Gerber Grey Shark Belly Knife Review

Gerber Gear has a charming backstory. What once started out as Gerber Legendary Blades, a young knife company, it quickly grew into a big business. Joseph R. Gerber started this company out in 1939 as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets given as holiday gifts. But this quickly turned into thousands of retail accounts around the country. By 1960, Gerber had quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated, and collected names in knives.

It has now been 70 years since its founding and Gerber continues to grow. Still grounded in the same principles that first guided Joseph R. Gerber’s enterprise, Gerber is a company dedicated to making knives and tool that combine high quality materials and innovative designs that will stand up to a lifetime of use. The sleek, stainless steel sheath knives of the 50s and 60s have given birth to today’s lightweight, open-frame clip folders. Gerber is, however, no longer just a knife company. Multi-tools, axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, survival kits, digging implements—these are the newest directions that Gerber explores with the same standards of quality and design that inform their revered knife making.

When talking about who they are, Gerber has said, “Like the mean and women who carry our gear, Gerber is Unstoppable. Decades of innovation and dedication have put us ere. Renowned as a master of knives and tools, Gerber’s problem-solving, life-saving products are designed with the unique needs of specific activities in Inc. Today that includes much more than a blade.”

These knives are carried extensively by hunters, soldiers, and tradesmen, and Gerber’s heritage runs deep. They are now looking toward the future, where tomorrow’s problems will be solved by the next generation of innovations.

All of Gerber’s products are designed and engineered in Portland, Oregon, where many are produced. They also tap their global supply chain to create a wide range of activity specific gear for wide variety of consumers. And no matter what, every product that bears the Gerber name is back by their famous lifetime warranty. “Quality, reliability, innovation. For over 70 years this is what our customers have expected from us. And whether our products are sued to save time, save the day, or save a life, Gerber always delivers.”

Today, we will be going over the Gerber Grey Shark Belly Wharncliffe folder knife, which was released just earlier this year.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 420HC High Carbon Stainless Steel. This steel is a 420 stainless steel that has been modified with more carbon, which is actually where the HC in the name comes from—High Carbon. This steel also usually sports a better heat treatment than a regular 420 stainless steel would have. 420HC holds a higher carbon production rate than a stainless steel. The content is much softer than the higher number steel count 440, yet it is more rugged than other similar products. This steel material has a greater carbon base and is mixed to a harder content than 420 stainless steels. Buck Knives is well known for using this type of steel in their products. There are many different levels of steel, but products made from 420HC steel are definitely different form other types of steel in terms of performance and reliability. Tools made from this steel are easy to sharpen and are durable even when in constant use. This makes this steel type a great option for machetes and tools. Blades made from this material are less prone to rusting or corroding as long as you remember to rinse, dry, and oil your knife after use. There are plenty of advantages to using 420HC steel, but one of the biggest is that they are so easy to sharpen. Knives made of this material stand up really well while fishing or hunting, making this knife a reliable work tool while on the trail or in the outdoors. This will be a strong and reliable blade.

This blade has been finished with the most traditional finishes on knife blades: a satin finish. This finish is created by sanding the blade in one direction with increasing levels of a fine abrasive, which is usually a sandpaper. A satin finish works to show the bevels of the blade, showcasing the lines of the knife, while also reducing its reflective glare. The finer the abrasive and the more even the lines; the cleaner the satin finish blade looks. This is a slightly less shiny finish than a polished finish, and it is less expensive than both the mirror and polished finishes. This is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted—which is a matte finish, and mirror polish—which is a high gloss finish. This finish requires great hand skill to accomplish and does cut down on corrosion slightly.

This knife has been carved into a Wharncliffe blade shape, which is extremely similar to the sheepsfoot blade, but not to be confused with the sheepsfoot blade. The Wharncliffe is pretty much as standard blade shape that has been turned upside down. This means that the blade has a totally flat cutting edge, and the spine of the blade drops gradually until the tip forms a point. The history of this blade shape gets pretty muggy because there are a few main stories about how the Wharncliffe came to be. But, the actual name “Wharncliffe” did not exist until 1822, which means that this knife style was named after that point in history. Regardless of the history, the Wharncliffe is a very useful blade shape, although it might not at first appear to be. It is fantastic for opening boxes and envelopes, and for box cutting. However, it is not very good for preparing food and skinning as the lack of a belly makes it difficult for cutting soft tissue and using it on a cutting board.

There are a variety of things that are confusing between the Wharncliffe and the Sheepsfoot blade. It is generally accepted that a Sheepsfoot blade has an abruptly curving spine at the tip of the knife, creating very little point, while a Wharncliffe has a more gradually tapering spine creating a pointer tip. Unfortunately, this also means that the Wharncliffe shaped blades will also have a more fragile tip.

The blade does feature a plain edge, although there is some shallow jimping at the bottom of the blade near the handle. This is so that you have impeccable grip no matter what you are using this knife for. This jimping, along with a design on the handle is where the Grey Shark Belly got its name.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of Glass Filled Nylon, or GFN for short. This material is the same thing as Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon, or FRN for short. They are both a nylon based plastic that tis reinforced with glass fiber and injection molded for use in knife handles. This handle material is one of the cheapest and toughest handle materials to produce in large scale production knives. This material is not going to be seen on custom knives because it is optimized for large scale production with dies for injection molding, and not unique custom made products. And even though GFN is perceived as a cheaper material, which it is, it makes for a very tough knife handle material and can take some serial abuse. TI is quite a bit more flexible than G 10 and other Resin Laminates, so it does not have the rigidity associated with them. However, it makes up for this in its impact toughness. Additionally, nearly any texture can be created on the surface of this material because it is injection molded, making it a very versatile material to work with, with infinite possibilities. As a general guide, the higher the glass content, the more rigid the nylon is going to be.

The characteristic that makes this material almost indestructible is that the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which results in it being strong in all directions as opposed to G 10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, which have the fiberglass strands aligned in a single direction. This means that the other materials are going to be extremely strong in a single direction, but as soon as they are stressed in a separate direction, they are prone to cracking and falling apart. These other materials are very brittle because of this characteristic and will crack if subjected to a hard or sharp object. GFN though, has the haphazardly arranged nylon fibers, which means that it is not going to be brittle. On the other hand, it is not going to be as “grippy” as G 10, and some people feel like it has a cheap, plastic feel to it. The last major benefit to having a knife handle made out of this material is that it requires zero maintenance.

This handle does sport a lanyard hole that has been carved into the butt of the handle. On the belly of the handle, there is a row of markings that do resemble shark markings, which is one of the reasons that this knife was named the Grey Shark Belly.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This is a skeletonized, wire pocket clip. It is silver, to go with the blade. The clip does have a slight bend to it, which will help it stay snugly in your pocket.

 

The Mechanism:

This is a manual folding knife that features a lock back mechanism and a thumb window to assist you in the opening process. The thumb window is very similar to the thumb hole, except that it is more rectangular and much larger. Since the 1980s, the thumb hole has most often been associated with folding knives from Spyderco. Over the years though, many other knife makers have adopted the feature because of how well the thumb hole does work. Opening a folder equipped with a thumb window is just like using a thumb stud. By its very design, it is ambidextrous. And, many knife enthusiasts prefer the thumb window to the thumb stud because it doesn’t protrude from the blade and get in the way.

This Gerber knife features the lock back locking mechanism which is also known as the back lock. This is one of the oldest and most reliable locking mechanism on the market. Due to its simplicity and affordability, the lock back mechanism is one of the most well-known knife locks. The lock back functions with a locking arm, which sits along the handle spine and is molded with a hook that fits into a notch on the back of the blade, behind the pivot. This hook is dragged by tension from the back spring into the notch, therefore locking the knife with a snap. Because it is reliable and economical to construct, the lock back is one of the most common used in folding knives.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.25 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.5 inches long. The overall length of the knife is 7.75 inches long and the knife weighs in at 2.3 ounces. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The Shark Belly is one of many new models released by Gerber in 2017. This manual folder features a lock back mechanism that utilizes a rocker arm to provide top-notch stability and ease of operation. Each high carbon stainless steel blade is deployed with the use of the thumb window which also provides an ambidextrous opening option. The name of this knife is indicative of the unidirectional pattern of the lower portion of the handle scales–providing an ideal amount of control regardless of the task at hand. This mode features grey GFN (Glass Filled Nylon) handles, a sheepsfoot style blade, that is partly serrated, in a satin finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up your Shark Belly knife today at BladeOps.

 

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Gerber Coyote Brown Mini Covert Auto Knife Review

Joseph R. Gerber one time described his young knife company as the “birth of an enterprise that grew into a big business.” He nailed it right on the head, and while it was true, it was definitely an understatement. Gerber Gear started in 1939 as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets that were given as holiday gifts turned into thousands of retail accounts around the country. By 1960, Gerber had quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated, and collected names in knives. Over 70 years since its founding and Gerber is continuing to grow. They are still grounded in the same principles that first guided Joseph R. Gerber’s enterprise, Gerber is a company dedicated to making knives and tools that combine high quality materials and innovative designs that will stand up to a lifetime of use. The sleek, stainless steel sheath knives of the 50s and 60s have given birth to today’s lightweight, open frame clip folders. Gerber is no longer just a knife company. They are now designing, making, and selling multi-tools, axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, survival kits, and digging implements. These are all the newest directions that Gerber explores with the same standards of quality and design that inform their revered knife making.

“Like the men and women who carry our gear, Gerber is Unstoppable.” With decades of innovation and dedication, Gerber has come far. They are renowned as a master of knives and tools, Gerber’s problem solving, lifesaving products are designed with the unique needs of specific activities in mind. Today, that includes much more than a blade. This company was founded in 1939 and based in Portland, Oregon, Gerber is an American brand whose products have global reach and relevance. Carried extensively by hunters, soldiers, and tradesmen, Gerber’s heritage runs deep. They are now looking toward the future, where tomorrow’s problems will be solved by the next generation of innovations.

All of Gerber’s products are designed and engineered in Portland, OR where many of their products are produced. They also tap their global supply chain to create a wide range of activity specific gear for wide variety of consumers. And no matter what, every product that bears the Gerber name is back by their famous lifetime warranty.

“Quality, reliability, and innovation. For over 70 years this is what our customers have expected form us. And whether our products are used to save time, save the day, or save a life, Gerber always delivers.”

Today we are going to be talking about one of their Mini Covert automatic knives. This is their Coyote Brown version.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM-S30V stainless steel. This steel is a premium grade steel that is made by US based Crucible. This steel is often referred to as only S30V steel, instead of CPM-S30V steel. It has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. This steel was designed in the US and is typically used for the high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Crucible added vanadium carbides to the steel alloy matrix to bring out the extreme hardness. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. One of the only drawbacks to this steel is that it does prove tricky to sharpen. Crucible has made a better looking brother, S35VN steel, which is distinctly similar, but easier for manufacturers to work with thanks to the niobium addition. S30V is really common these days and is one of my favorite steels for a blade.

This steel has been finished with a black coated finish. A coated finish helps to reduce the reflection and glare while also reducing wear and corrosion on the blade. Unfortunately, because it is a coated finish, it can and will be scratched off after continuous heavy use, and the blade on the Mini Covert will have to be re-coated if you wish to keep all of the high qualities. As a general guideline, the harder the finish, the more resistant to wear and corrosion, but also the more expensive to add to a knife. A coating finish also eliminated shiny surfaces, which is an absolute necessity if you are using this knife on a mission. Another great benefit is that a coating finish can reduce drag during a cut. Lastly, the coating finish does add aesthetic to the knife. It provides an even, matte surface to the blade.

This blade has been carved into a spear point blade shape. A spear point blade is similar to the needle point blade because they are both good for piercing. However, its point is stronger and it does contain a small belly that can be used for slicing. A spear point is a symmetrically pointed blade with a point that is in line with the center lien of the blade’s long axis. Both edges of the knife rise and fall equally to create a point that lines up exactly with the equator of the blade. They can be single or double edged, although this version of the mini covert is single edged. In contrast to the needle-point blade which has a very sharp but weak point, a spear pint knife has a strong point that is also sharp enough for piercing. However, a spear point blade is only good for piercing if both edges are sharpened. The lowered point is easily controllable and is useful for fine tip work. Spear point blades contain a small belly which can be used for some cutting and slicing applications, however, the belly is relatively small when compared to drop point and clip point knives. A spear point knife is a great choice for the knife lover who is looking for a good balance between piercing and slicing ability. It combines the sharp point of a dagger with the strength of a drop point blade, while maintaining some of the belly that is used for slicing. This is a hybrid shape that is extremely functional.

This blade is a plain edged blade. Plain blades are best when you need precision and accuracy. Plain blades excel at tasks such as carving, dressing an animal, trimming your nails, or peeling an apple. The nice advantage of plain edge blades is their versatility. With a plain edge blade, you directly affect its purpose by changing how you sharpen it. It is standard practice to customize the edge of a plain edged blade to tackle a specific task. For some tasks, a highly polished, low friction edge will do the best job. Tasks such as food prep and wood carving are great examples of when a highly polished edge is ideal. For other tasks, a roughly sharpened edge that has hidden “micro-serration” is ideal and will often work similar to the way a true serrated blade would.

Because this blade is a plain edge blade and features the spear point blade shape, it is an extremely versatile blade shape that is going to meet your needs in a wide variety of situations.

 

The Handle:

Gerber Coyote Mini Covert
Gerber Coyote Mini Covert

The handle of this knife is made out of 6061-T6 Aluminum. This is the most common type of aluminum that is in use today, which has tremendous tensile strength. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. It is a low density metal, so it is lightweight. However, it does provide a nice, hefty feel to the knife as well. This is a huge benefit of aluminum because you do want the weight or heft to complete tasks, but you also don’t want to be weighed down by a crazy heavy knife. When properly texturized, an aluminum handle can provide a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable and easy for extended use. However, aluminum can prove to be a very slippery material. On the downside, if you use your knife quite a bit during colder winter months, you might find the handle uncomfortable cold given its conductive properties. Aluminum is generally considered inferior to its stronger, yet more expensive brother Titanium which tends to be found on the more premium knives. One of the other drawbacks to this handle material is that it is susceptible to scratches and dings.

This knife handle has been anodized for color, hardness, and protection. Thus making it a more durable knife handle. The anodization process has made the handle a Coyote Brown, which is a light tan color. Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. The process is called anodizing because the part to be treated forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear and provides better adhesion for paint, primers, and glues than bare metal does. Anodizing changes the microscopic texture of the surface and the crystal structure of the metal near the surface. Thick coatings are normally porous, so a sealing process is often needed to achieve corrosion resistance. Anodized aluminum surfaces are harder than aluminum but have low to moderate wear resistance that can be improved with increasing thickness or by applying suitable sealing substances.

To help with grip, there are three skinny grooves cut across the palm of the handle. This knife has a skinnier top part of the handle, which has two curves cut out for added finger control. Then, the handle flares out to fit well into you hand, and tapers back towards the butt of the handle. This handle does sport a lanyard hole.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. The clip is black, to contrast with the handle and to match the blade. It is a deep carry pocket clip, helping it fit snugly in your pocket. “Gerber” has been stamped across the middle of the clip. This clip is kept in place by two small, black screws.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife that deploys with a lever on the palm of the knife handle. An automatic knife is also known as a switchblade or an ejector knife. This is a type of knife with a folding or sliding blade contained in the handle which is opened automatically by a spring when a lever on the handle is activated. The blade is unlocked manually operating a mechanism that unlocks the blade and allows it to be folded and locked in the closed positon.

You do need to keep in mind that automatic knives have strict laws surrounding them in certain states, cities, and areas. Make sure you know your local knife laws before purchasing and carrying this Gerber Mini Covert.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 2.8 inches long with the knife sporting an overall length of 6.5 inches long. The handle measures in at 3.7 inches long. This knife weighs in at 2.1 ounces. This knife is made in the USA.

 

Conclusion:

The Applegate-Fairbairn designed Gerber Covert automatic knife series was modeled after their best-in-class Covert folder model and combines premium elements with user-friendly functionality. This auto knife features coyote brown anodized aircraft aluminum handle scales that showcases a sleek symmetrical design with integrated dual finger grooves for a secure hold despite its size. A front-mounted slide safety has been built into the handle and even portrays a red dot so you know the knife is ready for action. This Mini Covert auto knife also features a plain edge spear point blade comprised of premium CPM-S30V stainless steel in a black finish and the pocket clip is designed for tip down carry only. The stainless steel is durable and strong, and maintains one of the best balances of toughness, hardness, and edge retention. The aluminum handle is durable and strong and very resistant to corrosion. However, it does accumulate scratches easily over time. With the combination of those two materials, you are going to get one of the most durable knives on the market.

Pick up your Coyote Brown Mini Covert Auto Knife today at BladeOps.

 

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The Gerber Center Drive Multi Tool Review

Gerber Gear started out as Gerber Legendary Blades, which actually started out as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets given as holiday gifts. The founder of Gerber is Joseph R. Gerber. When speaking about Gerber Legendary Blades, he has said that it was, “the birth of an enterprise that grew into a big business”. This is a very true statement, but also quite the understatement. Like previously mentioned, it was 1939 and he designed and made a small batch of handmade cutlery sets. Less than 30 years later, in 1960, Gerber had become one of the most trusted, appreciated, and collected names in knives.

It was over 70 years ago that Gerber was founded and to this day, the company is still growing. They are grounded on the same principles that the company began on: they are dedicated to making knives and tools that combine high quality materials and innovative designs that will stand up to a lifetime of use. At this point in time, Gerber doesn’t just make knives. They design and make axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, survival kits, digging implements, and multi tools. In fact, they recently released a brand new multi tool called the Center Drive. And that is what we will be discussing today.

 

The Steel:

The steel used on this multi tool is 420HC steel. This is a mid-range steel and is actually considered the king of the 420 steel series. 420HC steel is most similar to 420 steel, except that it has a much higher content of carbon, which is where the HC comes from in the name (High Carbon). The higher the carbon content in the steel, the harder the steel will be, so with this steel you do end up with a very hard steel. This is an inexpensive steel option, so it is surprising when you find out that this steel is one of the most corrosion resistant steels on the market. The most common place that you will find this steel is on budget blades. This steel usually undergoes a heat treatment and the better the heat treatment, the better the steel will be. With a good heat treatment, the manufacturer can bring out better edge retention and better corrosion resistant properties. This steel struggles to keep its edge for long periods of time and for heavy duty use. But, since this steel is used on a multi tool where you aren’t looking for a razor sharp blade, this steel will definitely get the job done.

Gerber Center Drive MultiTool
Gerber Center Drive MultiTool

The Look:

The 420HC steel is used all over this multi tool, meaning that the handles and the tools have been made out of this steel. However, to add depth and a unique look, the different features have been finished in two different ways. The handles of this multi tool have been finished with a matte gray look. All of the tools that fold out of this multi tool have been finished with a black finish. The contrast helps to add depth and provides this multi tool with a very modern look.

On the gray handle, there are a variety of etchings and cut outs. The company name is etched into one side of the handle, along with small triangular etchings. One the other side of the handle, there are triangular cut outs. On the side of the handle with just the etchings, one of the triangles is actually cut out to form a lanyard hold. This is a huge benefit, because being able to tie a lanyard onto your tool is a real game changer. Some of the most obvious benefits to having a lanyard on your knife include that you can add a touch of personal style to the tool depending on which lanyard you choose. Another benefit is that if you are using this tool in a dark or cramped space with limited sight, and you happen to drop it, a bright lanyard will help you find the tool quicker. One of the biggest benefits to having a lanyard hole in your multi tool handle is that you can secure your tool against loss. This is a multi-tool that you are going to want with you at all times. It has almost every single tool that can help you get out of a sticky situation, whether it is the expected or unexpected. Since you are going to want it with you at all times, the lanyard hole helps quite a bit. This way, you can easily tie the tool to your belt or to your bag or backpack strap.

 

The Tools:

The Gerber Center Drive has been outfitted with thirteen different tools. This means that your multi tool with offer you uncompromising performance through almost any situation. The Center Drive has been designed for real challenges and works perfectly. When talking about their new product, Gerber has said, “Second best is nothing to strive for. To trump the multi-tools that preceded it, the Center Drive had to be real, tough, innovative—and it is. In the inevitable tool to tool showdown, there is not contest.” I would say that Gerber has hit the nail right on the head. This brand new multi tool is truly a game changer.

  1. The Pliers.

On the Center Drive multi tool, the pliers are located at the top of the tool in the middle of the two handles. These are spring loaded needle nose pliers, that sport an X-Channel rail system. Needle nose pliers are also known as long nose pliers. This type of pliers is used for cutting and holding. Many jewelry designers, electricians, and network engineers use this type of pliers to reposition and snip wire.

  1. The Bolt and Nut Grippers.

This is located on the inner side of the pliers. This will give you a secure grasp on any of your nuts or bolts.

  1. The Rotatable Carbide Wire Cutters.

The wire cutter and stripper can easily be used to strip the electrical insulation from the electric wires. The wire cutter will quickly and easily slice through the wire.

  1. Magnetic Axis Bit Driver.

The bit driver is a magnetic center that measures in at 3.2 inches. The simple version of this multi tool comes with a Phillips head bit. This type of head has a small cross in the center and the ability to self-center.

  1. The Extra Bit Holder.

You have the option to purchase the version of this multi tool that comes with extra bits. These bits include multiple sized Phillips heads as well as a flathead drill bit. All of the drill bits are magnetic. These bits are stored in a small container where each bit has its own little slot.

  1. The Ruler.
  2. The Bottle Opener.

The Bottle opener is located on the left side, near the file. This will easily allow you to open any bottles, making this multi tool a great tool for emergencies or just everyday life.

  1. The Pry Bar and Nail Puller.

This tool is a metal bar that has both ends flattened and a curve on one end. This tool has a small fissure in the end that is the perfect tool to use when you are trying to remove a nail.

  1. The Awl.

The awl is a long point spike. This tool can be used for making holes in wood or used for making markings on the wood.

  1. The Tool Lock.
  2. The File.

The file folds out of the butt of the left handle. This file has a fine side and a coarse side. This file can easily be used to remove fine amounts of material from a workpiece.

  1. The Blade.

The serrated blade folds out of the left side of the handle, and is arranged right next to the file. Because it is a serrated edge, you will easily be able to saw through some of the rougher or thicker materials that you encounter throughout your day.

  1. The Other Blade.

This blade folds out of the right side of the handle and has a fine grind. It is a plain edge blade that makes up for all of the slicing tasks that you will need to perform that the serrated edged blade will not be able to accomplish.

 

The Different Versions:

There are four different “versions” you can get when it comes to the Center Drive. While the tools in all of the versions are the same, it is the accessories that change. You can get the simplest version of the multi tool, which is just the multi tool and a fabric sheath. The second version of this tool that you can purchase is the multi tool along with an included bit set. The third version of this multi tool that is offered is the multi tool along with a MOLLE compatible sheath. The last option that is available for purchase is one where the multi tool comes with the included bit set and the MOLLE Compatible Sheath.

 

The Sheaths:

There are two different sheath options. On the simplest versions of this multi tool, it does come with a sheath. This sheath is a simple, black fabric sheath. The fabric sheath is an inexpensive option for your tool sheath. With a tool sheath, you really get what you pay for. So while this fabric sheath is adequate, it will wear out quicker than other sheath materials. The fabric sheath is prone to getting stretched out, so it will still work, but your tool will not be quite as snug as it once was. A fabric sheath will get the job done, but does not offer you any extra anything.

The second sheath option is an upgraded sheath. This sheath is a MOLLE compatible sheath that comes in a light tan color. This is also a fabric sheath, but carries a handful of benefits along with it. MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. This equipment is used by a large number of NATO armed forces, including the United States Army. The system’s modularity is derived from the use of PALS webbing as rows of heavy duty nylon stitched onto the vest to allow for the attachment of various MOLLE compatible pouches and accessories. This means that this sheath will work on any other MOLLE compatible products. The nylon that they use is tough, durable, and hard to scratch.

 

The Specs:

The closed length of this multi tool is 4.7 inches long, with the open length of it being 6.6 inches long. This is a little bit heavier of a tool weighing in at 9.5 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Ever since Gerber came to be, they have been creating exceptionally quality knives. They have built a reputation over the past seventy years of being reliable, innovative, and long lasting. One of Gerber’s main goals and drives is to create tools that will last a lifetime. And I would say that they have definitely accomplished that.

The Center Drive is the newest of their multi tool series and comes with four different versions. Each of the versions comes with separate accessories. Each tool, even the simplest version comes with a fabric sheath. However, you can upgrade and get a version with a MOLLE Compatible sheath. And you can get an add on with a case that carries extra bit heads. To make up the exceptional multi tool, they started with a steel that is extremely stain resistant and very hard. When speaking about their new tool, Gerber has said, “Our new multi tool offers uncompromising performance through revolutionary design. The innovative center axis driver opens to align like a real screw driver, yielding maximum torque and rotation. No productivity is sacrificed with the addition of a 30% longer outboard blade and one-thumb opening sliding jaws. Full size, real tools—the multi tool just got a reality check.”

With thirteen different tools on this multi tool, you know that you will be equipped whether in the expected or the unexpected situations. Grab your Center Drive multi tool right here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gerber Propel Automatic Knife Review

Gerber Legendary Blades was started by Joseph R Gerber. This company started out as a small batch of handmade knife sets in 1939. Within the next twenty years, Gerber became one of the most reliable knife companies in the business. Gerber’s mission is to design knives that pull in quality materials and groundbreaking designs. Their knives are built to last a lifetime. Gerber not only produces knives, but also axes, handsaws, flashlights, survival kits, multi tools, and much more. Every product that Gerber turns out is going to be quality, innovative, and last a very long time. Today we are going to go over one of their products in particular: The Gerber Propel Fully Automatic knife.

 

The Gerber Propel Fully Automatic knife was introduced in August of 2013. Gerber offers two different designs of the same knife for the buyers: The Propel Auto and the Propel Downrange Auto. These two versions were designed to mimic the 06 auto knife, which was an instant hit in the knife community. The 06 has a Federal National Stock Number, which allows federal agencies to procure these knives without going through a bidding process. Gerber kept all of the positive aspects of the 06, but they slimmed it down to make it a little more pocket-friendly. You can still expect to have the same durability, reliability, and field-proven performance. It is all just packed into a smaller package.

 

The overall length of this knife is 8.52 inches while opened. When the knife is closed, it measures in at an even 5 inches. The knife weighs 4.28 ounces. This is a great length and weight for your everyday carry knife. The length is not overly long, but you will still be able to perform your needed tasks with it. The knife won’t weigh you down, but it will still feel sturdy and durable while you are using it.

 

 

Blade:

 

Gerber Propel Automatic
Gerber Propel Automatic

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long made out of 420HC. This is a mid-range steel that is nothing extraordinary but can stand up to what you throw at it. The HC in the steel’s name stands for High Carbon, so this steel is a harder steel than other stainless steels. This steel is easy to sharpen. It is also a durable steel, even after periods of long use. Because this steel is easy to sharpen even in the field or on the go, many outdoor enthusiasts like this steel.

If you get the Propel Downrange version, the steel use will be S30V steel. This is a high end, premium steel that has high corrosion resistance. It is also a very tough steel. Because it is a premium steel, you can expect it to go the extra mile. Some people pry and dig with blades made out of this steel and don’t experience any compromised blade integrity. S30V steel will hold an edge very well, but it is harder to sharpen than the 420HC steel. This is a good all-around steel.

Whichever version you choose; the steel is coated in a black oxide coating. This coating is added for a few reasons. First, the coating helps add corrosion resistance properties. It also adds a black color which boosts the aesthetic of the blade. This knife has the blackening to match the handle. This coating also helps to prevent slipping while you are cutting in critical conditions. The black oxide also minimizes reflective purposes. This means that if you are in a tactical situation, you don’t have to be concerned about the sun’s reflection giving away your position.

The blade silhouette is a tanto style point. A tanto style point was traditionally in Japanese short words. The tip on a tanto blade is going to be stronger than many other tips, because it is a broader shape. However, the tanto silhouette creates two main bevels, which makes it trickier to sharpen than a different style. Also, a tanto blade will not have a belly, so slicing tasks will be trickier. This style does have a unique look to it, so if you like the look, buy it. Also, if you know that you need a stronger tip, go for it. If you are a beginner in the knife world and looking for a versatile everyday carry knife, I don’t know if this is what I would recommend.

There are actually three cutting areas on the blade. There is the front bevel, which is 1 inch that has been sharpened bi-facially. The main edge on the blade is divided between the plain and serrated portions. The plain portion of this blade is 1.25 inches and the serrated portion is 1.5 inches. Because of the three different sections, sharpening this knife is a pain.

Users of this knife have also noticed an up and down wobble when the blade is opened. But, they have also noticed that the Propel has almost no lateral wobble whatsoever.

 

 

Handle:

 

The handle scales are made out of G10. On the Propel, the G10 handle scales are black. On the Propel Downrange, the G10 scales are tan. This material is a laminate composite that is made out of fiberglass. This handle will feel and work similarly to carbon fiber, but it is a much cheaper option. The handle material surprised me because Gerber usually uses glass filled nylon for their handle. G10 was definitely an upgrade compared to the commonly used handle material. To add texture and grip to the handle, Gerber has added checkering across the handle scales. They also added deeper grooves in areas along with the checkering. With both of those texturing techniques, you can feel secure while using and holding this knife.

The handle is pretty large and fills most people’s hand. On the spot where it touches your palm, there is a very slight swell. There is also a large groove where your index finger can fit. Because of this deeper groove, there is also a bump that also adds to fitting in your hand perfectly.

Gerber has attached the G10 scales to a metal frame using torx screws. There are four of these screws on each side of the handle.

 

 

Pocket Clip and Carrying:

 

Something unique about this knife is that the pocket clip can be placed on the knife in three different ways. You can mount it for the right pocket either tip up or down. Or you can mount it for the left pocket, but only tip up. Some users have reported bending the pocket clip while bumping it on things, but it is easily bent back into shape.

This knife carries pretty high in the pocket. If you are trying to conceal your knife, this probably isn’t going to be the knife for you.

Unfortunately, because of the checkering and deeper grooves on the handle, this knife has been known to destroy pockets. This isn’t usually a problem in most peoples’ minds, but if you are going to be dressed up, you might not want to carry this knife.

On the Downrange version, the pocket clip is tan, just like the handle. This tan matches many camouflage patterns, so you don’t have to worry about your knife standing out while trying to keep it concealed.

 

 

Action and Deployment:

 

Gerber Propel Automatic
Gerber Propel Automatic

The Propel uses a plunge lock and safety switch. To unlock the knife, you pull the safety switch towards you. Then to open the knife, you push in the round silver button. Along with opening the knife, it also locks it up so you can feel secure while using it for the heavier duty tasks. This button triggers a torsion spring inside that has constant tension on the blade. Because of this constant tension, you do not have to worry about blade bounce.

To close this knife, you push down the firing button and then manually close the blade.

If this knife is in your pocket, your best bet is to engage the safety. The safety mechanism shows red when it is disengaged. The opening button can be sensitive and you definitely don’t want to accidently open this knife while it is in your pocket. But, because it is a more sensitive button, the knife is easily deployed with just one hand.

 

 

Extras:

 

Both versions of this knife sport a pommel spike. This spike has been designed to break through most glass, including your car windows. This spike can also work as a lanyard anchor point.

 

 

Pros of the Gerber Propel/Downrange Automatic Knife:

 

  • You have two options of steel depending on what you like.
  • The 420HC is hard, easy to sharpen, and the edge lasts for quite a while.
  • The S30V steel is a premium steel that can stand up to much harder tasks than the 420HC steel.
  • The blade features a black oxide coating which helps resist corrosion, light reflection, and makes the blade less slippery.
  • The tanto silhouette has a stronger tip than lots of other tip style options.
  • The blade is a combo blade and the serrations are great for cutting through thicker materials, like rope or branches.
  • The handle is made out of G10 scales, which is a durable material.
  • The G10 comes in two different color options.
  • The G10 scales have aggressive texturing, providing you with excellent grip even in the trickiest of situations.
  • The handle is large and will fill your hand, helping with grip.
  • The pocket clip can be carried in three different ways.
  • The Downrange pocket clip is a tan that matches most camo patterns, so your pocket clip will not be obvious while carrying.
  • The knife is very easy to deploy using only one hand.
  • The knife sports a pommel spike, which works as a great glass breaker.
  • The length and weight of this knife is perfect for your everyday carry knife.

 

 

Cons of the Gerber Propel/Downrange Automatic Knife:

 

  • 420HC steel is a mediocre steel and doesn’t stand out, especially compared to other steel options.
  • S30V steel is a hard steel to sharpen, so you won’t be able to sharpen it in the field if the need arises.
  • The Tanto style blade is not a versatile blade. If you are a beginner in the knife community, I would not recommend this style.
  • There are actually three different cutting surfaces, which makes this an extremely hard knife to sharpen. Really, you are going to have to be a professional to sharpen it well.
  • There is an up/down wobble to the blade while opened.
  • The pocket clip doesn’t carry very deeply, so it is going to be obvious. This is not a great knife if you are trying to conceal it.
  • The handle has extreme grip, so it will beat up your pocket.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Something to keep in mind before you purchase this knife is that because it is fully automatic, or a switchblade, it is not going to be legal in all states. Make sure you know your local switchblade laws before buying this.

Gerber only sells their automatic knives through websites with the proper credentials, so as long as you are purchasing from a trusted website, your knife will be backed by Gerber’s lifetime warranty. This knife was designed and built in the United States of America, so you can expect only the best quality. Along with being patriotic and designing and building this knife in the states, Gerber offers a Pro Program. This program is for first responders and military personnel. It gives these members exclusive offers and discounted prices. If you feel like you fit into either of these categories, it is definitely worth looking into.

This is an overall fantastic knife for your tactical or utility purposes. When you are searching for the perfect everyday carry knife, you want it to feel familiar. The Gerber Propel or Gerber Propel Downrange will feel familiar. They are both easy to work with and very durable. This knife will not disappoint you in the field. You are provided with two different versions so you can pick the one that will fit your lifestyle the best.

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Exclusive BladeOps Gerber Covert Auto Knife, Standard Edge

Just In are the brand new, exclusive to BladeOps, Gerber Covert Automatic knives with a plain edge S30V blade.  You can grab it with a stonewash or black finish.  Check out our YouTube announcement right here.

 

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