Right out of the box, the Gerber DMF has several things going for it. It is a large, hefty knife built for heavy duty use. The DMF stands for Dual Multi Use, which is a fancy way of saying you can open it just as easily whether you are right or left handed. The trigger slide is exactly the same on both sides and the tip up pocket clip is reversible so you can carry it even if you are a southpaw. The knife comes in a nice, nylon pouch that closes with velcro. The pouch has a strap that snaps so you can attach it to a belt, MOLLE gear, or just about anything vaguely belt-like. It is a fairly decent carry pouch. It even has a small L shaped torx wrench so you can switch the pocket clip without having to head down to the local hardware store to pick up a wrench set. Pretty thoughtful.
When I hold the knife in my hand, with the blade in closed position, it is comfortable. The G-10 handle scales give you that nice, grippy feeling. The G-10 is finished with a fairly rough texture so you know it just isn’t going to slip. At the base of the handle there is a very solid glass breaker as well as a decent sized (1/2 inch by 1/4 inch) lanyard hole. The Gerber website calls the glass breaker a “strike point for emergency egress”. Whatever you happen to call it, it is plenty big to get the job done. With the blade closed, I actually think the knife is more comfortable to hold with the blade spine pointing into the palm of my hand.
The blade is surprisingly sharp. It cuts everything I throw at it. There is a nice choil in the blade that allows you to “choke” up on it if you need to do some more finesse style cutting. When held like this, the handle finger guard then becomes the base for your finger and gives it a nice solid pressure point to grip onto. Overall, the handle is comfortable. It is big enough that I am not getting any kind of hand fatigue when I use the knife for extended periods of time. Sometimes, with a small handle, my hand starts to feel uncomfortable after long periods of knife use. None of that with the DMF.
Working with the DMF I especially like the oversized slide safety. The safety has extra big jimping and acts as part of the thumb ramp when you open the blade and then slide the safety into the locked position. It merges right into the spine side blade guard and gives me an extremely nice grip. I feel in total control of the blade. When the safety is in the locked position, the blade cannot be closed. I haven’t given it a really tough “failure” type test yet, but will do that at the end of the 30 days to see if the safety is prone to failure under extremely heavy pressure. When the slide safety is in the open position, there is a red painted dot visible on both sides of the knife to let you know it is unlocked and the blade can either be opened or closed. This is a nice feature that I appreciate. Often it is the little touches on a knife that make a big difference. The slide safety is great and I’m ranking it as a solid 10 out of 10. It is easy to operate one handed. The safety engages the blade trigger completely whether the blade is closed or open to prevent it from changing to the other (open or closed) when you least want or expect it.
Haven’t had anything serious to throw at my new DMF yet. It handles everyday chores like a charm. Last month I was alternating between my ProTech Tactical Response auto and my Benchmade Impel auto knife. The DMF is much bigger than both. The blade is similar in length to the Tactical Response but is much wider. I could really get used to carrying this beefy knife. It feels invincible. And the S30V is still cutting smooth.
Took the DMF outside and worked on some serious cutting. The knife still cuts like a dream. It is easy to use for heavy slicing. I cut several small branches (1/2″ branches) off trees and had no issues. The shape of the blade tip makes it not quite as good for plunge cuts on hard material. This isn’t a dagger and the blade shape really isn’t designed for that style cut. But ask it to slice and the DMF performs. Just so they didn’t feel left out, I cut some paracord with the serrations. No problems at all. I was concerned that the short bit of serrations wouldn’t really be enough to cut–but the blade is so sharp it cut through paracord as if it was cutting butter.
Had a bit of box work to do at work today. While I was at it, I figured I would cut a bunch of cardboard to see if the blade would stay sharp. The blade performs extremely well when the material being cut is supported. I noticed this the other day when I was cutting some thin branches off trees. It cuts extremely well when slicing. It works just as well when slicing whether you are pushing or pulling. But on plunge cuts, it struggles a bit. It also seemed to not slice as well when trying to slice off the edge of a piece of cardboard.
Funny experience today with the glass breaker. I have a few chickens I keep because I like fresh eggs. I went out to collect the eggs and there were four. I put them in my pullover sweatshirt while I did a bit of work–I needed to throw some scratch grain to the chickens and add some hay to the egg laying boxes. I leaned over to get some grain and the glass breaker on my knife struck the egg shell. It cracked it instantly. A cracked egg in your sweatshirt pocket isn’t nice. I thought, since I was already focused on the glass breaker, I would give it a few tests. It is extremely durable. It is held in place with two screws and after banging on boards for about ten minutes, I came to the conclusion that this glass breaker is not coming loose. That is good news for DMF owners and bad news for defenseless eggs.
If you need a big, beefy combat knife that can cut and slice with the best of them, the Gerber DMF is one I recommend. After using the knife for 30 days, I have come to the conclusion that this is a well made, durable knife that can take heavy abuse. With an S30V blade, G-10 handle scales that give your hand plenty of grip, and a no nonsense attitude, the DMF gets an A grade.