Gerber Fastball Flipper Knife Review

The Gerber Fastball Flipper Knife

 

When Joseph R. Gerber described his young knife company, Gerber Legendary Blades, as the, “birth of an enterprise that grew into big business,” it was true, but it was an understatement for sure. What had started out in 1939 as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets given as holiday gifts had 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 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 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 (the Magnum Hunter) have given birth to today’s lightweight, open-frame clip folders (the Remix). 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.

Gerber says, “Like the men and women who carry our gear, Gerber is Unstoppable. Decades of innovation and dedication have put us here. 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 mind. Today that includes much more than a blade.

Founded in 1939 and based in Portland, Oregon, USA, Gerber is an American brand whose products have global reach and relevance. Carried extensively by hunters, soldiers and tradesmen, Gerber’s heritage runs deep. And we are now looking toward the future, where tomorrow’s problems will be solved by the next generation of innovations.

All Gerber products are designed and engineered in Portland, OR where many are produced. We also tap our 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 backed by our famous lifetime warranty.

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

Today we will be talking about the Gerber flipper that has been named the Fastball. This knife is in stock at BladeOps currently, so you can get your hands on one now.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. This steel is made by Crucible Industries, who are known for making high end knife steels for high end pocket knives. This steel was specifically created for high end kitchen cutlery as well as high end pocket knives. This is a major advantage, because it means that you will have all of the characteristics that you could want out of the steel.

Gerber Fastball Flipper with Black Handle

The steel is known for having the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. This is a complicated balance to achieve because the harder the steel gets, the less tough it is. The steel is also known for having crazy high corrosion resistance. This is nice, because it means that this tactical knife is going to be very low maintenance.

There is one disadvantage to having the blade made out of this steel: it is hard to work with. This means that when it comes time to sharpen it, you are going to need an experienced sharpener. There is no way that a beginner sharpener could get a fine, clean edge on this type of steel.

 

The blade on this knife has been finished with a BlackWash finish. The Blackwash finish is a type of stonewashed finish. To create the stonewashed finish, the blade is tumbled around in an abrasive material. ­this finish is going to hide scratches with ease, while also creating a blade that is going to have a less reflective nature than a satin finish would give. A BlackWash finish is created when the blade has had an acid treatment that darkens the blade before it undergoes stonewashing. The acid oxidation enhances a blade’s rust resistance by placing a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. One of the biggest advantages to this finish is that they are incredibly low maintenance. The original look of the blade is going to be preserved overtime, because of the fact that it hides the scratches and smudge that accumulate with time.

 

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point blade shape is the second most popular blade shape that you will find in the cutlery industry to date. It is fairly similar to the drop point, although it does have a few key differences. The clip point is nearly as versatile as the drop point blade shape, but it does excel at piercing, which is unlike the clip point blade shape.

The spine of the blade curves down slightly until it reaches about halfway up the spine. At this point, it angles down a little bit more sharply. This section is referred to as the clip, which is where the blade shape got its name from. The clip got its name because it looks as if it has been clipped out of the spine of the knife. Not only is the clip the namesake of the knife, but it also has created a lowered tip. This lowered tip means that you are going to have more control over the cuts while you are working with this knife.

The clip also creates a fine and sharp tip, which is why it does excel at piercing. There is going to be less drag with the insertion and removal of the blade in any soft target, which will make it quick and dangerous. However, the fine and sharp tip is actually one of the drawbacks to the blade shape as well. This does create a tip that is going to be a little bit weaker than a broader tip. It may be prone to breaking if subjected to hard or sharp impacts. That being said, as long as you are relatively careful with it, you should have no major problems.

The next big advantage of the clip point is that it does have a large belly. This large belly gives you more surface area to use while slicing, which is going to make slicing a breeze. Really, you will be able to slice nearly anything with this blade shape.


The Handle:

The handle is made out of a black anodized aluminum. Aluminum itself is a widely popular option for high-quality knife handle materials. Aluminum is tough, durable, incredibly corrosion resistant, and best of all, it is lightweight. However, it is also prone to getting scratched.

Aluminum is known to be a low-density metal, which is where the low weight of the handle comes in from. A low-density metal is a metal that is going to provide you with the heft that you need to take on all of your tasks. It is not going to make you feel that you cannot rely on the handle—instead, it is going to give you enough heft in your hand that you feel confident. Confident enough to take on whatever comes your way. That being said, it is not going to weigh you down. This is a smaller knife, so any of the heft that you can get from the handle is going to be appreciated.

One of the negative aspects of aluminum is that it is not going to offer as much grip as knife materials are going to offer. Also, aluminum has high conductive properties, so in colder environments, this knife may feel cold to the touch, which can hinder your use of this knife.

 

This handle has been anodized, which is a process that changes the make-up of the surface of the aluminum. It adds a sleek black color to it, but it also enhances all of the good qualities that the aluminum already has. Not only that, but it counteracts with some of the worse qualities that aluminum has. For example, it will not be as easy to scratch after it has been anodized.

Sage Green Gerber Fastball Flipper

The handle has an extreme look to it. The spine of it is nearly straight, but it angles down slightly near the butt. In fact, it basically mimics what the blade looks like. The butt of the handle has been squared off. The belly has a thick finger guard that is enhanced with the flipper. There is an elongated finger groove that extends nearly to the middle of the belly. This will help with comfort. After that, the belly is completely straight until it hits the butt of the handle.

There is a lanyard hole that is big enough to fit nearly any lanyard that you want it to. This hole is located near the butt, but further away than you would typically see. It is rectangular, but it does have rounded ends to it, creating a softer look.

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Fastball is a reversible 3-positon pocket clip that supports a variety of carry options. It can be attached for either tip up or tip down carry on the traditional side of the handle or tip up carry on the other side of the handle. This allows you to carry the Fastball in the way that is most comfortable to you, and thus, safest to you.

The clip has also been BlackWashed, which matches the blade perfectly. It is kept in place by two black screws which do match the rest of the hardware on this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

            This Gerber knife has been equipped with B.O.S.S Tech, which is Balls of Stainless Steel. This mechanism is a ball-bearing system that offers smooth and consistent deployment with plenty of kick.

It also features a flipper mechanism, which is one of the most common one-handed knife opening mechanisms that you are going to come across in the cutlery industry. This flipper is more squared off than many that you will see.

The flipper is not as easy to use as other mechanisms, such as the thumb stud, but once you get the hang of it, it is one of the safest ones to use. All you have to do is pull back on the flipper, which will swing the blade open and lock it into place, ready for use.

The flipper is one of the safer mechanisms because it acts as a finger guard when the blade is open. Plus, the motion to open this style of knife does not put your fingers in the path of the blade, making it slightly safer than a thumb stud would be.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.1 inches long. This creates an overall length of 7.1 inches long; a fairly average length for a pocket knife. This is definitely a lighter weight knife, weighing in at only 2.7 ounces. This is mostly due to the aluminum handle. The Fastball was made in the United States of America, so you can easily rely on the quality that it provides.


Conclusion:

The new Fastball knife was designed and built in Portland, Oregon and showcases their patented B.O.S.S. Tech™ (Balls Of Stainless Steel) which is a ball-bearing system that offers smooth and consistent deployment with plenty of kick. Each model features a premium blade steel that will help keep a good edge while its slim profile keeps you pocket real estate game on point. This model features a black anodized aluminum handle, a clip point style blade in a black oxide finish and the reversible 3-position pocket clip supports a variety of carry options.

The Fastball is in stock at BladeOps right now, purchase yours here.

 

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