In the mind of an outdoorsman who intends to buy cutting-edge knives, Gerber is one of the engraved brands. Also known as Gerber Legendary Blades, Gerber has managed to become a trusted knife brand over the years. Looking for the best Gerber knife has become so common in the outdoor and folding knife industry that it includes even first-time adventurer goers.
Carried by tradesmen, soldiers, survivalists, campers, EDC enthusiasts, and the military personnel, Gerber’s legacy runs deep. Its continuous strive for the highest possible quality and matchless innovation has helped it to come up with an assortment of knives used for different purposes as well as pushed it to the front of the knife industry.
This post aims to give an overview of the brand and its knives along with top-five knives to choose from.
Reasons to Get a Novel Gerber Knife
Wondering whether to buy a new Gerber knife or not? Well, you just cannot imagine what you are missing if you feel like not investing in one. Here are the reasons why investing in the knife of this brand is beneficial:
- You get a light knife that is easy to carry. Most Gerber knives are not heavy and fit to different belts, including the tactical ones. Their weight will not put a burden on you even if the belt has some more additional accessories.
- You get one of the sharpest knives. These knives are razor-like sharp and most come so right out of the box with no or little sharpening effort required. Their sharpness is such that they can easily cut through a few tough items that a standard pocket knife cannot.
- You get an EDC that is reliable for survival as well. EDC Gerber knives have proven themselves to be dependable when you have to suddenly defend yourself. This is perhaps why the American first responders prefer Gerber knives.
2021’s 5 Best Gerber Knives
Gerber Decree Flipper: Ideal Tactical Knife
The Decree Flipper knife is a reflection of what Gerber has learned about the changing needs of tactical users. It is the outcome of including this knowledge in a single folder. With a tanto-style blade, flipper or thumb stud utility, and liner lock mechanism, this heavy-duty knife seems to be the jack of all trades.
Although designed for tactical purposes, it comes with the ability to cut and to be used as a hammer. The blade is made using high-grade S30V stainless steel and has a ceramic coating that keeps corrosion at bay. This steel keeps the edge even with heavy-duty or longer tasks, sharpens easily, and slices easily. The bottom’s rounded edge facilitates blade sharpening without affecting its geometry.
The 3.7-inch blade is inclined towards a drop point shape while rendering all the advantages of a tanto tip. This tip is ideal for stabbing and piercing during an emergency. The partial serrations on the blade allow cutting tough items with more power. It is easy to pull the blade and quiet while flipping it open using the thumb pulls.
The textured handle is sturdy, as it is made using glass-filled nylon. It has an ergonomic design, as it ensures great grip with safety and control. The rubberized inclusions and diamond shape of the handle make this knife exceptionally user-friendly.
The folder deploys fast due to the finger flip and thumb studs so that you do not fall behind during an emergency. The rear end has a pommel containing a hardened steel glass breaker so that your rescue goal is achieved easily. The knife also comes with a pocket clip and a lanyard hole for carrying it anywhere.
- Not too heavy or too light
- Very sharp
- Quick to deploy
- Ergonomic handle
- Good coating
- Functional as a hammer
- Reversible pocket clip
- Loose tiny bits in the clip
- Flip opening hard initially
Gerber Flatiron: Ideal Pocket Knife for EDC
Consider this Gerber knife if you are looking for an economical pocket pal that can perform all your tasks smoothly. It can fit in your pocket at the back and deploys easily and quickly with just one hand. So, if one hand of yours is holding something, the other will perform the task with the knife.
The most interesting feature of this Gerber knife is its cleaver blade, which is hardly found in folders. This unique shape and a large finger coil make the blade securely versatile. While the latter ensures tight control while choking and easy one-handed use, the former allows performing a variety of tasks ranging from heavy kitchen work to cutting ropes. The spine’s reverse curvature separates the cutting surface and the knuckles to cut with accuracy.
The blade is made using 7Cr17MoV stainless steel, which is high in carbon, resistant to corrosion, and quite tough. While it dulls quicker than the stainless-steel ones, it sharpens easily. There is a thumb hole that allows unfolding the blade smoothly with a single hand.
The frame lock retains the blade firmly and ensures safety when you work with it on a tough surface. Squeezing the grip locks the blade.
The textured handle features a distinct design from both sides although it is grippy and comfortable. One side is a grip panel composed of anodized aluminum or textured g10 composite, while the other is made using stonewashed aluminum. The latter has a pocket clip and a frame lock.
- Sturdy cleaver-like blade
- Single-handed deployment
- Safer due to no sharp tip
- Precision cutting
- Frame lock
- Great grip
- Pocket clip included
- Only for light cutting and chopping
Gerber Ghoststrike: Ideal for Self-defense, Survival, and Military Tasks
The name itself indicates that this is not an EDC but a self-defense knife that is suitable for survival purposes as well. The most unique aspect of this Deluxe kit product is its ankle wrap due to which you can wear the knife on the ankle for more than 16 hours. Indeed, you will forget that the knife is there for so many hours.
The ankle-mounted sheath that you can wear with a low-cut shoe or boot mounts to the thin wrap of neoprene, a material that ensures comfort. The ultralight knife is designed to be a low-profile one with a full-tang fixed blade. It is ideal in the backcountry for minimalists, hikers, survivalists, and law enforcement personnel. While many consumers use it as a backup knife, some consider it for primary use.
Composed of 420HC (high carbon) steel, the 3.3-inch blade features a black ceramic coating to ensure minimal reflection and superior corrosion resistance. Its drop point and fine edge features contribute to precision slicing and ripping. The small skeletal blade is ideal for a subtle presence.
The blade locks with two tension lock catering to the comfort of both right- and left-handers. The rubberized handle comes with a diamond texture grip, a superior hold in any situation. You also get a sheath with adjustable but optional belt loops that mount on a belt inverted or vertically, or horizontally left or right.
- Made in Portland
- Tough sheath
- Horizontal and vertical carry as well as on belt or on the ankle carry
- Frequent sharpening
Gerber Spine Fixed Blade Knife: Ideal for Camping
Whether on a trail or around the camp, an outdoorsman needs a knife for opening bags, cutting ropes, and kindling fire. This is where the Gerber Spine knife proves itself beyond an average combat tool. Designed tough for camping, this fixed-blade knife has all that is needed for such an adventure – a full-tang blade, solid grip even in wet conditions, and glass-filled nylon sheath for safe carry and storage.
The shape and size of the knife are just ideal for camping activities. Its fine edge and sizeable blade can handle any utility task. It is made using 7Cr17MoV steel, a modified 440A version with more vanadium to ensure more strength, increased toughness, and boosted wear resistance.
The vibrant green color of the handle makes it easy to spot the blade amidst the dark. The textured handle with rubberized coating ensures a secure grip when kindling or chopping. You also get a sheath with a belt clip that mounts on the backpack’s lumbar strap. The lanyard hole is jumbo in size to accommodate ropes or strings of different sizes.
- Sturdy blade for utility tasks
- Ergonomic handle
- Value for money
- Backpack-friendly sheath
- Loose sheath clip
Gerber Gator 154CM Folding Knife: Ideal EDC/Survival Knife
Consider this Gerber knife if you are looking for a premium-quality EDC knife or survival tool at the most competitive price. The beauty of the Gerber Gator lies in its dexterous build featuring a blade as sharp as a crocodile’s teeth and a handle as strong as an athletic body. It functions as a quiet slayer when anything is thrown beneath its edge.
The 154cm steel blade with its fine edge and drop point is versatile enough to cook and cut on a campsite, except for bushcrafting. The saber grind is razor-sharp that sustains for a long time; you need not re-sharpen it frequently.
The ovoid-shaped, thick handle is made using glass-filled nylon featuring a rubberized alligator coating to deliver a strong grip in any weather. It is extremely comfortable in your hand. With this knife, you can easily carve into branches, set up a snare, feathering wood, or minor batoning.
- Athletic build
- Handle of the same size as on fixed-blade knives
- Ergonomic handle
- Frictionless opening
- Time-consuming sharpening
- No pocket clip
History of Gerber Knives
In 1939 in Oregon’s Portland, Gerber Legendary Blades as a company stepped into the big commercial world of cutlery. It started its journey by manufacturing a small lot of handmade cutlery under the supervision of its founder, Joseph Gerber. However, it took no time for these products to be sold via several retail outlets across the country.
The fact that the U.S. troops used Gerber knives during World War II speaks a lot about their quality and reliability. By 1960, Gerber had earned an esteemed position in the list of most reliable and appreciated brands of knives and tools. It acquired global reach and relevance. In 1966, the company shifted to Tigard in Oregon.
The brand has made its knives to withstand a lifetime of use. Although its knife designs of the ‘50s and ‘60s mainly focused on durability, the modern ones feature an improved design as per the expected precision and desired weight.
Even today, almost after nine decades of its journey, Gerber Gear continues to grow in terms of craftsmanship and knowledge. It runs on the principles built by Joseph R. Gerber who believed that a genuine enterprise should be founded on the pillar of dedication, innovation, and high quality.
Many talented designers have made Gerber knives, such as Bob Loveless, Blackie Collins, Fred Carter, Ernest Emerson, Rick Hinderer, Chris Reeve, and William Harsey Jr. Even Bear Grylls has used Gerber knives on his survival shows. A few former employees such as Al Mar and Pete Kershaw have gone ahead to start their knife companies.
In 1987, Fiskars took over Gerber and the company’s majority of manufacturing outlets moved overseas during the early 2000s. Despite these ups and downs, the company has managed to come up with some of the best knives that are just unbeatable.
Eventually, the company started shifting back to the U.S. for manufacturing. Today, it is still known to import economical knives made overseas. At the same time, it is producing some good knives and tools in its home town as well.
As identified from its product line, the brand is not just a knife company. It is credited for its myriad of survival kits, machetes, flashlights, headlamps, axes, digging tools, axes, manual saws, and multi-tools. Despite its product lines’ surge and expansion, the trustworthy name continues to deliver the revered standards of design and quality across all its products.
Today, Gerber is synonymous with knives having price tags suitable for any budget. On its journey towards success, the brand has never stopped learning, growing, and innovating. Thus, it never fell behind in expanding and diversifying.
Overview of Gerber Knives
Despite making a variety of tools today, it is still the Gerber knives that make the biggest impression. Most of them are ideal for EDC due to their lightweight design, lasting performance, and lower cost. It takes pride in creating light-weight but strong knives, with some proficient enough to become treasured masterpieces.
Gerber designs and makes knives for a myriad of applications. Its current collection includes folding, fixed, assisted-opening, and automatic knives apart from several saws, axes, multitools, and specialty items. Each knife is based on one of the proprietary models, including Gerber Blackie Collins, Gerber Guardian, and Gerber Mark II.
Its knives featuring a variety of designs are made for different purposes such as survival, camping, tactical, hunting, military, and everyday use. Although it designs for several purposes, its primary focus is survival. No matter which knife you choose, it has passed stringent durability tests before shipping.
Further, Gerber knives are tested by keeping the target users in mind. For example, military knives pass through a test by using them in different hand-to-hand situations. Similarly, survival knives are checked for durability and toughness to withstand all abuse in different harsh environments.
The present design of its metallic composition for knives is given shape only by using high-quality materials. Further, each design has a particular layout that is customized as per the end-user requirements. With so many features, it is no wonder why Gerber has been one of the top choices for almost a century.
Even though a set is all that you require, it does not put a burden to have some more knives designed for your specific hobby or profession. If you intend to have a knife for professional work such as tactical and military, the brand provides full-tang knives featuring handles fitting your hands and remaining firmly during energetic situations. There are several discreet Gerber knives that you can fold for convenient storage.
Gerber knives have always been recognized for their reliable and highly durable blades of stainless steel. Even in case of heavy use, these blades are extremely tough as well as resistant to rust or corrosion. This means you can use them in any weather or environment.
Most knives have an ergonomic handle rubberized to ensure a solid yet comfortable grip, especially when wet. This means you will never have to bother about slippage.
Apart from manufacturing knives of the highest quality, the brand also provides a full lifetime warranty on its products. All knives ship with a full lifetime warranty if their customers reside in North America. Yes, this is the restriction that the brand has imposed. Outside the country, the customers enjoy a warranty of almost 25 years.
The duration of this warranty indicates that the brand fully trusts its quality of products. Thus, you as a customer are ensured of knives that will last a lifetime no matter how much and where you use them. Another benefit of these knives is that they come with easily replaceable parts.
Materials used in Gerber knife blades
If you buy a special knife of this brand, remember that it will lack in other areas of performance. For instance, a folder with a straight blade considered ideal for slicing and cutting will be useless for bushcrafting.
Many of them serve more than one purpose due to which you may end up buying a versatile knife instead of a special one. This is because of the type of steel used in making them apart from the blade shape or style. The blades of Gerber knives are made using stainless steel or high-carbon stainless steel.
- Stainless Steel: If you need a Gerber pocket knife for making food, a standard stainless-steel blade is undoubtedly the best choice to make. This is because such a blade does not need a non-sticky or protective coat, which means there is no risk of cross-contaminating your food. Such blades are also highly resistant to corrosion and rust and are known for their sleek look. They are also usually tougher than the high-carbon counterparts.
- High-carbon Steel: Sharpness is one aspect in which high-carbon steel edges win over the standard steel ones. It is impossible to beat them when it comes to sharpness despite having years of knowledge in making stainless-steel blades. Better sharpness boosts the efficiency of the edge’s performance and decreases your effort of using it. This assures you more safety while using this edge. The high-carbon blades are also better in terms of hardness. In simple words, they are harder than the blades of stainless steel to deliver a more precise output and ensure more efficient performance for different applications. Yes, that single blade can then cut even tough items. Last but not the least, these blades are more affordable than the stainless-steel ones without compromising quality and performance.
Are Gerber knives 100% resistant to corrosion?
These knives are resistant to corrosion but this does not imply that they are not completely corrosion-free if you do not take proper care. It is essential to maintain your knife to keep the formation of rust at bay. So, do wash, clean, and lubricate the blade regularly. No product lasts for a lifetime without you taking care of it.
How easy is it to sharpen a Gerber knife?
The blades of Gerber knives are made using high-grade stainless steel due to which they hold an edge for more duration than the normal steel blades. Being harder, they demand frequent sharpening. However, it is easy to do so once you get acquainted with the right method of sharpening. In the case of serrated blades, it may take some time to learn, as tools and techniques differ from those meant for straight edges.
Are the black-coated Gerber blades better than other Gerber knives?
No! Those black blades have a coating of Teflon or black oxide, which gives you an anti-reflective surface to work with. Gerber itself says that this coat is purely ornate. It does not affect the blade’s strength or its ability to retain the edge. It is the build material, steel, that is important, not the coating.
The best Gerber knife for you truly exists. All you need to do is to be sure about what you need. Whether you need a new EDC, a fillet knife, or an adventurous companion, Gerber has got it all.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.