Whatever happened to good old Gerber?

This is a discussion on Whatever happened to good old Gerber? within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've seen alot of very nice, and in some cases very expensive, knives mentioned here. Gerber isn't mentioned very often. Maybe I'm out of the ...

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Thread: Whatever happened to good old Gerber?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    Whatever happened to good old Gerber?

    I've seen alot of very nice, and in some cases very expensive, knives mentioned here.

    Gerber isn't mentioned very often. Maybe I'm out of the loop but Gerber knives and multitools have always been the standard during my time in the service. I've never taken a survey, but I'd bet that close to 1/2 the knives and 1/3 the multitools carried on Soldier's belts would be Gerber... Buck making up most of the rest of the knives and Leatherman most of the multitools. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that that's what you'll find in the PX.

    Here's a pic of my latest, the Paraframe™ II Serrated Edge. $25 at REI:
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    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    How is that Paraframe working for you? I ask because I have a friend that bought one and it was one of the worst excuses for a knife that I've ever seen. The fit and finish were terrible and the blade didn't lock-up tightly at all. I'm guessing that he just got a "lemon" because it was pathetic. I hope Gerber isn't turning out crap like that on a large scale because, in the past, their products have been great. I've got a multi-tool that I've had for ever and it has been a great piece of equipment.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  4. #3
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    I use a few Gerber knives. 2 multi tools and a old Gator for deer gutting. They seem to hold up well and work fine.

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Honestly, my first "knife collection" was Gerber's "combat/utility" line- the MkI, MkII, Guardian, Tac, etc., when I was 16-18 yo. I got out of them when I realized/discovered that their blades were fairly fragile, and the steel and/or heat treat weren't "all that".

    Some of their new offerings are fairly attractive, but past experience keeps me away. Why pay $100-200 for their new LMF or Trident, when I can get 1095 cryo'ed HS steel in the TOPS line for the same price, and I know I can literally beat the hell out of the TOPS blades, with no significant edge loss, and absolutely no blade deformation? My folders are Kershaw's Boa and Leeks, a variety of BM's, a couple of Spydies, and, on the high-end, Microtech. Same reasons for my choices in folders. $80 for a Boa gets me a nitrided ATS-34 (or S30V?) blade, bronze washers, hardened ss liners, and tight machining. Nothing necessarily wrong with Gerber, I've just found things I know work, and haven't seen a Gerber "Latest & Greatest" enough to warrant gambling the $$ yet.....Just my $.02

  6. #5
    Member Array Gary Brommeland's Avatar
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    I'm with Rob - there are slews of MUCH better knives out there for about the same money - Bark River, BlackJack, Becker, Cold Steel and even some of the Ontario models are much more reliable than Gerber. All of them have superior edge geometry, metalurgy and heat treat. All of them will cut rings around a Gerber AND stand up to serious abuse better as well.
    In fact, none of my customers (that I'm aware of anyway) will even touch a Buck or Gerber (except perhaps one of the Strider/Buck collaborations or a Gerber Multi-tool.)
    I don't mean to be rude - please forgive my bluntness, but I'd hate to see some young kid buy an inferior knife and then get shipped out halfway around the world and have it fail. Gerber, imo, is an OK sporting knife, but not something that will stand up to serious (ie military) applications.

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    One of my first knives was a serrated Gerber Ez-Out. I was disappointed after the serrations broke off after cutting a small piece of rope, and I dumped the knife soon after that.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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    Post Gerber

    The Gerber Mark I & Mark II are decently collectible these days and are fetching OK prices (even used and somewhat beat up) on Ebay.
    Just FYI

  9. #8
    Member Array bubbygator's Avatar
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    In the early 90's Gerber started outsourcing & bringing out low-priced models of less quality. They lost their name allure to some of the newer names that were exploiting newer methods and metallurgies. Their earlier models are very collectible; some of their later specialty knives are good buys for their serviceability.

  10. #9
    Member Array dhomoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanksoldier
    I've seen alot of very nice, and in some cases very expensive, knives mentioned here.

    Gerber isn't mentioned very often. Maybe I'm out of the loop but Gerber knives and multitools have always been the standard during my time in the service. I've never taken a survey, but I'd bet that close to 1/2 the knives and 1/3 the multitools carried on Soldier's belts would be Gerber... Buck making up most of the rest of the knives and Leatherman most of the multitools. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that that's what you'll find in the PX.

    Here's a pic of my latest, the Paraframe™ II Serrated Edge. $25 at REI:
    Nothing wrong with the Gerber knives. As a matter of fact, they knife you attached is the same one I carry everyday. It has been a loyal friend.
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  11. #10
    Member Array scbair's Avatar
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    I have some "old" (made in USA) Gerbers that are second to none, in my experience. An old, tool-steel bladed MkI (with serial number), an early Bolt-Action Hunter and A Parabellum (also bolt-action).

    Like many other companies, Gerber was bought by a multi-national conglomerate, and its products aren't up to what I once expected.

  12. #11
    Member Array Gary Brommeland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scbair
    I have some "old" (made in USA) Gerbers that are second to none, in my experience. An old, tool-steel bladed MkI (with serial number), an early Bolt-Action Hunter and A Parabellum (also bolt-action).

    Like many other companies, Gerber was bought by a multi-national conglomerate, and its products aren't up to what I once expected.

    The early (Vietnam era) Gerber sheath knives were in fact made from L-6 tool steel, and were simply superb. However, when they switched to stainless, they went to 420C (I believe) which is pretty brittle and does not hold an edge well. It is also my understanding that much of the recent manufacturing has been outsourced overseas.
    I order to avoid any misunderstanding, my comments were directed toward their current product line - not the older examples of their work

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    Hmmm... thanks to all for the comments. I guess I HAVE been out of the loop.

    This knife seems of reasonable quality, it locks open well, the blade seems ok.

    I'll let you all know how it works out.

    If I was to buy a replacement, what would you recommend in the $25-$50 range?
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanksoldier

    If I was to buy a replacement, what would you recommend in the $25-$50 range?
    CRKT, Cold Steel, or Spyderco
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array BlueLion's Avatar
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    I got a Gerber Fatty from Wally World and the clip fell off. I shipped it back. All was good then, however, my mom needed a knife until she gets her CCW so I gave her the fatty. I carry a Crkt M16.
    Listen, Think and React.....Nuff Said.....

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Gerber got WalMartized: watered down for the masses.

    Buck keeps threatening to slip down the same path with all their Chinese offerings.

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