One thing that I always have with me, whether it’s in the woods or even at church, is a knife. Granted, my surroundings do play a big role in exactly what knife I carry with me, but one knife has been a constant every day for the last two months. I’m talking about the Gerber Instant
It’s no secret that I enjoy working with Gerber’s various tools and talking about them to whoever will listen to me. I have always had good luck with their different knives, hatchets and multi-tools. For years, I carried the original Gerber E-Z Out knife and I was always pleased with its edge retention, grip and as its title suggest, its E-Z open function.
As I mentioned, my new go-to knife is one of Gerber’s latest models to hit the market, the Instant. I received one of the newer models that had the updated locking mechanism and it feels rock solid. In earlier models, Gerber did a recall due to an issue with the locking mechanism if the knife was not opened the intended way (one handed). I think it’s a testament to the company’s good customer service the way they recalled the early models and took care of their customers.
When I first got my hands on the Instant, I was instantly pleased with how it felt in my palm. The weight is evenly distributed and the grip is phenomenal. Along with how it feels, you are also treated to a very nice looking knife as well. For starters, the carry clip is much better than previous knife models. It has the nice deep-carry ability, which I really like. When I’m wearing slacks, I don’t want my folder to be sticking out of the top of my front pocket for all to see. Gerber took care of this with a deep-well style clip that conceals the entire knife within your pocket, while keeping it easy to pull out. The clip itself is thin, making it less apparent, and a bit shorter than clips on some other knives I have used. Another good quality is that the clip doesn’t dig into your hand when you have a full grip on the handle.
The G10 texture really makes this knife a joy to use. The “grippy” checkered pattern helps prevent slipping and increases control over the knife. I’ve had some other knives in the past where the company tried to create a unique texture a knives handle, only for it to end up feeling abrasive. Gerber successfully avoided this problem and came up a good formula for the Instant that has a good combination of weight and control. Another unique feature of the knife is the milled-out center area of the handle. This is not only very pleasing to look at, but adds yet more texture for hanging on to the knife when hard at work.
The blade itself is meant to be a workhorse and take anything that can be thrown at it. Coming in at 3.18”, it’s long enough to handle the day to day grind. The Instant only comes in one blade flavor, partially serrated. I know this will turn off some folks, but I have to say that the serrations are actually a little smaller on the Instant. I personally like to carry a folder with a few serrations on the blade. It has always helped me out when I needed to slice through rope or something of the like when I’m at work. Each Instant comes with a black powder coating on the blade (TiNi coating perhaps) and throughout all of my abuse, has held up just fine over time. One thing that I really liked was how sharp the blade was straight from the factory. It’s razor sharp and ready for you to just clip it to your pocket and be about your business. Also, in the two months I have been using it daily, I have not had to sharpen it yet. Not bad for $50 folder!
The Instant is equipped with Gerber’s FAST 2.0 mechanism which allows the blade to open with a flick of your thumb. The speed of this knife opening really shocked me at first. I have a few other assisted folders from other companies that open easily, but feel somewhat “clunky” when they are opened. The Instant must get its name by the speed that it opens. One of my co-workers thought it was a switchblade for a second.
Finally, you have the button lock on the side of the handle that is used for disengaging the blade. I was skeptical about the button lock at first, but Gerber did a great job on this design as well. The lock is very firm and will not disengage until firmly pressed. On my Instant, pressing the button with the blade pointed up allows it to drop mid-way down, which is then easy for my thumb to leave the button and push the blade the rest of the way down, making it easy one-handed closing as well.
Like I said earlier, I really like this knife and look forward to carrying it daily for as long as it holds up. By the looks of it, that may be a long time. I know Gerber has been taking some heat in the past over their knives, but this one really bring them back up to a top contender, especially considering it’s sub $50 price tag.
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