Next generation kabar or discontinued Gerber LMF

Apr 7, 1999
I was trying to decide between these two, and I'm leaning towards the LMF only because I remember holding one about seven years ago and the handle was very comfortable, and because they are discontinued so this may be the last chance to get one. Both knives have blades of roughly equal length but the differences are: the kabar uses kraton while the gerber uses some kind of foam-like Hyplon material. The gerber uses 440a (I was told this even though 425 is used on everything else they make) while the kabar has Scandivik 12--something. The gerber comes with a nylon sheath while the kabar has a kydex one, but I have never worn through a well made sheath of any material and I trust the gerber will come with a good sheath. They are both priced the same. Lastly there is the balance which I don't have info about. Which knife would you choose if you could only get one or the other?

I've owned and used both knives. The LMF is smaller and better suited to field dressing and skinning chores, if it will be used as such. It's very comfortable in the hand, has good balance, and I've butchered an elk with mine without stopping to re-sharpen. Mine is a very early model, however, serial number under 4000 (pre-Fiskars), and I'm not sure of the steel. The cordura sheath will retain moisture and resulted in rusting my blade at one point.

The New Generation KaBar has a longer, heavier blade better suited to heavier chores. The Sanvik is a decent stainless steel, cryo treated, and came with a good edge. The serrations are of the scallop shape variety, which cuts much more efficiently on hard fiber, such as rope, than tooth-and-scallop designs.

Handles on both are rubbery and comfortable, the Gerber being softer and almost molds to your hand, while the KaBar would probably be more durable.

For a hunting knife that will called on to do utility/camp chores, the LMF is better. For heavier work or self defense, the KaBar would win out, but is cumbersome on game.

Truth be told, for me neither knife makes sense as a hunter on anything smaller than elk in size. I've carried both in my pickup as general use knives, but now carry a Busse Basic #5 instead. The blade length is almost as long as the LMF, but is just under 6" from tip to guard, which makes the Busse legal for general carry in Texas. And, of course, the modified INFI steel is superior if not stainless. Stored in a Kydex sheath, with a dab of Break Free applied on the edge now and then, I've seen no rust in a year of use and carry in the humidity of coastal south Texas.

thanks for the info, I would like to get a busse as well, but I'm still working up to it. Besides that my knives tend to get wet sometimes because I live on the coast and take them into the ocean. In the fall it also rains almost every other day.