Gerber Gear is an American knife and tool company based out of Portland, Oregon. You can find more information on the history of the company below. These days they are arguably best known for their Bear Grylls line of knives.
Gerber Knife Reviews:
Here is a collection of all our reviews of Gerber knives to date:
Gerber Jukebox Review
If you hadn’t heard: the war between form and function continues to rage. Sure, in a perfect world we’d end up with tools that look fantastic and work great. That said, the reality of the knife world is that most of us end up with pug-ugly blades we don’t mind hammering on, and a lot ...
Gerber 06 Auto Review
The Gerber 06 Auto has always struck me as a stand out piece for Gerber. A well worn trope in knife reviewing is to bag on Gerber for their decline from an American standard to a mass market, Wal-Mart oriented, overseas produced stuffed shirt of a brand. Buy the Gerber 06 Auto at BladeHQ The poster ...
Gerber Ayako Review
I’m a sucker for cool-looking knives. Not impractical fantasy knives, but practical knives that have a cool look to them. That’s why knives like the Gerber Flatiron and now the Ayako. I’m a sucker for budget-friendly knives that have a unique style and grace to them. The Ayako, as the name implies, has a Japanese ...
Gerber Tri-Tip Review
I like weird stuff in general, and that extends to my knife collection. The good news is knives can get really weird. I now have three cleavers that have been produced by companies who don’t specialize in kitchen utensils. My ESEE cleaver, my Gerber Flat Iron, and now a second Gerber, the Gerber Tri-Tip mini ...
Gerber Fastball Review
I haven’t reviewed much Gerber stuff on here. That’s because these days Gerber’s best known products are plastic handled collaborations with Bear Grylles, or is just super low end, or something like the Downrange Tomahawk – cool, but not something I can review well. I enjoy the occasional fixed blade, but confess that I’m mostly ...
Gerber Key Note Review
Guns may be the main draw the SHOT Show, but there is a healthy amount of knives at the Show. One I saw at 2019’s SHOT Show that caught my eye was the Gerber Key Note. I loved the unique look, small size, and how lightweight it was. I saw it at SHOT, and after ...
Gerber Flatiron Review
What’s with the rise in popularity with cleaver knives? It just seemed like one day they were everywhere. We had options from Spyderco, Boker, Kershaw, CRKT, and of course the Gerber FlatIron. The FlatIron made a big showing at SHOT, and it makes sense why. Gerber is a massive company, the FlatIron looked cool as ...
Gerber StrongArm Review
One thing I have always had is a healthy respect for is a good fixed blade knife. As a young infantryman I fell victim to some clever marketing from Gerber and purchased the Gerber LMF II Infantry. It had infantry in the name so I couldn’t go wrong right? While I may have been a ...
Gerber Applegate Fairbairn Covert Review
The first knife I ever owned, even before my Swiss Army knife, was a Gerber that my Dad gave me. It awed me then and awes me now, and is being passed down within my family; hopefully for generations to come. When a couple of military buddies mentioned the Gerber Applegate Fairbair Covert ...
Gerber Downrange Tomahawk Review
The tomahawk is a North American hand-axe first used by the Algonquian Indians. Originally made from stone, the introduction of metal blades came with the arrival of the Europeans to North America. The tomahawk remains one of the most versatile bladed tools in existence. Modern uses of the hawk include breaching, rescue, survival, and close-quarter ...
History of Gerber
Founded in 1939 in Portland Oregon, Gerber enjoyed many decades of success with their USA made knives and tools. Gerber has worked with a lot of talented designers over the years, including Bob Loveless, Blackie Collins, Bill Harsey, Jr., Rick Hinderer, Ernest Emerson, and Chris Reeve. And a number of former Gerber employees have gone on to do great things in the knife industry, including Pete Kershaw and Al Mar. For a long time Gerber was the company to beat.
In 1987 Fiskars bought Gerber, and at some point in the early 2000s they moved a lot of the manufacturing overseas. Quality suffered and they resorted to gimmicks like selling “Bear Grylls” branded knives and investing heavily in marketing. While the average Joe at Wal-Mart may not have cared, those who love great knives lamented the loss of this storied company.
A lot of people complained, and I think the company eventually got the message, because they eventually started moving back to the USA. These days Gerber still has a reputation for importing inexpensive overseas manufactured knives, but they are also going back to their roots and producing some stuff state side as well.
We haven’t written a lot of reviews of Gerber knives, but what we do write on will go here. It will be interesting to see how Gerber as a company proceeds moving forward. They may have retail success in Wal-Mart, but the true test is whether they can capture the enthusiast. At least that’s how I see it.
I want to give a present to mi nephew. He´s in the scouts and wants a new Knife for his birthday.
He´s kind of crazy for the Bear Grylls gear, no matter how i have advised him about the doubts i have on this stuff.
I´d like to know your opinion about the “Bear Grylls Myth Folding Sheath Knife, Drop Point 2” , this is the one he likes ; I know this is not much money to spend,(around 20) but I don’t want to give him a useless tool just because it´s cheap , or becuase he´s a kind of stubborn guy.
Thanks in advance,
Hi Fabian, It appears to be a plastic handled knife. I’ve never checked one out in person, but my guess is you will get what you pay for. The reviews on Amazon don’t seem that favorable. For $35 he would likely be much better off with an ESEE Zancudo, RAT II, CRKT Drifter, budget Spyderco, Cold Steel Pro-Lite, etc.
Jackson Skey says
Looking to present Gerber as a company for one of my classes in school. Does anyone know what other countries they are currently manufacturing or have any other distribution centers in other than North American Countries? Thanks!
Brad Wilson says
I wouldn’t really say Gerber is a bad knife brand at all just because they’re inexpensive and have some stuff made overseas.They have pretty good designs and some are just fair they don’t like any other cutlery brand.For example the Paraframe Series…never liked them…handled one and never understood the popularity.Same could be said for the AR Series.But I do like the Metolius Series by Jeff Freeman…great hunting knives.The Myth Series is pretty versatile too.The Profile camping knife had a good rubberized grip any fan of the Gator Series would appreciate.I carry the old manual version of the Contrast and have daily for almost a decade now.It still locks up tight and is in one solid piece.My hand sweat has peppered the bead blasted finish just like any pricier knife would.It has been sharpened a lot but the hollow grind still gives it plenty of cutting power. It comfortable to hold and cuts well.
Gerber isn’t for “knife people”:
A lot of people throw this perception around loosely and I disagree.I think the “enthusiasts” wouldn’t even like the Zytel bodied USA made knives by Gerber going back to the early 80’s.Good designs,but you still got 440A,and were sold in department stores so I don’t think they’d get the direction of Gerber as an outdoors knife brand.People perceived Schrade Cutlery in their USA years in the similar negative vein as I see on Gerber’s imported models.Schrade made hunting and pocket knives and had good designs so they were able to get repeat customers.But they were also common as Wal-Mart’s formerly largest knife vendor.They were also inexpensive to replace if you lost it or ran out of blade life to sharpen from many years of daily use…you threw it in the trash.The only thing that curtails this reality even a little are premium steels.
Gerber sticks mainly with aluminum with rubber inlays,stainless steel scales,G-10,and FRN because they are user materials and Gerber is a user brand.They try to blend innovative design approaches to make a comfortable user knife.If Gerber shifted all these designs to USA made you’d have a good mark up from the jimping and machining work put into them.You can look at Buck’s folder designs alone and see the limitations of labor in American knife manufacturing at $20-$25 versus Gerber’s approach.Then you’d have that unreliable American consumer backlash like in the late 90’s/early 2000’s when people were buying rip-offs of American knife designs at flea markets due to increased materials and labor cost of USA made.Gerber contracted Taiwan (originally) to put their new modern knife designs in tune with the cost of their older American stuff to bring people back to the brand.Gerber expanded not consolidated…big difference in meaning when imported manufacturing is mentioned.If Fiskars didn’t make this move…Gerber would have went out of business along with Schrade and Camillus for not developing a tactic to survive the consumer backlash.Yes, Gerber does bring a few new models to USA manufacturing here and there.But imported manufacturing for them to remain in the inexpensive knife market is much more secure than it is for them to revert back to fully USA made,and bring those prices into USA made reality.Puts every factory employee at risk if the American consumer base backlashes again demanding the prices be as low as they were in China or at the cost to be a pocket jewelry brand than a cutting tool.
Monte P. says
I’d like to commend the Gerber/Fiskars company for being 100% true to their word. These days and times, corporate accountability is hard to come by. The long of it is that I purchased a 06 F.A.S.T. model several years ago as a first responder during hurricane Matthew in Florida. I’ve carried the same one since as a bail enforcement officer by day, EMT by night. I’m currently an EMT in summit county CO and carry the 06 F.A.S.T. along with the suspension nxt while on duty. I broke the blade of the 06 F.A.S.T. on my own misconduct, and attempted to purchase a replacement blade. Gerber honored their warranty and sent me a replacement 06 F.A.S.T. promptly.
I have to say that I ntend to be a loyal gerber customer for life and will attempt to get my department head to write Gerber into our budget rather than the current company that provides our multi-tools. I’m 110% satisfied with Gerber’s products as well as their customer service and would recommend the brand to anyone in need of a reliable product and company that very well may one day save your life.
Are all of the “all metal” Gerber knives NSF?