Gerber Quality

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by zfJames, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. zfJames

    zfJames Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 6, 2017
    If I had always been a solid Gerber fan from back in their heyday, then I probably would. As it is, there are too many other sweet blades out there... ;)
  2. harlycarly

    harlycarly Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 1, 2008
    I was a big fan in the 70's. I owned a Gerber Mark II Eddie Bauer. I still have a Folding Sportsman and an LST from back then. All 3 were exceptional knives. The current ones are ok at best, but expendable so they serve a purpose.
  3. Finan47


    Apr 18, 2017
    I have an LMF II and it is a good knife. The LMF is more suited to be a weapon than a versatile field knife. I have used it in the field, but it would not be my preferred field knife. The Bear Grylls ultimate pro is also a quality knife for the price, but I would choose the LMF over the BG. In my opinion large "survival knives" like these are not the most functional in terms of use in the field.

    I have the gator machete & gator machete pro, and I would say it is not the best steel for the intended use, but if you don't care about blade chips/nicks & sharpening it with a grinder after a full days work these tools will get the job done. I also have the BG parang, and that is a very functional field tool - out of the Gerber products I own I would say this is the most useful for camping/backpacking.

    I also have a Mark II - this is basically a dagger. I got the Mark II because of its history, cool design, and low price. It is a fun knife to own, but I do not anticipate ever using it for anything.
  4. Roguer


    Jan 5, 2015
    Gator blades I use, LOCK BACK folding ones have never failed me and hold a good edge for a long time, 420 HC and 154 CM (If i got the right 154 that is used there). One knife I had to relegate to secondary duty is the Gerber Frontiersmen I think that's made in Chinastan, blade is good, I like how they made a good solid base of the knife, but the fault I find is in the Frame Lock. It got loose when dressing a deer and almost took a finger off. This version had a gut hook and my fix blade dressing knife fell out of its sheath on way to the stand. I used it as a back up. I fault the Frame Lock for making the almost phalanges removing incident. Ever since for main use folders I get LOCK BACKs and such from now on.

    The Strongarm for me has become my light carry woods roaming knife. Well check out the Gauntlet series on U-tube and you'll find out why. I got it in the new stainless just to have an uncoated one. Its already processed a few yummy bunnies for me after I field dress them and cook em over a fire. OK one yummy bunny, as the rest went to the holiday stock pile. (Snowshoe Hare is what they really are.)
    filedog likes this.
  5. bofe954

    bofe954 Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 10, 2013
    I think most people understand that when they buy a folder $19.99 they aren't getting a sebenza. If Freeman can build a Ti and S35V folder and charge $450 for it, that's great. It's also the same price as a lot of other Ti and S35V folders, and I'd expect it to be similar quality. To think that Gerber can do that for $20-$50 is not realistic.

    So as far as

    "Interesting that Freeman went out on his own and designed and built a knife that's superior to anything Gerber has out there."

    It's not that interesting to me. He is building a better knife out of better materials and charging more for it like many others. If he had a $20 knife that vastly superior to Gerber's, that would be interesting. If Gerber was selling a $450 folder that was much worse than his, that would be interesting...
    BITEME likes this.
  6. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    I had an old Gerber Gator several years ago. It wouldn't hold an edge long, but it seemed to be a solid knife. If you search the archives, you will find a thread I started a few months back about Gerber auto knives. These were three of Gerbers more expensive blades, and none of them should have made it past qc. One of them had an extremely weak action, and if I remember correctly all three had multi-directional blade play. I went back to the store and requested to see the knives they had in stock thinking the display knives may be the lemons, well, every one of the Gerbers were the exact same way. Nice designs, I was disappointed because I really wanted to bring one home with me, but Gerbers poor qc standards costed them a sale. As someone said earlier, if you have a few bucks to spend on a cheapo knife, get a Gerber, if you want to spend money on a good blade, I suggest looking elsewhere.
    palonej likes this.
  7. Jessero


    Jan 12, 2011
    Ive only tried three China made Gerbers and have been disappointed with the blade steel in all 3. The Profile fixed-blade, the small LST, and a small BG folder (Compact i think it was called?). I guess the Profile is ok but none of them hold an edge at all. For the price you can have much better knives. Its a shame because some of the designs are really cool...
    zfJames likes this.
  8. zfJames

    zfJames Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 6, 2017
    If a Becker knife came with the kind of sheath that the LMF II comes with, I would probably buy four of them...
  9. CrazyCaucasian


    Aug 24, 2016
    I owned the Gerber Instant back in 2012. I definitely bought it before I met my current gf, (within just a couple months) and sold it not too long after we started dating. So I would say I bought it around March 2012. Does this mean that the Gerber Instant I owned at the time was under recall :O wow... That was one of the 3(?) Gerbers I've ever owned. I never had any problems with it, but that sounds crazy. I'm assuming it had to do with the button lock release?
  10. zfJames

    zfJames Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 6, 2017
    I’ve heard that a number of Gerbers have trouble with the locking blade, but I’m not sure about your specific model...
  11. palonej

    palonej Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    I found the same thing on the 1 Gerber Auto I have. Very weak action with tons of blade play. Doesnt Lock up every time either.
    I actually threw it away as I would never sell it to anyone.
    Just garbage.

    TheEdge01 and Velitrius like this.
  12. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    That's unfortunate, Joe. But I hear you with throwing it away... I do the same myself with unsafe stuff.

    Used to be I'd give lousy knives to people I don't like. They'd think I was doing something nice while being #@!&-ed.

    I don't do that any more. Cuz hey, I love everybody.
    shinyedges, palonej and zfJames like this.
  13. zfJames

    zfJames Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 6, 2017
    I just use those kinds of knives to practice throwing if they are even good for that... If they don't work for throwing, then they are genuinely useless.

    I remember when the Bear Gryllis series first came out—I thought they were pretty bad then, and nothing has happened to change my opinion.
  14. jaseman

    jaseman Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 28, 2016
    I have, or have had, a fer Gerbers over the years, with little complaint.

    Mk-I - nice dagger, that I 'acquired' from my father. Built sometime in the mid-late 80's when there wasn't any questioning their quality. Not very useful as anything other than a boot or SD knife, especially since it's not legal to carry here in PA... so it sits in my safe.

    AR 3.0 - used to be my edc 'gentleman's' knife about 15 years ago, till I picked up a Leek. Then the wife acquired it for her purse, until she stole the Leek off of me... LOL. Never had any issue with it, seemed solidly built, and is a nice slicer. Action on mine is really smooth. It now resides in the wife's hiking gear, and gets little use.

    Answer F.A.S.T assisted - wife bought it for me 10 years or so ago, to replace a Kershaw Blackout she accidentally ran through the washer and dryer (she has a habit of not checking pockets first). Again, seemed solid enough, and saw use and abuse as a primary EDC for about 3 years before I lost it. It was worth the price she paid - no more, no less. Was as good as anything else in the same price range, but I would call it average. Preferred the Blackout to it, and much prefer the Manix 2 that is my current primary EDC.

    BG Ultimate - the 1st gen, not the pro. I've actually been pleasantly happy with this knife. It's become my primary camp knife, and performs all the chores you would expect of one. It takes abuse better than what everyone on the interwebz would have you believe. Needs sharpened regularly, but takes a working edge well, and easily. Are there better camp knives out there? Sure are. But for the price, I can abuse it all day long, and not worry about it. Unlike others, I even like all the bright orange, as it makes it easy to spot if I drop it, or the wife misplaces it in the dark around the campfire.

    Would I buy any of these Gerbers again (other than the Mk-I)? Maybe, maybe not. All were acquired before I really knew anything about knives. But for the average, non-enthusiast, I see nothing wrong with any of them. Maybe I've just been lucky to get good examples.
    Frotier76 likes this.
  15. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    Friends don't let friends buy Gerber. Much better quality knives at the same or slightly higher price point.

    Also never understood why people want to put crappy knives in a BOB. If it comes down to you needing that bag, wouldn't you want to have something high quality that you can bet your life on?
    zfJames, shinyedges and Pomsbz like this.
  16. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    Maybe you have an issue with the Strongarm's level of quality. I don't. It's a great addition to my BOB.

    Perhaps you can educate me. What are the shortcomings of my gear? What perils will I not be able to overcome, simply because of the "unwise" and "fool" nature of my selection? Which $50 fixed blade would stack the deck in my favor, and what would it do so much better than the Strongarm?

    Can't wait to see what I'm missing.
  17. sitka


    Dec 25, 2009
    "Gerber propagandist", hee hee.
    I try to think of everything the last 15 years as Fiskars.
    At one time it was a great company doing interesting things in a quality way. Not so much anymore.
    sabre cat, G. Scott H. and DocJD like this.
  18. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    I keep a Busse Satin Jack in mine. I know I can do basically everything with it and not worry about it breaking and it keeps a good working edge for a long while. You can be snarky with my username all you want, but I'd rather spend more for a brand that has consistent quality and a good reputation. You don't want to that's your choice, not going to impact me. Merry Christmas!
  19. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    Satin Jack is a solid choice. But it's nowhere near the "same or slightly higher price point" you mentioned.

    And this is kind of the gist of this whole thread. Can you get better quality than the Gerber? You absolutely can. You can get better quality in anything you purchase, if you are willing to kick the price tag up a notch or two.

    But in the "same or slightly higher price point", I think Gerber's holding it's own... with the Made in the US of A stuff anyways.
  20. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    You can get Ontario rats and beckers for less than $100 and I'd trust those a lot more
    zfJames and Velitrius like this.

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