Thirty Days with the Gerber D.M.F. Automatic Knife — Knife Review

Gerber DMF Auto
Gerber D.M.F. Auto 30-000378

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.

Gerber DMF Auto 0378
Gerber DMF Auto 0378

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.

Day 2 

Gerber DMF Auto
Choked up on the choil of a Gerber DMF Auto, model 30-000378

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.


Gerber 378 Slide Safety
Gerber 378 Slide Safety

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.

DAY 10

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.

DAY 15

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.

DAY 21

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.


Gerber DMF Glass Breaker
Gerber DMF Glass Breaker

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.

DAY 30

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.

Gerber Gift Guide

Gerber Remix
Gerber Remix

Gerber has a great gift guide on their website.  Topping out their list in the Tactical Gift section is the Remix and they have the Guardian Fixed Blade second.  I like both those knives, but I think I would switch the order.  I really like the Guardian.  If you want to step up from there–consider the LMF Fixed Blade.  One of the better fixed blade knives in their lineup.

Gerber 06 Automatic Knife, G10 Handles, Part Serrated Tanto Blade


Gerber 06 Auto Knife with G10 Handles
Gerber 06 Auto Knife with G10 Handles

The Gerber 06 Automatic knife is a solid built addition to the 06 line of knives.  This USA made knife comes with black machined G10 handles that give amazing grip, this fully auto knife sports a comfortable grip and a pommel that is perfect for emergency egress.   We’ve reduced the weight of our best-selling 06 Auto with the addition of G10 handles.

The S30V tanto blade measures in at 3 3/8″ long and has a black oxide coat to give it a tactical feel.  At 1/8″, the thickest part of the blade is right on the spine by the handle.  The extra strong tanto style blade gives the tip extra strength and makes it great for piercing.  The story goes that the original tanto design arose from Samurai warriors.  When they broke the tips off their swords, they would resharpen them into a tanto shape.  After a while, they realized that the shape gave their sword even more effective piercing power and began to design the Katana with the tanto tip so as to have a sword with maximum piercing power.

The handle on the 06 not only has the machined G10 for maximum “grippiness” but also features an oversized push button that makes it easy to fire the blade even if you are wearing tactical gloves.  G10 makes for a light knife that is durable and ready for heavy use.  The slide safety is found right below the push button and makes for simple one handed use.  A red dot shows when the safety is not engaged to let you know the knife is “live”.  The handle has fingerguards to give you a more secure grip.  Strategically placed jimping and an extra deep finger choil make for an amazingly secure grip.  Closed, the knife measures in at nearly 5″.  It weighs just 6.3 ounces.

This is a great tactical knife for heavy, daily use.  If you need a great automatic knife that can keep up with you, get the Gerber 06 auto with G10 handles.


Gerber Propel Auto Knives

Gerber Propel Downrange Auto Knife
Gerber Propel Downrange Auto Knife

Looks like Gerber recently announced their new Propel automatic and assisted opening knives.  The Propel Auto comes with a 420HC black oxide finished tanto blade with partial serrations.  The Propel Downrange Auto is exactly the same but with an S30V blade.  Both of them have G10 handles.  The Propel is black G10 and the Propel Downrange is a Desert Sand G10.  Rumor has it the auto mechanism is faster than the earlier Gerber Auto knives–which would be fantastic.  This knife series is built just a little thinner for more comfortable and discreet carry.  They also come with a multi position pocket clip.  We are super excited about this new addition and can’t wait to get them in shop.  You can check out a few more details on each knife over on our site.

Gerber Automatic Knives

Gerber makes several different automatic knife series.  As you would expect, each series has a different name.  The following are the current Gerber Automatic Knife Series:

  1. Covert
  2. 06
  3. D.M.F
  4. Emerson
  5. Safety Auto Hook

This set of articles will compare and contrast each of the different knife series as well as the knives within each series.  Let’s start with the Covert automatic knives.

The standard size Covert Auto knife has a 3.78″ blade and is 8.7″ fully open.  The Mini Covert checks in at 6.5″ overall and has a 2.8″ blade.  Both of the Covert knives come with an S30V stainless steel blade finished black.  The blade on the Covert is a true bayonet style blade with a combo edge while the blade on the Mini Covert is combo edge also but is more of a clip point style blade.  Both blades have mild jimping on the spine.

If you put the two knives side by side, the handles are identical in style and shape–the only difference is the size.  The Covert does have some very aggresive jimping on the handle right as it curves in and then out for a better grip.  The older version did not have this jimping on the handle–I think it is great because it gives you an extra solid grip.  The curve in the handle on both knives acts somewhat like a blade guard by helping you keep your hand away from the knife.  When I hold the knives, my thumb naturally goes in the upper curve along the spine of the handle and my forefinger rests perpendicular across the lower curve for an easy, comfortable grip that gives me tons of blade control.

The action on both knives is fast.  Each one has a slide safety on the front of the handle that shows a red dot when the knife is “hot”.  The button on both knives are easy to push.  The knife is simple to manipulate with or without gloves.  Definitely one hander knives if you need them to be.

Both knives are proudly made in the USA.  Each knife also comes with a removable, tip down pocket clip and the always popular limited lifetime warranty from Gerber.  If you are looking for a solid automatic knife that you can carry daily and use regularly, either of the Gerber Covert Automatic knives will serve you well.