Gerber is another company not content on resting on the success of their popular designs. We recently reviewed one product of theirs that we were particularly impressed with, and that was their new Metolius folding knife. What impressed us most was how Gerber was able to keep the price point so low, yet produce such a great feeling knife made of such quality materials. They are continuing that tradition just a few months later with some more pieces of gear that provide a lot of value for what you get. The first that we looked at (in picture) was the A.O. F.A.S.T. 3.0 which is an assisted opening style knife that has a modified drop point blade, and it has a few other features such as a bottle opener and an extra lanyard hole if you don’t want to use the carabiner style clip for carry. The blade is 2.90 inches long with an overall length of the knife at 8.20 inches. The blade steel is made of 440A stainless steel, and the handle has deep thumb grooves on the spine to assist in controlling the knife in various cutting tasks.
I had a chance to use the AO F.A.S.T. for a few minutes was impressed by the feel and how it sat in the hand with the recessed finger contour that helps add to that control. The assisted opening mechanism was fast in deploying the blade and it locked positively once engaged. We’re looking forward to seeing how much the MSRP will be on this knife, since it looks to be a great addition to their line and provides the basics of what the weekend warrior needs–a cutting tool and a bottle opener!
Another new knife design that we got a chance to play with was their new Descent which, like the AO F.A.S.T. isn’t available yet. The Descent is a lightweight knife that has a high-tech profile and appearance. It utilizes a frame lock to set the blade in place when opened, and it too has a carabiner type clip for easy attachment to a belt loop or a pack strap. It will be available with a plain edge or with a serrated edge as well. The Descent is able to fit into the lightweight category because of the amount of steel that is cut away from one side of the handle. When the knife is closed, the blade actually looks to be part of the handle. Blade length is 2.60 inches long with an overall length of the knife at 6.35 inches long, but it weighs in at only 2.71 ounces. This style of knife will fit in quite nicely with folks that enjoy climbing, mountain biking, and other similar sports where a knife isn’t needed on a regular basis and sometimes adds unwanted weight. Woods Monkey got a review sample of the Descent and are sending it out this week to one of our writers to get their impression of it and report back to us about those impressions.
As a lot of people already know, one of of the more popular lines of gear in their stable is their mult-tools, and that line has been beefed up once again with the next couple of products that was shown off to us at the show. First is the Octane Multi-tool. As you can see in the picture, the pliers are at a slight offset to the handle which provides a bit more ergonomic handling. The Octane pliers can be opened with one hand, and there are several other components that can come in rather handy on a regular basis. Besides the pliers, there is a V-cut wire cutter, a bottle opener, a knife blade that has a combo edge to it (regular/serrated), a pocket clip, a Clam Package Opener, and large and small regular driver heads and a crosshead screwdriver head as well. It all comes in a fairly compact size at 4 inches overall when close, and it also includes Gerber’s SaF.T. Plus locking system as well. This looks to be a nice compilation of tools that can be carried in a front pocket when a larger multi-tool would get in the way for normal every day use. It’s also a viable alternative for those folks who want the option of having these tools on the trail, but are watching the ounces when it comes to the amount of gear they carry.
In somewhat of a twist, the next multi-tool that I saw was even smaller, yet had more tools available for the user to employe. That tool is their new Strata. The Strata offers up a set of spring-loaded pliers, a wire cutter, clam package opening tool, pair of scissors, the same number of drivers as the Octane, a plane edge blade, saw, can opener, files, a and bottle opener. Though it’s a bit shorter than the Octane when closed, it weighs more at about 7.5 ounces. But, that extra weight comes from the addition of more tools that will be at your disposal when needed.
Besides these, Gerber has a couple of items coming out in the near future including a couple of more lights, and we’ll bring you more detailed information once its available. But, as soon as we get that information, I’m sure Gerber will have even more designs on the drawing board to keep pushing forward and constantly improving their designs. Gerber has done a great job in the past providing hard use tools at a price point that makes those products easily available to the mainstream population. This trend appears to be continuing with these newest products, and should be on your list to consider the next time you have a need for a new knife or multi-tool.