Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife Review

Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife

When trying to find an identity, Gerber chose to be known as the Unstoppable knife brand—just like the men and women who carry their gear. They have had decades of innovation mixed with dedication that has put them in the place that they are today. 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. And today, that includes much more than just a blade.

Gerber was founded in 1939 and based in Portland, Oregon, USA, and is an American brand whose precuts have global reach and relevance. These tools are carried extensively by hunters, soldiers, and tradesman, with Gerber’s heritage running deep. They 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, 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 backed by their famous lifetime warranty.

When you think of Gerber, you should be thinking of quality, reliability, and innovation. For over 70 years this is what their customers have expected from us. And whether their products are used to save time, save the day, or save a life, Gerber always delivers.

This company started out in 1939 as a small batch of handmade cutlery sets given as holiday gifts quickly turned into thousands of retail accounts around the country. By the time 1960 rolled around, Gerber had quickly become one of the most trusted, appreciated, and collected names in knives. This company is still grounded in the same principles that first guided Joseph R. Gerber. The products that they produce now range from knives to multi-tools, axes, handsaws, machetes, headlamps, flashlights, survival kits, and even to digging implements. All of these tools are made and explored with the same standards of quality and design that inform their revered knife making.

Today, we are going to be talking about the Gerber StrongArm Fixed blade with a black combo edged blade.


The Blade:

The blade on this Gerber knife is made out of 420HC steel. This is an old steel, or more correctly, a retrofit of a very old steel. The base recipe is 420 steel with the addition of carbon, which is where the HC comes from—HC. This steel is soft, 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. There are many different levels of steel, but products made from 420HC steel are definitely different from other types of steel in terms of performance and reliability. Some of the major benefits to having a knife with this steel is that your blade is going to be very easy to sharpen and will remain durable when it is in constant use. If you are planning on an adventure or an expedition, you should be looking for a blade with 420HC steel. One of the most common places that you are going to find this steel used is in hatchets, machetes, or fine swords because it is so tough. This steel reaches a 57 HRC after suitable heat treatment. The price range of this steel is a definite advantage.

The StrongArm blade has been coated with a black ceramic coating. Coatings do provide you with good corrosion resistance, but they will scratch off eventually and at different rates. Some of the other benefits to the coated finish is that it will help to reduce the reflection and glare of a blade. But, like I said, all coatings will scratch off eventually, especially after heavy use, and it will need to be recoated at that point. This particular coating is a powder coating. Basically you give the blade has a thick ceramic or plastic-y coating on it. This style of coating probably won’t peel off, but it has been known to scratch off semi-easily.

This blade has been carved into a drop point style of blade. This is the blade shape that you should be searching for if you are looking for a phenomenal all-purpose knife that can stand up to almost anything. This blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes around, along with the clip point. These two blade shapes are often confused with each other, but we will talk about where they differ and where the two are similar, along with the pros and cons of each style of knife. Almost all hunting knives have a drop point blade shape, but you will also find this blade shape on a wide variety of other knives—because they are so versatile. The shape of this knife is created by the back edge of the knife running straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. It is this lowered point that provides more control and adds strength to the tip. It is this strong tip that makes the drop point blade shape such a popular option on tactical and survival knives. This blade shape is easily controllable because the tip is dropped, making it easily controllable. One of the many reasons that this blade shape is so versatile is because it sports such a large belly. This belly is perfect for slicing and cutting.

Drop point and clip point blade shapes are similar and both the two most popular blade shapes in use today. They are both very versatile, however, they both have different pros and cons. The drop point does have the lowered point, like we earlier mentioned, but it also has a very broad tip. This broad tip is where the strength of the knife comes from and what makes the blade so durable. However, this wide point is also a disadvantage of the blade, because with the broadness, you lose all stabbing capabilities. A clip point blade has a lowered point as well, so it is going to be easily controlled, but the tip is not broad at all. The tip on a clip point is thin, sharp, and fine, which gives you plenty of stabbing capabilities, but it is going to be more prone to breaking. Clip point styles are weaker than a drop point blade shape.

This black blade is a combination, or combo, edge. This means that the upper two thirds of the blade is a plain edge. This portion is going to allow to slice and cut, while also performing detail, fine, and tip work. The lower two thirds of the blade are a serrated edge. The serrations are small teeth that are used to saw through thicker materials. Some people worry that because each of the edge styles are smaller, you don’t get the best of both worlds. While this can be true on a smaller blade, this is a fixed blade, with a larger blade than most knives. Because of this, you really are going to get the best of both worlds through this blade.


The Handle:

The handle on the Gerber StrongArm is made out of a rubberized diamond texture grip. This material will give you crazy good grip while also providing you with a comfortable grip through the harder tasks. To keep your fingers safe and your grip secure, there is a large finger guard at the base of the blade where the blade and handle meet. The butt of this handle also flares out. This handle is all black, just like the blade.

On the butt of the handle, there is a lanyard hole drilled into the handle. There are so many different benefits to using a lanyard with your fixed blade. For the most part, you are going to be using your fixed blade for the tougher tasks, most likely the outdoors class. For starters, a lanyard will secure your blade against loss. When you are running around outside, or through canyons, or even out on the water, you do not want your blade to fly out of the sheath and accidently stab yourself or lose your knife. If you are using this blade for hunting, you are going to have to reach inside the cavity to cut the esophagus so the intestines can be pulled out. This situation is a messy, bloody situation, which makes the knife handle slippery. And although there is a finger guard and heavy texture, a lanyard around your wrist or hand can prevent your hand from slipping down the blade of the handle. A third reason to use a lanyard on this knife of yours is to help with visibility. If you happen to put your knife down while you are using it, it may blend in with the surroundings. To combat this, you can easily tie a vibrant cord through the hole and you will never lose it again.


The Mechanism:

This is a fixed blade, which means that there actually isn’t any mechanism or moving parts inside of the knife. This is a full tang blade, which means that the blade metal itself extends through the full length of the handle. The Rubberized handle has been molded around the full tang to give you an easier grip on the blade. The full tang style of fixed blade is the toughest style of blade, because there is no weak spot in the metal where it could wear down or snap.

There are so many different advantages to having a fixed blade. They are stronger than a folding knife and no matter what size you get your blade in, it is going to have the same strength behind it. Fixed blades also don’t break. There are no inner or moving parts to break in a fixed blade, so there is nothing for the mechanism to wear down, rust, or break. One of the biggest perks of a fixe blade is that they are so easy to maintain. You do not have to worry about cleaning all of the inner pieces. All you really have to do is wipe down the blade and handle, oil the blade, and call it good. Fixed blades are also superior survival tools. With a full tang fixed blade, you can use it for cutting, digging, splitting, food preparation, hunting, hammering, and even as a prying tool.


The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4.8 inches long, with an overall knife length of 9.8 inches. This knife weighs in at 10.9 ounces.


The Sheath:

The sheath on this knife is a modular system with snap components for MOLLE horizontal or vertical and vertical belt carry. MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It is used to define the current generation of load-bearing equipment and backpacks used by a number of NATO armed forces, especially the British Army and 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.

Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife
Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade Knife


The Gerber StrongArm Fixed Blade knife boasts a tough-as-hell combo edge drop point blade. Gerber has been producing fixed blade combat and survival knives for the US Military since 1968 and the StrongArm continues the fine tradition of excellence. The 420HC stainless steel blade has a black ceramic coating. The StrongArm is designed around the basics of military survival training and the diamond texture rubberized handle allows you to get a solid grip no matter the environmental conditions. The pommel is designed with a point for use as a defensive strike point or glass breaker. The modular sheath system features snap components that allow it to be carried vertically on MOLLE, horizontally on a standard 1.75″ belt or in a traditional drop leg belt mount fashion. Proudly built for you in Portland, OR. Pick yours up today at BladeOps.


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