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Old 04-14-2019, 03:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Inexpensive knives/Have Gerber knives improved?

I loved my Gerber knives from the 90ís. They got razor sharp easily and held the edge reasonably well. A leather strop would usually bring the edge back quickly. I was very disappointed with a couple I bought maybe 10ish years ago. One I could not get sharp and the other would not hold a edge during very light use. At this point I was done with Gerber. It seemed to me the Chinese factories couldnít get the temper down correctly.

I got a bit more into knives a few years back and now mostly carry slip joints. Most are GEC and Case; several are inexpensive but very decent models made in China. For example Boker Magnum brand seems to be a good value for what you pay and I genuinely like them. I realize that for my general use almost any steel that has a proper temper is good enough. Most of my use is opening packages and other small mundane tasks. All my knives (including my nicer Benchmade and Spyderco knives) get a touch up on the ceramic rod after any moderate use.

Recently I got the bug to try some inexpensive knives. Iím very impressed with the Ontario RAT 1 and the KA-BAR Dozier both in AUS-8. I did just order a RAT in D2. Also the Buck 112 Slim is awesome. Those knives are all $20-30 and should give Kershaw some competition (Kershaw seems to usually be great value).

Yesterday I started to wonder if Gerber had improved their economy lines. I really loved some of the small knives they used to sell. I stopped by the knife isle and picked up a Gerber Air Ranger G10. I was disappointed to find that it was not very sharp out of the package. However it didnít take long to get it slicing paper. Now Iím curious to see if it will hold up to my day to day use. If it works out I might pick up a few other models from Gerber.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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As far as I know Gerber hasn't improved. They're okay but nothing special. For the money, Spyderco is my favorite, although I've noticed they've gone up a lot over the past couple years for some reason. I got my Spyderco Resilience for under $40 new from amazon with free shipping, now it's closer for $60. So it seems they've lost some of their value in terms of cost / quality. Blade steel aside, the Resilience seems better quality than my Benchmade Griptilian which was over twice as much. Just wish Spyderco did thumb studs.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have yet to read any good reviews of anything Gerber. However, I've only been into knfie/straight razors for a couple years.

If they're cheap, it might be worth just satisfying your curiosity. I wouldn't expect to resell them for anything though.

That said, there are some decent Chinese steels making it to production knives. This is from 2018, but a good overview. Skip to 14:00 minutes to see himtalk about Chinese steels and Gerber.
https://youtu.be/l8-bTfQqcKk
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had an absolutely fantastic Gerber multi tool, the legend or something. It was fantastic. Spring loaded pliers, wire cutting blades were replaceable, took 2 inch saw blades, locking tools accessible without opening, etc...

It broke while doing something stupid (like standing-on-arm-while-open-stupid) and they replaced it for free...

With a piece of crap, poorly finished, fragile copy.

I don't know if they changed factories or manufacturing processes, or maybe they just sent out a crappy replacement. But it broke shortly thereafter and I haven't given them any money since.

My daily carry knives are a CRKT M16 and a Kershaw blur.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Personally, I've never had a folding knife that's really impressed me. I've had Gerber, Kershaw, SOG, Buck, CRKT, and a few others I'm probably forgetting. None have been amazing and were of similar quality.

I carry a half serrated SOG folder with a seat belt cutter and window punch for work. It's not great but it does the job. I want to try a Kabar folding knife and see how that goes.
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I’m not really a knife guy so I couldn’t really tell you what is good or not. I generally think that a folder that doesn’t wobble when locked open is good enough for me. I also usually lose them before I need to sharpen them. For me Ganzo knives are perfect. They run $15-20 lock up good and are decently sharp. I don’t get mad if I lose one, chip a blade, or snap the blade while using it as a pry bar or beating on it.
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HyePower View Post
Personally, I've never had a folding knife that's really impressed me. I've had Gerber, Kershaw, SOG, Buck, CRKT, and a few others I'm probably forgetting. None have been amazing and were of similar quality.

I carry a half serrated SOG folder with a seat belt cutter and window punch for work. It's not great but it does the job. I want to try a Kabar folding knife and see how that goes.
I definitely echo these sentiments. I'd almost always prefer a proper fixed blade.

I carry enough other crap though that I don't want to add a fixed blade lol
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apamburn View Post
I had an absolutely fantastic Gerber multi tool, the legend or something. It was fantastic. Spring loaded pliers, wire cutting blades were replaceable, took 2 inch saw blades, locking tools accessible without opening, etc...

It broke while doing something stupid (like standing-on-arm-while-open-stupid) and they replaced it for free...

With a piece of crap, poorly finished, fragile copy.
The Gerber tool I used for eight years in the Army was great, not Leatherman great but not garbage. Picked up another around 2009 I think and itís a steaming pile of garbage. Speaking of Leatherman I wish they would improve the temper on their blades.

Quote:
Originally Posted by screwloose45 View Post
As far as I know Gerber hasn't improved. They're okay but nothing special. For the money, Spyderco is my favorite, although I've noticed they've gone up a lot over the past couple years for some reason. I got my Spyderco Resilience for under $40 new from amazon with free shipping, now it's closer for $60. So it seems they've lost some of their value in terms of cost / quality. Blade steel aside, the Resilience seems better quality than my Benchmade Griptilian which was over twice as much. Just wish Spyderco did thumb studs.

I have two Delica 4ís in VG10 I snagged on sale for about $60 a piece. For EDC I prefer them to Benchmade Mini Grips. Spyderco FRN scales (fiberglass reinforced nylon/ cheap looking plastic handles) are amazing. You can get a good grip and maintain safe use even when hands are oily from working on the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLachance75 View Post
Iím not really a knife guy so I couldnít really tell you what is good or not. I generally think that a folder that doesnít wobble when locked open is good enough for me. I also usually lose them before I need to sharpen them. For me Ganzo knives are perfect. They run $15-20 lock up good and are decently sharp. I donít get mad if I lose one, chip a blade, or snap the blade while using it as a pry bar or beating on it.

I really want to pick up a Ganzo just to see how they do.
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Old 04-14-2019, 05:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HyePower View Post
Personally, I've never had a folding knife that's really impressed me. I've had Gerber, Kershaw, SOG, Buck, CRKT, and a few others I'm probably forgetting. None have been amazing and were of similar quality.

I carry a half serrated SOG folder with a seat belt cutter and window punch for work. It's not great but it does the job. I want to try a Kabar folding knife and see how that goes.


If you want an impressive folder itís going to cost a bit. Also everyone has different needs; if you need a fixed blade donít use a folder. Benchmade, Cold Steel and a few others make some that are tough but none are ever going to be a Becker BK2. Benchmade Griptillion seems to be very prevalent; take a look at one sometime if you get a chance. Knives get a lot nicer in fit and finish but it will give you an idea of what a knife can be.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is what Iím using today. Itís one of probably 4-5 that I have. This one has to be about 4 years old.

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