has arguably better quality control and can be had for less. If you want a really thin EDC knife, it's worth exploring.

https://www.bladehq.com/?search=kershaw+dividend

I've had good experience with Kizer's more budget friendly knives and also their Tangram line. I don't have experience with the Begleiter but I have handled their Domin and Mini Domin. Those might be worth looking at if you like this style of knife.

https://www.bladehq.com/?search=domin#/filter:brand:Kizer
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
14
The leek is assisted. Keep that in mind. I carry all my knives tip up and my leek has cut two pair of shorts by opening in my pocket. It has a safety, but that's an inconvenience. The fastball I played with at SMKW had a really bad detent making the action pretty crap. Maybe it was just a worn out demo unit. People seem to like the begleiter. VG10 doesn't hold an edge as long as S30V, but it sharpens VERY easy. I suggest the Kizer and save some coin.......or squeeze a bit farther and buy the Benchmade Bugout. The Bugout is a hands down replacement of the leek IMO.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
340
The leek is assisted. Keep that in mind. I carry all my knives tip up and my leek has cut two pair of shorts by opening in my pocket. It has a safety, but that's an inconvenience. The fastball I played with at SMKW had a really bad detent making the action pretty crap. Maybe it was just a worn out demo unit. People seem to like the begleiter. VG10 doesn't hold an edge as long as S30V, but it sharpens VERY easy. I suggest the Kizer and save some coin.......or squeeze a bit farther and buy the Benchmade Bugout. The Bugout is a hands down replacement of the leek IMO.

The Leek was my office carry for years. You are right that the safety is an inconvenience. However, it seems like Kershaw designed it to be carried that way. When the safety was off, mine was pretty easy to actuate. That might be what happened to your pants. Mine developed another problem that could be the culprit. My Leek could be opened just a hair before the assist kicked in. Given the shape of the blade relative to the scale, that meant exposing the tip ever so slightly. It was just enough to bite if you slid fabric or skin against it!

I eventually dumped my Leek. It was a classy letter opener but the above issues really bugged me. I also didn't care much for the clip design on the Leek. The Dividend is the real "hands down" replacement for the Leek in my opinion, at least with the right steel choice. It is wonderfully thin and carries very easily with a deep-carry clip. The Dividend has become my favorite knife for shirt pocket carry.

As far as the Begleiter and Domin, I like VG-10. Sure, it isn't a modern super steel. However, it holds a decent edge versus other budget knife steels and is nicely corrosion resistant. Ease of sharpening is a plus. The Mini Domin uses N690. I don't have much experience with it but N690 looks like a possibly improved VG-10:

http://zknives.com/knives/steels/steelgraph.php?nm=n690,VG-10&ni=,4001&hrn=1&gm=0
 
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