Before the knife company was born it started out as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets that were made to be given as holiday gifts. When the knife company Gerber began, Joseph R. Gerber was striving to make knives and tools that had both high quality materials and innovate designs. He wanted these knives to stand up to a lifetime of use. It began as strictly knives, but has since grown to produce other items such as axes, machetes, flashlights, and survival kits as well. Each of these hold the same quality as that first batch of cutlery sets. As gerbergear.com says, “Gerber has quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated and collected names knives.” That is no understatement and any of their knives would be a fantastic choice. However, today I have made a list of the three best rated, most popular, and most classic of Gerber’s knives.
Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife:
This knife has been designed to be a stellar survival tool. In 2011, this knife had become an international best-selling knife. A knife doesn’t become a best seller globally without deserving that title, so what makes it such a good knife? First off, the blade is made out of 7Cr17MoV stainless steel or with the Pro version it is made out of 9Cr19MoV stainless steel. Most commonly, it is found in a combo edge, but you can get it without the serrations if that is what you prefer. If you are going to get this knife to use for survival, I would recommend getting the half serrated blade, because the serrations are fantastic for cutting through thicker materials such as rope or thicker branches. Either way, the blade measures up to be 4.75 inches, which is the perfect size if you need a larger knife, but still need it to not get in the way when attached to your belt. In my opinion, it is really the handle and the sheath that set this knife apart as such a great survival knife.
Let’s start by discussing why the handle is so great. The handle is made out of black rubber with orange accents—this helps you find your knife if you ever seem to misplace it or lose it during a survival situation. Because of the rubber scales on the handle, you will always have fantastic grip even if the knife is wet or you are wearing gloves. At the end of the handle there is a textured metal cap, which is put there so that you can hammer or beat on any materials.
The sheath also has fantastic qualities to it—the sheath is made out of nylon, which is a lightweight yet durable material. Plus, this nylon is mildew resistant, so you don’t have to worry about your knife getting wet. Included in the sheath is also a fire starter, a ferrocerium rod that locks directly into the sheath with a striker notch designed into the back of the knife blade. A big bonus to this sheath is that it has an integrated diamond sharpener so that you can sharpen your knife on the go and in any situation.
Included with your purchase of this knife is a pocket guide that outlines survival essentials and land to air rescue instructions. A big selling point of Gerber is that they are US made, which is mostly true. This knife is assembled in the United States, but they do use a Chinese steel for the blade.
Pros of the Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife:
- The blade and knife are big enough to take on any tasks but not too big to get in the way when it counts.
- In 2011, this knife was an international best-selling knife.
- Has a combo edge for thicker materials, but you can get it in the straight edge also.
- The handle is thick enough and the rubber scales give you grip in any situation, even while wearing gloves.
- Has a textured metal cap for hammering or beating.
- Sheath is durable, yet lightweight, and mildew resistant.
- Includes a fire starter and a built in diamond sharpener.
- Comes with a pocket guide for survival essentials and land to air rescue instructions.
- Assembled in the USA.
Cons of the Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife:
- This is a little bit of a pricey knife.
- This would not be the most efficient way to cut through larger branches, but it definitely does the job.
- The butt cap has been reported to break away from the handle.
- The 7Cr17MoV steel isn’t the best steel.
The LMF II:
This is also one of Gerber’s best-selling knives. This knife comes in three models, either the Infantry, the Survival, or the ASEK. They all have the exact same design, it is just the knife handle and sheath colors that change with each of the models and the accessories vary from knife to knife. The Infantry is either black, brown, or green handle and comes with a sheath. The Survival is only in brown but it also comes with a safety knife, strap cutter, and sheath. Lastly, the ASEK comes only in green and it also comes with a safety knife plus a strap cutter and sheath. Those are the only differences, so now let’s go over what the model of the knife actually is.
The blade of the knife is 4.84 inches of 420HC stainless steel. This steel is a very tough steel and has been known to be resistant to rust. It is such a tough steel that you can actually dig, hammer, or pry along with the regular slicing and chopping. However, this steel does not keep its edge for long periods of time when it is going through heavy use. The silhouette of the blade is a drop point and the edge is a combo. A drop point blade is a great option for a survival knife because it stays durable and strong over the entire blade. By keeping this strength and durability, this knife is an excellent contender for any task from slicing or cutting to a bushcraft task. The overall length of the knife is a little over ten inches. Without a sheath, the knife weighs 11.67 ounces, but with the sheath it weighs a whopping 24.28 ounces.
The handle is made out of a glass filled nylon that has a TPV grip over top of it. The handle is a wider and flatter handle than most. This gives you a better grip than a different design would have and you can even lash it onto a stick if you need to. Because of the TPV grip that is placed on top of the nylon, you will have fantastic grip even when the knife is wet. Just like the Bear Grylls Ultimate, this knife also has a stainless steel butt cap that is for hammering or crushing.
A unique aspect to the LMF II is that it is electrically insulated. Gerber designed this to prevent aircrew from being shocked if and when they cut through live wires if they were trying to free themselves from their aircraft. The butt cap and the blade are molded to the handle, but they are electrically isolated from each other.
The sheath of this knife matches the handle. No matter the color, it is made out of ballistic nylon that has a fire retardant coating over it. This sheath also has a built in sharpener, which is ideal for on the go sharpening, especially if you are in a survival situation and don’t have a way to access a different sharpener. Plus, it is an ambidextrous sheath so you can carry it on either your right or left side.
Pros of the LMF II:
- Comes in three different designs, so you can get it in a variety of colors or have a variety of different accessories.
- The steel used on this blade is extremely tough—in fact, you can dig or hammer with it if needed.
- The steel is resistant to rust.
- The drop point silhouette keeps the blade very strong across the length, so it can stand up to almost any task.
- The handle is actually eclectically insulated, so you won’t electrocute yourself if you have to cut through live wires.
- The handle has a metal butt cap for hammering or crushing.
- With the grip, you can have great grip on it no matter the situation.
- The sheath has a fire retardant coating over it.
- The sheath sports a built in sharpener.
- The sheath is ambidextrous.
Cons of the LMF II:
- This knife is extremely heavier, which many people don’t like, especially for your everyday carry knife.
- This knife can be a little bit excessive for an everyday carry knife.
- This is a more expensive knife, but it is worth it.
- The steel doesn’t keep its edge after long periods of heavy use.
- 420 HC isn’t the best steel.
The GDC Tech Skin:
The GDC in this name stands for Gerber Daily Carry. The Gerber Daily Carry collection is designed to reinvent the way common objects work so they can fit perfectly in your life. Many people think that the Tech Skin is the best one in this collection. This knife is perfect for your everyday carry knife.
The blade is a 7Cr17 steel that is 2.5 inches long. The blade has a drop point silhouette. This silhouette and steel is perfect for your everyday tasks such as opening knives. Unfortunately, the knife doesn’t come as sharp as many people are expecting, so you will probably have to sharpen the knife right when you receive it.
The handle of the knife is rubberized by using a TacHide. Something great about this handle is that the rubbery texture provides great grip, but you can still keep it in your pocket and not worry about it scratching anything such as your phone screen or wallet. This handle is a very comfortable handle to use. Something fantastic about the handle, especially when it is folded, is that there is no metal to be found anywhere on the knife. This is why it is so safe to put in your pocket with other items and why it is such a comfortable knife to hold. Unfortunately, this knife has a tendency to get sticky when you are in a hot room or hot weather.
Another great aspect of this knife is the lock back mechanism that provides a very secure lock when open or closed. Plus, the knife features a thumb stud. With the lock back mechanism and the thumb stud, it is a very easy knife to open one handed. When closed the knife is 3.4 inches long, so it is not very big knife. This makes it a fantastic knife option for your everyday carry, but it won’t stand up to the heavy duty tasks.
Pros of the GDC Tech Skin:
- The drop point silhouette of the blade is great for everyday tasks.
- This is an ideal knife for your everyday carry knife.
- The rubberized handle gives you a fantastic grip.
- A huge pro of this knife is that you can put it in your pocket with your phone and other items and not have to worry about the knife scratching up your objects.
- You can easily open this knife one handed.
Cons of the GDC Tech Skin:
- The rubberized handle can get sticky while in hot weather or hot temperatures.
- This knife is pretty small, so it won’t stand up to any of your heavy duty tasks.
- The knife does not come super sharp, so you will probably have to sharpen it as soon as you receive it.
What started out as a simple batch of homemade knives for holiday knives transformed into something great. Gerber is a very reliable knife company and any of their knives would be a good option. These three knives are three of the most popular knives that Gerber produces. The Bear Grylls Ultimate, the LMF II, and the GDC Tech Skin are all fan favorites and I am sure that you would love them too.